- There is no time like the present! Do not try and block out whole weeks to write, just allocate one day a week. Do not get distracted by email and admin on that day.
- Plan out your chapters / contents at the start – it ensures a flow, helps you track progress and stops mission creep. It also allows you to write the chapters in any order you want.
- Do the introduction first as it creates tone and pace.
- Think of each chapter in terms of beginning, middle and end. I have a tendency to write an abstract for a chapter first as it helps to get my thinking straight.
- Don’t focus on spelling and/or sentence structure when writing the first draft – get your ideas down and keep the flow. At the end of the day or session of writing go back and re-read and do a quick first edit.
- Writing blocks: if you are struggling with a section or chapter – it is sometimes easier to go onto another and then come back to problem area later with a fresh eye.
- When re-starting writing after having some time off re-read the chapter from the start to get a feel of the tone.
- Get advice and input but remember to have the courage of your own convictions. You can’t write by committee.
- When starting set-up page dimensions and margins so that they correspond to the correct page size anticipated for the final book. It helps ensure pages look right and reduces work later.
Publishing: There are three options: get a publisher, self-publish or set up your own publisher.
- It generally takes time to secure a publisher and the easiest way is to get a literary agent. The easiest way to secure one is if you have one in your network. Even if you go this route having a finished book via self-publishing might help.
- Self-publishing is now the best way to quickly get your book published and can now be done cheaply, easily and high quality. Below are some topline tips:
- If you can create a PDF you can self publish! All you need is to do write your book electronically.
- Do not pay a lot for publishing support – you can do it yourself or do it cheaply.
- Use CreateSpace, an Amazon company, that is very cost effective, easy to use and can get you an Amazon listing from which orders are automatically fulfilled. www.createspace.com.
- Before starting check out the book sizes and margins and set up your document accordingly.
- Buy books in a minimum quantity to get a unit cost that allows you to sell the books at standard prices. I generally recommend 100 books.
- Set up as publisher. This is relatively straight forward and is a good option if you want to publish multiple books. If you want support please contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The hardest bit is selling your book. Harness social media and get your book into as many hands as possible – go viral.