Thought About Writing a Book? Not Sure Where to Start?


Thought About Writing a Book? Not Sure Where to Start?

“So, you have ideas in your head, or a book draft started. But you have questions about the next steps to getting published. I’m about to answer all your questions, and a few you may not have thought of yet.” - Make sure to save this page for future reference.

Below I’m going to discuss everything from writing your first draft, to more advanced topics like royalties and sales from book distributions. But to help as much as possible, I’m going to start at the beginning and work up to the more complicated subjects. If at any time you have questions beyond what I answer here, please reach out to me. Consultations are always free. Contact me here

The first step to writing a book is getting your ideas on paper!
Getting your ideas on paper can be the easiest part, or the most difficult depending on how you approach it. Just like learning to drive a car, the easiest part “should be” simply getting in the driver’s seat. So, let’s get you in the writers-seat and get those ideas on paper! Don’t stress over the format, or if you are using proper grammar and spelling - your Editor will handle all of that for you. “YES, your Editor!” Every writer no matter how big or how small must have an Editor. Without an Editor you will be committing literary recklessness. The job of an Editor is to ensure the material you write has a good flow and is enjoyable to read. 

Decide where your main document is going to live.
Will you be using a laptop, a tablet, a spiral notepad, or a smart phone? - Yes, people have written entire manuscripts on smartphones! Once you decide where your manuscript is going to live, think about how it will get backed-up. There is nothing worse than putting work into a writing project, only to have it mistakenly deleted, or lost. The easiest way to back up your work is to email yourself the latest draft at the end of each significant writing session. You can also backup on to a thumb drive or use one of the popular cloud services to secure a backup copy. But however you do it, back up your work!

Make time to write every day.
Choose a specific time that you will dedicate to writing regularly. Whether it be first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, or in the evening before bed, stay consistent. If you are having troubles staying focused, I also offer Writing Coach services. As your Writing Coach I can check in with you and help ensure that you stay on track. This can be done via email, text, or phone. Sometimes writers just need someone to walk with them through the journey of writing their book. I have coached others to successfully publishing their books and can do the same with you!

Cut out needless distractions.
While you are creating your literary treasure, do it justice by staying focused. Turn off the television, close social media sites, find a place of peace so that your ideas can flow. Like most things that need full-attention to produce a great outcome, writing is especially important that you get in a zone. 

Pour out your heart and soul on paper! Don’t hold back anything!
Wow, that thought can be scary for many people. But remember, only you are looking at your writing in the beginning. There will be time to remove things later, but don’t censor yourself now. Your best work will be produced when you lay it all on the line. Give it your all! - I will repeat, there multiple chances to remove things later. But right now, we just need to get the first full draft completed. Contact me today and I will help you do this!

Don’t get hung-up on punctuation, grammar, or spelling!
I cannot stress this enough! Leave this to your editor. Too many people get embarrassed or reluctant to write because they feel they lack so called "proper English” writing skills. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, most famous writers have mediocre English skills. What you see in books is the final product after both editing and proofreading has been applied.
Click here to read Different Levels of editing Explained.

Think of yourself as a writer.
If you start jogging, you become a jogger. If you start painting, you become a painter. So now that you are writing, you are now a writer. Refer to yourself as a writer because that is what you are!

Now start writing and write often.
Before you know it, you will have thousands of words written down. Even on those days when you think you don’t have time, or the ideas are not flowing, open your document anyway. You will be surprised to find that simply revisiting your work will often prompt ideas.

So how much should you write?
That depends on what type of material you are writing.

  • A decent size for a self-help book should be between 8,000 – 25,000 words. 
  • A typical memoir is between 20,000 - 30,000 words; and can go as high as 60,000 words. 
  • A fictional novella should be between 18,000 and 40,000 words. 
  • A typical fictional novel should be between 40,000 and 80,000 words but can go as high as 100,000 on the top end. 
  • Alice Walker’s, “The Color Purple” is 69,310 words.
  • Arthur C. Clarke's, “2001: A Space Odyssey” is 58,290 words.
Note: You can see your total word count at the bottom of the page in Microsoft Word.

How much does it cost to have an Editor review my book?
It should always be FREE to have an editor look over your book. It should also be free to give you a quote. If someone wants to charge to review your writing, they are a scam, run and don’t look back. Contact me today to have your manuscript reviewed for FREE.

How much does editing cost
Editing prices will depend on the length of your manuscript and how much work is needed. There is no single formula for quoting editing because every writer is extremely different. Think of editing cost like hiring a gardener to mow your grass. It needs to be done, and when it’s finished you know it was worth the small price you paid.

How long does it take to get a book published and printed?
The publishing and printing process is fairly simple and does not take much time once the final manuscript is complete. I have helped people publish books in as little as 30 days once all the pieces are in place.

When should I start thinking about a book cover?
You can think about book cover ideas from the beginning, but don’t lock yourself in to any one idea. There are certain book cover themes and color combinations that attract readers more than others. I have spent years studying graphic design and marketing. I can help you in choosing the right cover design when the time comes.

How many books will I sell and how much money will I make?
The number of books you sell is dependent on you. Books don’t sell themselves. First time authors must believe in their book for it to be successful. If you don’t believe in it, nobody else will! I can help you with promotion and marketing tools, before and after your book gets published. The amount of money you make from royalties depends on the method of publishing you choose. Contact me today and I will go into greater detail.

So, let’s get started!
Contact me now – Even if you just have an idea, I can help get you going. Don’t put it off another day! 

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Warm Regards,

John A. Huguley
Freelance Editor and Writer

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