Beginners Guide to Book WritingHow many of us have the urge to write a book? I would guess the answer to be many. In today's age of technology the dream of writing a book and being published is no longer miles away.
Many online courses and video tutorials will give you a step to step guide on how to do this, yet how do we get to that point? The point when you believe the book you have drafted into words is ready for the world to see. Everything from spelling, grammar and punctuation to making sure what you have written 'makes sense'.
I have designed this step to step check list for anyone new to writing to go along and 'check' that they have taken the necessary steps to making sure that the book they are writing is preliminary ok to go to the next level.
This list is merely a starting point and should not be used as a check list for everything to be considered perfect and legally ready, rather you should use this a a rough starter to the writing process.
1. What is it you are writing?
Decide on your story genre or subject and write it down.
Some people choose to write as they think and not plan at all but others choose to write detailed plans and character plots before hand. There is no right or wrong, only what works best. I would advise however to always make notes, you do not want to forget a characters persona or description. Click on the book to the left for ideas, tips and advice.
2. Make sure you are safe
If your book is a 'self help' book or advice book it is always a good idea to mention in the book that the opinions are your own (if they are) and medical advice should always be sought. This is good practice to let people know that you are not their GP and do not know individual circumstances. Writing a book on 'What worked for you' may not work for others.
3. Write it out!
Write a rough draft of the book as best you can and read it yourself imagining you are a reader. Does it make sense, have you described something for too long?, be critical of yourself and go back and correct things you find.
4. Decide on a synopsis
Deciding what to write on your books cover could be the difference between someone buying it or not. This needs to be spot on to attract your audience. Without giving away plots or too much information you give the genre and the overall message of what the book is about.
5. Dedication page / About me page
These pages in are book are not always there. Some authors choose to have a quote on a page or some verse. It is up to you as to what you want to do. You may like to dedicate the book to a friend or loved one. The about me page should not be too personal or contain personal contact details unless you are comfortable with the fact that people may be contacting you. A business email address or your website contact would be best if you wanted to do this.
6. Checking time
At this point you will have to decide whether you want to get the book checked by an Editor.
You can hire Line Editors, Concept Editors etc to check your work for errors in plot and typo's. If you are trying to get professionally published then an editor would be advisable. You could also ask friends or family to read. Self publishing will be more easier but you may risk reviews being posted pointing out things you have missed. I highly recommend the Writers Handbook 2020 (clickable image to the left). This book is a hive of knowledge for writers and offers great advice.
By whatever means you have checked your work you will need to get it corrected. Dont cut corners and think 'It will do', things need to be good especially if you are sending it to a publisher and not self publishing.
8. Decide where to send it
Are you going to try your luck with a publishers or self publish? Everyone feels different about this and some people go for a mixture of both. Whatever you decide you need to search for self publishing platforms or publishers online. Whoever you decide to go with will have their own rules as to how you submit your work to them. Follow the guidelines on their websites to do this and to find out your next step. ISBN numbers will also be needed to look into unless its an ebook.
The look of your book cover will have a huge impact on the success of it. Unfortunately people do still judge a book by its cover and it will mean a lot. Consider colours and the message. You can get templates from the self publishing sites or hire people to do this for you.
10. Submitting process
Depending on who you are with the submitting process will be different for everyone. They will have their own check lists of what you need to do and once you have done them you can submit !! You will then need to wait for a reply as to if you will be published or not.
Good luck with your book writing