Although most writers know exactly what form their project will take, a few feel unsure. They may ask questions like: Is it a memoir? A how-to book? An e-book? Do I only have enough information for an article? Is my article actually an essay? For these people, the first few blog posts of Write Nonfiction in November (WNFIN) will explore different types of projects you might take on during the month or offer tips on getting started on a project.
Today, John Kremer, author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books and an expert on book marketing, discusses how to write a book. Last year during WNFIN he offered two posts on creating relationship to help sell books. When I asked him to participate in WNFIN again this year, I expected another post on marketing. I was surprised when he turned in this one, but he said it logically followed last year’s posts. Of course, before you can market a book, you must have one—or at least the start of one. You must have content. And John knows all about writing books and providing great content.
So, for the first guest blog post we start off the month with John’s great tips on how to begin writing the longest writing form of all: a book.
8 Tips for Would-Be Book Authors
By John Kremer
If you are thinking of writing a book but don’t yet know how to go about it or how to get started, know this: The desire is enough. If you have a passion for your topic, you can write a book. Start simply.
Here are eight tips to get you started.
1. Begin by reading a lot of books on the subject you want to write about. Get educated. Discover what others have written so you can make your book better, different, or more targeted.
If you are writing a memoir, then read good books in your genre. Read some of the classics as well as some more recent titles. Get to know the history and current style of the genre you want to write.
Similarly, if you are working on other types of nonfiction, read bestselling or highly recommended books on your specific topic. Again, read some classics as well as some more recent books.
2. Sit down and start writing. Write one to four pages a day. Don’t worry about how good it is. Just get started writing. And write every day.
3. Outline your book. Once you’ve gotten a week or two worth of writing collected, begin to outline how you want to write your book. Outline the chapters or step-by-step description you want to focus on. For memoir, develop and outline your plot, setting, and major characters.
4. Start at the beginning. Once you have an idea of the whole shape of your book (chapter by chapter outline or a plot), now begin writing your book. Start at the beginning of the book (for nonfiction, you can write the introduction later; start with the nuts and bolts content for your book). Write something every day. Set aside some time to write.
5. Research as you write. If you find as you write your book that you need to do some more research, do that now. Then go back to writing.
6. Get feedback from someone you trust, someone who will not criticize but who can give you honest feedback about your writing style as well as the content of your book.
7. Don’t give up. If you write four pages a day, you’ll have a book in less than six months. If you write five pages a week, you’ll have a book within a year.
8. Create content, no matter the format. If you can’t write a book despite all this advice, then create a tape, do a video, write a blog, create a new website, interview others. Get your content and inspiration out somehow. You can always write a book later.
About the Author
Book marketing expert John Kremer is the owner of Open Horizons. He is the author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, The Complete Direct Marketing Sourcebook, High-Impact Marketing on a Low-Impact Budget, Do-It-Yourself Book Publicity Kit, and Celebrate Today.
As a book marketing consultant, his clients include a self-published author who has sold over two million books, a new age publisher with 60 titles, and a $100 million publisher with a rapidly growing list of 1,000 titles.