I recently attended an event hosted by the Midwest Speaking Professionals about what to do if you want to write a book. It was a perfect topic for speakers since so many of them end up being authors either before or after they become speakers. Throughout my career as a writer, I have interviewed, written, outlined, edited and coached authors. Most recently, I edited and ghostwrote some of the chapters in the Today’s Inspired Latina Vol. 1 and Today’s Inspired Latina Vol. 2. I have watched authors propelled to success as speakers and thought leaders after they publish their first book . For many, it is an important career move.
However, it’s not easy. If you want to write a book, it’s hard to find the time and energy to work on it, let alone get it published. One of the speakers at the conference, an experienced author named Bull Garlington, outlined a number of important things that every aspiring book author should know. They may surprise you!
1. You need to have an objective. What are you hoping to achieve by publishing your book, aside from monetary gain? (I was assured by many of the authors that there are much easier ways to make money). Maybe you want to help professionals in your field. Maybe you want to share your life experience or an adventure you had. Is the book to be used as a “business card” for prospects or as a “text book” for a course you are teaching? Be clear on your purpose before you begin.
2. You will need help to make this happen. Writing a book, even if you self-publish, is not a one-person job. Most books are produced with the help of an editor, proofreader, graphic designer, printer, marketing expert, and selling partner. You will have to do some networking if you are serious about producing a quality book and getting it to sel
3. It’s hard to stay motivated, so set goals for yourself. With his trademark wit and wisdom, Bull described how as authors, your product is words, and you should have a certain output each day. He outlined a practical way to look at writing a book –keep up a writing schedule! Here’s an example:
Say you want to write a 60,000 word book, in the span of one year. That means you will have to write 15,000 every three months, 1,162 words per week. What you should be focusing on is writing 232 words per day for five days a week. If you stick to your daily goal, your 60,000- word project becomes attainable.
4. Marketing is part of the job. In order to market your book well, you will need to make appearances, find a market niche for your book and pitch excerpts to magazine editors in order to get publicity. Before you publish, it is critical to have a plan for the promotion of your book.
5. A book is an investment. Nobody will print your book for free. Usually there is an investment involved that will have to be made before you strike it rich with your book. The return may be over a longer period of time, so be prepared if that is the case. The best reason to publish a book is not to get rich, but instead because you have a true passion to share with the world.
If you are serious about writing a book and are looking for a writing and marketing professional to accompany you on the journey from concepting, to writing, proofreading and promotion, contact me for more information.