Self-Publishing: 3 Easy Tips To Write a Book AND Publish It Fast

Self-Publishing: 3 Easy Tips To Write a Book AND Publish It Fast

How long does it take to write a book and publish it? If you asked that question a few years ago, the answer would have been two years, or longer. Nowadays, you could conceivably write and self-publish a book within 24 hours.

Write a book, and publish it yourself

Publishing isn’t a race, but self-publishing has come a long way. One author, Brenna Aubrey, recently turned down a six-figure, three-book deal from a New York print publishing house. She decided to self-publish. Why? Because not only does self-publishing give her control over her books, she’ll make more money.

She says that the non-compete clause was a major factor in her decision to self-publish:

For those not up on the lingo of publishing. A non-complete clause prevents an author from publishing with another house or even self-publishing while under contract with the house in question in the same genre or under the same name.

When you self-publish you’re free of restrictions.

However, before you concern yourself with any form of publishing, you have to write your book.

Many authors, whether they’re new, or are already established, stumble through the writing and publishing processes. It takes them much longer to publish than it could, because they haven’t mapped out a process.

Let’s look at a simple three-step process anyone can use.

1. Describe Your Audience, and Write a Brief Description of Your Book

Your first step is to describe your audience: your readers. You need to know your readers, whether you’re writing fiction, or nonfiction.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What magazines does my ideal reader read?
  • What TV shows does he/ she love?
  • Does he/ she have children?

You may be wildly off when you describe your ideal reader. You may be thinking of someone who reads Reader’s Digest, listens to NPR, and has three children. After your book’s published, you discover your typical reader is a 16 year old male. It doesn’t matter.

Next, describe your book, in a paragraph – five sentences or less. Your short description keeps you on track while you’re writing. Your book description tells you where you’re headed with your book.

2. Outlining: Take Time to Plan, it Makes Writing Fast and Easy

Hate outlining? That’s fine. Create a mind map, or a simple list of what your book will contain. If you’re writing a novel, list ten scenes: the opening and closing scene, and eight others.

Writers often complain that they can’t outline. They think in terms of high school outlines. Your book outline isn’t anything like an outline you created in school. It’s just a tool to kickstart your thinking.

Go to Amazon, and look at the tables of contents of books which are similar to yours. If you’re writing a novel, count the chapters of similar novels on Amazon.

Your book description tells you where you’re going. Your outline is the tentative route which will take you there. I’ve been writing books for many years: outlines help. Look on your outline as a guarantee that you’ll complete your book.

Your completed book will be nothing like your outline. Feel free to change it at will.

Outline done? Start writing. Create a schedule, and stick to it.

3. Create Your Ebook’s Cover, Write the Meta Data, and hit Publish

You book may take just a week to complete, or it may take months. Either way, now’s the time to create an “ecover”, an Amazon catalog and cover image. Amazon has a useful Cover Creator, with gallery images, or you can use your own image.

Write the meta data for your book: its description and keywords. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing Help system gives you information on how to do this.

Once you’ve completed your book, and have revised it, you’re ready to publish. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) accepts books in MS Word DOC and DOCX formats, as well as in HTML, and in PDF too.

If you’ve always wanted to write a book, or tried, and got stuck, use these easy tips. Publishing your book can be as easy as one, two, three. Get started today.

NEW – Master Fiction Writing: Craft a Novel in 31 Days

Master Fiction Writing: Craft a Novel in 31 Days  began as a 30-day challenge which I organized for readers in 2010. Hundreds of writers joined the challenge and completed it. They wrote novels. Now finally, here’s a program which gets you off the starting blocks, and gets you into the novelist’s game. It helps you to write a novel in 31 days.

Check it out now. It’s on Amazon, and other popular ebook retailers.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Need help with your writing? Visit our online store, or check our our ebooks for writers.

Write a Book: Your 5-Minute Plan

Write a Book: Your 5-Minute Plan

Want to write a book? Don’t know how to start?

