I Want To Write A Book But Don’t Know How To Get Started?
Well, we all have once thought about writing a book after reading J.K Rowling’s fantasy masterpiece “Harry Potter” or Sidney Sheldon’s “The Other Side of Midnight?”
But writing a book isn’t as simple as sitting on the comfy couch in your living room, grabbing the pen and paper, and boom! You’ve carved the next literary masterpiece of the world.
So, what’s actually the secret formula to crack your creative side and write a book that will keep your audience hooked from the beginning till the end? Well, there’s no unique cheat sheet through which you can walk on the lucrative path to authorship.
For some, the gentle hum of a quiet room and the aroma of a freshly brewed cup of coffee creates the perfect atmosphere for writing, while other find their creative powers awakened amidst the embrace of nature.
As book writing guide is an extensive topic, we have divided this process into three sections;
Writing a book is no less an art, and turning an ordinary art into an exceptional masterpiece takes time, dedication, and hard work. It takes nothing to idolize a renowned bestselling author like Stephen King or Octavia Butler. However, every individual has a unique story of starting as an ordinary person and overcoming challenges to reach their current position.
Octavia E. Butler juggled multiple jobs to support herself while dedicating early mornings to writing. Undeterred, she penned success mantras to fuel her determination.
Stephen King worked various jobs as a janitor and gas pump attendant. After the rejection of his first novel, Carrie, by 30 publishers, he discarded the manuscript but later found success with its publication, launching his illustrious writing career.
So, what have we learned?
The first step to learning book writing is understanding how to overcome writer’s block, deal with self-doubts, and put yourself in a productive mind frame to help you achieve your goals.
You can work on these two practices to overcome obstacles and crush challenges to keep you directed towards achieving your goal- writing a book.
Do you only write when you have nothing else to do? If yes, you can’t become a successful author and reap name and fame in the writing world. It’s not a good practice to write only when you feel inspired.
Approach your writing with the same commitment as a job or responsibility. Hold yourself accountable, take consistent action, and show up daily to make progress.
Obviously, we are talking about book writing, but what does it mean to set up the writer’s mindset?
Well, that doesn’t mean that you need to recite a specific mantra to transport yourself to another world of book writing or give you the superpower to write perfectly everything that comes into your mind.
Many inspirational authors stay stuck in the middle of the plot because of their mindset, which prohibits them from coming up with something creative.
Here’s how to set up your mindset as a writer;
Additionally, seeking out experienced writers or professionals within your circle can provide valuable mentorship.
Engaging in conversations with them about your endeavors, progress, and writing challenges can lead to fresh perspectives and improved solutions, ultimately enhancing your writing style.
Choosing a perfect spot where you can lean back and pen down your manuscript is as important as choosing the right title for the book.
Yes! You heard it right.
Your surroundings and where you sit have a great influence on what you write.
But it’s not necessary that this perfect writing spot should be in your home. If you don’t find the motivation to write in your home, you can go for other options like a coffee shop, a co-working space, a library, a park, or any other place where you can write your best.
Working from home is the best option, but it may be a hurdle if you have kids or family members around or simply don’t have any assigned room in your home.
The truth is that the ideal writing environment is unique and subjective to every individual. We all give our best in different environments. Maybe experienced writers can pen down their best in co-working spaces, and one who is new to writing prefers to work in a calm environment.
If you don’t know which one is the best for you, we suggest you experiment to find out the best setting where you can write freely with focus.
How does an ideal writing space look like?
Try working in different locations to determine in which setting you can give your best. It’s possible that you’ll find yourself tapping into your creativity more effectively by periodically changing your writing environment.
Here are some valuable pointers to help you establish an atmosphere that fosters concentration and boosts your writing output:
Before writing a book, it is essential to conduct market research on Amazon to identify the most popular books in your genre. Keep in mind that if you want your book to thrive, you must compete with these bestsellers. To do this, go to the Amazon Best Sellers page and locate your genre using the left-hand sidebar.
Next, analyze the blurbs of those books to discern the key selling points. Identify common elements that make them appealing to readers. Evaluate whether your book meets these criteria.
