Ever thought about writing a book?

Cat, pen and blank open notepadHi friends!

How do I write my own book/ ebook/ blog/ article?

That’s a question I’ve been asked a lot over the years.

Many of my friends know that I am a ghostwriter – that I write books, articles and blogs for other people, and have done for a long time. Some know that I use my maiden name for my academic publications and a pseudonym for most of my short stories and poetry. And a couple of weeks ago my first novel – also written with a pseudonym – came out.

So when people I meet want to write their book, they often ask my advice.

A lot of people want to write their own book. Joseph Epstein says that 81% of Americans want to write a book. I don’t think 81% of Australians are quite that silly, but I imagine there are still a lot of people out there who have considered it.

So I am putting together a webinar series on how to write your own book. I’m working on it now, and it should be ready in the New Year. It will be down to earth, no nonsense and no hype. I will tell the truth about writing books. I won’t make it sound like it’s the easiest thing you ever did, like some people do, but I’ll make it simple where it is simple.

Anyway, I thought I could let my favourite people know some of the main things ahead of time.

So here goes.

These are the main steps in writing a book:

1. Preparation
Firstly, there are a lot of things to prepare before you can sit down and write your book.
·      Your environment
·      Your software
·      Your attitude
·      Your schedule
·      Your family
·      Understanding your motivation for writing the book.
·      Your outlay – how much is it going to cost?

2. Research
Next, you have to decide:
·      What are you going to write about?
·      Who is your audience?
·      How broad or narrow is the topic going to be?
·      What will you cover and what will you leave out?
·      Where and how will you research the bits that you don’t know?
·      If you are intending to outsource any of the steps, how much will that cost?

3. Organising
The next step is planning and organising the book.
·      How many chapters?
·      What order should the chapters be in?
·      Within each chapter, what are the main points that you need to cover?
·      Within each point, what do you need to say?
·      How will you begin the book?
·      How will you end it?
·      What is the best title?

4. Writing
Next, you write the first draft.
Simple to say, but this is the part that really holds you back if you have skipped any of the earlier steps.

5. Editing
You edit the book for:
·      Function
·      Style
·      Tone
·      Form
·      Subject lines
·      Purpose
·      Voice
·      Precision about your expected outcome
·      Amount of information
·      Vocabulary
·      Structure
·      Paragraphs
·      Sentences
·      Graphics
·      Tables and Charts

6. Polishing
Then you proofread for:

  • Syntax
  • —  Verbs
  • Format
  • —  Spelling
  • —  Punctuation
  • —  Capitalisation
  • —  Apostrophes
  • —  Common errors

And finally, you format the book.

7. Publishing and marketing
The publishing process is a minefield all by itself, and there are lots of decisions to make – and after that, there is the marketing.
—  Do you send it to publishers and hope it will get published that way?
—  Do you publish a different way by publishing on demand or self publishing?
—  What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different publishing strategies?
—  Do you want an ebook or a physical book and what are the benefits of both?
How do you self-publish?
—  How will you market the book?

For those who have written a book, you will know that there are lots of things to consider in each point.

It may seem like a daunting task if you think of it all at once.
So why do it?

Because the joy of completion is enormous.

So I thought I would break down the process into small, easy steps, because anyone can take a small step, especially if there is someone there to hold your hand.

I will keep you all up to date as to how it’s going, and I’ll be posting updates on my website, and on The Write Impression’s facebook page.

Have you liked my facebook page yet? There are often fun things and helpful things on there.

Later this week I’m going on a cruise to New Zealand for my birthday, and I’ll be spending Christmas with my family – my parents in Melbourne and then my son and his partner who live in the beautiful Southern Highlands.

I hope you all have a great sharing-type Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

And next year – maybe you can write that book.

Warmest regards,

Rie

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