Want to write a book but don’t know where to start? These steps to writing a book will help you learn how to start writing a book for beginners.
“I want to write a book. How do 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, there are many things you should know before beginning to write a book.
Now, I’m no stranger to self-publishing, having published my first non-fiction book on Amazon in 2014, followed by a number of non-fiction books (one that became a bestseller) 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 share my advice on how to start writing a book and get it published.
But first, join my Facebook Group for Writers where you can download a free Book Writing Resources checklist and access a number of guides to help you start writing and publishing a book.
So how do you start writing a book? It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for tips on writing a book for the first time or have already written a book and need help to get more book sales.
Understanding the process of writing a book, and learning how to approach writing a book the right way, 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, these guidelines 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
- How Do You Start a Book?
- Book Writing Tips 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 get there.
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 learning how to write a self-help book, writing a memoir book, or writing a poetry book? If you want to write fiction, what genre of fiction do you want to write?
The reason that 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 marketplaces like Amazon.
You need to be able to identify the right 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.
If you need help learning about the book market and the publishing industry, an expert book consultant or publishing consultant will help you do that.
#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 write a novel for beginners, and 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.
You can find free book writing software for beginners to help you write and edit your book. 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.
ProWritingAid’s writing improvement software is the best app for editing 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.
Every author needs an unbiased critique of their book, and you may benefit from the unvarnished opinion of an experienced, professional book editor, in addition to doing your own book editing.
You can find freelancers to help you with all kinds of publications on Fiverr Self-Publishing Services, including:
- 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 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.
You can also take the help of an expert book writing coach who offers book coaching and book mentoring to help you write a book proposal and publish your book from start to finish.
If you want to learn how to develop your idea into a book that sells so you can land a book deal, instead of languishing in the giant slush pile of unpublished authors, the How To Get A Six-Figure Book Advance course will show you how to write a book proposal that sells.
#7. Consider self-publishing
So, how much money can you make writing a book? Did you know that independent authors earn significantly more than traditionally-published authors?
You may want to consider self-publishing on Amazon KDP if you don’t manage to get a book deal with an agent or publisher or feel it may not be worth it to publish the traditional way.
As author and book 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.
How Do You Start a Book?
There are many ways to start a book and there is no single formula for how to start a book. While it depends on the type of book, the most important thing is to start in a way that engages your reader and makes them want to keep reading.
When learning how to start to write a book, try to avoid dry exposition or overwhelming detail in your opening pages. Instead, think about how your opening chapter can hook your reader right from the start and make them want more.
If it’s a novel, you might start with a character or scene that intrigues you. If it’s non-fiction, you might want to begin with the main question you’re trying to answer or the problem you’re trying to solve.
Some writers prefer to plunge right in and begin with action, while others prefer to establish the setting and characters first. There are pros and cons to both methods.
But generally, there are a few things that all good beginnings have in common: they hook the reader’s attention and make them want to keep reading, they establish the tone and style of the book, and they introduce the main characters and plot.
Some popular techniques include introducing the characters, setting the scene, or beginning with a dramatic event. Another popular way to start a book is by introducing a conflict or problem that the main characters must solve.
Sometimes the best way to start a book can be something as simple as a crime that needs solving, or a mystery that needs unraveling, or it could be something more complex like a family drama or political intrigue.
Starting with action can be thrilling for readers, who will want to keep turning the pages to see what happens next. However, it can also be confusing if the reader doesn’t know who the characters are or what’s going on.
Establishing the setting and characters first can help ground readers in the story world and make it easier for them to follow along. However, it can make for a slower start. So don’t forget to introduce the conflict or problem that will drive the story forward.
You could start with the character’s back story, with a scene that sets the tone or captures the reader’s attention, or even with a prologue. No matter how you approach it, the most important thing is to make sure your beginning engages readers and draws them into your story.
You want them to want to know what happens next, so they’ll keep reading. And it’s always important to keep your ending in mind while you’re writing the beginning – you don’t want to give away too much too soon.
Often the best way to start writing a book is with a question or a statement that hooks the reader’s attention. The most important thing is to make sure the opening scene is intriguing and sets the tone for the rest of the story.
Whether you’re a plotter or a pantser, a good place to start is by coming up with an outline or synopsis of your story and then drafting a table of contents. Once you have a good idea of the structure and flow of your book, you can start writing the individual chapters.
Remember to focus on creating a strong plot and engaging characters that will keep readers hooked until the very end. You may want to consider using strong adjectives and vivid images to create a cinematic experience for your audience.
You can start learning how to write the beginning of a book by reading books written by authors in the same genre as you, and studying how they approach the material.
If you enjoyed this article on how to start writing a book for beginners, you can find step-by-step guidelines for writing a book in these free writing classes by bestselling authors.
Also, check out the book writing tips for beginners below, for more advice on how to start writing a book for the first time, and subscribe to this free video training for authors to help you get your first 10,000 readers.
Book Writing Tips for Beginners
- Free Book Writing Classes & Creative Writing Courses
- Best Creative Writing Masterclasses By Masterclass Authors
- Free Book Writing Software For Beginners
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- 7 Habits Of The Most Successful Writers & Famous Authors
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- How To Learn Creative Writing & Become a Better Writer
- How To Learn Lucid Dreaming For Creativity & Personal Growth
- 10 Reasons To Build A Writer Platform With A Blog
- Amazon KDP Publishing Tips & Checklist To Self-Publish On Kindle
- How To Write A Bestseller: Writing A Book That Sells
- How To Become A Book Writer Without Writing A Book
- 5 Book Marketing Strategies For Self-Published Authors
- How To Boost Book Sales With Advertising For Authors