You have an idea for a book, and you're anxious to turn your idea into a full-length manuscript, and find the means of seeing it published. But, wait!
You don't want to lose most of your time and money because you hurried off to see the completion of your book. You want to ensure you don't face much huddle in the writing and publication of your book.
Thus, it'll serve you well to take some time to consider the following factors before you start the process of writing your book.
1. Why Are You Writing the Book?
In other words, what's the purpose of the book? What do you hope to accomplish through your book? If the purpose for writing the book is misaligned, then you'll be doing your book a lot of injustice. You'll render it useless before the eyes of the readers.
While money and fame are some of the motivating factors that push many people to work on a book, in themselves they're not the real purpose of a book. In essence, they're the fruits of the labour you've put in seeing the completion and publication of the book.
Reading the first few pages of a book can tell a reader whether it's worth reading the rest of it. Will the reader have wasted their money and time by reading your book? Will the book benefit them one way or another?
Reorganize your priorities for writing the book. When you do so, you'll be on your way in reaching the hearts of many people with the words contained therein. Don't look at money as the main motivating factor but as a reward for your hard work.
2. Who Is Your Audience?
Who is your book targeted at? Is it targeted at single mothers, the youth or the elderly? Do you know the age of the people you're addressing through your book? What do they do for a living? What good will your book be to them, or why should they bother (or want) to read your book?
If you intend to reach all people (irrespective of their age, gender or social status), the tone you'll use in the book, and how you address them should appeal to all of them.
Before you start working on your book, know what kind of readers you're reaching out with your book. Analyze them like you would a literary work. What do they do? What are the things they fear most? What makes them not reach their potential or holds them from achieving their dreams?
You can't start working on a book whose target is are the singles with the notion they'll benefit from reading your book when you haven't taken time to scrutinize them. Your book won't accomplish its purpose. Study your audience, and align your book towards what you've learned from your targeted audience.
3. The Cover Design of Your Book
It's not a secret that other than the title of the book, and the blurb, the next thing that will influence a reader to purchase a book is the cover design of the book. This is particularly the case with novels.
A poorly made design will result in the low sale of the book. Human's eyes are usually attracted to beautiful things. You can't blame humans for that.
If you're not a graphic designer, you should seek the service of a professional designer. This applies to those who want to self-publish their books. If you can't afford to hire a graphic designer, there are plenty of online articles and videos which guide a person how to make one. With some patience, and a mind to learn, you can make your own cover designs.
4. The Scary Blurb, What About It?
The blurb, a short description of a book that's normally situated at the back cover of a book is meant to promote your book. When in a bookstore, the first thing you'll do to determine whether you should buy a book is to:
- Read the title of the book.
- Look at the cover design of the book.
- Read the short description of the book at the back cover.
It's the short description that will add more weight to your decision to buy the book or not. Thus, a blurb can entice readers to buy your book or fail to convince them to purchase it.
It isn't a small feat writing a blurb. In fact, it is more difficult writing it than the book itself. Reedsy states, "Creating a book blurb, while still technically writing, is closer to science than an art."
It's an important element you need to consider before you start working on your book. You can decide to work on the blurb before or after you've completed working on your book. The blurbs are shorter in length, usually between 150-200 words.
Traditional publishers might jump in and write blurbs for writers who have sought their service. For the self-published writers, you're on your own. If you've been defeated how to write it, you can seek a professional writer or editor for a small fee.
5. Have You Done Market Research for Your Book?
Let's say you won't to write a book on how to heal and recover from a breakup. You have some ideas from your own and/or other people's experience how to go about it. In itself, it's not enough.
You've to research the subject of your book to glean the perspective of other people's ideas pertaining to it. This means you've to purchase books, read online articles, interview people, read expert's opinions and anything between related to the subject of your book.
There is nothing new under the sun. The subject of your book has been covered by hundreds of people. What is it you want to tell in your book that isn't covered by other authors or experts in that field? Which angle in your book will you provide that's different from others?
