Writing is one of those wonderful pass times that we often neglect. I’ve found it to be quite therapeutic in the sense of being able to present your thoughts with only your own perspective as an influence. There’s something quite freeing about putting pen to paper to really get things off of your chest.
Recently, I published a journal to help with manifestation. This was a coping technique I had to use to help with my anxiety. I wanted to do very specific things in my life, and I realized that I was the only one standing in the way of doing those things.
Fear, rejection, lack of support, funding, etc., all scared me to death. I wanted to move quickly, but one of the most important things I learned was that it’s critical to take your time when you write, put your fears and outside influences aside, and just let it flow. You can’t rush a writer.
With that being said, I wanted to take time to let you all in on some things I learned along the way to writing and publishing my first book. Here are five tips for first time authors.
Tip One: Write from your subconscious mind
Write from your subconscious mind. What in the world do I mean by that?
Writing from experience is the best form of writing. You have already lived through the process, and nothing teaches us impactful lessons more than living through something.
When I write articles, I write about topics I know like the back of my hand. Write about things that come naturally to you. Don’t try to force writing about something with which you’re unfamiliar. Writing as someone who has lived what you’re writing about makes you much more relatable to the reader. In my experience, by sharing my experiences and pitfalls as a freelancer and business owner, others in my shoes have comes to me and told me they really see themselves in my writing.
Writing is a fun, expressive way to share views on a variety of engaging content. If you try to write about subject matter you don’t understand, the fun suddenly disappears. I chose the “self help” genre as my expertise because helping people is my nature.
Tip Two: Self publish
This is a really difficult decision that should be made with extreme care. I just wrapping up writing The 48 HR Entrepreneur, a book about my journey starting businesses and the trials and tribulations along the way.
I chose to take the self-publishing route, just like I did with my previous book, The Predictive Manifestation Journal. I really am blessed to have support from the writing community online to help me stay motivated in writing even though I don’t have representation yet. I really like the process of self-publishing, and you avoid all the changes that come along with publishing with a big name publisher.
Tip Three: Edit, edit and edit some more
Editing can be a daunting undertaking. You can edit over and over again and still miss things, so it’s always good to have a second (or third) set of eyes on your work.
There are plenty of editing services available online, but if budget is a concern, seek support from friends or family. Connect with other writers and offer to edit their work in exchange for them doing the same for you.
Nothing will be perfect. Do as much editing as your time/budget allows and then be happy with your work. I have found a few free options by communicating with people on social media. You can also seek a college student or intern to edit for a Starbucks gift card. I also utilize Fivver.com for other freelancers (but make sure you review star ratings to ensure you’re getting quality work).
Tip Four: Protect your mental health
Do not assume you will get support from friends and family while you work on your new book. You may get full support, or you may find that people don’t take you seriously.
I published a cookbook previously and received full support. Later, I decided to publish self help books, and the support just wasn’t there.
You just have to roll the dice and protect your feelings by not having expectations. Seek a community of other writers for encouragement when you set forth to write a book. Social media has been very helpful with getting me in connection with the people I need to support me to keep confidence in my writing.
Sometimes you just need a friend or sympathetic ear to hear you; someone that understands the ups and downs you’re going through. You have to keep going and realize that you are writing for you. Even if you change one person’s frown to a smile with a book, that counts for something.
Tip Five: Marketing your book
This is the stage I am in now with my latest book. I have had the chance to get some really great feedback on free and lower cost marketing tools and tactics, and I want to pass that feedback along to you.
First, you can always find ways to offer lectures and read alongs, at local places such as bookstores, libraries and entrepreneurial events. I also found meetups to be critical when promoting and networking. I try to go to everything I can.
Another great option is to create business cards of your book cover and offer a coupon discount code on it. Then hand them out. Website 4over4.com offers 200 free cards with one side printing and the opposite side is their marketing materials, plus shipping is free but if you order 300 cards shipping is 5.95. I would just order 200 free cards every other week and switch it up if you want to add something else.
Giving away prizes is great as well. When I do events, I raffle off a few books as prizes.
Lastly, do a press releases. Make it great. Make the copy compelling and give publications a reason to publish it.
Wrapping It Up
I hope these tips have encouraged you to try publishing a book. I believe self publishing is a wonderful option, I use Lulu Publishing. Amazon has a great feature as well. Don’t allow fear to keep you from doing the best for you and living your dreams out loud.
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