Monday, November 26, 2012

10 Steps to Getting Your Book on Paper

If you’re like the majority of people, you’ve thought about writing a book, but you’ve never quite started the project. You might be overwhelmed by the task. You may not be sure where to start. Here are some quick tips to get your book on paper.

1. Pick Your Subject. This may seem pretty basic, but it’s always good to give the choice of your topic some thought. I the subject something of which you are considered an expert? Is it something you want to learn more about? This will set a framework to approach your book.
2. Choose Your Audience. Just as important as the subject matter is who is going to read your book. Are you introducing people to a new subject or addressing experts in the field on a narrow, but in-depth topic? This will help determine the best tone for your book.
3. Identify Your Niche. Thousands of books are published every year. In order for yours to stand out and have worth, it must address the topic in an unusual or new way.
4. Decide on the Process. Not everyone can sit at a desk and type or write an entire book. There are many options for would-be writers to use. Consider hiring a ghost writer. They take your story and provide a completed manuscript. Find a co-author. While this can sometimes cause more problems, it does cut down on the amount of writing you need to do on your own. Also, consider dictating your story into a computer and using software to transcribe it into your manuscript.
5. Use Previous Work. Collect material you already possess. Maybe you’ve written blogs, magazine articles, letters to the editor. All of these items can be incorporated into your book. If you’ve ever interviewed people on the subject of your book, this information can be included as well.
6. Create an Outline. The next step is to organize the information you plan on discussing. Whether you write a formal outline or use sticky notes on a wall or desk to create a storyboard, you’ll find it helps to guide the process.
7. Begin the Writing Process. The next step is to just write. Break down the project into smaller pieces. Consider writing a chapter at a time. Write articles or pieces that you can then combine to make an entire book.
8. Finding the Time. Sometimes, this could be the most difficult part of any writing process. Everyone lives busy lives and between work, family and other activities, there are many excuses to prevent finding the time. Whether you have to lock yourself in a private room or step out to a coffee shop, make sure you set aside the time you need to finish your project.
9. Read Your Book Aloud. Once you’ve finished your first draft, take the time to read your book aloud. While you may not pick up everything that needs fixing, it will help clean up your manuscript. If it doesn’t sound right, change it. Read aloud again.
10. The Next Steps. As a first time author, it is a good idea to hire a professional editor to help smooth the rough edges. This will help you get your manuscript read by publishers.

After you have a completed manuscript and you are ready to publish. You will need to consider the best format for publication. The options available will be the subject of a future blog post.

Nancy E. Randolph
Just Write Books
Maine Books Maine Authors Maine Stories
Contact me: p. 207-729-3600  Skype: jstwrite

1 comment:

Judy B said...

Well said. Plan, take action, share.