Tools for a First-Time Author
Whether it’s a non-fiction book, a simple story that is a good idea, a manuscript, an e-book short story, or a rough draft, writing a book for the first time seems like an impossible job. Sometimes, the worst thing for a writer is a blank screen, just waiting to be filled in. When you’re writing your first book, you probably doubt your ability as a writer. Questions will start popping into your head like, where do I start? Is my idea good enough? Will I find time to write the book? Who are my target audience? Is self-publishing better than going through an agent or a publisher? If I write a book, will my debut novel be popular? Yes, the publishing industry is a complicated place, but you don’t have to worry because I will explain how you can overcome all these obstacles.
Writers worry most times. We are faced with indecision about the choices we make for our stories. We doubt the quality of our writing. We wonder if after writing your debut novel it will get published, gain the recognition we want, and even celebration. But as a writer, you don’t need to worry about all these—leave all that to the agent and publisher.
Below are the challenges you will face as a first-time writer and how to overcome those challenges before you even begin to write your very first chapter:
Where to start
The common question asked by first-time writers about the writing process is, “do I start from the beginning, the middle, or the end?” But the truth about it is that there’s no single way to start writing a book. Below are some suggestions before you start writing:
- Create the blueprint of what you want to write and refine your idea.
- You can start with your favorite part so motivation is high from the outset.
- If the blank page is daunting, just write anything that comes to your mind for like five minutes. Do this until a phrase or an image grabs you and you want to continue writing.
Doubting your idea
You might worry your idea isn’t good enough as a first time writer. To build your confidence you can ask others what they think of your concept. Here are ways to test your idea to see if will sustain an entire book.
- You can write a very short version of your book first and see if it grabs those you share it with. Do you feel it could use more detail and expanded than the short version?
- Remember that even the most boring idea can become fascinating if the description and character are written imaginatively. For example, the book named Mrs. Dalloway is mainly about a woman buying flowers for an event and a man with mental health issues but it’s mostly considered a 20th Century masterpiece.
This is something that most writers go through while writing a book for the first time. You might have come up with a great concept yet when you go into the labor of writing, suddenly another idea pops up your mind and seems more appealing. These are the ways to get rid of your indecision:
- Do away with competing for ideas that don’t fit into your current writing because they will still be there when you are done.
- Focus on the aspect that challenges you most. Search the Internet for these challenges and how to get rid of them.
Not finding time to write
Most first time writers encounter this obstacle. Some first-time writers can’t just seem to find time to write so below are the solutions to that problem:
- Prioritize above other activities such as watching TV instead watch an episode to reward yourself for a very productive writing session.
- Aim small and build up your writing. Set targets for yourself daily, for example, you can set a target to write 200 words per day which might seem like nothing but actually add up to 6000 words in a month.
- Get help from people around you. If you have kids, for example, ask your other half or a relative to keep them busy for an hour or two depending on the targets you set for yourself.
You can say many writers are introverts meaning a shy or reticent person thus need plenty of time alone. But what a first time writer does not know is isolation is a very bad idea just because you want to complete the book on time. The best sources of inspiration are other people. The solutions are listed below;
- You can join a writing group.
- You can attend social events frequently as rewards for good writing sessions.
- Set targets for yourself and use the remaining time pursuing experiences that reinvigorate and inspire you.
With the above solutions to problems first-time writer encounter, I believe a first-time writer should not pass through many problemsif the solutions listed above are followed.
5 must-have book marketing tools for a first-time author
1. A book marketing plan
Take your time to learn extensively about book marketing, then write a plan of tasks that will help you get your book title in front of people who are most likely to buy and love it.
2. A website
A website is very important today’s online driven marketplace. You will not only have information about your book but also a blog where you can interact with people about the book and make them love it. The site does not need a lot of glamours but needs to look and feel as good as your book.
3. Amazon page
Most books are purchased online and mostly on Amazon. You can be responsible for what goes on with the page or hire a publishing company who will be in control of the page.
These clubs aim to help authors who do not have a clue how to market their books and promote it through various tools. They also help to in uploading a book to Amazon like a friend use to say, you can’t just throw your book up on Amazon and hope and pray it will be a success.
5. A press release that announces the book
If you plan to send out review copies, you need to include a press release which will announce the book’s publication and describe what readers will find in the book.
I hope this article gives a first-time writer some ideas on writing a book and the must-have tools for marketing their books.