Lastly, brainstorm how your book can bring something fresh and unique to the table. Consider what innovative aspects or perspectives it can offer to stand out from the existing competition.
For instance, if you’re planning to write an adventurous story, determine whether your story will feature a daring and resourceful protagonist who embarks on thrilling journeys or a series of unexpected twists that keep the reader engaged and eager for more.
In today’s hyper-competitive market, pushing the boundaries is essential to give your book a real shot at success. So, don’t skimp on conducting extensive research within your genre before starting writing.
This will provide valuable insights into the standards you need to meet and how you can surpass them to make your book shine in the teeming market.
After the revolution of the internet, nothing has remained the same. Not even the book writing!
It all started in 1882 when Mark Twain sent his first manuscript to the publisher that had been written on the leaf of technology, a typewriter, which ultimately transformed the entire writing industry.
Fast forward, now in 2023, we have numerous advanced tools and applications to carve the best piece of writing for the readers.
From novice word processing software to thousands of AI tools, we have access to almost everything around the world. You can get your hands-on endless book writing applications that can assist you in becoming a renowned name in the industry.
Instead of confusing you by entailing different applications available on the internet, below is the list of four free online tools that we recommend to all potential writers to add to their writing toolkit today.
Instead of overwhelming you with all the possible apps in existence, below is a list of five tools I recommend adding to your writing toolkit today (and they’re free).
Since its debut in November 2022, Chat GPT has brought about significant transformations in the digital marketplace.
While the premium version of Chat GPT unlocks its full potential, the free version remains an invaluable resource for gaining basic insights and grasping the essence of various topics.
Grammarly offers a free version of its editing tool that provides valuable assistance in enhancing your writing.
With this version, you can improve your grammar, punctuation, and spelling, as well as receive suggestions for sentence structure and word choice.
It scans your text for errors, highlights them, and offers alternative corrections, helping you avoid embarrassing mistakes.
Additionally, Grammarly provides explanations for its suggestions, helping you learn from your errors and become a better writer over time.
While the free version offers significant benefits, Grammarly also offers a premium subscription with advanced features such as plagiarism detection, style improvements, and vocabulary enhancement, further enhancing the quality of your writing.
Evernote proves to be an invaluable tool for book writers. With its versatile features, you can easily gather and organize your research materials, outline chapters, and jot down plot ideas on the go.
The ability to sync across devices, including Google Docs, ensures that your work is always accessible and up-to-date.
Whether you’re a professional author or an aspiring writer, Evernote provides the essential support to streamline your book writing process and bring your literary visions to life.
Don’t underestimate the power of using pen and paper for writing a book. It’s unarguably the most important writing tool, even in 2023.
Even if you use a writing software program for your entire manuscript, it’s still important to have a notebook on hand for those moments when inspiration hits, and you don’t have access to a computer.
Every writer should keep a notebook handy for capturing random ideas and thoughts. You can quickly write them down in your notebook and later transfer them to your digital writing software when you’re back at your computer.
After doing all the pre-planning, the next phase is coming up with an engaging idea for your book. If you don’t have one, you won’t be able to write more than a few lines.
That means everything starts with an idea.
So, what’s your idea?
Perhaps you have a clear vision of what you want to write about, or maybe your mind is filled with numerous ideas, but you’re unsure where to begin.
If you don’t have one, you can come up with one by questioning yourself on these grounds;
By considering and responding to these questions, you can narrow down your choices to determine the most suitable options for you.
Whether you’re crafting a practical non-fiction guide or weaving a captivating post-apocalyptic thriller, it’s crucial to establish a connection with your audience, and one effective way to achieve that is through evoking emotions. To truly resonate with your readers, it’s essential to gain a deep understanding of them.
For instance: The scenario where you find yourself with numerous book ideas, yet there’s only one that genuinely ignites your passion and confidence. That very idea becomes your premise.
On the other hand, if you find yourself devoid of ideas, the questions mentioned questions will guide you towards a more definite path. Focus on the genres and books that captivate you, those that have left a profound imprint on your being. Chances are, you’ll write a book within a similar realm.
By focusing on these four factors, you can determine better what you want to write and how to do it more clearly;
Find a title that ignites your curiosity, a topic that entices you to return consistently, or come up with something that captures your deep interest, a subject in which you are fully engaged.
