Finding Investors for Your Book
by Dean Arnold
(Chattanooga, TN, US)
Old Money, New South
Excerpted from an oral interview:
I was an investigative reporter in Chattanooga for 10 years and had my own publication. I did some other types of writing and after about 10 years of all that I got tired of it. At one point I decided that I wanted to write a couple of books. So I decided to figure out how to do that.
The first book was called, Cherokee Betrayal. I later changed the title to America's Trail of Tears. It was about the group of events around the Indian removal West and the trail of tears that commenced in Chattanooga Tennessee, my hometown where I spent 20 years.
That's a book that is owned by me. It was a straight for-profit business venture.
But the second book that I really wanted to write, that I had a bee in my bonnet for, was a book called Old Money New South The spirit of Chattanooga. It's Micheneresque (as in James Michener) in a way. I took a geographical spot, Chattanooga, and talked about all aspects of that geographical area. Going back to 10,000 BC and the early archaic Indians and then spending a lot time on Chattanooga during its glory days, which is turn-of-the-century. Coca-Cola bottling was started there. All these billionaire fortunes from Coca-Cola bottling really shaped the town. Actually more money was made in Chattanooga than Atlanta for Coke.
And so this kind of aristocracy rules the town and it's kind of a mystery. It's an interesting and intriguing thing. The book is creative non-fiction using interviews and story-telling.
To finance the project, one of the things I did was start a non-profit corporation. Since this was sort of a community story, I figured I could find people who wanted to tell this story. I raised, I guess, probably around 100,000 dollars for the printing and to help subsidize the project. Then I sold several thousand books too. So I made some money off that.
That was sort of a creative way to finance a book project. It was quite a success. For the Barnes and Noble in Chattanooga, it was their leading selling book for several weeks. For the bookstore downtown in Chattanooga, it's their number one seller of any book.
Total donors was maybe 40 to 50. I was blessed to know some people who had some means who wanted to see the project take off.
It didn't take much time before it became sort of the definitive book on the town. I gave it just enough kind of intrigue and spice to make it interesting, but not enough to be an exposé so it's something the chamber of commerce can endorse.
I would encourage people involved in writing to get involved with the stuff that is immediately around you and graduate from there.
Visit Dean's site