13 TIPS ON HOW TO WRITE AND PUBLISH YOUR FIRST BOOK
You’ve had that dream for as long as you can remember. Seeing your work in print, and acquiring that new title, “Author”. You’ve even written your first paragraph and thought of a catchy title. Then…snooze…. The famous writers’ block hit you. Almost literally, and your fingers froze, the ink in your pen dried… and you still have no book!
So what can you do to change that? To move from dreaming to actually having a book published? Well, lucky for you, I’ve been there, and published. So I’ll share a few tips with you.
- Decide that you want to write a book. Not just wish or hope to write one. Decide.
- Choose what you want to write about. Be as specific as possible.
- Put down your reasons for wanting to write that particular book. This is what will motivate you and keep you going.
- Now break down your book into all its simplest parts. Literally. Front cover, back cover, introduction, acknowledgments, chapter titles… everything. Get to see the structure of your book on paper.
- Count the parts that your book has and ask yourself how you would like to go about producing them all. If your book has 10 parts, you could decided to work on one part each day or each week. That means that the first draft of your book will be ready within that period of time.
- Break down each part into even smaller parts. Create sub-topics that you’d like to handle. Or characters that you’d like to build.
- Begin to work on each part faithfully as you have set it out. Set aside some time each day to work on each part of your book. Be consistent, and soon you’ll see the book build up.
- Once you’re done with the writing, put it all together. You have your first draft!
- You now need someone else to look at your book and edit it. Hire an editor. Or get help from an editor friend who might be willing to help you.
- Get the cover designed. Unless you are a highly experienced designer, it is usually better to have someone else design the book cover for you.
- After this, you need to know what your target audience thinks of your book. Look for a few people who represent your target audience and request them read the book and give you their feedback. Although ultimately this is your book, you might want to consider what they say to you. After all, they are the ones you are writing for and they are the ones who would buy your book. Otherwise you’d be writing just for yourself, and, therefore, no need to publish.
- Once done, consider the feedback that you have regarding your book cover and content. Make adjustments as you deem fit so as to meet your goals.
- Finalize everything and then approach a publisher for the final details. You need ot get an ISBN for your book. You also need to get advice and tips on how to market your book so that it can reach your target market, and yes, so that you can make some money too (if that’s one of your goals)!
3 BONUS TIPS
- You can use some online editing software to check your grammar, such as Grammarly.com
- You can use apps that transcribe so that you can write your book on the go. One of my favourite apps is LiveTranscribe.
- Save your work in the cloud to avoid losing it in case you lose your laptop/computer, and to allow access across many devices. I like Google Docs – I can even write on my phone!
- Finally, do not give up! A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Start today!
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