Everyone needs to practice at least one art. Here is an art that you are welcome to consider practicing.
I have published several collections of anecdotes in Print-on-Demand book format.
If you would like to write and publish book collections of anecdotes such as The Funniest People in Sports or The Funniest People in Music, no problem.
It will take a time commitment and some writing ability, but pretty much anyone can do what I do.
You will need a few prerequisites:
- You will have to read several books a year. (You can also find anecdotes in online media and in your personal life.)
- You will have to get in the habit of writing each (or almost every) day. I try to write approximately three anecdotes per day, although often I end up writing only one anecdote.
- You will have to avoid plagiarism when you retell in your own words the anecdotes you find in books.
- You will have to proofread carefully.
Here is what you will do:
Step 1: Read a Book and Note Any Anecdotes
Read a book, and as you read it, take note of any good anecdotes in the book. I use a notebook and write down the page number the anecdote is found on, where the anecdote can be found (top, mid, or bot, or sometimes top/mid or mid/bot), and a brief phrase to indicate the subject of the anecdote. For example, I might write “p. 28, mid, practical joke).”
Important: Of course, not all books have anecdotes, but you will quickly identify the kind of books that have anecdotes. For example, biographies for teenagers are often well written and will usually contain a few good anecdotes. Reading shorter books—under 250 or so pages—is usually a good idea.
Step 2: Type the Anecdotes (with Footnotes) Using Your Own Words
Type the anecdotes into a word processing document such as Microsoft Word. Try to write approximately three anecdotes a day. That will give you over 1,000 anecdotes per year. (If you write only one anecdote per day, you will have 365 anecdotes at the end of a year. If your books of anecdotes will contain 250 anecdotes, you can write at least one book per year.) When you type the anecdotes, use footnotes to indicate the source of the anecdotes. Also, type the bibliographic data for the book you have read and are getting the anecdotes from.
Important: When you type the anecdotes, avoid plagiarism. Use your own words, and if anything is taken word for word from the book you have read, use quotation marks.
Step 3: Proofread Each Anecdote Three Times
Proofread each anecdote three times. From experience, I have learned that this is a wise thing to do. Proofreading is hard work, and it is easy to leave out a word or make a typo while typing an anecdote.
Step 4: Gather the Anecdotes into Book Collections
Gather the anecdotes into book collections. For example, you may want to write a collection of sports anecdotes, a collection of dance anecdotes, a collection of music anecdotes, etc. Of course, the collections will be up to you and your interests. If you decide to specialize in sports, your collections may be basketball, football, baseball, women’s sports, and sports in general.
In each book collection, use only two anecdotes from a book you have read. You may read one book about sports, type 10 anecdotes, then put two anecdotes in your basketball collection, two anecdotes in your football collection, two anecdotes in your women’s-sports collection, two anecdotes in your sports-in-general collection, and have two anecdotes that aren’t all that good. Put those not-so-good anecdotes in a miscellaneous collection or a junk collection because you may later think of a way to rewrite an anecdote and make it funnier.
As you add the anecdotes, put them into categories: Children, Education, Practical Jokes, etc.
In addition, create a bibliography at the end of the book collection. Each time you add some anecdotes from a new book you have read, copy the bibliographic data of that book and paste it in your bibliography.
Important: Back up your work. Eventually, you will have many thousands of words written and many thousands of hours invested in this project. You don’t want to lose all you have accomplished because of a computer malfunction or because you have lost a memory stick.
Step 5: Keep Doing This Until You Have a Book Collection of 250 Anecdotes
After six or seven or eight or nine months, or a couple of years, you will have book collections that are long enough to be published. If you specialize in one subject (as I do not) and work hard (as I do), you will have enough anecdotes for a book much more quickly. A collection of 250 anecdotes on a topic will be a short book. I recommend that you create books of 250 anecdotes. That way, you can fairly quickly write a book. In addition, humor is good in short chunks. A collection of 1,000 anecdotes is too much, in my opinion.
Step 6: Proofread, and Make Sure All the Anecdotes are Good
Proofread, weeding out the weak anecdotes (if any) and replacing them with stronger anecdotes until you have 250 good anecdotes in the collection.
Step 7: Format Your Book
Format your book. I use MS Word and Times New Roman font. I include a title page and a copyright page and a table of contents. In addition, I include a bibliography of my sources and a brief author biography. In MS Word, I make sure the headings do not appear at the bottom of a page. I do this by clicking on each heading, then using Format>Paragraph>Line and Page Breaks, and check-marking “Keep with next.” This keeps the heading together with the first line of body text after the heading.
