I’ve seen it time and time again. Someone decides to write a book – perhaps because they’ve always dreamed of being an author, or perhaps because they feel inspired after reading an interesting article or watching an exciting documentary. Whatever the case may be, they begin to scribble away on their notes and recollections, and before they know it, they’ve finished the first draft. Soon after, they find themselves with a completed manuscript – and a sense of accomplishment and delight that they couldn’t contain for very long. Congratulations!
There are numerous benefits to writing a book. Not only does it provide an outlet for your creative mind, but you can also take comfort in the fact that you have something to show for your efforts. Perhaps the most appealing part is the fact that you can share your work with the world – whether for fun or for profit. No matter what, once you’ve finished a book, you can’t really go back and change anything, which means you’re essentially guaranteed to have an audience.
Now, here’s the rub. For those hoping to make money from their talents, the process of creating a book can seem rather daunting. Where do you start? Is a traditional publishing deal even worth pursuing? How do you market a book when you’ve never done any of the marketing before? There are many questions, and although they may not have easy answers, this page is here to help.
Where Do You Begin?
If you’re just starting out, where should you begin? It’s a question that’s been asked by countless authors, and the answer is simple – wherever you feel most comfortable. For some, that might be the dining room table; for others, it could be the corner of a bedroom – whatever area feels right to you. Once you’ve got the first draft done, take some time to think of different places you could show your work, whether online or in print. If you’ve got a traditional publisher, they may want to send it to different magazines or newspapers for review – depending on the target audience for the book. If you want to self-publish, think of the places you could show your work, whether online or in print, and consider the reach you could get. You never know who might be inspired by your tale and decide to purchase a copy.
While it can be rewarding to complete a book, it’s also important to remember that nobody else will ever truly understand what it means to you, as an individual, to have written a specific novel or story. Only you can truly appreciate the amount of work that went into it, as well as the emotions that you experienced while creating it. So, don’t expect that those around you will necessarily appreciate what you’ve accomplished, because at the end of the day, it’s only fair to admit that nobody else will ever truly understand what you’re talking about, either.
For those hoping to publish a book through a traditional publisher, the process can seem somewhat daunting. To cut a long story short, once you’ve completed your manuscript, you’ll need to send it to a literary agency or publisher for consideration. Depending on the size of your manuscript and the type of content you’ve produced, this could take months or even years to happen. During this time, you must remain patient and refrain from making any significant moves, such as quitting your job or moving into a new house, as these could impact your ability to finish the project on time. Furthermore, traditional publishers usually require that you’ve got a significant other, or in some cases, a spouse who is also a writer, to co-author the book with you. Even if you’ve got a ghostwriter on board, this can still be an overly complicated process, and for many, it’s simply not worth it. There are, however, exceptions to this rule – for example, if you’re a first-time author who wants to self-publish and doesn’t want to deal with the hassles of a traditional publishing house. In this case, pursuing a traditional publishing deal might be your only option, although it’s still not necessarily the best one.
If you’re hoping to write a book, but don’t necessarily want to pursue a traditional publishing deal, you might be wondering what other options you have. Thanks to the rise of the digital age, self-publishing has become a very viable option for authors wanting to write and publish a book. All you need is a nice piece of equipment called a print-on-demand printer, some good old-fashioned elbow grease, and – most importantly – a good story to tell. To give you some inspiration, here are some of the best-selling self-published books of all time, as compiled by Goodreads.
- Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games
- M.J. Rose – Fool’s Gold
- A.C. Goss – The Book Thief
- Joseph O’Neill – Netherland
- Richelle Mead – Vampire Hunter
- Heather Havrilesky – Diary of a Teenage Vampire
- Samantha Kay – The Goddess of Sea
- Jennifer L. Armentrrat – The Dark Isles
- Leticia López – La Llorona
- Rémi Palomaki – The Troll Hunter
If any of these titles sound interesting to you, don’t hesitate to give them a shot – whether you decide to self-publish or go the traditional route, there are numerous options available to you, depending on your goals. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what’s the best route to follow.
Once you’ve got your first draft done, whether you choose to publish it through a traditional or self-publishing house, take some time to think of different places you could show your work, whether online or in print. If you’ve got a traditional publisher, they may want to send it to different magazines or newspapers for review – depending on the target audience for the book. If you want to self-publish, think of the places you could show your work, whether online or in print, and consider the reach you could get. You never know who might be inspired by your tale and decide to purchase a copy.