How to Write a Book: A Complete Step-By-Step Guide

How to Write a Book?

Writing may transform your life and allow you to influence tens of thousands or perhaps millions of others. If your message becomes boring, you run out of ideas, you become sidetracked, or the effort itself becomes too much to handle, you may feel inclined to quit writing your book. But what if you were certain of the following:

Where to begin...
What each phase comprises...
How to get beyond writer`s block, fear, and procrastination

And how can one avoid feeling overburdened? Let’s walk through this whole process step by step: "How to write a book and get it published?”


How to Compose a Book from Beginning to End

Section 1: Before Starting Your Book Writing

  • Decide on a writing area.
  • Gather your writing supplies.

Section 2: How to Begin Creating a Book

  • Divide the task into manageable chunks.
  • Decide on your BIG concept.
  • Create your outline.
  • Make a strict writing timetable.
  • Decide on a holy deadline.
  • Accept and enjoy your procrastination.
  • Get rid of distractions.
  • Make your investigation.
  • Go ahead and identify as a writer.

Section 3: The Writing of the Book

  • Consider the reader first.
  • Discover your writing style.
  • Compose an enticing introduction.
  • Your tale should be tense and full of conflict.
  • During the first draft writing process, turn off your internal editor.
  • Stick with it through The Middle Marathon.
  • Write a powerful conclusion.

Section 4: Rewriting Your Work

  • Develop into a fierce self-editor.
  • Locate a mentor.

Section 5: Getting Your Book Published

  • Choose your publication route.
  • Format your manuscript correctly.
  • Establish and expand your writing career.
  • Look for a Literary Agent
  • Composing Your Request for Information

Section One: Before Starting Your Book Writing

When writing a book, it`s essential to consider seeking feedback from professionals. Utilizing a book review service can provide you with valuable insights and help refine your manuscript. These services ensure your book is well-received by your target audience.

You`ll be glad you took the time to be ready for something this big in the future. You won`t regret it at all. With simply an axe, you wouldn`t attempt to clear a large grove of trees. You would probably need more than one chainsaw. Something to maintain their focus. Sufficient gasoline to keep them moving. You get the idea. Don`t skimp on this crucial step in the procedure.

Step 1. Decide on a Writing Area

You may write your novel without a refuge. I began my professional life with my back to a typewriter that was balanced on a wooden board held aloft by two kitchen chairs. Again, what did you mention about your setup? We take action when necessary. And I was at my most productive during my career during those early days on that sagging couch. Naturally, your writing hideaway (I call mine my cave) should be as lovely, comfy, and secluded as possible. Genuine authors can compose in any location. Some writers choose coffee shops and restaurants as places to compose their works. In a setting like that, you cut your literary teeth, and anything else appears wonderful.

Step 2. Gather your writing supplies

There was never enough time in the newspaper industry to compose our content by hand and then type it for the layout crew. I still write my works on a keyboard since I have done so for all of my writing life.

I would take proactive measures to preserve good posture and a healthy spine, and I would get another kitchen chair with a straight back or something like that. Nothing is worse than attempting to write and be creative when you`re in excruciating pain. My first automobile was less expensive than the chair I work in now!

It`s okay if you haven`t utilized any of the products I mentioned above and don`t see yourself requiring them. But before you start writing, prepare a list of everything you know you`ll need.

That way, you`ll be ready.

As your writing career takes off and you begin to earn a living from it, you may continue to improve your workspace. It`s light years apart from where I started to where I work today. The important thing to remember is that I started writing as soon as I could find a comfortable place to do it.

Section Two: How to Begin Creating a Book

Step 1. Cut your book into manageable chunks

It feels like an enormous undertaking to write a book, and it is! However, your text will consist of several short sections. Writing it all at once is impossible, just as eating the fabled elephant in one sitting is impossible. View your book as a manuscript consisting of sentences, paragraphs, and pages. The pages will start to pile up, and in a few months, you`ll have reached your second hundred pages, even if a week from now you could have only reached the double digits. Thus, make things simple.