Step 8: Publish Your Book at
Publish your book. Go to Smashwords, which is online. This is a Web site that allows you to upload and publish books for free; you pay for copies of the book, and you can even get a free ISBN number and a free listing on Smashwords. At you can create your own front cover. I usually go to Dreamstime to buy a stock photographs, and then create the front cover myself. Sometimes, I use my own high-quality (300 dpi) photographs. In addition, Smashwords will give you your own online bookstore.
Get started. If you write three anecdotes per day, you will write over 1000 anecdotes per year. If a book collection of anecdotes is 250 anecdotes, you can write four books per year, so if you specialize in writing anecdotes of just one type (e.g., baseball), you can have a book you have written in your hands very quickly.
Follow these steps, and you will read many more books than you might have and watch many fewer hours of TV than you might have (of course, there’s nothing wrong with watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and you will be a published author. (But don’t title your books The Funniest People in … or The Most Interesting People in …. Those titles are taken. By me.)
to check out my books. You may download some books for free.
Of course, you may also publish other kinds of books at Smashwords, including collections of autobiographical essays, collections of movie reviews, and collections of recipes or lesson plans or whatever else you wish.
Good luck. Work hard. Get started.
Copyrighted by Bruce D. Bruce
Some Anecdote Collections by David Bruce
250 Anecdotes About Opera
250 Anecdotes About Religion
250 Anecdotes About Religion: Volume 2
250 Music Anecdotes
Be a Work of Art: 250 Anecdotes and Stories
The Coolest People in Art: 250 Anecdotes
The Coolest People in the Arts: 250 Anecdotes
The Coolest People in Books: 250 Anecdotes
The Coolest People in Comedy: 250 Anecdotes
Create, Then Take a Break: 250 Anecdotes
Don’t Fear the Reaper: 250 Anecdotes
The Funniest People in Art: 250 Anecdotes
The Funniest People in Books: 250 Anecdotes
The Funniest People in Books, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes
The Funniest People in Books, Volume 3: 250 Anecdotes
The Funniest People in Comedy: 250 Anecdotes
The Funniest People in Dance: 250 Anecdotes
The Funniest People in Families: 250 Anecdotes
The Funniest People in Families, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes
The Funniest People in Families, Volume 3: 250 Anecdotes
The Funniest People in Families, Volume 4: 250 Anecdotes
The Funniest People in Families, Volume 5: 250 Anecdotes
The Funniest People in Families, Volume 6: 250 Anecdotes
The Funniest People in Movies: 250 Anecdotes
The Funniest People in Music: 250 Anecdotes
The Funniest People in Music, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes
The Funniest People in Music, Volume 3: 250 Anecdotes
The Funniest People in Neighborhoods: 250 Anecdotes
The Funniest People in Relationships: 250 Anecdotes
The Funniest People in Sports: 250 Anecdotes
The Funniest People in Sports, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes
The Funniest People in Television and Radio: 250 Anecdotes
The Funniest People in Theater: 250 Anecdotes
The Funniest People Who Live Life: 250 Anecdotes
The Funniest People Who Live Life, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes
The Kindest People Who Do Good Deeds, Volume 1: 250 Anecdotes
The Kindest People Who Do Good Deeds, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes
Maximum Cool: 250 Anecdotes
The Most Interesting People in Movies: 250 Anecdotes
The Most Interesting People in Politics and History: 250 Anecdotes
The Most Interesting People in Politics and History, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes
The Most Interesting People in Politics and History, Volume 3: 250 Anecdotes
The Most Interesting People in Religion: 250 Anecdotes
The Most Interesting People in Sports: 250 Anecdotes
The Most Interesting People Who Live Life: 250 Anecdotes
The Most Interesting People Who Live Life, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes
Reality is Fabulous: 250 Anecdotes and Stories
Resist Psychic Death: 250 Anecdotes
Seize the Day: 250 Anecdotes and Stories
Download free eBooks, including books for teachers, by David Bruce here:
Romance Books by Brenda Kennedy (Some Free)
Free PDF book: William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure: A Retelling in Prose by David Bruce
Free PDF book: Honey Badger Goes to Hell — and Heaven by David Bruce
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