By doing thorough market research for the subject of your book, you can offer a fresh perspective or a perspective that hasn't been covered by other authors or experts.
6. Have You Researched Your Subject Matter?
Have you carried out research pertaining to the subject of your book? Or, are you only relying on your own experience or what you know?
Studying your subject matter will assist you in gleaning new information you might have been unaware of. Every passing day comes with new information. You can't always rely on old information or your own experience.
Before you begin penning your book, you should have plenty of material to work on. Additionally, citing experts' take on the subject of your book from the studies they've carried out will be an added advantage to your book.
Remember, even experts have to rely on other experts' studies because none of us know everything even if we're experts in our own fields.
7. Which Publishing Type Should You Choose?
Back were the days when the celebrities, the famed writers and specialists were highly considered in publication of their books. Those days are gone. With the advent of Internet, self-publishing has become a reality to many unknown writers.
It's worth noting that some traditional publishers are accepting submission from novice writers. You don't have to go through a literary agent to ease the time it'll take for your manuscript to be considered by a publisher.
You should do plenty of research on both types of publishing avenues to determine which one will serve you better. This entails weighing their merits and demerits and siding them against each other.
8. Do You Need a Literary Agent?
Literary agents act as go-between an author and publisher. They're well-versed with the publishing market thus acting as invaluable 'tool' in seeing your work accepted by a publisher. This is in contrast to authors who have sent a query letter or book proposal alongside their manuscript in anticipation their work will be accepted.
In reference to literary agents, Writer Victoria Inc. notes, "Literary agents are responsible for managing sales, contracts, publication, production (and reproduction), as well as maintaining good contacts in the writing and publishing industry, and knowledge of the current market and trends."
Don't be discouraged when an agent rejects your book for the reasons they'll give. It's part of a writer's life. When one refuses to consider your book, move to another one.
And remember, a literary agent should never charge you to find a publisher for your book. "In return for working for a writer, the writer receives a percentage (usually around 10-15 percent) of the writer's income from advances, fees and royalties," states Writer Victoria Inc.
9. Online Brand
There are several ways you can market your book. One of the ways is creating your brand as a published author, or expert in a certain field. This entails setting up a personal blog. In it you'll include details about yourself, publish some posts related to your knowledge and/or expertise, and you can sell your books through your blog.
Others ways of marketing your authorship or expertise includes creating a Facebook page, joining writing groups and professional online sites e.g. LinkedIn.
10. Have you Considered an Editor?
Whether you want to publish your book the traditional way or digitally, you've to consider whether your book needs a new set of professional eyes.
Seeking the services of an editor isnt cheap. You've to part with a sizeable amount. Again, there are different editing services. Thus, you'll either seek an editor who can perform all the editing stages or several of them. You can seek some of the editing services if you feel the others have been covered well by you.
A traditional publisher will likely reject your book if it contains many grammatical and other editing errors. Of you're self-publishing, the readers will have a 'negative' attitude towards your book if it's not professionally-presentable. They won't like it that your book contains many grammatical mistakes.
Writing isn't for the faint-hearted. You won't become a successful author overnight. It might take weeks, months or years to realize the fruits of your labour. Unless you're a successful or famed author, you'll have to practice patience.
With so many books to choose from, how will your readers find your book? When will your book top up others to become widely recognizable among people?
It takes time to enjoy the fruits of your labour, and it requires you to do your part of marketing your book even if your book is published by a traditional publisher.
Alianess Benny Njuguna (author) from Kenya on September 21, 2020:
Hey, Charlene. You're right. It isn't a joke writing a book especially a novel. What with writer's block, trying to find a twist and so on. I hope you'll complete them at a short time.
Charlene Gallant from Cape Town, South Africa on September 21, 2020:
Yes hey writing something is tough, I'm writing two novels and it is so HAR to even think of finishing one, let alone two. Thank you for the Great read!