8 Tips On How to Write Your First Book
The idea of writing a book to me almost seemed like a daunting task. When you think about the many books you have come across during your lifetime, one’s first thought could be, “I could never do that!”
When I began my journey of writing my book, When Opportunity Knocks 8 Surefire Ways to Take Advantage, (by the way here's where you can access it) I was lost. I definitely felt uncomfortable with this goal. All the content was certainly in my head but I wasn't quite sure how to put it down on paper or in this case how to type it out on my MacBook Pro computer. Then other questions began surfacing such as: Do I need an editor? Should I hire a publisher or do I even need to? What about the book cover? How long should it be? Who’s going to market it? What are the printing options?
Well, apparently I figured it out because my book is completed and officially released. I am very pleased with the results. However, during this new experience, I learned a lot. Therefore, I’d like to pay it forward by sharing 8 tips with you in case you one day decide to write your own book.
I’d like to pay it forward by sharing 8 tips with you in case you one day decide to write your own book.
- Get a Mentor! I mentioned this one first for a reason. It was the single most important thing I did in this process. Having a mentor who has the experience and who could walk me through the process reduced the inevitable learning curve. Not to mention, I think my book would not have turned out as well if I hadn’t.
- What's your concept? To write a book, obviously, you have to have something to write about. What’s the theme? I would encourage you to make sure you have a topic that's interesting and will draw people in. If the topic is relevant and or provides some type of “self-help” training, you’ve got a shot to not only have readers but they may recommend it to others. Referrals make book sales travel a long way.
- Lock in the title and chapters! Once you have the title and the prospective chapters in place, now you have the blueprint or outline to begin writing.
- Just start writing! There's no other simple way to say this but grab your equipment and go for it. While you’re writing, don't stress over the details or grammar. Just start filling up those chapters. You will have time to go over it later. Make sure you’ve weaved in compelling stories and teaching points in your book. Depending on your topic, stories are what's going to grab the attention of your readers. If you can connect the stories to teaching points, now you have the perfect combination. Your readers not only will feel entertained but they will learn something as well. Remember, “facts tell, stories sell.”
- Save those thoughts! When you're writing your book, try to be as consistent as possible. Life does get in the way but be determined to stay on track. There will be many times when you're away from the actual writing itself and thoughts will pop up in your mind that you will feel are perfect for your book. Do whatever you can to record them. Write them down as soon as possible. Don’t rely on your memory. Odds are you will forget it and miss out on adding an exciting element to your book. Some of my best concepts came when I was working out. The recording app on my smart phone came in handy.
- Find a good editor! The editors are the game changers because they can take your work, clean it up and make you look like a true novelist. A good one will go the extra mile to make sure the concepts match up. As a side point, it’s always good to have another set of eyes examining your work as well. Don't open it up to the masses but just one or two trusted individuals to look over your work.
- Design a compelling book cover! First impressions make a big difference in the selection process so visually you want to make sure this book appeals to your potential readers. Don’t have one specific group in mind when designing it. We assume your desire is to have as many readers as possible, right? To prevent my cover from being too masculine, my wife’s input was much appreciated. Don't forget about the back of the book cover. It’s where you have the space to tease your audience a bit and validate your authorship.
- Publisher? To use a publisher or to self-publish that's really up to you. In today's world, it is much easier to publish and distribute your own book. I would look at both options and see what best suits your needs. I decided to self-publish my book. No matter what route you choose, the responsibility to market your book falls in the hands of the author. So be ready to work your network and connections.
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