Start by condensing your grand book idea—your premise—from a few pages to just one phrase. While writing, a one-sentence premise that is more precise can help you stay on task. Let`s not, however, get ahead of ourselves. You must decide exactly what your major concept is before you can distil it into a single sentence that can be developed into an outline.

Step 2. Decide on your BIG concept

Your concept needs to be amazing to be worthy of a book. You should write about something you are enthusiastic about; something that entices you to the computer in the morning and keeps you there. Anyone you tell about it should be as excited about it as you are. I cannot stress how important this is.

It`s possible that the fundamental idea of your book was wrong if you`ve attempted to finish it but failed, maybe more than once. It may have been a good blog post or article, but it wasn`t long enough for a book.

There is intense rivalry and a crowded market. Standard concepts have no place here. Just reading your idea should make readers drool. Pick up the large idea book.

How can you determine if you have a winner? Is it limber? Or, to put it another way, does it persist in your thoughts, expanding and changing with each thought? Pass it by people you trust and those you love.

Does it cause people to pause? Arouse Wonders? Or does it lead to uncomfortable quiet moments? When you hit upon the proper idea, you`ll know it immediately. The concept must most essentially motivate you to compose it since it has to captivate you. If not, you will become bored midway through and give up altogether.

Step 3. Create your outline

Writing a novel without knowing where you want it to go will almost always end badly. You still need at least a basic framework, even if you consider yourself more of a Pantser* than an Outliner while writing a fiction book.

[*Those of us who write haphazardly, putting compelling people in challenging circumstances and writing to see what transpires—as Stephen King suggests]

If calling it an outline makes you uncomfortable, don`t do it. But create some kind of guidance paper that acts as a safety net and gives your book structure. You`ll be glad I told you to put this in place if you end up falling off that Pantser highwire. It is vital to have a plan while writing a nonfiction book. This is a must for agencies or publishers in your proposal. They want to know that you know where you`re going as well as where you are going. In what way do you hope your book will impart knowledge to the reader, and how will you make sure they do so?

For this reason, an overview, or a foundational framework, is necessary. Wait until you are certain that your framework will stay together to the very end before you begin writing. This image of a novel structure might be familiar to you.

Did you realize that it also applies to nonfiction literature, with very minor modifications? Novelists can easily explain this; they enumerate their story twists and developments and organize them in a way that maximizes suspense.

What makes excellent nonfiction different from mediocre? The identical framework! Make sure you build up your reader for a big reward by organizing your ideas and supporting details similarly, and then make sure you deliver on it. Structure your nonfiction book like a novel if it`s a biography, autobiography, or memoir. You won`t regret it. But even if it`s a simple how-to book, adhere as closely as you can to this format, and you`ll see your material spring to life.

Make early promises to your reader so that he will be excited about the final result and will be anticipating new concepts, insider knowledge, and secrets.

You may even make the how-to project appear unachievable until your original solution pays off the setup.

Step 4. Make a strict writing timetable

Writing your book should ideally take up at least six hours a week. Whatever works for you may make up that amount. It might be two three-hour sessions, three two-hour sessions, or six one-hour sessions. I suggest establishing a consistent routine (same times, same days) that is most likely to become ingrained. If that isn`t feasible, however, make sure to set aside at least six hours so that you can make meaningful progress.

Do you struggle to find the time to complete a book? Breaking: There won`t be time for you. You must create it.

There`s a reason I used the word "carve out" above. That`s the necessary step. You`ll probably have to give up something on your schedule to make time for writing. Make sure it`s not your family; they ought to come first at all times. Never place your family`s needs below your writing career`s demands. Many authors claim they don`t have time to work, yet they always manage to see the newest major Hollywood film or Netflix original series. They love going to parties, concerts, ball games, and so forth.

  • How much does writing your book at last matter to you? What would you remove from your weekly schedule to make sure you give it the attention it requires?
  • A preferred television program?
  • A motion picture?
  • A musical performance?
  • A get-together?

Step 5. Decide on a holy deadline

In the absence of deadlines, I hardly complete any task. I require that inspiration. To be honest, these days my publishing contracts set the deadlines for me. Most likely, if this is your first book, you do not currently have a contract. Establish a deadline for yourself and hold it holy to make sure you complete writing your book.