You want to write a nonfiction book, or perhaps you’re already writing a book. I work with writers every day who get stuck on a book. Either they don’t know how to start, or they pick the wrong topic for them, or they think they need way more research than they do… their problems are endless.

Here’s a big tip if you’d like to write nonfiction: pick a topic you know, AND/ OR pick a topic you LOVE and want to learn more about. It’s essential that you pick something you’ll enjoy writing about.

Next, plan. The biggest mistake I see authors making is that they fail to plan.

Yes, I know, you just want to start writing. 🙂 Please take five minutes to plan. You know the old saying, failing to plan means planning to fail.

So here’s how to plan in five minutes.

Want to write a book? Here’s how to plan it in 5 minutes

Follow steps one to five below. You should be able to complete the steps in five minutes or less.

Why five minutes? Because… five minutes.

No matter how busy you are, you can spare five minutes — and those five minutes will either confirm that your initial idea is great for you, or it’s a complete disaster and you need to pick something else.

1. Choose a topic you know and love.

What will you write about? I’m sure you’ve got endless topics about which you could write, because writers tend to be interested in many things.

Grab a sticky note, and write your topic on it. (Don’t skip this step.)

Next, hop over to Amazon’s Kindle Store, and see whether there are any bestsellers on the topic. If yes, go to the next step. If no, choose another topic, and repeat, until you find a salable topic YOU can write.

2. SLANT your topic to make it your own.

Look at the top-selling ebooks on your topic.

You need a fresh take on the topic. What have the bestsellers disregarded or left out? Check the tables of contents of the ebooks. It shouldn’t take you long to think of a fresh angle on the topic.

3 Create a 2-minute outline: who, what, WHY, when, where and HOW.

Just write down who the ebook’s for, why they need it, when they need it, where they need it, and how your readers will benefit from your ebook.

Big, BIG tip: approach your outline from the point of view of your readers. Your ebook must benefit your readers in some important way… if the topic doesn’t benefit them, rethink.

4. Create your working title.

Try TOPIC/ SLANT + Problem Solved And/ Or Benefit.

Start with your topic, and the slant you’re taking — example: “easy weight loss”.

“Easy weight loss” incorporates the topic, and the slant.

Vital: make sure that you have the benefit in the title.

Visit Amazon, and study titles in your topic area.

Here’s one of my titles Short Fiction Secrets: How To Write And Sell Short Stories. It may not be an outstanding title, but it’s got the topic, the slant, and the benefit.

Just write something — anything — for now. This is simply a working title; you can change it at any time.

5. Your five minutes are up.

And your planning is done. Easy, right? You’ve now got the basic sketch for an ebook, which you hope will sell, and you got it done quickly.

Here’s the benefit of working this way: you’ve got enough material to give you a handle on the project and inspire you. There’s not enough to scare you or intimidate you… Avoid overwhelming yourself with information at this early stage. You want just enough information to conquer your inertia — not enough to arouse your inner editor and kill your idea.

Do another five-minute plan for another ebook, just for practice. 🙂

Next…

6. Start writing, but don’t start at the beginning.

You’re ready to start writing… BUT

Don’t start at the beginning — unless you have a great idea for how to start your book. Look for where your energy is… what part of your book do you want to write?

There’s no rule which says you have to begin at the beginning unless you’re highly motivated and want to start there. Start anywhere you like. Keep your slant in mind — everything you write needs to relate to your slant.

Keep writing, and have fun. 🙂

Want to write a nonfiction book?

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Need help with your writing? Visit our online store, or check our our ebooks for writers.

Book Marketing: How To Use Short Stories To Promote Novels

Book Marketing: How To Use Short Stories To Promote Novels

Does the idea of book marketing make you wince? You’re working on a novel, or you’ve just completed one. Everyone who’s read it tells you that they love your book. You need to get it into the hands of as many readers as possible, but the idea of selling yourself makes you wince.

