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.
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.
Need help writing your book? Get in touch today.
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