As I tell people, my first book took 17.5 years to complete – 10 years thinking about it, 5 years talking about it, 2 years stressing about it, and 6 months writing, editing, formatting and self-publishing. Many of you may have had a similar experience. The creative process from start to finish can be challenging, time consuming and more than a little frustrating for first-time authors.
However, it doesn’t have to be such a mind numbing experience. Here are some critical things to consider to help you get started.
- Do I self-publish or enlist a publisher to get my book to market? The short answer is it depends on your specific goals. Here is an article that addresses the pros and cons of each approach http://onforb.es/1uuP7s4. I elected to self-publish my initial book via https://www.createspace.com/. Their team of experts were excellent to work with and they offered comprehensive services to help you complete and publish your book.
- Should I hire a Book Coach to help me through the book writing process? In hindsight, my answer would be ABSOLUTELY! For example, my good friend Michelle Prince is a best selling author and self-publishing expert. She hosts “Book Bound Workshops” in selected cities across the U.S. to help new authors write, self-publish and market their books http://www.bookboundworkshop.com/. Why reinvent the wheel like I did, get expert advice.
- What other services should I outsource? Unless you are an editor, graphic designer or book formatting expert, then outsource these services as well. This will enable you to focus primarily on the book’s outline, research and writing. If you can, work with an editor who is also adept at formatting. This will cut down the number of “hand-offs” required during the editing and formatting processes.
- Should I write, type or speak my book’s content? It depends on which tool works best for you. For me it was speaking. The first couple months I struggled with the keyboard and only got as far as Chapter 3. Then I converted to speech-to-text using a Sony portable voice recording device and Dragon Premium software http://www.nuance.com/index.htm. This helped me dramatically reduce the completion time on the balance of the chapters.
- What is the best word processing software to use for book writing? Again, it depends. (Google “best word processing software for book writing” and you’ll see what I mean.) This question will probably be answered when you select a book editor. However, we used Microsoft Word and encountered problems in the editing and formatting stages due to font changes, different releases of the software and my lack of familiarity with “blank pages” in the alignment of new chapters.
- If I decide to self-publish, how do I market and promote my new book? You’ll want to cover the waterfront and develop a detailed marketing and promotional plan to help drive the launch activities and ongoing book sales. Consult with your book coach and other subject matter experts for support. (Google “how to market and promote your book” for access to additional free and fee-based resources.)
Finally, allow yourself the time needed to tell your story the right way, particularly if any of the final content included requires “Permissions” or right to use authorization from other sources – i.e. authors, publications or organizations. These approvals can take 60-90 days or more to obtain.
I hope the information shared here has been valuable. While writing a book can be a time consuming and arduous process, it is also a very rewarding experience to hold that bright, shiny new cover in your hands for the first time and realize, “You did it!”
Wishing you great success with the writing and publishing of your new book. Please keep me posted on the experience of getting your first book out the door.
Enjoy the journey!
COPYRIGHT © 2015-21 John Carroll