So You Want to Write a Book?

If I had a dime for every person who has approached me and wanted to write a book, I would well on my way to wealth. With modern technology writing and publishing a book is easy; or is it?


Most people I talk to are excited about the thrill of writing and publishing their book but what they don’t realize is the amount of work it takes to market the book. As an independent author you are responsible for every aspect of your book from writing to making that sale.


Let’s first talk about writing your book. One thing to keep in mind is a word count. When writing your book you need a target word count in mind. To tell a good fictional story you need over 60,000 words. Anything less and you may do the reader a disservice.


Now, let’s clarify, some people will tell you 40,000 words is sufficient for a novel but for me personally, I have discovered that to develop your character and bring the story to life properly you need to shoot for over the 60,000 mark. Don’t make the mistake of adding a bunch of fluff that will cause your reader to fall asleep on the story. Make it good meaningful content that helps develop the characters and the story more.


There are also several ways to write your book. One of the most common comments I receive relates to the length of time it takes to write 60,000 words. Yes, it does but there are ways to approach it. The main thing you need to keep in mind when you start this journey is to write every day. Set a time when you like to write and try to write the same time every day. Start out with an hour, then add another 30 minutes or an hour until you have a comfortable time period to write each day. You’ll find you are getting more done than you imagined.


The next topic I broach with new writers is editing. Sign up for editing services like Grammarly or Pro Writing Tools. They can save you tons of money on editing cost. A good editor can run in the thousands but using a mix of Grammarly and Pro Writing Tools will save you money. Check out this YouTube video for more information (https://youtu.be/NfYZVDpTjD8).


Well, let’s get to publishing. Here is the tricky part. In 2019, you can publish your brand you book with ease. You can publish your book with a traditional publishing company or you can self-publish your book. Going the traditional route is difficult and the steps you would need to take would be an article by itself. There’s some good information on WikiHow (https://www.wikihow.com/Publish-a-Book).


The self-publish route is quicker and gives you more control over the process. However, be mindful of vanity publishers. A vanity publisher is a company you pay up front to publish your book. They make promises that to put your book everywhere and mostly they do. However, they also take 70 or 80 percent of your royalty on the back end. Here’s is a link with more detail and companies to watch for (https://justpublishingadvice.com/vanity-book-publishing-and-self-publishing-are-not-the-same/).


If you will do the legwork, you can publish your book yourself with little to know cost. Using Amazon’s KDP is one way to get your book published with little to no cost. Visit kdp.amazon.com, set up your account and publish your bestseller.


Barnes and Noble also allows you to set up an account to publish your book. Visit them at press.barnesandnoble.com. Here’s a list of other companies where you can publish for little or no money:


Lulu

Kobo

Blurb

Xlibris

Bookbaby

Bookrix

Smashwords

Draft2Digital


Good luck on your journey to becoming a publish author.

(This article was originally published in The Lyfe Magazine (June 2019). For more subscribe today at www.thelyfemagazine.com)

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© 2020 by Gerald C. Anderson, Sr.