Since I’ve written and published a book, many prospective authors have contacted me for information, guidance and advice about how to write and publish their own books.
If this is you – congratulations on deciding to walk this fulfilling road! It’s the most amazing and fulfilling thing I’ve ever accomplished and I encourage you with my whole heart and soul to go for it! You can do it, just like I did – if you make that commitment, set your course, and take action.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions. Read through them, and if you still have questions, there is a link at the bottom of the page for further support.
I want to write a book and I can’t find a topic.
I know what this one feels like. I struggled for 2 years to find my first topic! Here are some guidelines that could help you. Set aside an hour to brainstorm these questions.
First, decide what do you want the book to do for you. What’s your purpose for writing a book?
I’ve found people mostly want to write for these three reasons.
- To earn an income from the sales of the book
- You have an urge to write or love to write and you don’t care who reads it
- You really have something to say (a valuable message) and you’re just not sure who wants to hear it
Do research on the internet FIRST about what topics get readers. It’s no good to do hundreds of hours of work and then find there’s no-one who’s interested in your topic. That’s one of the common mistakes made by prospective authors.
From personal experience, I want to let you know that writing the book is one thing. Marketing it is the piece we don’t know about when we start writing. There are 41,000 new books published every single day!! If we write on a topic people don’t really want to know about, your book will disappear in the masses. Google Keyword Tools is a good place to search to make sure you find a topic that is of interest to enough people.
Also – people are busy and want to read something quickly to take action on it. People want solutions to their problems. If you want to make money with a book, provide a solution people are willing to pay for.
Urge to Write
Start with a blog (your own) or guest blogging on other people’s blogs about subjects that interest you – you’ll start building up a repertoire of topics and from that, you’ll get ideas about which topics you could expand upon and what REALLY excites you. A book is a long term project. If you want to embark on this journey and actually finish a book, make sure to pick a topic that’s going to be interesting and exciting for YOU to spend many, many, many hours with.
What the heck is a blog, you say?
It’s a website where people write articles, thoughts, ideas, and the newest article climbs to the top of the list. Click here for my example. You can build a blog easily in WordPress, by yourself.
Something to Say – Valuable Message
If you love writing and it feels like you want to contribute to the world, and leave people with a valuable message, brainstorm these questions and write down the answers.
- What have you overcome?
- What are you good at?
- What do you really love to do?
- What have you struggled with and what solutions have you come across for that problem?
- What have you developed a specific skill with?
I worry about who will Publish my book
Yes, I understand this one too well. I did the same. I almost didn’t start with my book because I’d heard of so many people receiving hundreds of “rejection slips”. I didn’t want to put myself through that and almost made the mistake of not starting at all. There are other ways to do it!
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. ” ~ Martin Luther King
Here are some tips.
- Start writing anyway, even if you have no idea about publishing. No one ever has to know what the end result looks like to start! If you’re at the bottom of a staircase, you don’t have to know what it looks like on the landing in order to take the first step. Just start and keep going. You’re sending a signal to the Universe that you’re serious about your book if you keep writing even if you don’t know the end.
- You don’t have to publish with a traditional publisher. There are pros and cons to having one. There are other options!
- You can publish your book on Kindle and for that you don’t need a publisher. You DO need someone to upload it to Kindle in the correct format if you’re not a techy person.
- You can publish your book via any of a variety of self-publishing companies. CreateSpace and Lulu are two examples.
- The bottom line is to write, write, write. Solutions will follow along the way. Don’t let “not knowing the end” stop you from starting.
- Contact the Publisher of my own book “No Problem. The Upside of Saying No”. They publish books that make a difference – generally not novels, but you can check with them. The contact person is Robin Beck – please tell him I sent you!
How to even write the first word
- Decide on a topic.
- Write one word, then one paragraph, then one page – until your book is finished. A book is not a quick thing. Sometimes you’ll write a page a day, sometimes 10 because it’s just flowing and you’re inspired. And sometimes you can’t face the computer. And it’s all normal.
- If you feel yuck about not writing, or you’re not sticking to your planned schedule, use a tool like EFT or The Sedona Method to get you past the reluctance. It really, really works.
- It won’t get done if you haven’t made a commitment to finish! Commitment is key, it’s the first step. Download my 7 day ecourse on how to let your dream become a reality by filling in your name and email address top right of this page.
- Maybe you just need a practice run – write short things, try out different topics. Write a blog or write blog posts for someone else. Practice your writing skills while you’re pondering your topic. Something will pop up!
- I started out writing in Microsoft Word.
- Make sure you know how to use the Headings and Table of Contents features – it makes finding things a whole lot easier.
- Scrivener is a tool I found only this year and it makes the writing process even easier! You can write tiny chunks at a time and feel like you’re making progress.
- Here’s a Youtube video clip to help you get a grip on what it offers.
- Purchase it here.
Resources for Communicating with your Readers
Once you’ve written your book, you would want to communicate with subscribers so you can build a business and share snippets, tips and tools from your book. For this, I use Aweber – a wonderful communication tool to chat with subscribers and let them know about new books and offerings.
Resources for Audio Interviews
For a great, clear recording with minimal editing (which usually unfortunately takes hours), it’s required to have a USB headset with microphone, preferably with noise-canceling.
If you speak through your desktop computer speakers and microphone, we get a nasty echo and hear the hum of the computer in the background. The echo renders the audio unusable. To put your episode in the best possible light, it makes sense to have the equipment for clear sound.
Here are 2 great options:
Resources for Scheduling Appointments
I find my Acuity Online Scheduler a MASSIVE help to avoid back-and-forth between myself and clients, to schedule our appointments. It has the ability to receive payments via Paypal and other ways. You can schedule group workshops as well as one-to-one coaching appointments via this amazing piece of software. It’s really affordable for the fantastic functionality!
More Specific Help
If you need more specific help for a unique challenge or question you have, go to my Support Page, write your question and I’ll be in touch to assist you to solve it.
I have a variety of programs and packages available for my coaching services. I love being able to work from my virtual office – you don’t have to drive anywhere, use petrol or waste time in traffic. Plus – we can work globally! I have many clients in Europe, USA and the UK as well as in SA.
I look forward to supporting you along your journey.