If you’ve chosen something that doesn’t interest you or just because it’s trending and everybody is talking about it, there are very few chances that you can write something that can appeal to your readers.
Choose a topic that sustains your motivation even during periods of zero inspiration or when faced with writer’s block. Your chosen subject should be the one that propels you forward and keeps you committed to the creative process.
Another key factor that will impact your topic choice is your targeted reader. One effective approach is to develop a reader persona, a partially fictional representation of your ideal audience.
This persona serves as a guiding archetype, helping you tailor your content to resonate with and engage your intended readership.
To embark on the journey of crafting your reader persona, start by answering the following questions;
Long story short, the more you try to understand readers, the better writing you can deliver to them.
The process of writing and completing a book is no less than a life-long experience for any author. There will come a time when you are able to write at your best, but there may also be instances when you find yourself struggling with a particular topic. If you’re unsure of where to start, it’s advisable, to begin with the topic you are most knowledgeable about. We recommend selecting a title that allows you to write quickly and efficiently, even with limited resources.
Let’s explore some ways to discover a topic on which you can write immediately;
In this tech era, finding a relevant topic for your book has now become a matter of just a few clicks.
Write a keyword or idea on the search bar and Ta-Da! You got thousands of suggestions for your new book.
Search engines like Google and Bing have now made it easier to research any topic.
But wait! Do you have too many ideas for your book? You can also skim and scan each one to determine its scope.
Let’s find out some of the ways through which you can research the book idea on Google;
Check out the content that has already been written in other books of the same genre.
Just like architects come up with blueprints before constructing any building to visualize its appearance upon project completion, creating a remarkable story requires the development of a flawless outline.
If you want to pen down an interesting story, you must have an intriguing outline in hand first. Having a solid blueprint is particularly crucial, especially for first-time authors, as it serves as a reliable guide to navigate through challenging moments when writer’s block inevitably strikes. (And trust us, it will.)
Let’s find out how we can create a book outline that you can use as a map to seamlessly write a complete book.
Once you grasp an idea, now is the time to implement what’s on your mind. With a perfect mind map for your book, you can better drill down into its sub-topics.
Here’s how you can list down ideas for your book;
After idea mind mapping, you’ll definitely have a page full of brainstormed concepts, ideas, and thoughts. Review your writing and start organizing it according to your priority or book flow. These pointers will help you a lot when you start writing content for the book outline.
Try to define the book’s purpose in a sentence or two. A compelling purpose statement will clarify to readers the reasons they should contemplate reading your book.
Additionally, this will aid in maintaining focus as you embark on drafting your outline and writing your book and prevent you from deviating into unrelated topics or going off on tangents.
Finally, it’s time to draft a working outline for your book. But remember, it’s just a basic task; this outline may vary throughout the writing procedure, and that’s perfect.
Commence by integrating the sub-topics and ideas you’ve noted in your mind map into your book’s outline.
Your outline will prove invaluable once you begin writing. It can effectively combat writer’s block and boost your writing momentum and productivity. Instead of pondering what to write in the next chapter of your book, you’ll already have a clear starting point from your book’s outline.
Once you’ve finished your working outline, it becomes crucial to conduct further research on your topic. This step will enable you to fill in any gaps or areas you might have missed or overlooked in your initial outline.
Ensure a balance between research and writing. Dedicate time to research, but avoid becoming overly absorbed in it, as it could impact your book writing journey.
Here’s how you can research while writing a book;
Adopting a framework for your book can significantly facilitate keeping your writing organized and relevant.
Selecting a format or structure that aligns with your book’s topic will prove invaluable in creating a cohesive outline, and streamlining the writing process for each chapter.
These are things you should keep in mind while writing your outline.
Within the vast landscape of Book Writing, there exist numerous molds into which you can shape your book. However, here are some of the preferred frameworks, specifically suited for non-fiction writing, that you may consider when starting your book-writing journey:
After passing through all the preliminary planning stages, generating ideas through brainstorming, and crafting a detailed outline, now is the time to step into the real battlefield; writing down the first book draft.
