Are you thinking of making the switch from writing articles to writing books? Your writing skills are established, so changing the form in which you write is easy. Discover how in this article.
Writing books (traditional books and ebooks) is easier than writing articles. This is simply because you need fewer ideas. A book is constructed around one central idea; with articles, you need to come up with a fresh idea and slant for each article.
So let’s look at how you can make the switch from writing articles to writing books.
1. Writing Made Easy With a Word and Chapter Count
Start by deciding on a word count for the completed book. If you’re a new novelist, for example, aim for a word count of around 80,000 words. Many publishers give you a word count to aim for in their guidelines. Be aware that this publisher’s word count is not a suggestion: it’s a rule, so stick to it.
If you’re writing an ebook, a good word count to aim for is around 30,000 words. In article terms, this equals around 60 500-word articles.
Thinking in terms of article word counts when you’re developing a book project makes the project seem less intimidating.
2. What’s the Destination? Write a Blurb
Next, write a blurb for your book. This is your book’s description. Keep it under 50 words. It’s vital that you create a blurb. Books tend to morph as you write them. A blurb gives you a destination; without it, you’ll get lost.
Visit a bookstore and read the blurbs on the back covers of books to see how a blurb is written, then write your own.
3. Planning With Index Cards: Create Article Titles
I plan most of my books with index cards. The cards are portable; I can toss a bundle of cards into my bag and take them with me. Then, when I get an idea for the book, I just fill out the cards.
Use your cards initially to create article titles. These “articles” will actually be your chapters.
4. Start Writing to Prime the Pump
Just like eating an elephant, you write a book a bite at a time. I always leave the file of my current book project open; I write 50 or 100 words here or there, and manage to complete the book while working with my writing students or copywriting clients.
You can do this too. Just fit writing your book into your day as best you can. Your index cards will come in useful here. I know one writer who wrote an entire book on index cards on the train to and from work; he transcribed his cards in the evenings at home.
So there you have four ideas to help you to make the switch from writing articles to writing books.
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Want to develop a six-figure writing income?
The September 2007 issue of The Writer had a great story: â€œSecrets Of The Six-Figure Freelancersâ€. The storyâ€™s wonderful because it shows you the potential of a freelance writing career; with the development of the Web and its unlimited markets, if you can write, you can make a great income as a freelance writer.
I chuckled when I read the story because many writers think a â€œsix figure incomeâ€ is hype. Either that, or they think that a great income is reserved for copywriters, or genre novelists, or other specialist writers.
The fact is that YOU can develop a six-figure writing career: you just need to know that itâ€™s possible to earn $250,000 a year and more as a freelance writer, and then make that your goal.
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