you dream of becoming an author? Experts say over eighty percent
of people want to write a book. Why is it so few who accomplish
the task? Let's be honest, writing a book can be difficult.
In the beginning the task may seem overwhelming, insurmountable
and even impossible. But with a little know how and diligence
or should I say discipline, you can do it easily. You can accomplish
your dream of writing a book, then do it over and over again.
The author has completed the process over twelve times at the
time of this writing. Here's seven decisions you need to make
to discover how to be an author this year.
What kind of book do you want to write? Before you
get started, decide what kind of book you want to write. Select
a genre and category that your book will fit in. For example,
will it be non-fiction or fiction. Will you write a memoir,
family history book, self-help or religious teaching book? When
you do this you can aim sure and hit the mark of a completed
2. Who will read your book? After deciding
what kind of book you are writing, then you will pinpoint your
targeted audience. You know, who will read your book? Your intended
audience are the people who are most likely to buy your book.
You shouldn't expect everyone will be interested; for they won't.
For instance, in one of my classes I was explaining what it
means to pinpoint your targeted readers. Not listening, a student
and friend of mine said, "I know all women are potential
readers/book buyers of mine."
What I would have told her if the class hadn't ended and she
had been willing to listen, all women is too broad for a target.
Decide what your potential reader is like. Is she an entrepreneur,
stay at home mom or career woman? For example, one friend of
mine targeted women entrepreneurs with her business book. Another
business book author, targeted Christian women entrepreneurs
and another set out to reach African-American entrepreneurs.
All three aimed well and are selling lots of books.
Will you pursue traditional publishing or self publishing? You
must decide whether you will pursue traditional publishing of
your book or self publish. There are pros and cons of each method.
If you decide to shop your manuscript with publishers. You should
plan to write a book proposal and query letter before your book
is finished. Many experts say, the only way to approach the
traditional publishing industry these days is with an agent.
As a self publishing expert, there are three paths to self-publishing
I recommend. CreateSpace, LSI or one of the print-on-demand
companies. Again, there are pros and cons to each option. With
CreateSpace and LSI you will need to handle yourself or outsource
all the advanced publishing tasks of the process. With one of
the print-on-demand companies, they will take care of it all
for you but you will not be the owner of the ISBN. For a review
on the three paths to self publish visit http://self-publishing-made-easy.com
4. How will you structure your book? To gain
clarity in your vision of writing a book, you should create
an outline, at least a rough draft outline of your book. Then
I suggest writing your map or a content outline, a prelimary
of your table of contents. It is true, how will you know you
have arrived at your destination if you don't have a clear vision
of where you are going. Many prefer mind mapping over a linear
outline. I suggest trying them both to see which fits better,
unless you already know your preference. If you think about
it, most of us outline in every day life. We make tons of lists
(list outline) and doodles (mind maps)of ideas. Well, at least
I do; I suspect you do too.
5. When will you write? If you have a busy
life (like most of us do) and still want to write a book, use
the cumulative approach. Set a schedule to write and accomplish
a little at a time until you are finished. A busy Mom friend
of mine, wrote her first book on weekends and little stolen
blocks of time. For example, set your writing schedule and goal
to write a chapter every weekend. If you are writing a twelve
chapter book, in twelve weeks you would be finished.
6. Will you write it yourself or hire a writer?
Celebrities and the wealthy are not the only ones hiring ghostwriters
these days. If you don't have the time to write a book but still
want one, consider hiring a ghost writer to write it for you.
The writer could take your professional notes and add research
to them; then form it into a book. It would be in the ghostwriters
contract that the writer is a writer-for-hire, therefore you
can put your name on it. Also, if your talent for speaking is
stronger than writing, consider recording your speeches and/or
workshops to have them transcribed. Then hire a writer to form
it into a book. Of course, there's always the age-old method
of setting yourself to task and writing it. With a little focused
time, energy and know how, you can do it.
7. Will you do it all alone or will you ask for help?
My advice is, don't try to do it alone. There's lots of help
all around you. You will discover it the moment your commit
and start. Gerald Ford said it best, "The moment you commit,
heaven moves on your behalf." Use your talent at the highest
level; enlist the help of your family, friends, hired assistant
for lower level task like research, editing and proofreading.
Most are happy to be a part of the prestigous task of writing
a book. Also, consider taking a book writing course or hiring
a book coach to guide you through the process.
Don't hesitate any longer. My vote has been cast. I know you
can do it. Even better now, you know how to be an author. So,
get started today. Make the seven decisions above and write
your book with speed and excellence. Your book writing coach
sends best wishes for your success as author.