So you want to write a book? Learn how to start writing a book for beginners and become a published author with these 7 steps to writing a book.
“I am writing a book for the first time. How should I start writing a book?”
Whether you’re a freelance writer who has only written web content, or a hobby writer with a dream of writing your own book that will get published, you need to understand that there are many things you should know before writing a book.
Now, I’m no stranger to self-publishing, having published my first non-fiction book on Amazon in 2014, and a number of non-fiction books and a short story, too.
Over the years, I’ve had a lot of people asking me for book writing tips, so I thought I’d start a series on how to start writing a book and get it published.
I even have a Facebook Group for Writers where you can download a free Book Writing Resources checklist to help you start writing and publishing a book.
It doesn’t matter if you’re learning how to publish a book for the first time or have already written a book. Understanding the process of writing a book will improve your chances of writing a book that will get published and become a bestseller.
Whether you’re writing a non-fiction book, writing a children’s book, or writing your first novel, this guide on how to write a book step-by-step will help you learn the best way to start writing a book for beginners.
How To Write A Book For Beginners
If you don’t know how to begin writing a book and need help writing a book for the first time, this guide to writing a book will help you understand how to approach writing a book.
These 7 tips for writing a book will help you learn how to start writing a book for beginners.
1. Choose your book genre
The first thing you want to do when looking to write a book that will get published and become a bestseller is to choose a genre. This involves first deciding who you want to write for.
Do you want to write for kids, young adults, or adults? Do you want to write fiction or non-fiction? Are you interested in writing a memoir book, writing a self-help book or writing a poetry book? If you want to write fiction, what genre of fiction do you want to write?
The reason this tip for writing a book matters so much is that choosing the right browse categories and keywords (or metadata) for your book influences how readers find and purchase your book on Amazon.
You need to be able to identify categories and keywords to increase traffic and use metadata to create a strong detail page that impacts conversion to sales.
2. Decide what to write about
The next tip for writing a book is to decide what you want to write about. Are you writing a children’s book or writing a book about your life? Do you want to educate your readers or give them a captivating story that they just can’t put down?
As for the topic or storyline that you choose, be sure to choose something that interests you so that you’re motivated to keep going and overcome the inevitable hump that most writers face during the writing process.
A writer who is passionate about what they write is more likely to become successful, but you also need to find the right category to get ranked in, identify keywords and track your books and those of other authors for sales ranking.
KDSPY is one of the best tools an author can have in their toolbox because it provides revenue metrics, keywords, competitor research, book tracking, and more at your fingertips so you can uncover your ‘profitable’ book topic in just a few clicks.
3. Learn about the market
Once you have an idea of what type of book you want to write, as well as an idea of your theme, you can connect with a book agent or publishing company and get an idea of what types of books publishers are looking for.
For example, an agent or publisher that is accepting manuscripts for science-fiction novels may give you specific tips and ideas, as well as things to avoid.
Writing a book with a theme that interests you, as well as a theme that is in demand by publishers is one of the best ways to get your book published.
4. Write an outline or plot
Now you need to learn how to start writing a book. There are two types of authors – Plotters (the writers who need an outline to write) and Pantsers (the writers who write spontaneously “by the seat of their pants”).
Even Pantsers need some kind of structure to their book, and whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction, you must learn how to write an outline first.
If you’re writing fiction, it’s important to start out with a plot and learn how to write a novel outline. If you are writing a non-fiction book, such as a how-to guide, you also need to create an outline to follow.
Of course, it is important to get your thoughts on paper or on your computer, but a clear and solid plot is an important component of writing a book that will get published.
Books that are poorly written or don’t have a clear structure are not likely to get published or become bestsellers. But you can definitely improve your writing skills and get the writing skills training you need to become a bestselling author.
In the video below, Abbie Emmons explains how to outline a riveting novel. She also offers a free 3-Act “writing a book outline template” on her blog.
5. Edit and proofread
Once your book has been written, it is important that you do the requisite amount of proofreading and editing to ensure that it reads well and is free of grammatical errors and typos.
Book writing coaches vary on the number of times that a book should be proofread, but you should read through yours no less than three times. You can find free book writing software for beginners to help you edit your book.
Prowriting Aid is the best app for writing a book because it is the only platform that offers world-class grammar and style checking combined with more in-depth reports to help you strengthen your writing.
Sharing your manuscript with friends, family, and colleagues may get you some pats on the back, but none of these people can give you the honest and objective manuscript critique that you need to take your work to market.
Everyone needs an unbiased critique of their work, so in addition to doing your own book editing, you may benefit from the unvarnished opinion of an experienced, professional editor from websites like Scribendi that offer Manuscript Critique services.
This way, you can get an expert opinion on your manuscript’s prospects and valuable advice on how to improve it to increase your chance of success, for a reasonable fee.
You can use Scribendi‘s services for:
- Novels, novellas, and short stories
- Plays and screenplays
- General nonfiction, like memoirs, biographies, self-help, gardening, etc.
6. Contact an agent or publisher
If you want to get your book published traditionally, it’s a good idea to first find out what sort of books publishers are looking for. You can do this by using the printed resource guides, like the Writer’s Market.
Once your book has been proofread and edited, you’re ready to send your book to agents or publishing companies, along with a professional query letter.
If you don’t have a list of agents or publishers to submit your book, check out websites like QueryTracker where you can look for the right agent or publisher for your genre.
You’ll be required to submit a synopsis of your book and a few chapters along with a query letter, so make sure you have all of this ready before you contact the agent or publisher.
If you want to learn all about writing a book proposal that sells, Susan Harrow’s How To Get A Six-Figure Book Advance course will show you how to develop your idea into a book that sells so you land a book deal, instead of languishing in the giant slush pile of unpublished authors.
7. Consider self-publishing
So, can you make money writing a book? Can you get rich writing a book? And how much money can you make writing a book?
Did you know that independent authors earn significantly more than traditionally-published authors?
If you don’t manage to get a book deal with an agent or publisher, or feel it may not be worth it, consider self-publishing on Amazon KDP.
As a book publishing coach, Derek Murphy writes:
“Unless you’re getting a deal over $100K, which means they are seriously invested in your book, you’ll probably do better to self-publish.”
Learning how to start writing a book, and more importantly, how to be a good writer, is not easy, but it’s definitely worth it, especially when you finally become a published author and hold a copy of your book in your hands.
If you enjoyed this article on how to start writing a book for beginners, check out these creative writing classes to improve your writing skills.
Also, subscribe to this Free Video Training For Authors on How To Find Your First 10,000 Readers. This is bestselling author, Nick Stephenson’s proven step-by-step system that he used to sell more books and grow his business from $0 to over $1,000,000 in 24 months.
And if you love science-fiction novels, download my brand new, science-fiction bestseller, Mars Glow: Aera Cura — free on Kindle Unlimited.
More Book Marketing Tips
- Free Video Training For Authors: How To Find Your First 10,000 Readers
- Free Ebook: Reader Magnets
- Free eBook: 5 Things Every First-time Author Should Know
- Amazon KDP Publishing Tips & Checklist
- Free Personal Branding eBook: Build Your Author Brand
- Free Book Writing Software For Beginners
- Free Webinar: Promote Your Book in 2021
- Amazon Ads For Authors: Free Amazon Advertising Videos & Webinars
- Join my Facebook Group for Writers – Get a free Book Writing Resources PDF