Bernie Block: So You Want to Write a Book?

Do it!!! As long you believe you have a good story to tell.

I’ve done it three times. One a mystery suspense story, then an omnibus of 35 short stories with “twist” endings, and finally a Remembrance book for my family.

A few things I’d like to suggest you do when considering writing a book:

  • Prepare an outline of the whole book; it is a lonely endeavor (it’s you and your characters, only)
  • If you want fast results to see it in print, self-publish because if you look for a publisher or agent, it will be at least one-and-a-half years to be lucky you get accepted, maybe!
  • Be prepared for marketing and selling your book yourself (don’t expect to make a lot of money with your first book because you are unknown).
  • But do it if you think you have a good tale to tell…tell it.

My first book took 25 years to prepare and publish. I wrote the outline and first four chapters while in my 30s. It was a mystery-suspense tale. I became very busy in my career as a journalist, advertising account executive and then publisher in my own business that I had to stop the manuscript.

At 60, I finished the book in four months following the outline I had written many years before. I titled the book, “The Sleeping Girl on the Couch” using a three-dimensional, mulched white paper piece of art which still hangs in my living room area here at Brookdale as the central theme.

I self-published the 218-page book after designing the front and back covers on my computer (which by the way was a great deal of fun and used my experience in the publishing business and a little of the knowledge gained through courses I had taken using the G.I. Bill of Rights at CCNY.)

There are two funny stories connected with the endeavor.

First, I usually gave four written chapters to my wife for proofreading with a red pen to be used for corrections. When I gave her the last four chapters, she returned the proofs with no corrections. I asked her, “How come there are no errors?” She replied, “Oh, my gosh, I forgot to proofread. I was so interested in seeing how it ended I forgot to proofread!” She redid the whole process immediately and returned it in a few days.

The second story about the book involved the search for the artist who had created this piece of art so I could reproduce it on the front cover. (A nude woman sleeping on a couch). I searched, and searched but couldn’t find him to get permission to use his art. I turned to the Internet to seek out a company that could recreate something close to the real thing and found one in Kentucky to do it, with a promise of sending me a proof in 30 days. The 30 days passed, no proof. I called them again and they told me to hold on and they would check out why it hadn’t been sent, ending the conversation that it would be there in a few days.

Three mornings later the proof came in a long tube. That night around 11:45 pm I got a call from the Kentucky company asking if I got the proof and could I use it? “Yes, it’s great,” I said, “How come you are calling me so late in the evening? His reply was “Why? It’s only 9 am here in China!” Yep, that’s where it was done, and if you look real closely at the woman’s face you’ll see that she has Asian features. (I still have 30 copies of the book in case any of my readers are interested in purchasing a copy. At 50% off the original price of $15.95, call me at 954-258-1679 and we’ll work out the details.)
Subsequently I wrote another book, “A Short, Short-Story Omnibus-#1” which features 35 short-stories with a “twist” ending. It’s available on Amazon as an E-Book.

My third book was a Remembrance Book called “Our Heritage & Our Life” which followed our family from the 1820s, the Civil War, up until 2008. I gave 25 out to members of the family, and reserved five for future grandchildren. I reread the book many times and it always makes me “feel good”. Try it yourself, you will like it.

Current News Story From “”

(My website appearing on the Internet on Monday-Wednesday-Friday)
~~~ Centenarians Have Free Facilities Near U.S. Natural Parks…Seven Aramark properties are offering a free night’s stay to those seniors who are or will be 100 years of age or older in 2016 near these national parks: Denali, Glacier Bay, Grand Teton, Olympic, Mesa Verde, Glen Canyon and Yosemite. Offer is for one complimentary night for double occupancy (includes one other person free of charge with certain requirements)—For full info, contact Leslie Sonnenklar ( or call 602-307-5811.

Senior One-liner Jokes

Perks of Being 65 plus…Kidnappers are not too interested in you

Bernie is a real person who resides in one of our Brookdale communities. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Brookdale Senior Living.

Thank you. Your comment has been submitted and is pending approval.

Leave a Comment

You May Also Like

Happy Birthday To Me

Bernie Block October 26, 2016

I'm a Halloween kid, born on October 31, 1924. Yep, I'll be 92 in a week, and I really didn't expect to live that long. However, if this column is published on October 24, I still must be alive! I was born in Philadelphia, PA of parents Anna & Harry ... Read more


Virginia Wylie October 22, 2016

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Seventy, eighty, ninety…fine years accumulate Alverda dances on to stimulate To share the joy that’s in her heart She is herself a work of art  But, oh, Alverda fell and bumped her nose It had to happen, I suppose We must beware the pe... Read more