Any author will tell you: Writing is a long and arduous process. After you have brainstormed ideas for your subject matter and then completed your detailed outline, it’s time to begin your prose. You know what you planned to talk about, and you want your articulation, punctuation, rhythm, and descriptions to be perfect. But this can be intimidating. You might find yourself writing and rewriting your first chapter or even your first few paragraphs over and over again. You might find yourself stuck.
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.
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.
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.
Writing can be daunting, especially if you’re unsure of your skill level or have never written something as long as a book. An editor or ghostwriter can provide support, accountability, and guidance through the publishing process.
Once you’ve committed to writing a book, the task of creating enough material to anchor your ideas and build out a two-hundred-something-page work can seem daunting, to say the least. However, if you’re a thought leader in your field and have committed to bringing your ideas to the world in other mediums or modes of communication, you may be further along in the process than you realize.
If you have already written or spoken about the core themes you hope to emphasize in your book—in blog posts, speeches, or even social media, as just a few examples—your first order of business may not be creating new material but, instead, simply gathering the material already at your fingertips. More likely than not, this process will help you not only to determine and emphasize which themes are most important but also to discover your voice, your audience, and so much more.
Many people dream of someday writing a book, but without a clear message and plan of action very few will even write the first word. Here are some tips on how to start writing a book from an editor with more than a decade of publishing-industry experience and hundreds of manuscripts under her belt.
An acknowledgment section might initially seem like the simplest part of writing your book, but many authors feel stumped once they reach this part of the publishing process. How long should it be? Who to thank? How to say it? It can get surprisingly complicated surprisingly quickly. Read on for our tips on how to write a great book acknowledgment page.
Who to Thank in Your Acknowledgements
Similar to making a wedding invitation list, the names of people you want to include may seem to pile on top of each other fifty per minute once you start brainstorming, leaving you overwhelmed with who to thank. A good rule of thumb is to stick only to the people who helped you directly in writing and producing the book (ie: not your friend from pre-K who showed you how to tie your shoes, as invaluable that life lesson may be). Common acknowledgment ideas are family members, sources for nonfiction pieces, your editor and designer/illustrator, your publisher, and your book mentor. BPS also has a good piece of advice—“Be parsimonious in your praise of animals, too.” Sorry, Spot.