Book Creation

Advice from Your Future Self on the Publishing Process

You did it! You’re a published author. It was a long road, full of twists and turns and the unexpected, but you came out the other side and can now find your book among the other titles you’ve admired for years. There are things you probably wish you’d known at the beginning of this process that you know now. Some advice from your future, published self to your past, unpublished self might include the following:

  1. Your book will not be what you envisioned; it will be better.
  2. The publishing process will take longer than you think.
  3. There are more moving parts to the process than you imagine.

How to Turn Your Darlings into Responsible Adults

Stephen King once wrote, “Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” This is advice often given  to writers. It means you should get rid of your most cherished and self-indulgent passages for the good of your prose. But maybe that’s a bit extreme. Maybe you don’t have to kill your darlings; maybe they just need to be turned into responsible adults.

How to Make Your Book Unique

Hundreds of books are published every day in a seemingly endless variety of formats and platforms, so it is essential that you find ways to make your book stand out from the crowd—whether that crowd is in the airport, the bookstore, or online. The good news is that readers are always on the lookout for something new. Differentiating your book from the competition will help ensure that your book doesn’t get lost among the other books in its genre. 

Make Your Book Readable, Digestible, and Actionable

Once you’ve determined why you want to write a book and have found your ideal target audience, your next step is to ensure that your book is useful to that audience. You’ll determine your reader’s pain points and how you’ll address them. This is your unique contribution, the selling point of your book, but it has to be presented in a way that lets your reader absorb it effectively. As you write your book, keep in mind that for your message to connect with your audience, it must be readable, digestible, and actionable. 

Understanding Book Indexes

One of the elements of a book that doesn’t get spoken of much is the index. An index is essentially a roadmap to the book, listing names, places, and things in alphabetical order and giving the page numbers associated with each topic. For nonfiction books, packed with valuable information, a well-made index can help quickly direct the reader to the information they’re trying to find.

How to Identify Your Book’s Audience

If you ask many first-time authors who they imagine will be reading their book, you’re likely to get “There’s something in this for everyone” as an answer. Although this is a nice idea, it’s untrue. The old adage that trying to please everyone leads to pleasing no one is particularly relevant here. By trying to appeal to too broad an audience, you may undercut your book’s success.