When you have decided you want to be an author. You have a message that’s clamoring to get out. A book that just can’t bury itself in your subconscious anymore. So you’re going to sit down and dump your thoughts on paper.
Good for you.
Maybe you are an expert who needs to prove your capabilities. Or maybe you want to make a few extra bucks. On the other hand, maybe you’re looking to find clients through a giveaway. Maybe you just need to share your insights. Or maybe you’re dreaming of the millions that people pay authors.
All of these are good reasons for writing a book. Well, maybe not the last one. After all, it isn’t very likely that your book will make much money. At least not directly.
As for being a new writer — a beginner — don’t worry. However, there are certain things that can help you get started.
Here are tips for beginners:
- Use a system
Rather than asking how to write a book in one step (which is impossible), break the process into a series of distinct steps. Important steps won’t be missed. And efficiencies can be built into the process. So writing a book takes less time.
- Find a writing hole
A dedicated place to write means you won’t waste time getting ready. Psychologically it also links the place with the activity. This helps to overcome writer’s block.
- Set a time
Unless you schedule a time for writing your book, you’ll never do it. So set a time and consider it booked.
- Close the door
Interruptions are the bane of all writers. Eliminate them by any means necessary. You are working.
- Eliminate distractions
Others are the only source of interruptions. Writing is hard work. You’re going to try to avoid it Make it hard to find other things to do when you should be writing.
- Know your topic
Keep it simple for your first book. Write what you already know about. Save research for the little facts.
- Know the market
You have to know who else is writing about your topic and you need to know how many books are sold for that topic.
- Know your reader
You need to create a target reader — an avatar or example reader. Their characteristics will help you create a book targeted directly to their needs.
- What does your reader want to learn?
Convincing a reader they want to learn something is an exercise in futility. You need to determine what (and why) they already want to learn. Then write about that.
- Solve problems don’t sell solutions
We’re talking about motivation here. What motivates your reader is the desire to solve a problem. They want to hear, “Here’s your problem. Here’s how you fix it.”
- What does your reader need to learn?
To solve their problem, they will need to know a part of your solution. You need to identify what they need to know and what they don’t.
- A book is not an article
Writing an article is a sprint. Writing a book is a marathon. It requires different techniques and tools. And you need to pace yourself differently.
- Know what you want from your book
The term book covers a multitude of sins. From a 25-page eBook, that’s a white paper to a 1000 page multi-volume tome.
- Don’t mix design, writing, and editing
The three key task sets in writing require entirely different mental processes. Don’t mix them up. Your system should help you separate them.
- Write for your friends, not your teacher
- A book gives you the ability to live anywhere. As a book author, you can live anywhere and work. You don’t have to settle in one place for life unless you want. Many successful authors live in one place for the summer and another for the winter.
- A book raises your status. The title book author is still a prestigious title. So, after you have completed your book your status is immediately elevated. You are respected among the community as a local author. As your name grows, your status will grow beyond your community even unto the world.
- A book makes you important. You will receive special treatment as an author. In all the end of the world movies, they select important and special people to save and start society over again. They choose an artist, teachers, authors, and musicians, etc. Your book will make you an important person in society.
- A book gives you the spotlight. Your fifteen minutes of fame will come sooner with a book in your list of achievements. You never know when someone has heard of you because of your book and the spotlight swings over to you.
Be ready; stay prepared to offer your thoughts. A close friend complained not long ago about always being put on the spot to speak. She said her husband gently reminded her you are an author and speaker now; you may as well get over it and stay prepared.