Wow, we had a great call on how to get started writing a book. I’ve answered over a dozen of the 224 questions and comments in the posts on how to start writing and how to write a memoir.
Several people wrote to say they’d finished writing their books. What next? How do I market my book? How to publish? Digital or print? Here are some of their questions and my answers. Don’t see your question? Feel free to ask as a comment below and I promise to answer!
Terrance asked: “Are there any useful hints/steps to take between a final edit and actually publishing?” First, I would say before final edits, definitely read out loud and get feedback from your target market as well as an editor and, finally hire a proofreader. But let’s say now you’ve done the final edits and proofreading. I would suggest you develop a book marketing plan that includes income generating activities (such as speaking, teaching, consulting, coaching or something along these lines) so that your book generates money for you. Ideally, it can be beneficial to hire a publicist, but do your research and ask for references.
Mary Lee asked: “Assuming my ideas and scribbles are marketable..how do I go about the business end of a book?” Mary Lee, start with my answers to Terrance. These are ways to make sure your book generates income and also these activities will help you to reach people who are likely to buy your book and recommend it to others, so these activities feed each other and book sales.
Justin asked, “Do you need to do a book tour for your book to be successful?” No, Justin, there are so many options for writers now that you can be creative. However, you do need a book marketing plan. Rather than an expensive and time consuming book tour, you may consider a blog tour (guest blogging or interviews or blog reviews) or a virtual book tour (similar to the blog idea but broader).
Becca, Blue and others asked, “Do you recommend publishing as an e-book or print or both?” Generally, I recommend both. You’ll sell more books offering both options and some people even buy both!
Mare asked, “Hi! I just finished writing a book and it is now being formatted. Do you have any tips for promoting a book?” Mare, think about where your readers hang out online and offline. Are they on Pinterest? Or do they read Fast Company online? Or mommy blogs? Do they go to workshops? Are they members of particular organization? Do they read Self Magazine? Mother Earth News? Glamour?” Think about where they go and then which of these venues fits your interests and skills. Do things you will enjoy. Also, read my answers to Terrance and Justin above.
Eileen asked, “How do I get the money from somewhere to publish in color?” Eileen, we live in exciting times, where funding is a just a crowdfunding campaign away. Crowdfunding is where you can ask people (colleagues, friends and strangers) to fund your project and in return you offer prizes for each level of funding, such as an autographed copy to those who donate $50 or more. Maybe a party with those who donate $150 or more. A special dinner with the author for $500 donors, etc. You can theme your prizes to match the book topic. Here is a great video on crowdfunding tips for authors, an interview where bestselling author Erik Qualman offers advice and tips on crowdfunding from his campaign for What Happens in Vegas Stays on Youtube.
Several people asked about whether to self publish or traditionally publish. In this blog post, I discuss the pros and cons of self-publishing and traditional publishing.
Shannon asked several questions: 1) What format to write it in? 2) How do I land a publishing deal? 3) How do I position myself as an expert author? All great questions. 1) Microsoft word works well. Manuscripts and book proposals should be double spaced in a twelve point font like Times New Roman. Do not skip extra lines between paragraphs. 2) In this post you will find FAQs on how to write a book proposal. I also have several blog posts on how to write specific sections of a book proposal and interviews with literary agents about their tips for writing a book proposal. Search my writing blog and you will find those specific posts. In addition, I recommend Michael Larsen’s How to Write a Book Proposal to lead you through the whole process of writing a book proposal, writing a query letter, identifying agents and querying them. 3) Before writing the book, you may want to blog to establish your expertise. In addition to promoting your blog posts on Twitter, share the work of your colleagues and journalists who write on the subject. Once you write the book, these colleagues will be more likely to support your work. Also, consider applying for awards.
Did I answer your question in this post or my other two? If not, please write your question below as a comment and I will answer.
Good morning Lisa:
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I asked you for a referral to get my book-Whose Death Is It Anyway? A Hospice Nurse Remembers- You referred me to E-book Bakery and now it’s in the process of printing thru CreateSpace. Thank you. You gave me just what I needed to get started.
Lisa Tener says
Sharon, Congratulations! Let me know when I can buy a copy!
Germany Germain says
Hi my name is Germany and unlike many of the questioners I haven’t even started writing my book yet. Im stuck on trying to figure out what type of author I want to be self help where I can motivate others or a novelist where I get to create beautiful stories. Is there such a thing as sticking to a specific genre and if I don’t could it possible hurt my career?
Lisa Tener says
You can listen to this free audio and ask your “muse” – that creative part of you that you can access for clarity and answers.