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Author Resource Hunt, Day 1: How to Write a Book

author resource huntMany aspiring authors get stuck at the very beginning–they want to write a book, but feel unsure  how or where to start. Others may start out fine, but get a bit lost or stuck or overwhelmed if they don’t have a bit of a road map.

So, I thought I’d start our hunt with some of the basics–how to write a book in 9 steps. It’s a bit of an overview and will help you get a sense of some of the crucial decisions that will dictate the steps you need to take to write a book. Plus, as you know, I’m eager to show off my beautifully overhauled site, designed by the amazing Rachel C. Vane.

Even if you’re already writing, these 9 steps may provide a helpful overview of the process and give you some new ideas on how to get started writing your book, including those critical first steps, whether you are self-publishing or looking for a traditional publisher and book deal. Ready to benefit from my years of helping new authors get published by top publishers?

Let’s start with the 9 steps I share for How to Write a Book. Go find them on this website! (hint, the navigation bar has drop down menus where you’ll find the page with the answer).

Point ValueClues/Actions for PointsEarned Points
10+Name the page where I share the general steps to write a book. Use “Day 1 Author Resource Hunt” in the subject. Email with your answer.
5+Tweet the key point of your favorite step using #AuthorResourceHunt.
5+Share your day’s score on today’s post as a comment (below).

I should have taken a pic on my way to the post office with 5 packages. Here are the extra 3 I packed later. I'm having fun picking out prizes for everyone.
I should have taken a pic on my way to the post office with 5 packages. Here are the extra 3 I packed later. I’m having fun picking out prizes for everyone.

Click here to download a PDF version of the checklist to track your points.

Missed the start? Sign up for the author resource hunt here. There are prizes every day, so don’t worry too much about being behind. Find Day 2 steps here.

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
–  Louis L’Amour


Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

Reader Interactions


  1. Debbie Wilson says

    Hi Lisa! Had fun participating today. I love your new website! 20 pts. Earned today. Looking forward to tomorrow’s hunt. Going to explore your website some more. Have a wonderful day!!!

    • Lisa Tener says

      I love all the detailed comments–keep them coming. Just for fun, though, Anne wins a prize for being so succinct. You can’t write any tighter than that one word answer. And sometimes it’s a great exercise to see how brief you can be. However, just so you don’t all start commenting with one word answers, I’m also providing a prize today for the most fun or engaging comment on today’s blog post. Keep ’em coming. And, Anne, please send your mailing address to me by e-mail so I can mail your prize.

    • Lisa Tener says

      Good going, David. Hope to see your input on the blog–we’re giving lots of fun prizes away for creative entries, in addition to those announced…

  2. Tracy Wiegman says

    Thank you Lisa for all you are doing to help people, like me, to be inspired to write. I really appreciate the helpful tips you lay out in the How to Write a Book page. Determining my goals, knowing my audience, and using my goals to assess my starting point, are organizing tips that I could use more of as I move forward in my goal of writing a memoir. I have recently finished some memoir writing courses and this winter I want to hybernate with all I’ve written and the lessons I’ve learned. My goal is to become clear on my vision for my story and the audience I am writing to. At this point I am considering self publishing but as I determine my goals and my audience maybe this will change. Your #9 tip, “Time to finally write your book”, with a few questions to ponder will be very useful to me in my process. I am definitely considering your Book Writing Starter kit as a next step for me as well. Thanks again Lisa, this is fun! ( :
    15 points (I’ve never tweeted, but maybe I’ll try)

  3. Bonnie Boucek says

    Upon waking, I knew that there was something that I had to do. Something very important.

    Make coffee? No.

    Find my morning sugar fix? No.

    Get the kids ready for school? No (besides we homeschool — pajama day!).

    Have my morning cigarette? No, but that did make my brain begin to function. One deep drag after another. The thought struck me with awe: I am a modern day word pirate.

    I had a treasure hunt to commence. Hurriedly, I fumbled my way through a sleepy haze to my computer and lifted the lid. Waiting and waiting for the Internet to grant me entrance to its massive highway so I could locate my map for the day; my head started to clear; my heart began to pump faster, and my eyes began to glow with excitement.

    Sifting through my emails, I finally located my map which allowed me my access to the booty. Glancing left to right page after page I searched. Happily I found what I was looking for and could walk away with a coveted 20 points for the day. Those precious points are now held securely with the ones from the previous day’s hunt.

    • Lisa Tener says

      Bonnie, that deserves another prize. I wish I wrote down what I sent you so as not to be redundant!
      Oooh, I have a couple in mind.
      Thanks for the fun and playfulness you bring to the author resource hunt!

      • Bonnie Boucek says

        Thank you for another chance to win something. I am truly having a blast surfing your site. It is amazing as well as helpful. I can’t wait for the next leg of the hunt.

    • Debbie Wilson says

      I really enjoyed reading your post for today! Thanks for the entertainment, was very much needed and appreciated!

      • Bonnie Boucek says


        I am glad that you enjoyed my post. I was aiming for fun and lighthearted. I enjoy writing very much and sometimes I forget to just let go with the story. (Happens because of teaching for quite a few years.)

        I appreciate your enjoyment. Everyone likes to know that they have touched someone and made his/her day better.

        Be blessed and keep writing.

  4. Deborah Louth says

    I’m finally here after the site said ERROR #404 this morning, when I was unable to access this page to start the Hunt. My faith and determination won and I feel like a winner at the starting gate. A plus for me because I am not on twitter and may lag behind. The word Tweet reminds me of the cartoon character Tweety Bird, who is tweeting my favorite steps #2 and #5, here instead of on twitter. Thank you for your dedication Lisa and Geri.

    I have 15 points for the day and 45 from yesterday.

    • Lisa Tener says

      Deborah, Sorry about the snafu this morning. We made a change to the page and forgot to reschedule! To thank you for your persistence, you win a prize. Please e-mail me your mailing address and I will send it off.

  5. Nora says

    20 points today. This is a great way to refresh all the important points you teach in your workshops, Lisa. Thanks for coming up with such a clever idea to help all of us.

  6. autumn says

    I’m also not on Twitter – just can’t get into it. *shrugs* So I have to rely on email and waited last night for confirmation on my “answer” – it was well after midnight my time and still no response so here I am today. (and that’s not a ‘shot’ – I get the whole time diff thing and that peeps can only get to so many emails at a time – just saying: hopefully I’m not “late” – I did do this yesterday.)

    That said I have: 15 pts.

    • Lisa Tener says

      Don’t worry Autumn, you’re not too late at all. We’re easy. You don’t have to respond on the specific day. As long as you get responses in by the weekend when Geri is checking the winning tallies. If you respond on the specific day, you may be more likely to win one of the random prizes, but insightful and creative responses are always considered for the bonus prizes, whenever they are posted.

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