Before you write a book.
Yes, you have finally decided to write your first book. Yippee! Congratulations to you.
The next question should be , “what do I need to do before writing a book?’.
Writing a book is not a walk in the park. If it was, everyone would be an author (and we may be out of business :D).
However, it is true that not everyone can write a book, a lot of people can, with the right kind of guidance.
This is why we are writing this post to guide you on what to do before you write a book.
Now, you need to understand that the book writing process starts long before you start writing the book proper. This means that you do not wake up one morning, pick up a notepad and begin writing your book. There are practices that go into preparing to write a book.
That’s exactly what this post will be looking at.
Let’s delve in.
What you Need To Do Before You Write A Book
Understand Why You Are Writing The Book
I trust that you’ve heard the saying, “when your why is strong enough, you can get through it”. This is also true when you are writing a book. We have written a post on why you should become an author and that should guide you on your ‘why’ if you do not have one already. When you have understood your ‘why’, print it out and paste it somewhere as a constant reminder to you that you need to achieve this why.
Research Your Audience
One big mistake most authors make is to write a book for themselves instead of the audience that would read the book. You need to understand how the book applies to them and how relevant it would be to them. Some of the information you need to get are:
- Aage bracket
- The solution your book would be providing for them
When you have an understanding of these points, you would then be able to write a book that would resonate with your audience. And that already makes it an instant sell.
Schedule Your Writing Time
If you do not set a time for your writing, you would not be able to stay consistent in writing and completing your book.
Your daily schedule is definitely unique to you and you alone understand what works for you. If, for instance, you work a 9-5 job, you would have to choose what time of the day is best for you to write. Whether you need to wake up earlier in the morning and do the writing or you stay up later than usual and do some writing.
You also need to understand what time of day you are best in your creative zone, also known as peak time to factor in when to schedule your writing time.
The Writing Cooperative has a guide on how to identify your creative peak time. This will guide you on how best to schedule your writing time.
Scheduling your writing time also helps you know how long it would take you to finish your book. For instance, if you write 60 words per minute (which is the average time everyone writes), and you schedule 2 hours to writing every day. It means that you can write approximately 3,000 words in 1 hour and 6,000 words in 2 hours.
If we leave 30 minutes for thinking and collecting your thoughts, it mean that you can write approximately 4,500 words ever day. Extrapolate this with the number of words your book is expected to have and you have the number of days it would take you to write your book.
Research Your Book
I trust that you have read books that gave you deep insights to the subject matter that you were reading on. You would also wish that someone would read your book and say, “Reading this book taught me a few new things on this matter”.
If you are to write a book that would elicit such emotions, then you must do a bit of research.
You may have a vast knowledge of your subject matter. However, you need the input of others to give you a more balanced view.
Therefore, you must do all you can to do some research on your subject matter.
Your research may include:
- Differing opinions from yours
- New trends
- Your competitors’ views, etc.
Having an answer for all the counter opinions you may get would go a long way in making your book stand out.
Set A Deadline For Publishing Your Book
If you do not have a deadline for publishing your book, you may never finish that book.
So, set a deadline. Mark your calendar with that deadline. Start speaking to a publisher about that book an your deadline. Let people in your circle know that you plan on publishing your book on so and so date.
When you make your deadline as public s possible, it would push you to sit down and do the work of writing and getting your book published.
Draw Up Your Book Outline
This is usually one of the most crucial steps to take when writing your book. This is because once your outline is done, your book is half-way done.
Some people go ahead to create a mind map for their books which is like dumping everything they have in their brain about the book. Then, they would organised these materials into an outline that works.
Your outline can be in form of chapters or topics, this is left for you to choose.
Start Marketing Your Book
The mistake most writers make is to wait till the book has been published before they start marketing the book. That’s not always right.
The best time to start marketing your book is as soon as you conceive the idea. The next best time to start is as soon as you have your outline done.
At this point, the book is a lot more clearer to you and you can pinpoint what the selling point of the book really is when marketing.
You can bring your audience or readers and make them a part of the writing process. Let them know you are writing a book with a certain storyline or on a particular subject. You can create a poll to ask them what they think and tell them their opinion would be shared in the book.
You can ask them to help you choose your book cover, your characters, your setting, etc. Whatever you do to make them feel like a part of the book.
It would be easier for them to buy the book when they feel like “we wrote this book together”.
Do You Now Understand What To Do Before You Write A Book?
Now that you have gotten to this point, I trust that you now have a clearer understanding of what is required before you write a book.
The next step is to work on these and begin the journey to writing your book.
If you still feel that this book writing is not something you can pull off, then we should speak on how to help you achieve your dreams of writing a book.