There are a few things you should know before writing a book.
But they’re probably not what you would expect.
You haven’t even put pen to paper yet and you ask me how to publish a book. You ask me how to self-publish and how to get readers. You ask me how to format a book for online publishing. You ask me what skills you need to publish a book. You ask me about marketing a book.
But really, that’s not what you need to know before writing a book.
Here’s what you should know…
You should know the number of a great fast food delivery.
I recommend Papa John’s.
You’ll need to know this because there will be many nights where your eyes are bleary and you feel physically exhausted and gross from sitting hunched over in the dark wearing nothing but underpants (maybe) and you won’t be bothered to cook anything.
You should know that you will be ignored for a very long time.
You need tough skin to last in this game.
You’ll either be ignored or people will tell you your work sucks. Both are bad for our artistic little egos.
But understand that everyone – from Stephen King to James Patterson to J. K. Rowling – EVERYONE was ignored at first.
The big names were rejected by seemingly every publisher out there. They were knocked back over and over again.
But they persevered.
You must persevere too but there’s no saying for how long. So make sure you bring a good book, a boatload of patience, and some steely resolve.
You should know that you’ll sink money and time into this.
Time in the form of at least 1 hour a day for as long as it takes.
Get up early and sit in front of the computer whether “THE MUSE” comes or not.
Do that for years.
Then more years.
Then some more.
Money in the form of endless courses and books where you learn your craft.
If you want some great recommendations for writing courses, I recommend the James Patterson MasterClass and the .
But they ain’t free. They’re worth it. But not free.
As for books, look for anything written by Donald Maass. Again, these books ain’t free. But they’re worth it.
These will start you off well:
- Writing The Breakout Novel – Donald Maass
- The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron
- On Writing – Stephen King
- Bakuman – Tsugumi Ohba
You’ll also sink money into the form of marketing costs and book covers or you’ll sink money into courses that teach you how to market and design book covers.
You should know that you learn as you do.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew right now.
Here’s your simple homework: Get up tomorrow morning (set the clock for 5am) and write for 30 minutes. Try to get 500 words down. Of anything.
Forget all the other questions you want to ask.
Forget about finding someone to market your work right now.
You don’t need to know that yet.
Forget about finding the perfect agent right now.
You have nothing to show them.
Forget about how to compile a book or even what writing software is best (hint: it’s Scrivener).
Then do it again tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.
Learn what you need to know when you need to know it.
Don’t overwhelm yourself.