Paperback Writer by The Beatles

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"Paperback Writer" is a hit song from The Beatles that wannabe writers can certainly appreciate. The 1966 song was written by Paul McCartney. Becoming a published author is still a dream of many people today. A person is less likely to say they want to become a "paperback writer" today in the era of ebooks, but people will still know what you mean by the term.

"Paperback Writer" is an interesting song because it is not use a common song theme like love, war or loss. It is about wanting to become a novelist. Another interesting aspect of the song is how McCartney wrote it like a query letter. The repeats the words paperback writer in the chorus. "Paperback Writer" begins:
Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
The lyrics also say the manuscript is about a thousand pages so far:
It's a thousand pages, give or take a few
I'll be writing more in a week or two
I could make it longer if you like the style
The query says the paperback could make a million dollars:
If you really like it you can have the rights
It could make a million for you overnight
Why did The Beatles decide to pen a song about become a paperback writer? The Beatles Bible reports that one reason is McCartney wanted to write a song that was based on a single chord. The Beatles Bible also notes that McCartney wrote the song after reading an article in the Daily Mail about an aspiring writer.

McCartney explains how he wrote the song in this quote from Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now by Barry Miller.
"I arrived at Weybridge and told John I had this idea of trying to write off to a publishers to become a paperback writer, and I said, 'I think it should be written like a letter.' I took a bit of paper out and I said it should be something like 'Dear Sir or Madam, as the case may be...' and I proceeded to write it just like a letter in front of him, occasionally rhyming it."
A history of the song from Beatles Music History quotes McCartney as saying he always loved the word "paperback." Here is a video of The Beatles performing the song from The Beatles YouTube channel:

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