You’ve been wanting to write a book but you’re not sure where to start. Here’s some quick pointers to get you started.
- Are you hoping to get a book deal at a publisher or self publish?
My experience is from self-publishing for my clients as well as for myself.
- Pick a theme.
Is it travel, self-help, humor or romance. You can have bits of all of it there but you should have one overarching theme so you know where it goes in the bookstore. It would also be good if this theme has something to do with your brand or business. What do you want to be known for?
- Is it nonfiction or fiction?
- What is the number one thing you want people to get from reading your book?
“Feels good” is not an answer. Go deeper. You need one overall goal. If you don’t understand this read Steven Pressfield’s No One Wants to Read Your Sh*t.
- Write an outline for all the things you want to talk about.
Keep in mind your theme and your number one goal.
- Pick a deadline.
This is key or the project will go on forever and never get finished. Trust me I know. I had my book on the back burner for a long time. It wasn’t until I sat down and chunked out everything I had to do into two hour increments over a few months.
- Identify all the people that can help you reach your goal whether they are a supporter, editor or marketer.
Where will you need to call in outside folks or friends of friends?
- Write and write some more.
- Make sure to include links back to your site in your book or even a free download.
Giving value is important but so is capturing email list. It will come in handy if you ever write another book (see tip 15).
You’ll want to do this a couple times as you’ll make changes with each round. I did three rounds for my book. I had someone edit for grammar, punctuation etc and someone that edited for accuracy of information. Then I had one last person edit.
- Make a cover that stands out when it’s small or large.
Don’t make it overly complicated or use hard to read fonts. Simple is better when it comes to cover fonts. Remember, KISS (keep it simple stupid).
- Plan your marketing strategy around your deadline/launch date.
Have your emails written and your social media graphics created.
- Plan your Amazon listing (if this is where you are publishing).
- Once you submit your manuscript to Amazon you’ll also need an Author page.
A good book I read to create my Amazon listing and Author page was 61 Ways to Sell More Nonfiction Books
- Prepare your followers that your book will be coming out in “x” days.
Email your lists. Post on all your social media channels.
- Ask for early readers.
This comes in handy because you’ll be able to get reviews before your book launches. Ask those early readers to post their reviews on launch day. The faster you get to 12 reviews the better with Amazon.
- Put your book up for pre-sale and promote the crap out of it.
I wouldn’t do more than a week for pre-sale, you’ll start to lose momentum.
- Email and promote on social media every day.
If you have a large list you may get a ton of sales just from that alone.
- Ask your friends to share it.
I know you think that your friends see everything you do because you post it but they don’t. With algorithms and timing of posts, they could miss your announcements totally. Plus, if you want them to share something, it’s always good to ask. People aren’t mind readers. They don’t know how best to help you unless you spell it out.
- Ask to be a guest blogger or podcast interviewee to help spread the word.
If you want to hear more about the story of how my book came to be, I wrote an article for Dynamic Range Magazine’s August Issue.
If you’re ready to be a best selling author I wrote a post on that too!