You might have an idea for a book but do not know how to turn it into a physical book and sell it. This blog will guide you through how to write your first book. You can learn the process of turning your ideas into a published work that people want to read.
Writing a book is not an easy task. Once you come up with ideas, you need to outline the chapters (if it is a chapter book) and then put it all together in a cohesive way. The best place to start is brainstorming topics that interest you or are relevant to your life experience. Once you have narrowed down on an idea for your book, it’s time to get organized and plan out what exactly will be included in each chapter of the book and some general themes.
Step 1: Start with an Idea
This is one of the essential steps in writing any kind of story, article, or novel. The first step is figuring out what you want to write about. Think about what you are passionate about, what you know best, and where your experiences lie.
You can also think about your favorite stories and what stood out the most to you that made you like them. What were the characters like, why were they interesting, where was the story set, what happened?
If you already have an idea but want to make it more interesting, here is where you would start to brainstorm. Plan out what type of world you want your story to take place in and what would hook the reader. You will also need to decide who your ideal reader is.
- 1. Define your target audience
- 2. Think about what you know best and where your experiences lie
- 3. What do you want to write about? Where is the story set? Who are the characters? What does it take for a reader to be hooked from page one, so they cannot put it down until they get to the end of the book
Step 2: Organization
Organizing all of the chapters of your book is one of the most important parts of the writing process because this will give you an idea of how to set up each chapter and show you any holes that need to be filled with more research or anecdotes. Organizing what information you deliver and the sequence it rolls out in will determine the book’s flow.
Step 3: Style
It is important to use the correct style and tone for your genre of book. This will also help you with choosing a title that suits your book and with creating an appropriate cover. After you have decided on what type of book it is going to be (historical novel, science fiction story, etc.), then determine what voice you want to give it in order to set the mood. Will it be written as though a character has been telling their life story? Or is the story being told by an external narrator?
Step 4: Choosing your characters
What character will be at the center of it all? It is important to decide these things before you start writing because they will help you determine who your protagonist is and what their quest or goal in life should be – which, again, will influence how you write and structure your story. Knowing your main character and supporting characters will also help you decide how to deliver subplots to your story.
Step 5: The Outline
All stories have a beginning, middle, and end. You need to map out these three parts of your story so that you know what goes where. This will help you decide how many chapters your book should have and how to pace the plot.
Step 6: Write!
It is important to be aware of the time commitment involved in writing a novel – typically, it takes 3-6 months for an author to write a draft from start to finish with good organization, solid research, and continuous focus on daily word count goals. Setting word count goals will help you to stay on track and not lose sight of your ultimate goal.
Step 7: Polish it up!
Editing and polishing are the last two steps to finishing your book, but they are so important and often a process many authors do not dedicate enough time to. Make sure you get feedback from a variety of people – friends, family members, writing groups- because no one will notice every mistake. When you have received feedback on the draft and made corrections where needed, then polish it with professional editing to make sure all typos and grammar errors.
Step 8: Formatting your book.
Formatting your manuscript for publication is an important step that should not be overlooked because it will set the tone for how people view and interact with your work. There are many different options to choose from when formatting a book, so you can choose whichever style best suits your needs. The most common formats are Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx), rich text format (.rtf), HTML, pdf and open office writer(odt).
Be mindful, however, that when self-publishing via a platform such as Amazon KDP or Ingram Spark, you will want to format your book as a high-quality PDF file. Additionally, if you intend for your book to be available for paperback purchase, it will need to be formatted in a specific way (bleed, margins, etc.); otherwise, it will be rejected.
It is best to check the guidelines of the platform you choose to self-publish through.
Step 9: Determine Your Publishing Goals!
Decide what you hope to achieve by publishing your book.
Do you just want to be a published author to tick it off your bucket list?
Do you plan on sharing your thoughts and ideas with the world and want to reach as many people as possible?
Do you aim to generate income from book sales?
Would you like to get famous or make money (or both)?
Determine what goals are most important to you so that when it comes time to publish, you know exactly which steps need your attention.
Step 10: Set Your Book’s Price!
After determining your publishing goals, set a price for your book that will allow it to reach those goals.
Step 11: Marketing!
Marketing is an important aspect of publishing your book. Put time and effort into marketing because it will be the difference between success and failure. There are many things a first-time self-published author can do to market their book, even with a low budget. Here, we have put together an entire post about self-published author marketing.