Being first-time authors, we understand that it’s difficult to come up with perfect plots and ideas in one go, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Several novice writers believe that writing a compelling masterpiece is all about awe-inspiring verbiage, figurative language, and intricately woven sentences.
But that’s not true!
If that’s the case, “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee won’t become a bestseller in 1960. Even this is the book that has been loved by readers to this date.
However, the style holds great importance; subject matter is far more essential in book writing. That means; paying attention to tone and vocabulary but plot, character, themes, and climax should be your primary priority.
But, sometimes, writers face difficulty not in writing an intriguing introduction that keeps the reader on the tip of their toes but an end that leaves a lasting impression lingering in the reader’s mind long after they have turned the final page.
Crafting a satisfying conclusion that ties together all the narrative threads and delivers a powerful message can be a formidable challenge.
Let’s find out some of the most reliable tips that you can follow to complete your book;
With the book’s outline and chosen framework at hand, you are all set to start writing your first manuscript.
When you focus on the bigger picture of book writing, there’s a huge possibility that you might get overwhelmed in the early stages of writing.
Here are some of the ways through which you can better breakdown your book writing into smaller sections;
Alternatively, if you choose to divide your writing time into three separate periods throughout the day, you can allocate your dedicated hours as follows:
Celebrate Small Achievements: Small victories lead to big wins! That’s why we suggest you celebrate every milestone you achieve in book writing, no matter how small or big it is. Be it going out for dinner, treating yourself with coffee and cookies, buying yourself a fancy pan, or anything else you love.
Creatively penning down something is not a walk in the park, and when it comes to book writing, the situation becomes even more challenging.
We don’t promise that your book writing journey will be without challenges, nor do we guarantee that with our tips, you’ll complete a 260-page book within a mere month.
There will also come a time when you may encounter moments of writer’s block. Even when you have a clear idea of what you should be writing, there will be times when the words sound amiss as you reread and assess your work in your mind.
But don’t worry! That’s normal!
We have bought some tips that can help you fight with creative block and speed up your writing process;
Avoid Editing While Writing: Editing and writing are two different skill sets that require you to work in two different mind frames. It’ll slow down your writing pace and make you stop at different points.
So, Write First And Edit Later.
Don’t stress if your initial writing isn’t flawless; the primary goal is to express your thoughts. You can polish and refine your words during the editing process.
Writing a book is no less than a challenge, especially when you reach a section with vague outlines. Yes, it looks tempting to add excessive words and fancy techniques to fill the page. However, that’s just filler content. If you add too much of it in your book, readers may get frustrated and perceive you as trying too hard to impress.
Outlining is one of the effective ways to do it, but here are a few more tips through which you can outstand your storyline;
Kurt Vonnegut says that if a sentence fails to achieve either of these objectives, consider removing it. If the passage remains coherent and meaningful, then it’s best to let it go.
The words that matter the most for your book are the ones gracing the outside cover.
Your Book Title!
If 90% of your target audience reads your book’s title, there are chances that 25% will buy and read your book. Given this, it becomes crucial to invest additional effort in crafting an emotionally compelling and impactful title.
Create a title that not only sticks in the minds of readers but also vividly portrays the genre and storyline of your book. Make it easy for potential readers to recall and be intrigued by what your book has to offer.
Prepare a comprehensive list comprising ideally 25 or more titles. This abundance of options will offer you the freedom to mix and match, enabling you to discover the perfect title that captures the essence of your story.
When crafting a book title for a fictional genre, opt for titles that vividly portray the story’s characters, encompass engaging catchphrases, and hint at the captivating twists woven throughout the book.
Let’s explore examples of titles that already exist in the marketplace;
Your book’s title for the fictional genre;
When choosing a book title for the non-fiction genre, take into consideration the concerns and interests of your target audience and how your book aims to address them.
Despite being rooted in reality, non-fiction titles can still embrace creativity and originality, offering readers a clear understanding of the book’s subject matter and purpose.
Make sure your title serves as an enticing gateway, inviting readers to explore the valuable knowledge and insights within your non-fiction work.
That means; your book’s title for the non-fictional genre;
After putting all your thoughts on the paper and compiling them into an intriguing story, now it’s time to edit what you’ve written.
