David Amerland

Feed the Soul of a Writer – How to write a How-To book interview with John Rakestraw

Writers put nothing less than their soul in their work and finding readers is a validation many look for. In a revealing internview Talkshow host John Rakestraw had me thinking about much of the process which goes into the creation of a How-To book.


John Rakestraw is a man whose mission is to help writers exploring the go-it-alone route get as much help as they need to become a viable ‘product’. I use the word ‘product’ because we are now in the days where a transition is occurring between publishers and publishing houses being the traditional gatekeepers of information and the only available way to get books to the public and authors becoming, themselves, the commodity which sells their books.

I have written about the steps required to become visible on the web if you are an author before and no less an author than Seth Godin has waxed lyrical about the shortcomings of the publishing industry. What is important here is that, as the post-publisher era predicted last century is now approaching, writers have alternative, viable options to help them achieve their dream of becoming published.


The truth is whatever the shortcomings of publishers and publishing houses they were also hothouses for developing promising authors, lens through which new talent could be discovered and bootcamps from which authors would emerge tougher, bigger and more focused than ever before. So in throwing out the ‘bad’ we will also be losing a lot of benefits which are difficult to replace.

Springing up in the interstices is valuable help provided by talkshows and websites like John Rakestraw’s The Book Platform which help provide valuable advice, exposure and help to new and emerging writers. John has a catchphrase which I found fabulous: “Feed the soul of a writer” by buying his books. In this succinct slogan he has captured much of the essence of writing and the fact that if you are working on a novel or a How-To book you are putting much of your soul and hopes in it. You really want it to do something other than just exist as a printed book or an eBook. It is here, perhaps, that John’s shows give listeners and authors the greatest benefit by focusing not just on the practicalities of writing and the writers who do things but also on the fact that books are there to change the world.

If you are a writer working in any kind of writing and need to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry, are looking for assistance with some tasks or want to have insights into the process of writing and publishing then this is a website I highly recommend.

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