Have you ever thought about writing a book?
It used to be a time when writing and publishing a book wasn’t as easy as it is now. Nowadays, however, if you want to write a book it’s a pretty easy thing to do with very little money, and a lot of tools that can help you to make your book idea a reality.
This post is part one of how to write your first book. Next week, we will discuss the publishing and promotion part of your book.
Do you Want to Write a Book?
I know about some people who are reading this blog on a weekly basis that have already written and published a book, on Kindle, hard copy, or in the form of an eBook, and I know some who are in the process of writing a book right now.
However, they are other folks reading this blog that would like to write a book, but don’t know exactly where to start and how to go about it. If this is your case, then this post is especially for you.
Decide What your Book will be About
Writing a book is a different endeavor than writing an article or a blog post. You may start writing an article while not being sure where you are going with it at first, while finding your way as you go along. I’ve done that myself many times before and still do it on a regular basis.
When writing a book, however, I strongly suggest that you KNOW what your book is going to be about, and what type of market you are going to target with it.
There is no way that you would be able to sustain a 100+ page book (or even less) if you didn’t know in advance where you were going with it. If you start writing without a specific idea in mind one or all of the following situations would happen.
- Your book would probably go all over the place and nowhere at the same time.
- You would probably not be able to keep on writing for long.
- You would have a very hard time to be consistent with with your story.
In order for your story to make sense and have a solid structure you need to have a precise idea in mind for your book. This will be very useful for your readers and help you to be consistent with your writing. In other words, it will be your ultimate motivator to write, and define the outcome of your book.
Create Your Chapters the Outline of your Book
When you write a simple article, it’s not always necessary for you to have all your subtitles ready, even thought it might be helpful. When you’re writing a book, however, it’s a MUST. It’s not important if you change the title or subtitles as your book advances, but it’s very important that you define your chapters and outline of your book.
This will be the structure of your book on which you will be constructing the story (either fiction or non-fiction).
Think of a building. It would be impossible for the builders to build a building without a blue print and a structure. If they did, the building wouldn’t be able to stand; would it? It’s the same thing with your book.
No structure. No story. No book. It’s as simple as that.
This is what you need to have before you start writing:
- A theme.
- A title (that can be eventual changed).
- Chapters with titles (that can be changed).
- Eventual subtitles for each chapter.
This is the strong structure of you book, so your book will stand. This is what will help you write a book that makes sense, whether you’re writing a fiction or non-fiction story.
Schedule your Writing
Do you need to schedule your writing? The answer is a reasoning YES!
It’s absolutely necessary that you schedule your writing, because if you don’t I can promise you that you won’t be writing at all after a week.
Don’t get me wrong, writing a book is not what I would call a “hard thing to do”, but it does take commitment on the part of the writer.
No commitment. No writing. No Book.
Have a daily appointment with your book. Write it down on your schedule and don’t budge from it, unless it’s an extreme emergency.
Here are a few pointers for you to be consistent with your writing schedule.
- Write every single day.
- Don’t make any other appointment during your writing appointment.
- Choose a quiet place.
- Choose a quiet time of the day.
- Ask people in your household not to bother you during your writing appointment.
- Don’t do any other task while you’re writing.
- Take your writing time very seriously.
Edit Several Times Over and Over
Now, trust me, editing a 50,000 to 80,000 word book is not like editing a 1,000 word article.
Not only you are going to have to edit your book a handful of times yourself, but once you’re done with your own editing, I suggest that you give your book to at least another two pair of eyes. The more people you will have to help you edit your book the more mistakes, typos, and errors will find and eliminate.
I know personally a couple of published authors who have found such errors over and over as they were editing their books. Don’t be discouraged by this fact, however, as it’s just normal and part of a book process.
Multiple editing by multiple people will help you go through such process without too much frustrations or discouragement.
Decide how you Want to Publish your Book
There used to be a time when there was one and only one way to publish a book, and that wasn’t easy to do to say the least. You had to send your book to editors and they had to agree to read your book and agree to publish it. Then you had to have enough money to pay for the publishing process.
Today, however, the internet has made it so easy and cheap to publish a book that it can only motivate you to write and don’t even worry about the publishing part.
There are many incredibly good, reliable and cheap services that will help you publish your book in the form of a Kindle, eBook and hard copy all at the same time. The choice is yours. It’s not about if you can publish a book anymore, but who and what you are going to choose for the process.
To put it simply, it’s very easy to publish a book these days.
Next week we are going to discuss the process of publishing a book and the promotion techniques that are available to you.
