Becoming an author is a career that is accessible to most people. You don’t need a lot of money or too many tools to write a book for the first time. The items in the writer’s tool kit below, will suffice. Technically, all you need is pen and paper. James Patterson actually writes in pencil, but he can afford to have it typed up by his assistant and I’m guessing he’s got some seriously strong hands. As for me, I tend to get pins and needles after a day of intense typing. 🙂
But what about people like you and I? How do we make most of the experience within our budgets? Here are some nice-to-have items for your writer’s tool kit that you might consider.
The Writer’s Tool Kit
- Computer – Obviously, this is much more cost-effective to use than a typewriter and it makes making changes easier. You can simply copy and paste sections from one place to another. It’s also a convenient way for your book editors and formatters to do what they need to do with your manuscript.
- Word processing software – This is the software you’re going to use to write your book. Most people will use Microsoft Word, but Google Docs is becoming increasingly more popular, due to the fact that your document is stored in the cloud and therefore virtually impossible to lose(I can’t tell you how many drafts I have lost due to computer crashes!), and because it makes it so much easier to collaborate on than book writer software.
- An internet connection – Obviously, you will need stable, reliable, always-on internet access if you’re going to work on Google Docs, but it’s still handy if you’re storing your document locally. Why? Because it makes it so much simpler to check your facts and get quick answers to pressing questions, such as dictionary questions, and important research.
- A blog – this is a “nice-to-have” tool, for sure, but if you’re extremely serious about your book, and if your goal goes beyond actually getting it out there to becoming a best-seller, you need an Author Page on Facebook, and you need a blog, or at least an author website to promote your work. A writer’s blog will play an important part in marketing your book after publication.
- Contacts – Depending on the type of book you’re writing, you will need access to people you can bounce ideas off of. Most legal, medical, and detective drama authors have a group of people they turn to for advice, often in exchange for using their names or that of one of their family members in their books. While your novel needn’t be 100% factual, you really should write from a place of authority if you’re writing a how-to or a biography. Note: This is not the same as free beta readers.
- An editor – We all like to think we’re marvelous writers, but even editors know that they need a pro to look over their manuscripts. There are different types of editing, all of which serve different purposes. You can learn a lot about editing on this site, so feel free to look around.
- A publisher – Depending on what you want to do with your book, you will probably need a publisher to make your book official. Digital publishing is the way to go – just ask H.M. Ward!
- Marketing skills – If you don’t have the marketing skills to sell your book, you need to invest into the services of someone who knows how to market an ebook and make money.
- Last, but not least – you need a plot and the discipline to sit down and write!
There you have it! The Writer’s Tool Kit. Anything I left out? Comment below!