Now is the moment to change these figures, as well as your pages per session and deadline. Perhaps it would be better to plan four weeks off for the upcoming year. Or you anticipate your book will be very lengthy. Adjust the figures to make them feasible and reasonable, then lock it in. Keep in mind that your deadline is precious.

Step 6. Accept and enjoy your procrastination

Yes, you read correctly. Accept it instead of fighting it. Despite having almost 200 books published, you might not know that I`m the king of procrastination.

The key is to schedule it and to accept it.

The important thing to remember is that you should never let the amount of pages you turn in each day surpass your ability. Increasing the number of pages you produce from two to three in a session is one thing. But, you`ve transgressed the sacredness of your deadline if you allow it to get out of control.

How am I going to miss over 190 deadlines while putting things off?

Step 7. Make your investigation

Yes, whether you`re creating factual or fiction, research is an essential component of the process. Fiction is more than simply made-up narratives. For your story to be credible, all of the technical, historical, and detailed information must be correct.

Furthermore, for nonfiction writing, accuracy in fact will enhance your final work, even if you`re writing about a topic you have a lot of experience with, as I am here. You wouldn`t believe how often I`ve looked up a fact or two on my own while writing this blog article.

The last thing you want is to make even a little error as a result of inadequate research. I promise that you will hear about it from readers, regardless of the specifics. Building trust with your reader is essential to your reputation as a writer and subject matter expert. That quickly evaporates if you make a mistake. My go-to sources for research are:

World Almanacs: On their own, these provide nearly all the material you need to write factual writing, including data, facts, and government information. I frequently use them to generate ethnically appropriate character names for my books.

The Merriam-Webster: Thesaurus is excellent when accessed online because of its blazing speed. Turning pages in a physical copy would take longer than scrolling through an on-screen document. One word of caution: Never display your thesaurus usage. That frequent term that`s on the tip of your tongue is what you`re searching for.

Step 8. Go ahead and identify as a writer

You could hear from your inner voice that you are not and never will be a writer. Who are you to be attempting to write a book?" That might be the reason you`ve previously given up on writing your book. However, you are a writer if you are practising, learning, and working at writing. Don`t hold off on referring to yourself as a writer until you`ve achieved some fictitious degree of success.

Whether or not a police officer is actively enforcing the law, a cop in uniform and on duty is still a cop. Whether or whether he has constructed a home, a carpenter is a carpenter. Now, when you identify yourself as a writer, you will quiet your inner critic, who is you? If necessary, repeat yourself to yourself. Although it may seem absurd, admitting that you are a writer can give you the courage to continue and complete your work.

Section Three: The Writing of the Book

Step 1. Consider the reader first

This is so crucial that you should put it on a sticky note and put it on your computer so that you will always remember it when you write. Every choice you make regarding your text needs to pass through this examination. Not publisher-first, not agent-first, nor editor-first, not book-first. Not your immediate circle, and not your critics first.

The reader comes first in whatever choice, and everyone else wins in the process. Upon hearing from readers that one of my novels touched them, I recall this proverb and feel appreciative that I wrote with that attitude. Do you find a situation boring? Thinking reader-first results in revisions or deletions.

To delight yourself is the best method to ensure that your reader is pleased. Write what you would like to read, and you can be sure that many other people will feel the same way.

Step 2. Discover your writing style

Finding your voice is not nearly as difficult as some people make it seem. By providing short answers to these, you can determine yours:

  • What has been your most exciting experience to date?
  • Whom have you told about it most importantly?

That`s how you write. It ought to convey how engaged you are at your best.

Step 3. Compose an enticing introduction

You`re not the only one who feels stuck while trying to come up with the ideal beginning line for your book. Furthermore, your anxiety is not unfounded. You shouldn`t put this off and then come back to it after reading the remainder of the first chapter.

Well, if the plot demands it, it still may alter. However, choosing a solid one will help you start going right away.

