I read a lot. I learned about it from best selling authors Ryan Holiday and Robert Greene. You can read about the entire process in detail here. It helped to have a stack of quotes, facts, and anecdotes to draw on before I got started on writing the book. The collection of facts and quotes I used to write my first book. Patience is key when it comes to creating quality work. I love to read books about personal development, business, psychology, spirituality, and marketing.
I learned this exercise from popular author Jeff Goins. He says to create a worldview statement to get a focus for the subject of your writing. Mine ended up being: All people should use their natural talents and strengths to become successful. Using these questions and other similar questions can help get your ideas flowing. After a week, take a look at what you came up with and narrow it down to a broad subject you can write about.
You might as well ship it and learn something along the way. Some people like using post it notes and large sheets of construction paper to write the mind map on. I set a timer for a half an hour to do my first round of mind mapping. Then I step away from it for a while and come back for a second round. For your first book, you can move quickly on your ideas, and a couple of rounds of mind mapping should be enough to get you started.
To create your outline, start grouping similar topics on your mind map. There are a couple of different ways you can structure your book. Fiction books usually follow a three-part story arc. Take the ideas that are similar to one another and group them together.
Each of the groups becomes a chapter, with each individual idea within a group becoming a section of the chapter. When writing my first book, I repeated the mind mapping and outlining process for each chapter. I did this because I wanted to draw out any new ideas. Editing is perhaps one of the most important steps to writing a book. Some people like to print out the entire book and mark it up with a red pen. I made edits in real time on a word document.
Writing is always the easy part. I tried using some posts form my blog in my first book. Many sentences were removed. If I repeated myself I removed the sentence. Beta Readers are a group of people who agree to read the semi-finished draft of your book. I reached out to other authors I knew as well as friends of mine to read my manuscript.
You want to the book to be as complete as possible before you send it off to an editor. If your book has spelling or grammar errors it will turn people off. With developmental editing, you collaborate with an editor to make sure your book has a strong narrative and reads smoothly. Good developmental editing will cost you thousands of dollars. The choice is yours, but for your first book you might want to stick to simple copy editing. When you have a book or two under your belt, you can work with a top-notch editor to work on your NYT bestseller.
You can find an editor on freelance websites like freelancer and upwork. These sites allow you to post a job listing where different freelancers can bid on your job and give you estimates of how much it will cost to complete. Most editors charge by word count. A good copy editor will cost you a couple hundred bucks. If your cover looks unprofessional, people will pass on your book. You also want to make sure your cover looks good as a thumbnail image.
With the cover for my first book, the subtitle was too small and was hard to see in thumbnail version. Here are some great examples of well-designed book covers with appealing lettering. When you receive your manuscript back from an editor, you might be taken a back at the amount of suggested changes. After your book is edited, you want to hire someone to format your book so it can be uploaded to Amazon and other retailers. You can use the freelancer sites I mentioned before to find someone to format your book. This is one of the steps to writing a book that should be done with care.
Overcome Your Fear of Failure. It should also be succinct. You also want to use your sub-title to explain the benefits of your book. I was going to dive into a section on how to publish your book on Amazon, but that will likely require another 4, word guide just to explain it.
Remember to have fun. Keep your expectations low. Enjoy the process of growing as a writer. Begin plotting the idea for your next book. If I could go back in time I would begin writing my second book right after I finished marketing my first. Self Publishing School has helped hundreds of authors publish their first book.
I took the course and I made every penny back and then some.
- 2. Develop a premise.
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They have two different options — pro and master level. If you have questions about the course prior to purchasing feel free to email me at ayodejiawosika gmail. Note: This beast of a guide is 4, words long. To download a pdf version to read later, click here. Just enter your email below. Now check your email to confirm your subscription. The synopsis would naturally go beyond the elevator pitch and tell what happens and how things turn out.
Note: Almost any plot, when reduced to a one- or two-paragraph synopsis, sounds ridiculous. Help them envision how to pitch it to publishers, but be careful not to oversell. You can say that your audiences have been enthusiastic or that beta readers have expressed excitement.
Sell the agent on yourself. What qualifies you to write this book? What else have you published? What kind of tribe have you built? Where can they read your blog? Some want only this. Leave nothing out. For fiction, rough out the entire plot in a few pages. Three trusted colleagues have produced masterful works on how to write book proposals, so check out what they have to offer:.
The competition is so fierce these days, I would lean toward a full proposal almost every time. The only instances when I might fire off a query would be if an incredible opportunity fell in my lap and I thought an agent could help me jump on it before I had time to craft a proposal. For instance, if a major celebrity wanted help with a book and chose you to write it, a fast letter to an agent might get a quick response. Otherwise, take the time to put together a professional proposal that shows an agent you know how to work and can be thorough.
Keep that in mind and be ready to get busy. But few can see their way through to the end. Use these submission guidelines:. Remember, the editor is on your side. Throw a private temper tantrum if you must, but then cool down and listen. Let them to do their job. Exhaust your efforts to traditionally publish before resorting to self-publishing. Even honest self-publishing executives will give you this advice. So nothing comes out of your pocket. With self-publishing, however, you pay for everything from design to editing.
