Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Five Crucial Things You Need to Know about writing a book

Greenacre Writers Guest Blog by Lisa Cherry

About two years ago I was standing in front of a small group giving a talk about the book I had just written when someone asked the question “how many books do you think you will write?” Without a thought, I replied “12”. I almost had to turn around to see who this person was that was answering questions on my behalf like that.
So there we have it. I am to write 12 books it seems and as I am just about publish book number 3 I thought a reflection on how I’ve made this happen to so far would be useful for anyone out there thinking about embarking on this journey of writing!
1.       It’s a project. If writing a book were only about the writing, I might attempt one every six months. You need a robust and tolerant team and the skill to pull it all together. As a guide, if you’re self-publishing, at the very least you need:

·         A proof reader (you can’t do this yourself even if you proof read)
·         An editor (you also can’t do this even if you’re an editor, you’re too close)
·         An isbn number or publisher
·         A designer (are you a graphic designer?)
·         A book cover creator (are you an artist)
·         A printer (do you have the machinery?)

2.      You’re not shit. It’s important that you know that the little voice in your ear telling you that no-one would want to read your stuff anyway, isn’t real. Give it a name and tell it to go away please, as you’re busy.

3.      Your book is now your business. Unless one of the big 6 publishers has published you, you’re going to be marketing your own books whether you self-publish or are published by a small firm. They are likely to want to see what sort of a ‘platform’ you have before they even look at your work and the developing of your platform needs to start long before the book is published.

4.      You need to able to set clear boundaries in your personal life.  Writing a book means people have to understand that you’re not available in the same way as you might have been before. Chances are that you’re doing this alongside the rest of your other life/work so ‘leave me alone, I’m writing’ needs to be understood for what it is and not taken personally.

5.      Writing a book will take you on an emotional journey, a professional self-styled degree in all things book writing, marketing and publishing and a personal learning opportunity you could never have imagined possible. Put it this way; it’s not for the feint hearted but if you want to be part of something that is a game-changer, then writing a book might be just what you’re looking for!

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