I became self-employed in 2014. At every business training, event or conference I went to, the message I kept hearing was the same message – you need to write and publish a book as it is a powerful tool in promoting yourself and is one of the strongest ways of positioning yourself as an authority in your field.
After some thought, I attended an informative 3 day boot camp run by a publisher on the basics of writing and publishing a book. They covered the process of book publishing and there and then I decided to write my book.
In this post, I would like to share with you the 3 easy steps to writing your very own book:
- Make the decision to publish a book
- Understand the benefits of publishing a book – both for yourself and for your audience
- Motivate yourself with a strong “why” to see it through to the end
- Define the purpose of publishing a book – both for yourself and for your audience
- Choose the topic for your book, as well as the sub-topics
- Decide on the structure of the book
- Make a plan and set aside time for you to write
- Write your book either yourself, through a ghost writer or a combination of the two
- Edit your book once the first draft is complete
- Publishing & Marketing:
- Work on typesetting and then printing your book
- Release it in online stores and other channels
- Market your book – both online and offline
I will share more detail on each stage below.
Step 1 – Pre-Writing
At this stage, the focus is firstly on deciding to publish a book. This includes defining the purpose of publishing your book and understanding the benefits of this, motivating yourself to finish it and choosing a topic for your book.
- What is your WHY? You need to work out what you want the book to do for you. For example, do you want to become an expert in your field, impact others, educate others, change lives, build a brand etc. This will help you connect with your writing and motivate you to finish.
- Who is your target audience? This will help you focus your writing towards a specific reader.
- What are their pain points, the things that keep them awake at night? For example, stress, fear, anxiety, financial issues, family problems etc. Knowing these pain points will help you to ensure your book helps your audience to overcome them.
Step 2 – Writing
This step is where most people fail. Almost everyone struggles at this stage and is the main reason why people don’t finish their books.
I want to share with you the 5 worst parts of the writing process. This is not an attempt to put you off but instead to prepare you and let you know that you are not alone.
- Mood swings – Some days you feel like you are getting so much done, and thinking “Wow, I’m such a great writer. The very next day, your emotions completely switch and you can’t get anything done, and you think you are the most rubbish writer. Let me tell you that this type of behaviour IS NORMAL – absolute confidence to crippling self-doubt.
- Editing – It is best to write a first draft and not edit as you go along. This is a mistake I made and tried to edit as I went along. This stopped me from being creative and I kept doubting myself. Write the whole thing first, then go back and edit. You will obviously find mistakes because you are seeing your earlier writing with fresher eyes.
- Beta Readers – Beta readers read your book before it is published to give you feedback and reviews. Some will love your book, some will hate it, some will offer constructive criticism in a polite way and some perhaps not so polite. These are all opinions and you should not take them to heart – it is best to get this feedback now before you publish rather than after you publish. IT IS NORMAL that you will get feedback that annoys you, but it is part of the process, so just accept it.
- The Professional Edit – This is absolutely necessary – I recommend you pay someone to get this done. However do prepare yourself for when you get your book back edited – there can be a lot of changes and if you are not expecting this, it can come as quite a shock. Again, it is better that these mistakes are rectified now before the book is published.
- The Reviews – Getting reviews for your book is key to helping you sell on Amazon and other platforms. This can be scary as you are basically asking people to share their views on your work on the internet. It is not something you can directly influence and most reviews will be positive. A few may not be, but the easiest way to deal with the reviews is to not read the reviews! Your beta readers and the professional edit have already given you constructive feedback so there is no need to read those reviews.
When you do get to the end of this stage you can breathe a huge sigh of relief. Time to start marketing your book!
Step 3 – Publishing & Marketing
After writing your book and having it edited, you need to get it published. In this stage, there is the typesetting, layout and printing of the book.
Alongside this you can begin to plan a book launch event to celebrate. As part of this, you will set up a marketing campaign which encompasses online marketing, social media, local press and PR. You will aim to raise your profile and encourage people to buy the book. In some cases you can even give away books for free in exchange for speaking opportunities to help spread your message.
“True happiness and fulfilment comes when you feel you are making a valuable contribution to your world. Yes, writing a book is a business asset, but more importantly, at least for me, it has been a personal development journey”.