You are itching to write a book, maybe you have many ideas in your head right now and you want to create a story but are unsure of how to go about doing so. You might have already researched on what exactly makes up a novel. Yet, writing a whole book still seems intimidating, and yes, it might be, but with the right attitude and if you follow certain steps, it is not impossible to write a great book and have it published.
Remember that writing is a process and that finishing a book takes time, effort and consistency.
By following the 15 steps listed below, you will be able to finish and publish your very own book at the end:
- To develop a writer’s mindset
- Have a suitable writing space
- Have a book writing software
- Know your main topic
- Outline your book
- Write in small chunks
- Build the momentum to finish writing
- Collaborate with people
- Write front and back matter
- Edit book
- Have an interesting book cover
- Format your book
- Prepare to market your book
- Publish your book
- Marketing your book
The 15 steps can be split into 3 sections: Before writing, while writing, almost finished writing.
Section A: Before Writing
Before you begin to write, you have to build a strong foundation and set yourself and your book up for success. This can be achieved by being in the right mindset to write productively, have a good writing space and environment, and to select the most appropriate book writing software that will help you through this journey.
1. To develop a writer’s mindset
Having the right attitude and mindset is crucial before you even begin to write. With it, you will be more focused and driven to meet the objectives you have set for yourself as a writer.
This can be done in three simple, yet effective ways.
Firstly, hold yourself accountable to your book. Establish writing goals and set aside blocks of time to write (for eg: write 500 words in the evening) or set a daily/weekly word count goal. This will help to ensure that you allocate yourself time to write.
Secondly, give yourself permission to be a writer. Know that you are not perfect and that writing is a learning process. Hype yourself up and overcome any imposter syndrome.
Lastly, let others know that you are writing a book so that they can regularly check in with you on your progress, and hold you accountable.
2. Have a suitable writing space
It is important that you find or create a space for you to write. A conducive environment will definitely boost your productivity and motivate you when you are getting less driven and more lethargic.
You can search for cafes or libraries, or create a cozy corner in your house, as long as you are able to be productive and write there.
3. Have a book writing software
Before you begin to write, select an appropriate book writing software to aid you in the writing process. A book writing software will help you to become a more efficient writer and you won’t have to worry about formatting or any spelling and grammar mistakes as the software will help you.
JotterPad is a great book writing software you can try out. Not only is it user-friendly, its many functions are able to help streamline your writing process. They include, but are not limited to:
- A full featured text editor (which includes thesaurus, rhyming dictionary, text styling, markdown, typewriter scrolling and more)
- Option to write offline (you never know when inspiration will hit you)
- Markdown syntax highlighting and preview
Alternatively, you can use Google Drive, Microsoft Word or Grammarly to assist you.
Now that you have the basics down, it’s time to write!
Section B. While Writing
This is the most tiring, but rewarding part of the entire process of writing a book – actually writing it!
While it might be a little difficult to start writing, follow these steps to gain momentum to start and finish writing your book and get it ready for publish.
4. Know your main topic
You should have a central idea or theme that you want to focus on throughout your book. You should write about something that others can emotionally connect with. This can be done by creating a reader persona.
A reader persona is a representation of your target audience. By answering questions such as their age, their interests, education level and more, you are able to write in a manner that makes it readable, giving your readers a better experience.
If you are still unsure of what to write about, look at writing prompts, write about something that fascinates you, research on potential topics and narrow down on something specific, or write about a topic that you are very familiar with.
This is an important step because you should know what is the driving force behind your book before you begin writing it.
5. Outline your book
As the saying goes: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Having an outline will definitely make it easier for you as you write your book since you can see the bigger picture.
This can be done in multiple ways:
Firstly, you can create a mindmap on a piece of paper. Set a time limit of 10 to 15 minutes and branch out from the main topic. After you are done, review and organize what you have written for future reference.
Secondly, you can choose a framework to write your book as it helps you to know how your book is structured – when will the climax be, when will the resolution occur. Popular frameworks include three act structure, chronological and reference.
Lastly, you can utilise JotterPad’s Task List function, which is essentially a checklist. By writing down the main points of your book, you can check it once you have written that particular scene.
6. Write in small chunks
Pace yourself and stick to a consistent writing schedule instead of writing everything at one go, as it is not sustainable nor efficient.
Remember to set deadlines and celebrate when you are able to meet said deadlines to keep up your momentum.
7. Build the momentum to finish writing
It is important to find and build on the momentum as you write.
However, there will be times when you will face writer’s block or have no motivation so here are some tips:
- Take a short one or two day break
- Switch up your writing environment
- Get inspiration from somewhere else, let your brain recharge
Remember that writing is a tiring, but fulfilling process! After you are about done with your book, it’s time to finish it up.
Section C. Almost Finished Writing
After you are done writing the content of your book, you need to get your book ready to be published and read by many.
8. Collaborate with people
This has two advantages
- People you collaborate with can help you publicise your book
- People you collaborate with can keep you accountable to your main aim of writing a book
By collaborating with different groups of people, you will reap different advantages.
For instance, collaborating with influencers or people who are well-known in a particular field will make your book more credible and bring more value to it.
9. Write front and back matter
While they are important, you should only start on them after you have written your story so that you can minimise any edits and hassle.
Remember to write your preface/introduction in an interesting manner, have your foreword written by someone credible, and to have well-known people write reviews about your book.
You can also include an author biography, glossary of terms and a bibliography if necessary.
10. Edit book’s draft
Once you are done writing your book, it’s time to edit it. This can be done in two stages – self editing then professional editing.
After checking for structure, readability, grammar and spelling, you can make any changes based on a professional book editor’s feedback and then finalise a book title.
11. Have an interesting book cover
Have a book cover that will make one stop and pick up. Pique their interest through your book cover. Have a creative cover if your book is a non-fiction, and a more emotional one if your book is a fiction.
12. Format your book
This can be done by yourself or by professionals.
Formatting your book is an important step to ensure that it is readable and of a certain quality before it can be published.
It is indeed a hassle to format it yourself, but if you do not want to spend so much on engaging a professional, you can always download JotterPad.
JotterPad helps you to format your book as you write, and when you export it to DOCX. or PDF. for publishing, there is no need to make any changes as the app would have helped you make the necessary adjustments in terms of formatting.
13. Prepare to market your book
Have a book launch team which consists of readers from your target audience who will help you to promote your book in their circles.
Additionally, have a book launch strategy to help build and maintain momentum with your book.
14. Publish your book
Once your book is fully edited, and you are ready to publish it, choose the type of company you wish to work with, and remember to implement your marketing and launch strategies.
15. Marketing your book
Marketing strategies are crucial here in order to drive up the sales of your book.
You can market your book through advertisements, by being a speaker or guest on podcasts, or content marketing on websites like Google.
And with that, you have not only finished writing a book, but you have also published it! It may seem daunting at first, but keep going at it and stick to a consistent writing schedule, and you will be able to finish your book!