When speaking to any author or editor, each will give you different steps to writing a book. Why do you want to write a book? That’s the first question you should ask yourself. In speaking to people about their dreams of writing a book, I have heard many answers. Let’s explore them for a moment.
Steps to Writing a Book: Step 1 – Ask: Why do I want to write a book?
It is glamorous!
You’d think so, when you follow your favorite authors on social media and you see them playing golf, traveling the world and sipping cocktails with the rich and famous. Now I’m the last one to be a dream-stealer… but it took those authors years of hard work, tears and frustration to achieve that kind of success. James Patterson’s first novel was turned down 31 times before a publisher finally gave it a shot. That’s just one of the steps of writing a book that you will have to face. Are you prepared for the hard work that goes into writing a book? Great!
I want to get rich!
Don’t we all? But, easy there, tiger. Not everyone’s very first book is a best-seller. And even if your book sells a million copies, you must remember that there are costs attached to producing it. Of course, the costs are different for every book, and could involve the actual time spent writing it, proofreading and editing costs (I’ll show you how to trim those fees – keep reading!), setup costs, publishing costs and marketing. Of course, you can get rich by writing a book, or two or ideally at least three.
I have a great story idea
Awesome! Most people I know love a good story and if you can articulate it well – go for it! Writing from the heart means that you will inject passion into your book and that’s always a great start. Novels offer a great escape for readers, or, if you have overcome difficulties and your readers would benefit from it – by all means, write an autobiography.
I want to share my expertise
How-to books are always in demand, particularly if it is on a popular topic and if you have valuable insights or perhaps a new approach to share. Of course, how-to books generally follow a different type of writing style to what most people are used to, and you should consult an editor for stylistic advice before you dive into the project, and follow the provided steps for writing a book.
These are all great reasons to write a book and, if you are motivated enough, you can most certainly make a success of it. Success starts with believing in yourself and your goals enough to put in the work that is required to sustain you through the inevitable tough times and long hours.
When you watch interviews with successful authors, one common theme stands out: they all love what they do. They love helping people, telling stories, and making a difference. Most of them have also learned to laugh in the face of rejection.
Unfortunately, rejection starts with your editor. I say unfortunately, because I’m the one who hacks up your book (I most often try not to!). Looking at those nasty changes can feel a lot like rejection to the first-time author, but I assure you – it is not. My only goal is to make your book as readable as possible to your audience, because when a book is easy to read, it is so much more enjoyable. It’s just one of the important steps to writing a book and making a success of it. Would you rather read a Shakespeare or a magazine article for relaxation? Would you rather read a hard-copy encyclopedia or Google for research? I rest my case!
Learn the Steps to Writing a Book in This Series
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to lay out the steps to writing a book and getting it edited right here on my blog, so stay tuned! Alternatively, buy your copy of Editor’s Guide to Writing a Book on a Shoestring Budget.