Writing your first book can seem daunting whether you’re an experienced writer or relatively new to the craft. Even if you write professionally in other capacities, putting together an entire book is a different story. The process of writing a novel or any book-length document takes skills such as how to plot and how to keep readers engaged, not to mention that the publishing sphere brings many challenges with it. Even if you get the book written, you’ll likely face barriers to publishing it.
While there’s no secret that makes writing your first book easy, you can follow some tips to help you with the process and maybe even get published. Let’s jump into some tips for writing your first book.
Tip 1: Write The First Draft With Abandon
First drafts of anything aren’t going to be publishable, and when it comes to books, a first draft definitely won’t be ready. So, let your imagination go wild instead of stressing over making everything perfect in the first run. You can write a messy first draft with technical issues and plot holes. The main thing is getting your words onto the page.
While you’ll need to do a lot of work from this point, the first draft can be bad, so to speak. Even the best writers will have first drafts that aren’t very good.
Tip 2: Look Into Publishing Routes
Before you even finish the book or start trying to get it published, it’s worth looking into publishing options. Researching ahead of time will provide you with knowledge and choices.
The first route is to try and get a publisher for your book. You’ll likely need to query multiple publishers, and you may still not get a response, especially if you’re a new writer.
The other main option is self-publishing. While it might not be as lucrative and may take more of your own money upfront, self-publishing is a way to get your work out there.
Tip 3: Prepare To Edit – A Lot
Any good writing requires editing, but editing is often a months-long process for long-form works. You’ll need to look at developmental editing, line editing, and copy editing.
Developmental editing refers to the overall structure and theme of the book. Line editing looks at sentence-level form and accuracy. Finally, copy edits look at surface-level issues like grammar and spelling.
You’ll want to know a good deal about editing your own work and will need other people to help you. It’s usually worth it to hire at least one experienced editor to read things over, so plan to budget for this.
Tip 4: Don’t Be Precious About Your Ideas
When you’re writing a book, whether it’s non-fiction or fiction, it’s easy to get attached to your words. For fictional works, you may love certain characters or plot points and not want to let them go. However, one of the most classic words of writing advice is to “kill your darlings.” You’ll have to edit things if the book suffers because of a particular scene or character.
This is also why it’s important to have many trusted editors or other writers read your work and give honest feedback.
Tip 5: Enjoy The Process
It’s no surprise that writing a book takes work and emotional energy. However, don’t forget to have fun while doing it. Writing is something that writers often both love and hate to do, but the more you let yourself have fun with the process, the better the finished product will be.