How To Start Your Own Book – Learning how to write a book and publish it is a multi-step process, so it must be systematic. Here are 10 steps to writing your own bestseller and starting to find interested publishers:
Choosing a strong, remarkable story idea is the first step toward publication. When you submit a novel to a publisher, your plot summary is the first thing people will notice (along with your credentials, the language and wording of your submission, and the title of your manuscript).
- 1 How To Start Your Own Book
- 2 Do It Yourself — Shelf Help
- 3 Shop Feature 5
- 4 How To Write A Pick A Path Story
How To Start Your Own Book
A publishable story is one that you read to discover who the characters are and how the story is told.
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The books that have enjoyed phenomenal publishing success in recent years all contain the promise of conflict and dramatic tension in the central idea. In J.K. J.K. Rowling
, an ordinary boy knows that he will attend a good school for wizards but also knows that the wizarding world faces great danger. In Suzanne Collins
Trilogy, children living in the dystopian land of Panem must fight to the death every year in a television show.
Both series have sold millions of copies of books (Rowling’s fantasy series is the best-selling series of all time with over 450 million copies sold). Although fantasy books that follow the trials of “The Chosen One” are nothing new, Rowling creates familiar tropes of the genre.
Do It Yourself — Shelf Help
For example, wizards see ordinary people (or “muggles” as they are called in the book’s fictional world) as strange and otherworldly, a reversal of the more common emphasis on how fantastic wizards are and unusual in relation to themselves.
There is no need to reinvent the novel to fill a gap in the market. You can carve out your own niche by taking the standard conventions of the genre and adding a refreshing new twist.
Once you’ve found a novel idea that you like, it’s time to prepare to write your book:
If your story idea requires special research, do some quick preliminary research before you start planning. You may need to do research for your book:
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This may seem like a lot to keep track of, but you can create a basic research paper in no time. Do this:
Once you feel you have the basic information you need to write, plan your writing schedule and organize your book:
What is uninterrupted writing time? It’s time to put that aside and focus entirely on writing. Many aspiring writers say they don’t have time to write, but it’s important to take the time to write a book.
If you don’t have a plan in place to help you overcome writer’s block, you can get stuck. Some authors swear by panting, but don’t forget the benefits of outlining a novel:
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If you’ve never outlined a book before (or want to try a different approach), learn how to write a book with Now Novel’s outline tool and always-helpful review community.
Once you have a work plan, it’s time to set a deadline and start the first draft:
Another benefit of creating an outline for your book is that you will have a better idea of how many chapters or sections you will have. This makes it easier to choose an informed deadline. If you set a deadline to complete the first draft in your Now Novel profile, it automatically calculates when you will finish the book by calculating the number of hours you have to write each week.
Choose a realistic deadline. Although NaNoWriMo’s success stories prove that it is possible to write a first draft in 30 days, give your novel enough time as this will increase your chances of publication.
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When you begin to describe, the scale of the task before you can seem overwhelming. It is therefore divided into smaller and manageable sizes. Some tips for writing a novel faster and more productively:
Remember, the first draft has only one goal: to get your story on the page. Revisions and edits will make the basic story even better.
Revision can be a difficult process. You may realize that the timeline of events in your novel is wrong or that the characters change their names or that other gremlins creep into the story during your first draft. Revise and be ruthless about it. Janice Hardy of Fiction University Here Janice Hardy offers a series of excellent tips for turning your novel around in 31 days. Topics include “eliminating unnecessary prose” and “clarifying ambiguous pronouns.”
Because editing your own work is challenging, it’s important to have an editor who knows how to write a book and get it published:
Shop Feature 5
Why do you need an editor for your novel if you want it to be published? For various reasons:
How to find a good book publisher? Friedman suggested attending a writing conference where editors would speak. This is a good option (at Now Novel we also have our own in-house editors who are PhDs and experienced book editors).
The first page is what will attract new readers, while the last page leaves a lasting impression. A good title is also important. Friedman points out that once you get a book deal with a major publisher, you may no longer have any say in the final title. If you decide to self-publish, you will have more freedom.
Consider some of the most unusual and effective book titles in publishing. Novel by the Italian writer Italo Calvino
Stunning Book Landing Pages Tips To Create Your Own
Is a good example. The title is curious because it is an incomplete conditional clause (one immediately asks “what do you do on a winter night?”)
The author’s somewhat fictionalized autobiography. The title immediately arouses interest with its ironic grandeur, and the magnitude of the title’s statement arouses curiosity.
Once your book has been transformed into an attractive manuscript with a title, it’s time to begin the actual publishing process:
There are several large publishing houses that many new authors want to join. The four largest publishing houses are Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Penguin Random House and Hachette Livre.
How To Write A Pick A Path Story
Simon & Schuster, in fact, does not review unsolicited manuscripts and recommends finding an agent through the Literary Marketplace here. Penguin Random House recommends a similar service. HarperCollins also does not accept unsolicited manuscripts, but has three digital brands, Avon Impulse, Witness Impulse and HarperLegend, which accept submissions in the romance, mystery/thriller and transformational fiction genres.
Smaller publishing houses often clearly state their submission guidelines on their websites. It’s also helpful to keep up to date with publishing trends.
Since there are barriers to securing a book publishing deal with a major publishing house as a first-time author, it is best to choose a smaller publisher or self-publish. This can lead to a self-publishing deal because:
Independent publishing engines can also help you get high author recognition, if your manuscript is accepted. Publishing Genius is an example (publishers’ authors have been republished by Penguin Random House in some cases or have book options for film adaptations). You can find submission guidelines for Publishing Genius here (the tips apply to the domain you choose).
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One of the things you need to master when learning how to write a book and get it published is the query letter. Query Shark by Janet Reid is a great resource for writers looking for advice on how to query agencies and editors. A standard query letter (according to Friedman) should contain 5 elements:
Read Friedman’s definitive article on the issue in its entirety, if you have time, as it is full of useful information.
To maximize your chances of getting published, create a publication spreadsheet that accepts unsolicited manuscripts in your genre along with details of submission requirements (e.g. word count, format, etc.). Include everyone’s contact details so that at a later stage you can work on the list when submitting, without having to search for contact details.
As Friedman points out, you’ll receive different types of responses, some rejected (even J.K. Rowling received 12 rejections before the Bloomsbury publisher’s daughter demanded to know more.
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If your book isn’t accepted for publication the first time, don’t worry. You are in the company of 99.99% of aspiring writers. Go ahead and submit your manuscript once it’s polished and you have a good story idea.
If there is a reason in your rejection letter that explains why your book is not right for you, write it down. Maybe with a few small changes your book will be accepted on the next try. Also consider self-publishing. While this won’t give you the credibility of having the backing of a major publishing house, it’s a great way to develop a dedicated audience. Read the pros and cons of self-publishing on Amazon for more information.
Join our structured course, How to Publish and Promote a Novel, which will teach you everything you need to know to create a publishing plan and launch your book.
Jordan is a writer, editor, community manager, and product developer. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature and a bachelor’s degree in English literature and music from the University of Cape Town. Start a free trial, then enjoy 3 months
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