As a tribe, authors are shy and retiring. Most are introverts, and extremely reluctant to promote their work.

You’re a typical author, and you want a way to promote your novel that you can do. You’re worrying that it’s impossible.

It’s not impossible. You can promote your novel by writing. You don’t need to dominate social media with “buy my book!” messages, or create a book trailer, or… Whatever. While there are a thousand things you can do to market your book, there’s one way you can do it without hassle — you can write and publish short stories.

Your simple book marketing plan for your novel: how to use short stories for promotion

I spend a lot of time on Amazon. I browse the virtual book shelves because I’m a reader, but I also want to know what’s selling. Over the past 12 months, I’m delighted that traditional publishers seem to be pushing their authors to use short stories and novellas for promotion. Or maybe these savvy authors are doing it proactively.

Either way, you can do what they do.

Here’s a very simple book marketing plan which uses short stories for promotion. Modify it as you wish — make it your own. Don’t forget our fourth step: compile your short stories into a bundle, and sell that ebook too.

A tip: leave your solo short stories for readers to discover. Don’t remove any from publication just because you’ve included them in a bundle.

1. Publish a short story while you’re writing your novel. (Make it low-priced. Or just post the story on your blog.)

You’re writing your novel. Whether or not it’s going smoothly, take a few minutes each day for a week or two to work on a short story.

Use our basic short story template:

Someone — Your Main Character — Wants Something.

He wants to achieve a specific goal. He also has a hidden need. For example, your character, Fred, an accountant, might want a promotion at work. His hidden need is to build his confidence.

Write a page or two so that the reader gets to know and like the character.

Publish the short story while you’re writing your novel.

Vital: create a signup page for a mailing list, and add a link to the signup page in the back or front matter of the story. Any reader who signs up to your list after reading your story may well buy your novel… they like you. 🙂

2. Three weeks before your novel’s publication day: post another short story.

Happy days. Publication day is in sight. You’ve got your cover, and someone’s proofing the final copy of your novel.

Write a quick short story that has some relation to your novel. Maybe it’s set in the same location as your novel, or is a prequel. It doesn’t matter how slender the connection: write the story, and publish it.

Don’t forget to include the link to your signup page.

3. Publish another short story (or novella) a month after publication day.

Publication day has come and gone. For better or worse, your novel is now available for readers… It’s time to write another short story, or a novella, to kick your novel along.

Your novel will appear on various “new” or “just released” lists on the ebook retailers for around four weeks after publication day. This gives your novel a little boost. Then a month after you publish, it drops off those lists.

This is the danger period — kick Amazon and the other ebook retailers back into life with your new short story. It will appear on the “new” lists and gives your novel a boost.

Again, don’t forget to add the link to your mailing list signup page to the back matter.

4. Three months after publication: compile your short stories into a bundle, and sell it.

It’s three months since you published your novel. You’re hard at work on another novel.

Take a few hours and write another short story. Add all your other short stories, and bundle them into a collection. Publish it.

Of course, you’ll let readers know that they can read a novel you’ve published. Add the novel’s links on the various ebook retailers to your signup page.

Remember to use social media to promote your short stories — and your novel too, of course

We’ve talked about writing short stories. Don’ t forget to promote each story as you publish it.

You’ve now got quite a collection of books you can promote… You have the short stories you’ve written, and the bundle, and your novel too.

You’re doing a wonderful job of promoting your novel, and you’re doing it in the way you do best. You’re writing. Kudos to you. 🙂

How To Use Short Stories To Promote Novels

Discover how to write and profit from short stories

Want to write short stories? If you answered yes, that’s excellent… Here’s why. Today, you can make money writing short fiction. Discover how, with Short Fiction Secrets: How To Write And Sell Short Stories; it’s now available at ebook retailers.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Need help with your writing? Visit our online store, or check our our ebooks for writers.