Pick My Brain - Tips for Writing a Book and Getting it Published
You guys know I love taking what I've learned and teaching it. And now I get so many questions and requests to "pick my brain" about writing and publishing - that I thought I'd summarize a few important details in one place. Here we go!
Write the book (easier said than done, but everyone has their own strategy.)
-I committed to 60 minutes a day. 60 minutes of writing, 5 minutes here, 20 minutes there, until I completed 60 minutes.
Get it edited
-I used on online editing service called Scribendi. They are relatively affordable and have a quick turnaround time.
Find an author coach
- God’s grace led me to Scott James. He was my author coach and a book shepard of sorts. He helped me create a book proposal, kind of like a business plan, for my book. The book proposal is key. Having a well done book proposal makes a huge difference in the eyes of publishers and agents.
Research publishers and literary agents
-Heads up, this takes a lot of work.
-There are three types of publishers:
Traditional (think, they send money before you have sold any books. They “buy” your book, your writing. Traditional publishers are the most difficult to be picked up by, they take a larger chunk of the royalties. Most people who work with traditional publishers get in because of their literary agent.
Hybrid- In this set up, the author pays the publisher to publish the book, so there’s less risk for the publisher. Here, the publisher helps with graphic design, marketing, distribution, and other areas.
Self-Publishing- Self-publishing still has some stigma attached to it, but it’s lessening over time. This form of publishing requires the author to do all the big and small details. Write the book, find the graphic designer, create a platform, ISBNs, promoting, selling, etc. It’s a ton of work with 1,000,000 small details.
- Once you know what kind of publishing avenue you want to tackle, go for it.
- If you’re going the traditional or hybrid route– do your research on what publishing houses are looking for. They are not all always looking for every genre. Also, do your research on literary agents in your genre. They are also looking for specific types of authors and genres.
- Once you know who you are sending it to – send your book proposal. Sometimes they reply and sometimes they don’t. One took 1 year to reply to me!
- One tip is to follow authors on social media who are in the genre of book you want to publish. Who do they work with? Where have they published? Start going down the rabbit hole.
- If you are self-publishing, I highly recommend finding 2-3 editors. You’ll want your book to be edited 50 times before it goes to print. Your eyes do not qualify as editing. Authors are so familiar with the material – it’s easy to gloss over mistakes.
- Always check in with your author coach. They will know pitfalls and will help you steer clear of them.
- Always be working on your platform. A platform is your audience. It is very rare that an unknown person writes a book, and people buy it. Most first time authors sell books to their families and friends. I definitely do not mean to sound like a downer, but selling books is really tough. Even with an engaged fan base, it’s tough to sell books. Building and cultivating a platform is key.
Here is where things get different for everyone.
- If you have been picked up by a traditional publisher (congrats!!!! They will take it from here.)
- If you are working with a hybrid publisher – they will help guide you with design and distribution.
- If you are self-publishing – there’s a lot of work to do – but you can do it! I self-published and figured out a way!!! There were 1,000,000 tiny steps and I’m happy to coach you and teach you what I learned along the way.
If you’d like to set up a coaching session, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Best of luck!!! You can totally do this.
PS – From the time I started writing to the time I had the book in my hands, was about 3 years. It is a long process. Don’t get discouraged with the time frame. If God has put this dream in your heart – pursue it. It will be become a reality!!!
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