I am finally writing my first book
Any tips from those of you that have been there, done it and proudly boast the book on your bookshelf?!
The Giving Card
I've written two books - one took 2 years and the second took a year despite being twice as long. This is because I treated the first like a hobby and the second like a project and gave it the time it needed. Some thoughts: - an initial structure is fine, but both my books went thru a serious restructuring half way through which made them what they are, so give yourself some flexibility. Form follows function. - write short, jargon free sentences. If you are unsure of a line, try reading it out loud and you'll soon find where it 'sticks' - write for the reader, not to show off how clever you are which always backfires. - if in doubt, hit delete. A friend of mine read my first manuscript and gave me some rather brutal feedback, the result of which the book was 20% shorter and twice as good. - I hate a blank page, so I often copy-and-pasted blog entries etc into relevant sections and then edited them to match the style and flow. - No exclamation marks (outside direct speech) I think my second book had just one in 78,000 words! (see?) Good luck, Gareth
If you are writing a book and you have contacts with the above mentioned then stick to their advice. I am one of the head coaches for KPI UK which includes a book writing component and lots of people have a book in them but no structure to see it arrive at published. Incidentally reframe the goal to be a published author rather than write a book!
your Blackstar colleagues. Many have delivered, some are still a work in progress and a few have cornered the market in excuses for not yet having done what they said they would do. If you can, focus the conversations with each on what you are seeking to write and record the conversation. Over the course of a dozen conversations you will have built up the content in an unstructured way that provides a basis for first draft. Whatever approach you choose to take. Take the actions, do a little, do some more and then a bit more. If you want it enough, you will do it ;) Thanks Stephen
Mike Use Scrivener not Word - a full authors tool - free for 30 days - thats 30 days of actually using it (so close the application when not in use) I found when writing my book, that 'windows' are really keyholes - you cannot see the full picture on screen. I got stuck until I printed it all out, spread bits in order around the floor, at which point I could see the gaps Getting it proofed is an iterative process - my proof corrections needed re-proofing etc etc Get someone else to lay it up the finished product in InDesign unless you are a total nerd like me - you need this to get the right quality pdf for the printer I used LightningSource for the printing. Send a pdf of the content and use their template to create the cover - job done But get a proof of the hard copy real book - its easy to get the page layout the wrong way around! My main feedback has been that the typeface is a bit small. Don't be shy of 11 or even 12 point, depending on the font you choose The cover needs lots of works - takes ages so do not leave until the end - it is your shop window and main eye-catcher Getting an ISBN number is crucial and takes a while to process - but once you have it, after a couple of weeks you automatically appear on Amazon - then I just get remittances from L S - the printers do all the fulfulment to Amazon on demand. Once you have your book recorded on ISBN, you can create an authors profile for yourself on amazon No need to order huge volumes, reprints are quick to arrive and you can fix any newly spotted typos with a simple file update. I sell my book from my wordpress based www.clubsailor.co.uk website, in hard copy and pdf. I use a add-in that stamps the buyers email and name on every page of the pdf to discourage piracy. It takes a week or 2 to set up online payment collection via paypal but its pretty painless to set up. If volumes take off, you can upgrade to something cleverer. I list a few mates' books too. Go on Mick Say's up-coming event on social media marketing to understand keywords, website structure and much much more I have a talk-promo sheet I post with each hard copy. Don't expect it to make you rich beyond dreams, but it is lovely when your inbox ticks up with sales Don't be shy, tell people about your book and they might buy it. Don't and they certainly won't. I took a stand at the dinghy sailing show (mine is about sailing after all). If I'd just stood passively, I'd have sold maybe 5. But I engaged people with open questions and sold lots So create your book's elevator pitch. Mine is simply 'there are lots of books for complete beginners, read once and forgotten. There are books written by the greats like Ben Ainslie, which is like Steven Hawking teaching sums to 6 years olds. But nothing for the vast majority of us in the middle. Until now. Club Sailor: from back to front fills that void" Enjoy it, I am really glad I wrote mine. Good luck