I always speak with people at the events I attend about writing books. So many people have “books” in their heads but don’t know where to start! I understand! Writing the book is the hardest part of the whole publishing process!
There’s really no correct way to write a book because each author’s mind works differently. My mind works best in outline form. I can draft logical steps for projects and create a chapter outline for books this way. Some author’s prefer a free form of mind mapping. I’ve used mind mapping successfully too. On especially difficult projects mind mapping gives me the “big picture” of a project or what a book might entail. From there I can create the outline format to follow. Either way, just get the information on the page!
At first don’t stress over format, just get those thoughts out and written down. They don’t even have to be in any logical order or flow. Just capture them. You can assemble them later into a flow that makes sense.
There are some wonderful free mind mapping applications on the internet, just Google “Free mind mapping software.” There are applications for your smart phone as well that are cloud based so you don’t have an excuse not to work on your book.
Or go old school, grab a pen and a piece of paper and start drawing!
Seth Godin founder of the Domino Project offers sage advice to authors and aspiring author in this blog post –
Worth the quick read.
As I do every year I make a slew of resolutions. Some actually stick, some just dissolve instantly. My biggest goal this year to make my writing a priority. I have had a hiatus of sorts last year due to circumstances that got out of control (that’s another blog post). So this year I’m back on track, blogging, Tweeting and sharing my knowledge with authors once again.
I have kept a journal since 1973 so writing has been an integral part of my daily life. I have missed it so. I’ve begun to get back into daily writing slowly but now it’s time to set some goals. My overall resolution for writing in 2013 is “Just Do It!” and below are my goals to achieve this:
- Make time every day in my schedule, note it on my calendar, to write. Not just for 5 minutes here or there, but a substantial time commitment of 60 minutes all in one sitting.
- Always carry a notebook and pen with me (or my tablet or use EverNote from my phone, tablet or laptop) to capture those musings that come flashing through every now and again.
- To write seriously, meaning not just blog posts, lengthy emails, clever Tweets or Facebook statuses. Something serious like articles for a newsletter, meaty blog posts full of information to share.
- Set specific goals such as one article per week to share via social media.
- READ! This has fell by the way last year. I find that if I read I write. I love self-help books, business books, reading new author’s books, even a novel now and then. Anything that gets my keyboard clacking!
By actually carving out time to write, just sitting down and writing anything sometimes, I move closer to creating something meaningful and useful to share.
My last post explained the inherit differences between traditional and self-publishing options. I want to give a real life example of the “Author Beware!” title for this post.
I was hired by an author to be a liaison for him and his publisher. I was in awe after just a couple of days of reviewing his contract, seeing the amount of money he had paid and realizing he had been dealing with this publisher for over a year to get book published. Once I stepped in and began to push back on the publisher’s staff he now has a release date for his book in this month (January 2013).
My point here, as an author do your homework, meaning just Google the company. Google “complaints (company name)” and see what happens. My author did this found they had 89 open complaints. Not good.
As an author you need to beware of these things. Don’t waste $30,000 to get a 185 page book printed when you can easily do it as a self-published author for about $6,000 AND still retain all the control, rights and royalties.
Ask for references. Research, do your homework. If you’re too busy, and who isn’t these days, hire someone who can look out for your best interests, an author’s assistant. You will still save money in the long run.
Just as “buyer beware”, “author beware”.