How To Write A Book And Get Published: What You Must Know

Want to write a book? You can. You start writing, and you keep going. At around 80,000 words, you’ve got yourself a book. Now what? You sell the book  to a major publisher, hit the bestseller lists, and order your new cherry-red Ferrari.

That’s how writing a book and getting published works. But if you try to follow that process – just sit down and start typing – the chances that you’ll sell the book are slim. To sell your book you need to know the kind of book you’re writing before you start, and also whether there’s an audience for that kind of book. It sounds unfair, but in order to sell your book, you have to prove to the publisher that people will want to read it.

What Kind of Book are You Writing?

Most new authors start on their book writing and publishing adventure by reading a book and getting inspired. They don’t think about the kind of book they’re writing, or who would want to read it.

There are basically two kinds of books: truth and lies, otherwise known as nonfiction and fiction (novels). Some hundred thousand books are published in English each year, both nonfiction and novels. You must know what kind of book you’re writing before you start.

Let’s imagine that you’ve read a Harry Potter novel, and you’re so enthusiastic that you’re inspired to write your own children’s novel. The words pour out of you; you’re on fire. You write and write and write, and the pages pile up on your computer’s hard drive.

This is great. While you’re writing, ask yourself: “In a bookstore, where would this book of mine be shelved?”

If you’re not sure, go to a bookstore and wander around the shelves. Is your book in the nonfiction section? In the children’s section? In the romance novel or mystery section?

If you’re inspired by Harry Potter, you know you’re writing a children’s novel. Imagine your book on the shelves, right beside the rows of Harry Potters.

This isn’t an idle exercise, or a fantasy. You must know what you’re writing, so please visit that bookstore. “What is it?” is the first thing an agent will want to know when you contact her to represent your book. It’s also the first thing an editor at a publishing house will want to know.

So, what are you writing? If you don’t know, or aren’t sure, think about it and visit a bookstore if you need to. You can write a book and get published  if you know what you’re writing, and who will want to read it.

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Angela Booth is a top copywriter, multi-published author, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills on her websites. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her business books have been widely published.