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Of Course You Can Help™ – Stories About Helping – A Book Idea

I’ve got an idea for a book series and if it’s to work I need stories from you. The series title will be called Of Course You Can Help

The theme of each story will be a true, first person account of how you helped someone or some situation.  These stories are valuable because everyone wants to help, but often they don’t know how. When you tell your story of how you helped you show others that it can be done and how it can be done.

The target length for each story is between 250 and 1,400 words. To keep it simple, submit only stories that have not been published elsewhere.

Here’s what I plan to do with your story:

  1. I’ll read it.
  2. If I think it will work for the book I’ll send you a short email telling you that I like it and it’s going into the book proposal. I’ll also add your name and email address to an email list to be used by me to the accepted authors.
  3. If I don’t think it will work I’ll return it to you with thanks.
  4. I’ll create one or more book proposals and begin the process of submitting them to either agents or publishers.
  5. If the proposal sells this is how I expect to split up the advance and the royalties:
  • After expenses including any agent fees, I’ll take 50% of the advance and split the balance between all authors up to $500 each.
  • After expenses including any agent fees, I’ll take 50% of any royalties and split the balance between all authors provided the payment is at least $10.00 each. Royalties will accumulate until that $10 threshold is reached.

It’s worth noting that while this is my clear intention, it may change depending on how the book is actually published and by whom. So all this is subject to change. If you’re not comfortable with not knowing exactly what will happen when don’t submit your story.

What I Need From You

  1. The story submitted between now and July 29, 2011. I expect to have what I need for a proposal by then.
  2. On each story, your name, email address, physical address and phone number.
  3. Story title.
  4. If there’s a web source that would help someone do what you did, please include that at the end. This is not a requirement.
  5. Please keep a copy of your story.

You may email this to me with the words helping story in the subject line.


It can take years to get a book published. If I’m using your story you’ll have to be patient. From time-to-time I’ll let you know what’s happening and it’s entirely possible I’ll call a halt to the project, and return your story to you. In other words, this is a highly speculative venture. There is no promise, or implied promise or guarantee or anything else that you will get published as a result of this venture.



{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Hmmm….interesting idea!

  • Aparajita

    Hey Anne, this is a great idea. Too bad I don’t see myself being a part of it- I don’t recall helping anyone substantially, not unless I count helping my little brothers with their school projects and stuff! But I’m guessing you need stories about writers being helped with their writing- is that right?

    • No, helping in any context… so a sweet story about helping with homework might work.

  • jorgekafkazar

    How non-trivial an incident are you looking for? What about being helped? Have you got an example? Is there a threshold dollar / minute / cleverness investment required? Is a puzzlement.

    • Ah Jorge… great questions… being helped might work well, hadn’t thought of that – the purpose is to illustrate that helping is possible. No examples yet. Threshold? I don’t understand what you’re asking. I’m being a classic grumpy editor in this roll at the moment… “I’ll know it when I see it.”

  • Telma

    Dear Anne

    Is it english the only language? I have stories in spanish, I can try to translate them but surely they will loose a lot of colour, feelings, etc. because I am not quite a good translator. Do you have some help with this matter?

    I shall be waiting for your comment, It is a pleasure to be in contact with you


    • Telma, I’m embarrassed to say I never even thought of languages other than English, and I don’t speak or read Spanish. You can certainly try translating a story and let’s see how it fits… maybe if the series becomes really popular a translator will surface.

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