Frequently Asked Questions
When did you start writing?
I began writing American Independent Business in early 1983.
Why did you start writing and how was the first journey?
After ten years of self-employment and absorbing two accounting practices, I decided to write a comprehensive book about small business management. I contacted a client who had published a book on computer software which was popular with the new Radio Shack Tandy computers. I made a deal with his publisher to write a business book with chapters on computer applications. Because my practice had only large mini-computers I wrote out the 25 chapters in three parts and had my computer operator type the table of contents.
Since I didn’t have one of the new personal computers, the publisher allowed me to visit mornings to write on one of his Radio Shack Type One computers. I would leave at noon and drive to work 40 miles away and work into the evening to clear my desk every day for almost a year. Before the year was over the publisher went out of business, but I was fortunate to find Alice Wakefield, a Radcliff graduate who had retired from an East Coast magazine where she had been an editor most of her life. We met weekly at my office where we would exchange printed copies from my new personal desktop computer. We worked on it into the next year until it was ready. Because we were going into a recession, I added the last chapter, “How to Survive your Survival plan.”
I located a local printer who converted his RS Type One computer to a photocopying process producing the glossy pages required for the printer. The editor created a complete index while the printer was running my floppy five-inch disks which finally completed the whole book. It went to my new printer Delta Press, and the 5,000 copies of the 125,000-word 6” X9” five-hundred-page books were printed in early February 1985.
A huge moving-van-sized truck pulled up outside our office one morning and delivered the books! After hurried phone calls, help arrived, and we found places to stow them. We were located on the second floor of an old brick building and lugged the books up the stairs with no elevator and high tin ceilings downstairs, and to the basement below.
The next day we offered the books to tax clients and had a celebration in the restaurant below. The local Chamber of Commerce, to which I did not belong, bought 500 copies for their membership and I was busy selling books between tax appointments.
What can we expect from your next book?
My next book will be a revised version of the American Independent Business; simply, a three-volume update. This great book has been used in many colleges as a textbook and is still available in 102 university libraries around the world. The updated version will contain new and updated material that will appeal to a broader audience.