How do you write a book? It’s a question that haunts many aspiring writers, and it can feel even more daunting than the act of writing itself. But before you start writing, there are certain things you need to know about how to write a book that will make your task much easier and help you finish your book without getting overwhelmed or discouraged. In this guide, we’ll take you through the process of writing and publishing your first book in six easy steps.
Creating an Outline
Before you start to write, it’s important to have a road map in place. Your outline can be as formal or informal as you want. Just make sure it helps you plan out your book—including any research that may need to be conducted and potential dead ends along the way. You might also choose to write an initial book proposal to give yourself some structure when writing your manuscript and if/when submitting it to publishers.
Whether or not you decide to work with a publisher, putting together a proposal is an excellent learning experience that can help make future book writing easier since most of what you learn in creating a proposal will transfer into drafting your manuscript.
Writing About Something You Know
One of my first pieces of advice, when people ask me how to write a book, is to write about something I know. It’s obvious in retrospect, but it’s so important. If you can’t answer yes to questions like, Do I have experience with [topic X]? then don’t write a book about that topic. There are so many books out there already, writing a new one on a topic where you have no experience or knowledge is just going to put you at a disadvantage from day one.
Writing your own book isn’t necessarily easy (I sure didn’t think it would be), but it is possible if you’re willing to put in your fair share of effort and hard work!
Finding time and space to write
You don’t need much to write a book. You just need time and space, which is why many writers write in their free time or on weekends. But if you don’t have time to dedicate your life to writing, setting aside hours each day to work on your book might be difficult to make happen. This means you may have more trouble getting everything done than a full-time author.
It’s also important that you find a private place to work where distractions are kept at bay and productivity isn’t hampered by co-workers or family members looking for your attention. If you plan ahead and schedule time each week, however, it can help ensure that you get things done even if it isn’t every day of every week.
Editing your own work
One of a book’s authors may be able to edit his or her own work. But an author who writes technical material might need to hire a technical editor to help with those chapters. For instance, if your book is about real estate investing, you could employ someone who is an expert in that field to edit those chapters. Make sure you have editors on hand during your writing process, so you can get their feedback and incorporate it into your writing before making it available to readers.
If possible, get multiple sets of eyes on your work—some people find editing easier when they see what others think first; others like to go solo and make their own edits.
Getting professional help from freelancers
When it comes to writing a book, many people think they need to learn everything on their own. While it’s true that you can learn a lot from research, there are also some strategies and approaches that work well. One option is to outsource your editing and formatting needs to freelance professionals. Not only does working with freelancers save you time (which is especially important when writing a book), but it ensures that you’re getting high-quality content.
Hiring professionals allows you to focus on what matters most—creating compelling content—while leaving those less relevant details in more capable hands. Depending on how much help you need, consider outsourcing some or all of your book’s design and editing; even a few hours of professional help can make a big difference.