Sat | Apr 21, 2018

Writing Controversial Books

Published:Sunday | May 15, 2016 | 12:00 AMCorine La Font
Writing notes or planning a schedule on blank spiral notebook

I know many of you out there would like to pen your thoughts and publish them as a book but are afraid to do so for fear of reprimand or backlash, given the nature of the content.

While your fear may be a real issue, let's look at the positive sides, shall we, of writing controversial material for public consumption.

The first thing is that you need to be bold. Face the fear and consider it an illusion. It is unreal. It is only there to prevent you from pushing forward and stymieing you from seeing what you are really made of. Get to know your limits, if there are any, and push beyond them. If you look back at your life, there were many things you thought you would have never got through and you did. Now you can look back and say in hindsight "I did it".


Controversial material


Writing controversial material can also bring issues to light. As they say, what is in the dark will come to light. Maybe it's your responsibility, that lone voice to make that happen. Stop waiting for someone else to take charge. You step forward and do it. Many things are kept secret and no one can learn or move forward under secrecy. You may be able to change the course of history with the stroke of your pen!


Rich and famous


I am sure you are aware that controversial works do get a lot of attention; and attention is what you need when you want to sell books. Your target audience, as well as those outside of your target audience, will be keenly interested in knowing what the hushhush is all about. No one is interested in the everyday humdrum. That's why reality TV and the lives of the rich and famous are the rage. People want to know the behind-the-scenes activities. While that example may be a bit out there, you get the point. No one wants to be bored with everyday matters. People want to be talking about juicy stuff, and if you've got juicy stuff to share, then go for it.

Now, now, while you may have juicy stuff to share, make sure you can back it up with real evidence that cannot be refuted in a court of law. You have to be prepared for those who you may offend even if you use fictitious names. Once it can be proven that the information presented is directed at a particular individual or persons, you need to be prepared for the backlash.

Be prepared, as we say, to 'mash some people's corn' and lose friends and family members. If you are OK with this, because what you share is for a worthy cause and can positively impact many persons who may be going through the same thing, then don't give in and don't give up! If you give up now, what were you fighting for in the first place?

You will also have to face the fact that people will ask you to tone down your written material, the description of those mentioned, or change the title and design. Don't! It's your work and you know how you want your work to be consumed. If it's the truth, may it set you and others free. Don't compromise. Be willing to stand up for what is right, no matter what you may face. Look at it this way, if you are being fiercely attacked, then you must have hit upon something - a nerve, maybe. Of course, keep in mind that your intentions must be good and not to maliciously hurt anyone in the process, although by definition of controversial, people will get hurt. It's a fine line that you will be walking. Just be willing to defend your case and yourself when the time comes.

• Corine La Font is a speaker, author, coach and self-publishing consultant. She is also an award-winning publishing resource in the 2013 Small Business Book Awards. Get a copy of her book at, Subscribe to her magazine at tune in to her radio programme at and check out her website at She can be reached at