So, do you want to write your first book? If yes, let us know. If not, you can still give us your feedback and ideas down below in the comment area.
35 thoughts on “How To Write Your First Book – Part One The Writing”
Wow…how blessed am I to have you in my life! This is one series for me. I do have to share that I have 3 books I started to write, but they went off to never never land.
It was because of those seven pointers you mentioned above. I got off on a tangent and just left it on my desktop. I did not write every day. I made no commitment with myself. Most importantly your #7. I did not take my time writing seriously.
My AHA moment from this post is that I have no structure! Does this mean that I don’t want to have story told? No. It is just that I am not a writer and don’t know were or how to start.
Reading this post has enlightened me to that one word: STRUCTURE! I do have that in a project I’m doing now and am devoted to it. I do put that structure in my appointment book and set out a special time every day to work on it no matter what!
I think I have to overcome some subconscious stuff when it comes to writing a book, and you are the authority on that one Sylviane! I read this and know I’m blessed for having such a good teacher. I’ve always wanted to write that book I have in mind, but have papers scattered and notes on my computer.
After the end of April, when my project is over, can I join the School of Sylviane? What I’m saying here is with your professional knowledge of being a writer and your knowledge of the subconscious mind: I would love to hire you as my coach to get that book done once and for all!
Am I driving you crazy? Sorry, but I know I need some coaching to get rid of that subconscious block I have for the words to pour out in a book. There is something deep that is holding me back. Sorry for getting off point here, but you have inspired something deep within me…you have that way about you Sylviane lol.
Thanks so much for doing this,
Donna Merrill invites you to read..How To Tribe
No, you’re not driving me crazy. Actually you are so sweet to me as always, saying so much good stuff about me. You make me feel like my friend Seth Layton, and that’s not nothing.
I would definitely want to try to help you if you have some blocks that are preventing you to write. It can only be due to those since you CAN write and DO write as we all know, on a regular basis 🙂
Beside the mental part, having a structure and taking your writing seriously as a “job” really helps to keep it up.
I’ll be glad to help you as much as I can Donna. Just let me know 🙂
Thank you for you wonderful input here.
I am not sure that I will ever write a book that is several hundred pages long but I do write lots of other things.
I would love to write some instructional eBooks for Kindle.
I think most of what you said goes for whatever we write. The part that caught my eye was where you talked about editing. I think this is something that a lot of writers fall down on. I know I do sometimes. I really try to edit everything I do but I can not imagine editing a 100+ page book. That would be a real job.
DeeAnn Rice invites you to read..Right-Click-Copy Enable or Disable?
Isn’t it lovely to be able to write Kindle books these days? It’s easy and cheap and people love them. I hope you will do that soon.
Yes, editing might actually be the toughest part of writing a book. This is a part where I would not hesitate to pay someone to help me. So far, I’ve written eBooks and I was fortunate enough to have friends who helped me edit as a favor, but it’s really needed, either way we may choose to get it done.
Thank you for coming by and sharing your thoughts.
When I started reading your post I was thinking book book, like novel. I took a class several years ago now because I thought at that time I wanted to write a book but didn’t have a clue about how to go about it.
I did learn some valuable lessons in that class about creating an outline and then how to go about it. Of course I never actually started writing a book and bailed on that altogether.
We can definitely use these lessons though for any type of book we want to write and you’ve definitely given some fabulous tips here. I know for me the few eBooks I’ve written I just stared writing. I know, I’m horrible with outlining everything because I get something on my mind and I just go for it.
I can use these tips though for creating a product too because they really are the same types of steps that need to be taken so kudos to you.
I see Donna’s excited about this post and maybe this will push her over the edge to actually put one of hers together. Yay!!!
Thanks Sylviane for another winner and I see this is only part one!
Adrienne invites you to read..In Search Of The Perfect Author Bio Box
In this post I used the word book, because it is not only for eBooks, but all kind of formats you may want to write for, and that also goes for any kind of books; novel, tutorial, self help… whatever…
I know what you mean by wanting to write as you feel like and when you have the ideas coming up, and that’s fine too. My advice here was more for those who need tips to be able not only to start but complete a book. Structure helps, even for those who write on impulse like you and me.
Yes, looks like Donna loved this one. She is such a doll always making me feel so good. I told her that she makes me feel like my buddy Seth Layton 🙂 You all are so nice to me, sometimes you bring tears to my eyes. I really appreciate you guys.
Thank you for always supporting this blog, Adrienne.
This is awesome advice Sylviane.
