Have you dreamed of writing a book but you can’t get past the idea stage? If so, you are not alone. Beyond making the decision to write about something you know, you should have a good understanding of what needs to be done. With close to 1 million books published each year, most writers report the biggest challenge is simply beginning the process.
Even famed poet Maya Angelou needed to develop a process for getting started. “What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat.’ And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff,” she’s said of the process. “But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.’ ”
On the heels of publishing her recent book, 10 Blessings of Betrayal, Natasha T Brown, founder of Think Brown Ink, provided the following tips:
- Commit to a writing process, whether you write each night, early mornings— by outline or free writing. Also, resist the urge to reread your work repeatedly and edit as you go. If you want to publish, develop a timeline and goal for what you want your book to accomplish.
- Find an editor who can raise thoughtful questions about your manuscript. If you’re self publishing, do your research. There are various independent publishers, many with good intentions, but some who take advantage of new authors, because we don’t know the costs, process, or even the simplicity in doing some things.
- Dare to be different in your marketing outreach. Resist the urge to follow what everyone doing. For instance, when Brown launched her book, 10 Blessings of Betrayal, she didn’t set a price for the book. Her team (Think Brown INK x Maniifest Management) asked people to simply contribute whatever was on their heart for a signed, personal copy. “What has resulted is still blowing my mind. People are extremely generous and want to see this message spread. The first weekend, my little “pocket book of blessings” earned four figures, and have nearly sold out of our first shipment. It’s exciting to see the message move people,” said Brown.
Do you have any successful tips on writing and publishing a book? Leave a comment below or #Soundoff and follow @BlackEnterprise on Twitter.