Whether you`re writing factual or fiction, it`s doubtful that you`ll create a more significant sentence than your first one. Make sure you`re excited about it, and then see how your momentum and confidence grow. The majority of excellent opening sentences fit into one of these types:

1. Unexpected

Fiction: "It was a clear, chilly April day, and the clocks were striking thirteen." — George Orwell, 1984

Nonfiction: Elizabeth Gilbert, The Last American Man, states that by the time Eustace Conway was seven years old, he could throw a knife precisely enough to nail a rodent to a tree.

2. Strong Declaration

Fiction: "In Paradise, Toni Morrison writes, "They shoot the white girl first."

Nonfiction: Jimmy Santiago Baca, A Place to Stand, states, "I was five years old the first time I ever set foot in prison."

3. Philosophical

Fiction: Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina, "Happy families are all alike; every miserable family is unhappy in its manner."

Nonfiction: Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life, states, "It`s not about you."

4. Poetry

Nonfiction: Truman Capote, In Cold Blood: "The community of Holcomb rests on the high wheat plains of western Kansas, a lonesome spot that other Kansans call `out there."

You could get inspiration for your own from the great beginning lines of other masterpieces. This is a list of well-known openers.

Step 4. Your tale should be tense and full of conflict

Yes, readers of nonfiction also seek tension, but your reader does too. If everything in your story is going smoothly and the reader is on board, they will quickly become disinterested and look for anything else to read. At the dinner table, are two of your characters conversing? Let one speak so that the other starts to storm out.

Step 5. During the first draft writing process, turn off your internal editor

It`s difficult for many of us perfectionists to produce a first draft of any kind of writing, fiction or nonfiction, without feeling pressured to craft every line to our exact specifications.

That voice in your brain that scrutinizes each word, sentence, and phrase and makes you feel as though you`re repeating yourself or have given in to clichés—well, that`s simply your editor`s alter ego. You must tell him or her to stop talking.

Step 6. Stick with it through The Middle Marathon

The majority of unsuccessful book writers tell me they give up in the middle of what I like to refer to as The Marathon of the Middle. Writers who have a fantastic idea, an amazing beginning, and are eager to reach an exciting conclusion may find it to be an especially challenging section.

However, they leave when they discover they don`t have enough interesting material to bridge the gap. They attempt to add scenes merely for size and begin padding, but they quickly get bored and know that readers will feel the same way. In actuality, nonfiction authors also experience this.

It is difficult. Every time, it still is for me. However, try not to lose your cool or act rashly, like giving up. Accept the midway as a challenging aspect of the process. Were it simple, anyone could accomplish it.

Step 7. Write a powerful conclusion

For both your novel and your nonfiction work, this is crucial. Though it might not be as intense or dramatic, it could be, particularly if you`re writing a memoir.

However, even self-help or how-to books must end with a bang, much like a Broadway stage curtain closing.

How do you be sure your conclusion isn`t a bust?

Take your time. Give the readers the satisfying conclusion you promised. They have fully committed to you and your book. Make it satisfying by taking your time. Never give up because you`re anxious to complete by settling for close enough. Hold off on editing until you are happy with every word, and then keep going till you are.

It must be reasonable and fair if it is unpredictable to prevent your reader from feeling taken advantage of. It is your goal for him to be pleasantly surprised rather than duped. Even in nonfiction, when you are tossing up how to wrap up your work, it is better to aim for the heart than the brain. What moves readers the most stays with them. Now we have learnt, “how to write a book with no experience”, let’s move forward to how to publish a book.

Section 4: Getting Your Book Published

Step 1. Choose your publication route

To put it plainly, you have two choices for book publication:

1. Conventional publishing

Conventional publishers bear all the risks. Among the costs they manage are corrections, proofreading, the juxtaposition of type, printing, final, cover layout and art, promotion, advertising, warehousing, shipping, billing, and author royalties.

2. Publishing oneself

You are responsible for everything. As the publisher, funder, and decision-maker, you are in charge. All of the aforementioned is your responsibility. You choose who performs it, you pay for it, and you approve or reject it. However, the phrase "self-publishing" is a little misleading because what you`re paying for is printing rather than publication. In certain situations, both solutions are excellent choices.
It will outline the benefits and drawbacks of each, as well as what each entails and my suggestion in the conclusion.