Too much copy on the front and back covers. Poor typeface and interior design.
Lousy writing, editing, and proofreading—sometimes clearly nonexistent. Publishing your own book is vastly different than it used to be. Your end product can now look much more professional, and your price per book is much more reasonable. Print-on-demand technology now allows for low-cost printing, so you can order as few as two or three books at a time for the same cost per book as you would pay if you were buying hundreds. So, you no longer need to store countless copies in your garage or basement.
And self-published books look nicer these days too, because writers have demanded it. If you resort to this route, realize that you are the publisher now. You have to advertise, promote, and market your own book. Admittedly, selling enough self-published copies to actually net you more money than you would make selling more traditionally at a lower royalty rate is rare, but it happens. Experts say as few as one percent of all published books can be accommodated by bookstores and that the rest must be sold through other channels like the Internet, direct mail, and by hand.
Each of these elements will dramatically increase the professional look of your final product and, thus, your hope of selling more books. Do NOT skimp on them. More than , books are self-published every year in the United States alone. So there are many companies to choose from. They might even give examples of a few titles of theirs that have sold into some stores or even made some bestseller list. That means your book will get no personal attention from a salesperson and no more emphasis than any of the tens of thousands of other titles on the list.
That said, when you do need to self-publish, legitimate companies with proven track records are ready to assist you. Do your homework and go beyond an Internet search, which will likely turn up beautiful websites for countless companies putting their best foot forward. So find previous customers and ask about their experience. You want a company who will answer every question straightforwardly and without hesitation. If you feel hard-sold, run.
A litmus test question for the publisher: Ask if they would advise you to exhaust your efforts to traditionally publish first. When writers run out of money to invest in their book, too often the first place that suffers is the content itself. Writers may understand that they are not experts in cover design, layout and typesetting, marketing and promotion, warehousing, distribution, and sales.
But they overrate their writing and editing and proofreading abilities. What they wind up with is a handsome product that looks like a real book but reads like the manuscript that made the rounds of the traditional houses and was rejected. Having been in the writing game for 50 years and the book business for 40, that is something I am able to tell you. To use an ancient adage, cream rises. That may sound like something scratched on a cave wall.
But it simply means that readers recognize quality. You or your agent may be looking for a deal from a traditional publisher. Or you may have chosen to self-publish online, in print, or both. Free Download: Want your own copy of this guide? If you really want to become an author, it can be done. Share 1K. Pin Share Click here to get a free PDF version you can read anytime. Writing Your Book Surprisingly, most people never get this far. To avoid becoming part of this sad group, you need a plan. Research and Plan To give your manuscript the best chance to succeed , skip this step at your peril.
8 steps you should take if you want to write a book
Two main ways you should be preparing: 1. Do the research. I was stunned. Why so much more? No more. Any travel would be on me. The structure will force you to be more productive with fewer hours. Get serious about self-editing. How could they do that to you?
Hi, I’m Jeff. Can I send you something?
Why did they? Here are my 21 rules of ferocious self-editing : Develop a thick skin. Avoid throat-clearing. Choose the normal word over the obtuse.
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Omit needless words. Usually delete the word that. Use it only for clarity. Give the reader credit. Avoid being an adjectival maniac. Avoid hedging verbs like smiled slightly, almost laughed, frowned a bit, etc. Avoid the term literally—when you mean figuratively.
Avoid too much stage direction. Maintain a single point of view POV for every scene. Resist the urge to explain RUE. Specifics add the ring of truth, even to fiction.
1. Read it all.
Avoid similar character names. In fact, avoid even the same first initials. Avoid mannerisms of punctuation, typestyles, and sizes. Trying to Land a Publishing Contract Want to save this word guide to read later? How to Get an Agent Your first step in trying to land a traditional publishing deal should be to land an agent —which can be just as difficult, as it should be. An agent can make your life a lot easier.
Ask: How did their book turn out? Did they feel taken care of? Were they pleased with the results? Feel free to ask agents: What kinds of books have they succeeded with? Have they succeeded in your genre? Their pages will give you a good idea of what typical agents are looking for. Four essential parts of an effective query letter: a. Your synopsis In a paragraph, tell what your nonfiction book is about and what you hope to accomplish with it.
Your personal information Sell the agent on yourself. Other query letter tips: Keep it to one page, single-spaced, and 12 pt. Proof your letter before sending. Any typo on such a short document makes you look like an amateur. With a proposal, your query letter becomes a cover letter. Resist the urge to write a long cover letter.
Allow your proposal to do the heavy lifting. Three trusted colleagues have produced masterful works on how to write book proposals, so check out what they have to offer: Michael Hyatt: Writing a Winning Book Proposal Jane Friedman: How to Write a Book Proposal Jane also has some great material on query letters, so search her site for that, too.
Terry Whalin: Book Proposals That Sell Proposals can contain any number of possible components, such as: Premise Elevator pitch Overview Target audience Chapter synopses Marketing ideas Endorsements Your analysis of competing books, and where yours fits Up to three sample chapters More book proposal tips: Tell why you think your book can succeed. Every page in your proposal should make them want to flip to the next page.