• Alex Thomas

Are you thinking about writing a book? Here are some tips that can help you on your journey!

Writing a book can seem very difficult if you aren’t familiar with the process. Now I must admit, there are some tedious steps involved in writing a book, but it’s not anything to pull your hair out over. I remember when I first thought about writing a book. It was in March or April of 2016. I started off by researching what I needed to do. In that research I came across a few articles stating “Writing a book was a waste of time.” I read the articles and it instilled a lot of doubt. From that point I struggled with starting to write my book. I would begin to write and then think that it wasn’t good enough and ended up starting over and over and over again. Eventually, I began to get frustrated and I gave up completely. I didn’t believe in my writing and I wasn’t disciplined enough to keep at it. Have you experienced this before? If so, you are not alone. Well, it is now 2021 and I am happy to report that I am in the editing phase of my novel. Here are some tips that can help you get started and keep going with writing a book.

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Tip 1 -Believe in yourself

Writing is a journey, and you are the lifeline. One of the most important elements of writing a book is believing in yourself. If you are doubting that you can write a book or think that no one will read your book, it will create some major setbacks for you. It was nearly 4 years of a setback for me. What helped me gain confidence and believe that I COULD write a book and stick with what I was writing was not overthinking. Do not let overthinking take over and sway you from starting from scratch because you don’t think your writing is good enough. Trust in yourself and believe in your ability to get it done.

Tip 2- Invest in a notebook

Keeping everything in your head is not always a great idea. Invest in a notebook and write your ideas down. Make sure that you are in a place where you can concentrate. Writing down your ideas when there’s a lot going on can be a bit frustrating. When you begin brainstorming here are a few questions to think about. 1. Who is my targeted audience? 2. What is the message I am trying to share? 3. Will my book be fiction or nonfiction? 4. If my book is fiction who will be my characters and what will their character traits be? 5. What is my goal for this book? 6. What’s my genre? When, you are finished answering those questions. Start to write down the names of the characters/people you would like to use in your book. If your book is nonfiction you may have to reach out to some family and friends and revisit some things that are linked to what you want to write about. For example, if your story talks about a childhood memory you may want to look at some pictures, listen to some songs you remember and describe in your writing what those memories mean to you. If your book is nonfiction like mine your characters may all represent elements of reality that will help bring your story line to life.

Tip 3- Be Disciplined

When you are finished brainstorming and begin to write, discipline is essential. Time management is also essential. If you decide to write on the weekends, then you must make sure you devote that time to writing. The effort given in the beginning of your writing journey matters. When I started writing I knew I wanted my book to be over 10 chapters long. Starting at chapter one, I knew I needed to develop a lot of discipline because one is a long way from 10, but once I finished chapter 5, my confidence grew that I could get it done. When I finished writing my book, I had 15 chapters written. I couldn’t have done it without discipline and strict time management practices.

Tip 4- Be very picky about who edits your work

When you are finished writing. Re-read your work and edit your work as best as you can. When you are ready to have your writing professionally edited make sure that the person editing your work has experience with book editing. If the person has only worked with editing resumes and research papers, that’s not good enough. Make sure that the person editing your writing has years of experience editing the kind of writing you have completed. Also, make sure that the editor has experience with physical and ebook formatting. If not, you will have to pay to have that done separately. If you are looking for an editing professional visit www.fiverr.com. Fiverr has been one of my favorite spots to find people to help me with more than just writing. For example, they offer professional services in SEO set up, writing, translating, book covers, logo design, and so much more! The services are not free, but you can choose your price range and I love that it’s a one stop shop. Another great service that I recommend is Williams Commerce. Williams Commerce is the largest publisher in the Houston area and is owned by best seller author Ross Williams. They offer services such as professional resume editing, book editing, publishing, and professional business services. Visit their website for more information www.williamscommerce.com.

Tip 5- Your book cover and title matter.

Your book cover and title can be the difference between someone looking at your book or walking/swiping passed it. During this phase, return back to your notebook and start writing down some ideas of what you want your book title to be and what you would like to see on the cover. If you are struggling with book cover ideas and don’t want to use a generic one, visit fiverr.com to have a professional create one for you.

Tip 6- Decide if you are going to self-publish

There are some pro’s and con’s to self-publishing vs publishing with a company. When you are first starting off the most important thing is writing and finishing your book. When you are weighing your publishing options, do not sign any paperwork with any publishers just yet. You want to make sure that you are making the right decision for your book. Some publishers will have some authors feel that the author has publishing with their company as the only option. Listen, you DO have options and don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t. If you are uncomfortable with moving forward with publishing with a company, it’s okay to say no and find a better solution. Some publishers have zero royalties and allow the author to have flexibility with publishing their book. Another option is to self-publish your book. This scenario can give you more control to make more money, however you will have to create a plan on how to market your book which is generally something publishing companies are well versed in.

Tip 7- Don’t overprice your book

When you are thinking about a price range for your book. One strategy to use is researching what price your competitors in your niche have. If your competitors all have a price of $14.45- $15.75. You might want to consider having your book price be close to that range to be competitive.

Tip 8- Do not compare your book's success to others in your niche.

Everyone’s journey is different and one thing that I have learned on my journey is that comparison is a joy stealer. Part of the journey of being an author is you have to be resilient. If your book sales aren’t performing the way you would like, you may have to figure out a different marketing strategy. Are you only selling your book on amazon? How are you marketing your book? How is your publisher marketing your book? Are you reaching your targeted audience? If not, how can you market more towards YOUR audience? These are some questions that can help you improve your book’s success.

Tip-9 Amazon is not the only place you can sell your book.

This is a mistake that self-published authors usually make. There are different platforms that you can use to sell your book. Some of those services include Kindle, Nook, Apple, Ingram, Baker and Taylor, IPG, and Book Master’s. There are some more ebook friendly options available as well. Amazon is not your only option, don’t limit yourself!

I hope that these tips will help you on your journey as an author. I will be increasing this list as my journey progresses. Remember to enjoy this journey. Writing a book is not supposed to be stressful. Writing is another way for you to share your story with the world. Your story can inspire and can even turn into a business for you if you choose. Where are you in your book writing process? How has the process been for you? Please feel free to share and comment below. If you are new to Millennial Oaks, please subscribe 😊. Stay tuned for some future news on my book release!

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