When I was about 7 years old I started writing my first book. It was a story about pots and pans with personalities. Sadly, I never finished it, along with many other books over the years. Yet I had this persistent dream and fervent desire to be a writer. This thought was always playing in the back of my mind.
“Write a Book” was in every New Years Resolution I ever made, and on every goal-setting chart and bucket list, I ever put to paper. For 40 odd years or so, give or take. Sound familiar? How long have you dreamed of becoming a writer?
Emblazoned on my mind was the old Chinese saying: “To achieve immortality, plant a tree, have a child, write a book.” Step 1 – Check. Step 2 – Check. Step 3 – Working on it!
Maybe all that procrastination was not procrastination at all, perhaps it just works best to do it in that order (with humble apologies to those writers who never had children).
Because, a year or so after having my son, my book started coming to me. The real one. The one I’m finally going to finish and publish. Did I say publish?
Aah… now… therein lies the rub.
Nowadays publishing a book is no picnic. There was a time when you could send your book to 5, 10, or 100 publishers and it would be worth it, because eventually one of them would say, thank you very much, we will foot the bill for publishing, printing, publicising and promoting your lofty work. And pay you royalties for the rest of your life and your children’s lives. Woohoo!
But those days are long gone, along with all the unwritten books I could have written in that era.
Could have should have didn’t… so hey… here we are in 2016, and the writing landscape has changed somewhat. I’ve been researching this for a few years, and I have it on good authority, that these days, your best bet is to:
- Self-publish and handle the marketing, publicity and sales yourself, or…
- Write an e-book and handle the marketing, publicity and sales yourself…
…until one fine day your e-book goes viral and suddenly the world’s best Publishers hunt you down and sign you up and offer you the world on a platter. Complete with instant immortality and all that jazz.
I discovered right off the bat, that self-publishing was going to be a costly affair. The more books you print, the cheaper it becomes per book, but we have to bear in mind that the average author only sells about 100 books in their lifetime. (Eek!)
As I was embarking on this project on a shoestring budget, the logical choice was to write an e-book. All you need is a computer and free open source software (I use LibreOffice Writer because it converts to PDF really well).
Alrighty then, so I get started on PROJECT WRITE AN E-BOOK, one step at a time:
- I choose a subject that inspires me and a working title
- brainstorm ideas
- draw up the outline for my book
- define my target audience
- read every book on my chosen subject that I can lay my hands-on
- research online while my toddler naps
- interview Moms who will feature in the book
- and start writing the dedication, the foreword, bits of chapters, slowly piecing the book together
But all the while fear is lurking in the back of the mind – how will I MARKET my book when it’s written?
How do I get readers to buy my book?
So I start researching this… and I’m so glad I did because this is how I found Wealthy Affiliate.
This is where I got to create my own websites and learn about…
- Writing rich content to attract your audience
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Attracting Organic Traffic
- Adding an Amazon aStore to your site
- Selling Books on Amazon
- Building an email list of subscribers, and so much more…
I found a brilliant TRY BEFORE YOU BUY online business learning program and for a couple of months I tried it out without laying down ONE RED CENT.
If you are also an aspiring author and would like to try out exactly the same program I used to create this website (and a few others), pop over to this post to read my Wealthy Affiliate Review.
For most people the idea of writing for a living is very odd, to say the least.
Yet in a way it has never been as easy as it is right now, self-publishing is all the rage in these days, so much so that anyone can do it.
Writing an E-book may very well be the extra push you need to start making some real income.
Thanks so much for your comments Vlad. Appreciate.
Hi Lauren, what a great article and I can so relate to it. I always loved writing but just like you never got around to writing a book. I would love to write children books and have a couple of short stories hidden in my google docs. I guess self-publishing is the way to go nowadays and ebooks are becoming more and more popular. Like you I have started building my own website. I think that has been a good starting point for me and I wonder where it is going to take me. Everything is possible!
Thanks again . All the best from Anke
Hi Anke, thanks so much for the compliment! Wonderful to hear you’re thinking of writing children’s books and have written some short stories. I love your philosophy of Everything’s possible – Let’s keep in touch and encourage each other to get published.
I discovered a lovely Mom blogger the other day, Lindsay Nell, who writes the most wonderful, funny children’s books. Here’s a link to Lindsay’s post entitled Why I Write
I love your story and I relate also, but on my field, painting artist.
Great post, love the tips you give here,
Thanks for sharing this post.
Hi Alejandra, thanks for stopping by to leave a comment. So happy you enjoyed these tips.
I love your story, and relate well.
I started writing an eBook a couple of years ago and never got to finishing it.
Now that I have joined Wealthy Affiliate, I have taken the half book I wrote and broken it up and used the articles for blogs on my site. So at least that one didn’t go wasted.
Whether I will try another book, I can’t say yet, as I am enjoying creating my websites too much for now.
Brilliant idea Michel! Thanks for your comment. Happy web building!
Great information! I find that having my website in and of itself helps me to feel I am having the opportunity to write. I would love to complete a book but the publishing aspect always makes me nervous! I really do need to look more into self publishing. I am okay if I don’t sell a ton of books I just want the experience of writing one!
Thanks Ilyssa, glad you found this article useful. Have fun writing and self publishing your book.
What a great article! I wrote a book and self published it. It is currently being sold on Amazon. I am so very proud of my accomplishment. The tips that you give here are RIGHT ON. A website is an awesome way to market it. Great job!
Thank you so much for the compliment Sonia! Its so affirming to hear from a published author that I’m on the right track. Really appreciate your enthusiastic response!
Oh, I do like this! It is sympathetic towards my desire to write and provides me with information that I was “getting around to” researching. I enjoyed the subtle humour, too.
I’m a member of Wealthy Affiliate and can back up what you say about it. It’s a great place to learn.
Thanks Margaret. So pleased you enjoyed reading this & found it helpful.