Step 2. Format your manuscript correctly

Correct formatting is essential whether you self-publish or publish your book traditionally.

Why? As a result of improper formatting, you appear unprofessional. When it comes to book manuscripts, readers and agents have specific expectations, and if you don`t fulfil those expectations, you`re setting yourself up for failure.

Optimal procedures for book formatting:

  • Make use of 12-point type.
  • Use a serif typeface; Times Roman is the most popular choice.
  • Your manuscript should be double-spaced.
  • There isn`t any additional space between paragraphs
  • Sentences are separated by just one space.
  • Each paragraph should have a half-inch indent (use a tab rather than several spaces).
  • It is not reasonable for the text to be flat left and ragged right.
  • If you decide to include a line to denote a shift in a scene or a period between paragraphs, use a typographical dingbat in the centre of the line (such as ***).
  • only with black lettering on a white backdrop
  • Margins of one inch on the sides, top, and bottom (Word default)
  • Put the title, your last name, and the page number in a header. Except for the main page, every page should have a header.

Step 3. Create a website for your writing and expand your reach

A website is a must for any serious writer. Because this is the current state of publishing. To be successful, you need an audience. whether you desire publication traditionally, agents and companies will Google your surname to see whether you`ve established a website plus a following.

Additionally, your author`s website acts as a central location for readers, admirers, publishers, and agents to learn about your writing.

Step 4. Reach Out to Literary Agents

I do not advise using the unsolicited submission method, but there are still a few conventional publishers company, as opposed to you, that will reimburse you and take on all the monetary hazards of releasing your book.

Your proposal may end up in the "slush pile," as it is called in the industry. This implies that a junior employee will be designated to review it at their convenience and decide whether to recommend the publisher`s editorial board have a look at it or reject it outright, which covers the great majority of submissions they get.

Indeed, I have previously urged you to try established publishing channels before turning to self-publishing, which entails paying for printing; nonetheless, even for companies that claim to accept unsolicited submissions, I do not advise submitting unsolicited work.

Even after 50 years as an author, editor, publisher, and writing coach, I don`t attempt to negotiate the publishing industry on my own. I have an agent because of this, and you too need one.

Naturally, a lot of aspiring authors are curious as to why they should give an agency a portion of their earnings (usually 15%). First off, unless you receive your 85% at the same time, they don`t see any of that revenue. Second, an agent is a true value since everyone I know in the industry is glad to have someone on their side.

I want to be free to speak for myself without having to. I want to continue working in my creative space and let an expert handle all contract negotiations to secure the finest advance and rights agreement.

Nevertheless, obtaining an agency may be just as challenging and time-consuming as locating a publisher. They can provide you with advice on how to present yourself in the best possible light because they are familiar with the market, editors, and publishers` preferences.

Phase 5: Composing Your Query Letter

Time to transition from writer to seller. Depending on your letter, an agency may want to see more work from you, write you a kind form letter to ease your disappointment, or decide not to get back to you at all. Unfortunately, a lot of agencies state on their websites that you should assume they are not interested if you don`t hear anything after a predetermined amount of weeks. To be honest, I think this is sloppy on the agent`s side and annoying for the writer. Sure, it should be simple to press a button and send a letter to someone in this day and age, even if they could be wondering if the agent received the question at all.

But we have to cope with that reality.

The goal of your one-page, separate email message is to get a response, or at most effectively, an offer to send in more information in the form of a proposal or maybe the full book.

In essence, you are marketing both your art and yourself. If your query letter is poorly written, an agent will believe your book is written poorly as well.

Your letter ought to grab an agent`s attention without being cheesy or gaudy.

Your letter of inquiry needs to:

  • Address a specific individual (rather than the agency`s employees or "To Whom It May Concern")
  • Simply present your novel concept.
  • Show off your style
  • Prove you are aware of your readership.
  • Describe your credentials in detail.
  • Show adaptability and professionalism.
  • Select an agent from the list`s midsection or bottom if you come across one in a firm. Perhaps they receive less private correspondence than the person whose title is on the front door. Who is aware of this? The fact that you are specifically addressing them could sway their opinion of your question.