Today I’m going to talk about ten truths about writing a book. Some people think you can sit down and write a book, publish it, and it will sell like magic on it’s own. If you are just starting writing, chances are, you aren’t even thinking about the things you need to do before you publish your book. However, thinking about these things now is crucial. There are so many things that you need to do before you release your book into the world. Writing it and then starting to build buzz isn’t enough.
You need to start working on your cover, doing editing, buying your ISBN’s, thinking about the back matter of your book, finding beta readers, fixing errors, and the list goes on. Are you feeling a little overwhelmed? Don’t be. This guide will walk you through all the things you need to do before you publish your book.
However, before we start on the pre-publishing aspect of things, I wanted to share something with you. Writing a book is a big feat to accomplish, and people that don’t write think it’s an easy one. We sit down, put fingertips to keyboard and-voila!-we have a book. This is definitely not true.
Truths About Writing a Book
It’s not as easy as that though just as much goes into writing as getting ready to publish. I want to share ten truths about writing a book with you to enlighten you and inspire you.
1. Anyone Can Write A Book
This is true in our modern age. Anyone can sit down and write a book and publish it. However, there is a difference between writers and authors. Those who publish to publish and those who go the extra mile and do it well.
2. Research is involved
Before an author sits down to write even one word, they have to do research. We research our topic to start and collect all kinds of information and put it in a mind map or other document. This is especially true for a work of non-fiction. From there, we either have to manually research categories and keywords, or we use a tool like Publisher Rocket.
3. Writing takes time
Writing takes time, although if you do enough research, it should go fairly quickly. The two barriers are having enough research/information and typing speed. If you want to learn how to write faster, check out 20K A Day by Jonathan Green.
4. Editing takes time
Editing a manuscript takes time. Some authors go through up to six stages of editing before hiring a professional to do a final look over.
5. The Right Cover
Many factors go into choosing the perfect cover for a book. Researching other books in your genre, thinking about the style of font, and making sure it looks good in both color and black and white. You can’t just slap on a cover that you like. Trust me, I’ve learned this from experience. I’m currently updating my poetry book covers because this is what I did the first time around when I published them. This time around, I have studied the genre and picked covers that match said genre. When you have a bad cover, this is a tough pill to swallow.
6. Fixing Mistakes
No matter how much editing we do, sometimes mistakes do slip by us. If there are a lot, we have to go in and fix them, and it can slow down our pre-publication process. This is why I suggest using a program like Grammarly or ProWritingAid initially to catch spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors. Using these programs don’t substitute for an editor or proofreader but it may help cut down on mistakes that need to be fixed.
7. Ordering Proofs
Uploading your work to platforms like Amazon and IngramSpark doesn’t take much time. Ordering proofs of your print version are a whole other matter. Once you upload your content, it has to go through a review process. Once it’s approved, then you have to order a proof to make sure it looks okay. After you review it and accept it, then it is finally put on sale within a few days.
Even More Truths
8. Planning a Book Launch
Writing a good book isn’t enough. You need to know how you are going to promote your book. Planning a launch is crucial. This also takes a lot of time and planning. From getting early reviews to doing a soft launch to adding your book to promotion sites, there are different phases and stages in planning a launch.
9. Launch Day
Making sure you put all the pieces in place to have a successful launch day is essential. Still, there are things you can do on launch day to help your Amazon ranking. It is crucial to stay on top of the little details that make a launch day successful.
10. You Can Make A Living With Your Writing
This is crazy important. There is this stigma out there that all writers are broke and that you can’t earn a living writing. This is entirely untrue. I know lots of writers who make a great living freelancing and writing books. You may not be a millionaire, but there is no reason you can’t make a comfortable living and beyond. As long as you keep learning and moving forward, you can do this.
Writing and publishing a book is a journey, not a destination. There are many factors that go into writing, publishing, and marketing that people don’t even think of. As authors we are constantly learning, keeping up with trends and news, and learning from those who have gone before us. Being an author is more work than working a 9-5, hands down. Add a 9-5 into the mix and you really have to be focused, organized, and have a plan. Otherwise you’re going to drown and not accomplish your dream. Hiring people to help you with various tasks makes the journey much easier. So, what are some truths you have found while writing your first book or books? I would love to know in the comments.