I Think I Want to Write a Book. Now What?
Maybe you’re reading this because you want to know how to become a writer. Or maybe becoming an author isn’t as important as becoming a renowned thought leader, but you know that penning a book is one of the best ways to grow your brand. For whatever reason you’ve chosen to become an author, you’ve decided that it’s time to learn how to write a book. Read on to discover the many steps to becoming a published author.
- Determine your why. Ask yourself why you’re writing a book and why someone should read it. Are you the authority in your field? Are you trying to grow your business? Build your personal brand? Do you want to share your knowledge and leave a legacy? Whatever the reason you want to learn how to become an author, your first step is to know exactly what you’re writing about and stay on topic.
- Narrow your target audience. Who are you writing this book for? Of course, everyone hopes their book will be widely read, selling millions of copies that everyone from all walks of life wants to read. Not only is that not realistic, it’s also not what success looks like in the business book world. Start with knowing who your primary audience is; what is their age, income bracket and main area of interest, and what key information or change they can expect after reading it. Homing in on exactly who it is that you want to read your book will help you write one that lands you in a position of being an authority in your field.
- Should you consider ghostwriting? If you have the ability and desire to write your own book, then you’ll need to find the time and set a schedule. Remember you probably still have a business to run, so you’ll need to set a schedule that allows you to write your thoughts while attending to day-to-day operations at the same time. If writing is not your thing or finding the time is not feasible, consider hiring a ghostwriter, who will collaborate closely with you and write on your behalf. You’ll be working very closely with this writer, so it pays to be very choosy about the ghostwriting services you entrust with your words. You will be as involved in the writing as you want to be, but the ghostwriter can take the primary burden of organizing your thoughts for a compelling read. The job of the ghostwriter ends as soon as the manuscript is finished, and you’re on to the next step.
- Editing and getting feedback. If you’re a writer working on your own, you’ll need to find a good editor who knows your voice and your subject matter. You will usually need two or three rounds of editing, one for content, another one for style (or line editing) and a third one for copy, which is where the editor proofreads the entire manuscript to make sure it is free of mistakes before it goes to the printer.
- Design a cover that converts. Forget that old adage. We all absolutely judge a book by its cover. A good book cover is a piece of art that conveys your book’s core message. A great book cover compels a reader to pick it up and buy it. If you are self-publishing, you’ll probably need to hire a book cover designer who can help you find cover ideas that you like (and dislike) and discuss the emotions you want your reader to feel when looking at the cover. You should land on a cover that clearly conveys what the book is about and who it is for. More importantly, the cover design should be compelling enough to stand out either in the digital space or in real life and make the reader want to find out what makes you an expert in your field.
- How to get a book printed and published Gone are the days when there was only one route to becoming an author. Today, in addition to traditional book publishing, there are numerous avenues to explore including hybrid publishing, self-publishing, and e-book or Amazon publishing through Kindle direct publishing. Remember, book printing and publishing are two different things. The first is the physical production of your book while the second is the process of offering the book to the public for sale. There are pros and cons to each type of publishing, but the upshot is that the more publishers do for you, the less control you have over the final product. Hybrid publishing, where you pay the publisher to perform all the duties of a traditional publisher, can offer the best of both worlds.
- Who’s distributing the book? The process of distribution depends on your book’s format. E-books are the easiest and can be sold on Amazon and other digital distribution platforms. If you’re going the paperback or hardback publishing route you can either have your book printed when they are ordered or, with offset printing, you can have several books printed and warehoused, and then use a retailer like Amazon to fulfill the orders.
- Now get the word out! The key thing is to remember why you chose to become an author in the first place. Raising awareness of your personal brand helps position yourself as an authority, landing new opportunities and impacting others. Book marketing is a long process that uses various types of media to elevate your brand equity. You or your marketing and public relations team should use a combination of paid media, earned media and various social media platforms to raise your profile and let others know about your book.
These steps highlight the basics of how to write and publish a book that you can use to increase your personal and professional brand, making you an authority in your field. The process can be daunting and time consuming, which is why highly successful entrepreneurs, CEOs and professionals place turn to Advantage Media for turnkey book publishing and authority media services they can trust.