I’ve been thinking about writing a book about my work from journey but I never set time for it. I’ve got everything else on my to do list but that 🙂
Thanks for putting these steps together, it’s perfect for newbies like us who wish to dabble in book or ebook writing. You have certainly made it clear that it’s going to take lots of commitment and dedication 🙂
Have a wonderful week!
Corina Ramos invites you to read..What Would You Do If You Were CEO
I’m so glad to hear that you want to write a book. Yes, it does take time and dedication, but on the positive side is that you have all the time you need to complete your product.
Working a little bit each day goes a long way!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.
I have been thinking of this for a while so I’m very glad you wrote this article. It’s perfect since I just didn’t know where to get started and how to get started. I know what my niche market is and what I want to write about so your tips are excellent and have provided a guide for me to get started!
Thank you my friend. Excellent timing!
Barbara Charles invites you to read..4 Reasons Why Triberr Won’t Work For You – The Series
That’s great. So, this post came at the right time.
Those tips my even seem kind of simple, but one of the main reasons why people do not keep up with their writing is not having a specific and serious schedule that they are sticking to.
Looks like a lot of us are wanting to write that book. Let’s do it!!!
I do want to write a book as I feel I have much to share but I cannot seem to get clear on the topic even.
As you know I have had a bit to do with publishing books for other people. This was before kindles so it was hard copy.
We published the books for our speakers in Australia. I am not sure if I have ever told you but Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki was first a number one best seller in Australia.
Publishing and printing was expensive and of course then you have to market and do PR. I look forward to reading your next post on this.
I have never thought about how to tackle chapters and the actual writing. It seems a bit irrelevant for me until I get a topic 🙂
Thanks for a great post and I am sure this will be very helpful for anyone wanting to write a book Sylviane.
Sue Price invites you to read..Pure Leverage 100%Commissions and EZ Money Method
Yes, that would be great if you could write that book, sue 🙂
If you are not sure about the topic, I would suggest that you write down ideas as they come to you, and then analyze and sort them out as you narrow them down.
Once you have your theme/topic, just do the same thing for the chapters. then follow a specific schedule as I mentioned in this post.
Yes, you’ve told me about Robert Kiyosaki, and that you knew him too.
It’s so much easier nowadays to write and publish a book, so we should take advantage of this right?
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us here.
Thanks for the idea on topic Sylviane. That is a good idea.
Yes it is so much easier to publish a book now and yes we should all be taking advantage of this 🙂
Sue Price invites you to read..Pure Leverage 100%Commissions and EZ Money Method
Wow… Now this gonna be another wonderful series 🙂 You are right, that nowadays publishing a book is not a difficult task. But unlike writing a post or article, it’s not something that will work out without a proper plan.
I know of folks even failed after trying to write an eBook. I think your tips can be work not only for authors who gonna publish books but even for bloggers too dear. I’ve been starting my posts with the points I need to include in my post. That’s very easy for me 🙂
I have an aunt who writing novels and she does it all in old fashioned way. She write it with pen and have a favorite place for all writings, which is a quiet place. Even things are easier nowadays, I think it’s author who knows how many time and effort he/she needs in writing. I can’t believe sometimes that books take 3 – 4 years to get published, but they are masterpieces.
Mmm… Did you start writing a book too Sylviane? 😉 Aha… You gonna surprise us, eh? Gotacha 😉
Mayura invites you to read..How to Add Your Website to Google Webmaster Tools
This will be a short series. This post was about the writing part and the next about the publishing/promoting part.
I agree with your aunt. Having a quiet favorite place to write is an excellent thing to do and to have to be able to write.
I’ve written several eBooks in the past, Mayura, some for me and some for clients. However, yes, I am presently working on a self development book.
As always, than you for coming 🙂
I am not quite ready to write a book I’m still at the report stage but this is a great resource for anyone who is ready to write their own book.
In fact I just talked to a friend who is considering writing a book and she was telling me she needed an editor.
I told her these days you can do it yourself. I wIll definitely pass this on to her.
Timely information here I can share with my friend.
Well, I’m so glad you found it post just in time for your friend.
Yes, nowadays, it’s easy to do it all on your own pretty much, but I definitely suggest that she finds two people who could read her book before she publishes it. No matter how many times we edit ourselves we miss little mistakes and typos. Another couple pair of eyes is best.
Thanks for your comment, Tonya.
Great Post with great tips here. I agree with Mayura that these tips are really beneficial not only for book writers but for bloggers as well.
Thanks Sylviane for such a great educational post on writing, as always.
Neamat Tawadrous invites you to read..The Power Of Residual Income
How nice to see you here today, I was just thinking about you because I thought that you might have a new post up.
