How to Successfully Write and Publish a Book
Good ways to successfully write and publish your new book
It has been said often that everyone has a book in them. Of course, not everyone actually wants to write a book and of those who do, not too many will know how to go about doing it. Every writer has his or her own distinctive writing style, habits, techniques and routines and if you are setting out to write a book of your own, you must also uncover what works best for you. Nevertheless, there are some pointers that most, if not all, writers find useful on their writing journeys and these
The first of these is that you must have an idea of what you want to write about. If you do not have at least some indication of what your book will be about, you cannot hope to make much progression with your writing. Your idea may begin as a tiny seed of inspiration. Once you have this, you should ask yourself some important questions: is this what you want to write about? Who will be your target audience? Will you be able to keep the momentum going long enough to finish writing the book? These questions will help you determine whether your premise is viable or not. Consider also the kind of books you enjoy reading and what it is about them that keeps you coming back for more.
Once you have decided on your idea, you must conduct research on your chosen genre. If you plan to write a similar book to those you enjoy reading, you have a good head start. You may want to consider reading the reviews of best-selling books in your chosen genre to see what attracts readers to them and what they enjoy about them. Make a note of recurring factors and see if you can incorporate at least some of them into your own work. Above all, make sure that you offer something fresh to your prospective audience and that your book doesn’t turn into a mere copy of more successful works.
In writing, preparation is key. Before you start writing in earnest, you should aim to have an outline ready to build on. The format is entirely up to you. You could base it chapter by chapter or on characters. If you find one approach doesn’t work for you, try another! It’s all part of the creative process! When you are planning, make sure you have a beginning, middle and end. A lot of books end on a very disappointing note, so make sure your ending is properly planned out and connects with the narrative that has preceded it. Other books appear to bog down in the middle, so make sure yours flows well and keeps the interest of the reader. One key point to consider during the planning stage is where the conflict will arise. Conflict serves to heighten tension and emotion, pulls the reader in and can also be used to convey the key points and themes of your book. Planning is also the time to develop your characters. You will want to make them relatable and human. How you choose to do that is up to you, but consider what motivates them, what their aspirations and fears are and whether they harbor any secrets.
The first pages of your book are the most important. This is where the reader is first introduced to your work and it is essential that you capture their interest in the first few pages. From this point, you must maintain their interest by developing the plot, introducing the characters and building suspense, tension and emotions. Don’t worry about including long and impressive words. Pace, plot, characters and themes are much more vital components of a successful book. Never opt for style over substance as many readers can become alienated by too many difficult words. In terms of pace, try to remember that each sentence should serve one of two purposes: it should either reveal character or advance the plot/action. If it does neither of these, see if your narrative works better without it.
When your book is ready, when you have proof read it and made all the necessary amendments, it is time to publish it. Will you self-publish or via an established publisher? If the latter, will you opt for a smaller or larger publisher? Self-publishing gives you full creative control of your work, the publishing time is less and your royalties will be higher. However, you will incur all publication and marketing costs. If you opt for a larger publisher, you can count on the support of an experienced creative team to publish and market your work, your book will be more likely to achieve mainstream publicity and it is possible to be included in considerations for literary awards. However, you will have much less creative input, the publishing process will take much longer and your royalties will be lower, somewhere between 5-15% for print books. Before you submit your manuscript to a publisher or literary agent, you should make sure that you have read through it thoroughly, making sure the narrative is coherent and consistent and there are no inconsistencies with the story or characters. Seek feedback from trusted friends if you feel this will help. Alternatively, if you can afford to, hire a professional editor to comb through your work and make sure everything is clear and in its proper place. If you haven’t already chosen a title for your book, do so now. Make sure it is short and intriguing and does not borrow from the works of others. If you are sending your book to an agent, make sure the manuscript is formatted in a clear and readable way.
There is much more to consider when writing a book and getting it published, but this piece should give you an indication of the time and commitment that is required if you are to make your literary dreams come true. Be persistent, don’t give up and keep writing!
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