I often from people that they want to write a book, but most of them never will publish anything. They aren't committed to creating a book. They think that some day, they might get something together. To author a book, you have to be committed to the project with your heart and soul. You have to be willing to follow through on the steps: idea, outline, research, compiling, book cover design, editing and marketing.
Often, people are overwhelmed and think writing a book is daunting. It doesn't have to be that hard. Break up the project in to smaller pieces to make it less overwhelming. This is exactly what teachers tell their students who feel overwhelmed. The same is true with writing.
Idea – Whether you want to write about ministry or persecution, think about your idea. Brainstorm how you can fertilize the idea. Write down the key points you want to make and determine whether your idea has merit. Pray about it. Write about it in a journal. Eventually, you will see that the idea is worthy of you.
Outline – Authors work with outlines, partial outlines or no outlines. Whatever way you think is best, do that. If you are comfortable working with an outline, do it. If you are comfortable just writing, then do that too. Some people like to have a rough idea on how to go about finishing their book, such as writing chapter titles or topics for chapters. In The Dressing Table, the outline was the sections of the cookbook and possible story ideas for each section.
Research – For nonfiction books, you have to do research. You should have at least 10 sources quoted or referenced. Taking the time to do thorough research will allow you to be able to write more effectively, and you will write more easily without getting blocked. Research will also show your reader that you know what you are saying. You will become an expert, and experts are more likely going to sell copies of books.
Compiling – This is usually the hardest part for people. I usually recommend that authors write 10 pages a day to make the task of compiling less daunting. For a typical 250-page book, this 10 page-a-day task means that in less than a month, you will have finished your first draft. Remember that 250 pages are usually 6x9 or 5.5x8.5, so you are really writing half pages a day. It might mean you need more help and focus. Hire a coach to help you direct your writing to completion. You also might want to ask God for help. I regularly ask for God's grace. I didn't know what this week's blog was going to be. I ask God to help me think of a topic. Then, I started thinking about commitment.
Book Cover Design – To be marketable, books should be professionally edited, and the covers should be designed by a professional book cover designer. Graphic designers are great; artists are great too. Book cover designers know graphics art and how it would look on a cover, the spine and the back. They also know how to deal with the printers. Your book would look great and you would get comments about it. And, let's face it. People do judge books by their covers.
Editing – Professional editors will make sure your book flows from point A to point B. They will correct grammar and awkward sentences. They also would make suggestions on what could improve the book or what is slowing the reader.
Marketing – Once the book is released and before it is on the shelf, marketing is so important. Many authors, especially new ones, don't know how to market their books or even why it is necessary. Your book is competing against all the other books in your category on Amazon and in bookstores. You have to find a way to be different and think of creative ways to sell it. Marketing is the hardest element of being an author. You constantly have to keep talking about your book and think of different ways to grab readers. I continue to be creative on selling 1776 series.