Have you had a dream way down deep to hold a book with your name on the cover? Have you jotted a goal on your bucket list that included, Write a Book?
Honestly, I never thought I’d hold my book in my hands. I didn’t think I’d get published. When I diapered and nurtured my sweet children (who now near adulthood), the dream felt distant and unattainable.
But in 2000, I made a decision. I would write a book. I sat down at my computer, a newbie to the core, and I wrote my first novel. Though it wasn’t initially published, that book ushered in the era of Mary, The Girl Who Got Published.
I’ve published over twenty books since then. And I have to say, the rush of receiving the next book is exactly the same as holding the first. An infusion of joy! I want you to feel that same elation.
So many people want to know how to write a book. But so few EVER choose accomplish it.
But in 2015, YOU WILL.
The first thing I want you to do is find a scrap piece of paper. On it, write this:
Good job! Now tape/tack/glue that baby somewhere you will see it every day. Take a picture of it and share it with a friend. Wake up every morning with the goal of writing a book in your mind.
Starting something is never easy, but I can help you. Because I’ve walked in your newbie shoes. I knew NOTHING about how to write a book. Although I had some rudimentary skills, I still didn’t know the process it took to move from my imagination to an actual, publishable book.
If you are writing for the first time:
Then you need a guide, a cheerleader to give you everything you need to know about writing, the writing business, and marketing. My book, The 11 Secrets of Getting Published, is my kitchen sink (and then some) of publishing knowledge. It’s basically my journey and wisdom learned the hard way downloaded into your brain.
If you’d rather read it in ebook form, click here.
Click here for the audio book version of 11 Secrets.
Another thing I’d encourage you to do in 2015 is to attend a writers conference. I happen to be speaking at one next month in the Austin area.
If you write nonfiction:
…and you’d like to be traditionally published (by a major publishing house), you DO NOT write the whole book. Instead, you craft an amazing book proposal plus three awesome sample chapters. This tutorial will walk you through the entire process. It includes actual examples of proposals that sold to big publishers.
Once you finish this book, you can download the template (in Word) and fill it in to create your own awesome book proposal. Click here to get the template.
If you write fiction:
Then you need some intervention! Fiction writers are a crazy lot (of which I am happily one). When I have mentored novelists, one of the hardest things for them to grasp is how exactly to plot the book. How do you keep it all straight? My friend Randy Ingermanson has an amazing tool that will greatly help you. It’s called the Snowflake Method. Read all about it (free!) here. His software program, Snowflake Pro will help you sort your plot, characters, timelines and story world.
Randy, the Fiction Guru of All Time, also has a Fiction 101 Lecture series that will truly help you start the writing process intelligently. He writes, “But there ARE magic secrets. Not just one easy secret. Dozens of subtle secrets. Each one of them makes you a slightly better writer. All of them taken together plus a lot of hard work will make you into a great writer. Or if not great, then the best writer your talent will let you be. Talent counts. Hard work counts more. Training counts most of all.” This is the Advanced Fiction Writing Guy tutoring you–so valuable. Find his hints and secrets in his lecture course:
Once you’ve gone through Randy’s course and perfected the Snowflake method, you’re ready to write your book. Make a goal of 1000 words a day. In 80 days, you will have a novel! It won’t be that staggering work of genius YET, but with a great critique group and a professional editor like Anne Mateer, it will be. Also, consider joining the American Christian Fiction Writers. Wow. They’re a wealth of help and knowledge.
All you need now is an attention-grabbing fiction proposal. And I have a tutorial and a template that will walk you step by step through the process, complete with actual proposals that sold to major publishers.
When you finish reading the novel proposal tutorial, consider purchasing a fill-in template to make your proposal process easier.
I can’t wait for YOU to hold your books in your hands. If, by the end of this process, you end up not going with a traditional publisher and would like to self publish your book, here are some free helps to get you started:
For a Physical, Hold-it-in-Your-Hands book:
To Publish Your Ebook:
I hope this little book writing pep talk has helped you. I do believe you will HOLD YOUR BOOK in your hands in a year’s time. Write that goal down. Then use these tools (and others like them) to learn the craft of writing. Write consistently, working up to 1000 words a day. And join a critique group either nearby or online.
With so much change, you might think the publishing process could become doom and gloom. But the great news is that now you have more chances to publish, and the field is wide wide open to independent authors. If you’d like to learn more about the process, join the Christian Indie Author’s facebook page. (Request to join).
But first, friend, write. Write like the wind!
I look forward to seeing and/or holding your book! You can do this!!!