I think it may be time for me to subscribe to the blogs that I visit regularly, but the reason I didn’t it’s because my inbox is already so darn full!
You’re right this can apply for any kind of writing, even shorter kind such as a blog post or a report.
Thank you for your visit 🙂
I’m very interested in this post because I haven’t yet written a book, apart from a couple of very brief eBooks, but it’s something that’s certainly on my long-term agenda.
Your advice about having a structure is very important, also a writing schedule – I think a lot of people consider writing a book’s just too big a task but don’t realise how ‘do-able’ it is if they just write a little bit every day.
The worst bit for me would be the editing and proofreading process, particularly for a long book – when I think how long it can take me to edit a blog post, the thought of editing a whole book makes me want to go and lie down in a darkened room!
Great post – thank you!
Sue Neal invites you to read..8 Blogging Tips From Some Penguins
Yes, writing a book is doable if we take it one day at the time. People tend to think that it’s overwhelming, but 1-3 pages a day it’s not so much to take.
Then, comes the editing and proofreading and I agree this may be more overwhelming than actually writing the book. I’ve seen a couple of authors I know pulling their hair with this, that’s why even hiring an editor/proofreader if possible is a good idea.
Thank you for coming and leaving your thoughts we us.
A wonderful post on ebook writing Sylviane,
Those are really the basic steps necessary for writing your first book. The most and difficult moment is the brainstorming stage, if you get that write, then the other stages will be a bit sweet.
I’m also planning on writing my first book after i’ve set up some niche blogs i’m planning to create.
Thanks for sharing.
Theodore Nwangene invites you to read..My First Dough Online
I’m glad you enjoyed this, and congratulation on your future book writing. My next post will be about publishing and promoting.
Thanks for coming by.
hey this is a very interesting and helpful post because most of us want to write books but don’t now how to write it.this article is provide very helpful suggestion and to start writing your fist book
harish invites you to read..Inventory Software Development
Thanks for coming by and I’m glad you enjoyed this post.
As one who just published my second novel, I must say that this is excellent advice! 🙂
Having a writing schedule is crucial! I wake up every weekday at 4:30 to get my daily writing in. I have a goal of 1000 words or more in that hour and most of the time I hit it or even more. I have the goal to get up to 2000 words, but it will take time and I will need to get better at the outlining process. I’m such a “pantser” – I love to just start writing, but I’m seeing how much outlining helps the process.
I’ve also put together a team of beta readers who read over my 2nd or 3rd draft and give me ideas and critiques as well as editing helps. I would not want to be without my beta readers!
I look forward to the rest of your series!
As a matter of fact I was thinking about you and I’m so glad you found this post.
Wow, you get up even earlier than me. I get up at 6:00 AM every morning and most of the week ends as well. I think we do so much more at the early hours of the morning.
I am so glad that you mentioned your team of editors, they are vital. I know we have to disown that book for a bit and accept criticism but it’s for the best of the book.
Thank you for giving us your pro advice.
Im waiting for your next post about publishing and promoting.
I’ve been thinking about writing a ebook about Auschwitz and I need some information.
Thanks for sharing.
Great, hope to see you then.
After reading your post, I have seriously started thinking of writing an e-book. Can I do this, only time will tell but I’m surely going to give a deep thought to it.
I will surely be writing comic, cartoon or about satire.
Thanks for this great share, you moved me.
I am so glad if I could be the inspiration behind you writing an eBook 🙂
My answer to your question is OF COURSE you can. If you believe that you can do something you can. However, if you believe you can’t… you know the answer to that don’t you?
Just take a day at a time and start writing!
I have thought about writing a book several times, but I’ve never been sure that anyone would be interested enough to read it. Did you ever do any market research on the topic to see if people would like it?
Well, I’m gald you ask this question. Since I am a professional writer I did write a book a couple of years ago as the result of a target market research for a client. That’s one way to do it.
However, if you want to write a specific book that has nothing to do with target research that’s perfectly OK too, especially if you have a huge following.
Thanks for coming 🙂
Thank you for the important piece of info. Every blogger, I’m sure is dreaming to write a book but where how and when to srart it are the actual problems. You know I just had a thought that writing a book is like choosing the right niche.. the the time between writing and publishing is lifelong)
That’s true, writing a book that will work is part of finding the right niche, as I was mentioning to another commenter above.
However, you can also just write the book of your dream when you have a following and they most likely will buy your book as they are already part of whatever you’re into. I know for a fact that it works well too.
Thanks for coming and nice meeting you.
Comments are closed.