However, the success of any manuscript depends on its storyline and writing excellence, but a thoroughly edited book will upgrade its overall quality.
If you think that we have mentioned the book editing process just because you’re a new writer in the industry, you’re wrong. Even the best out of the best writing piece requires editing.
So, don’t feel discouraged if you find errors and mistakes in it. In the end, you will find immense satisfaction in adhering to the editing process. The outcome will be a fully polished, flawless book that is ready to outstand genre rivals.
The book editing process completes in two steps; Self-editing and Professional editing.
To ensure that your words entail the story you want to share with the world, start by editing and proofreading your content.
Jump on this stage after completing the writing phase!
Read word by word and line by line with focus and dedication.
We suggest you turn on track changes in your Word document or print out the draft on the paper to make an edit. By doing this, it will become easier for you to spot mistakes and errors and enable you to make changes in your manuscript seamlessly.
Self-editing follows a precise strategy, and embarking on this journey without understanding it can be daunting. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, take the time to grasp the intricacies of the process before delving in headfirst.
Here’s how you can self-edit your book draft seamlessly;
After completing your self-edit, incorporate the revisions into your manuscript, preparing it for the next round of edits.
After completing self-editing, you can’t just sit back and think that your draft is now flawless. Now, it’s time to pass your draft to the professionals.
No matter how diligent you are, it’s inevitable to overlook some grammatical or spelling errors. Hiring a professional editor’s assistance can ensure a thorough review of your writing’s structure, providing valuable feedback that will instill confidence in your final published draft.
After taking assistance from the book editing experts, make changes in the areas they suggested to improve the book’s overall readability and quality.
But don’t be disheartened when your manuscript returns filled with edits, comments, and identified errors. Embrace this valuable feedback as an opportunity to enhance your writing skills.
Would you like it if your readers get a book full of grammatical mistakes and structural errors?
You only have to carefully review your editor’s feedback and make revisions that seem necessary to you.
It’s completely fine if you don’t agree with your editor on certain points. Remember, it’s your book, and you have the ultimate control over what to include or remove from the manuscript. Trust your inner feelings and make decisions that align with your creative vision.
You often have heard the quote, “Never judge a book by its cover”, but this phrase only implements in our daily lives. When it comes to book writing, people do judge a book by its cover.
According to several studies, up to 80% of readers initially get attracted towards the book due to its cover. Moreover, up to 60% of people make their purchasing decisions, even after reading the back cover, based on the visual appeal and design of the book’s cover.
You can hire freelance graphic designers to design enticing book covers for your book or take assistance from the professionals available on online book designing platforms to come up with something new for you.
Here are some of the things you should consider when choosing a design for your book cover:
After completing the manuscript, now is the time to give your book the final shape through detailed formatting. It’s an essential bridge that transforms your raw manuscript into a polished masterpiece, ready to captivate readers.
But keep in mind that an effectively formatted book ensures that text remains intact, with no cut-offs, incorrect indentations, or typesetting errors.
These are intricacies you should focus on when formatting your book.
To publish your book, you have to first decide whether you want to publish your book online or want it as a print book. However, both options have their own perks and limitations.
Self-publishing your book online is a rigorous and tiring process. So, hiring someone to do it for you is a better option. It will also change depending on which self-publishing platform you want to work with. Some of the most trusted platforms include IngramSpark, Amazon, Lulu, and others.
Once you’ve clicked the “publish” button on your chosen platform, it’s time to put your launch and marketing strategies into action. In the next section, we’ll delve into these crucial steps to help you effectively promote your book and reach your target audience.
In conclusion, writing a book is a multifaceted journey that requires a plethora of skills and a willingness to learn. The steps outlined here provide a starting point for aspiring writers, but the learning process is ongoing.
Countless successful authors have blazed the trail before you, offering valuable insights and proven techniques. However, the ultimate responsibility lies in discovering your own unique style and process that resonates with you.
The realm of writing is ever-evolving, and every author, regardless of the scale of their work, possesses unique experiences worth sharing with others. Keeping this in mind, start your book writing journey, and remember that through perseverance and dedication, you can carve your path to becoming a proficient and impactful writer.