writing books for beginners

How To Start Writing A Book For Beginners

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Want to write a book but don’t know where to start? Learn how to start writing a book for beginners with these book writing tips 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.

In January 2022, I published my first science-fiction novella, Mars Glow: Aera Cura, and made it a bestseller in the Top Free Kindle Book listings.

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.

book publishing

How to write a book for beginners

For aspiring writers and novelists who 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 achieve your goals.

These book writing tips will help you learn how to start writing a book for beginners and become a published author.

#1. Choose your book genre & category

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, write a memoir book, or write a poetry book? If you want to write fiction, what genre of fiction do you want to write?

book writing for beginners

The reason this tip for writing a book matters is that choosing the right browse categories and Amazon keywords (or metadata) for your book will influence how readers find and purchase your book in the Amazon marketplace.

You must be able to identify the right Amazon book categories and keywords to increase traffic and use metadata to create a strong detail page that impacts conversion to sales.

In order to do this, you must find the right Amazon book category to get ranked in, identify the best Amazon keywords, and track your books and those of competing authors for sales ranking.

There are several Amazon keyword research tools that will help you tweak your Amazon book listing so you can generate maximum Kindle book sales.

KDSPY is one of the best tools an author can use 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.

#2. Choose your book title & topic

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.

In this free Webinar on 5 Steps to Planning & Publishing a Best-Selling Book, Brian Tracy, the best-selling author of 80+ books, will show you his non-fiction writing techniques for choosing a book topic and title.

plr ebooks

#3. Consult a book coach or literary agent

The reason you should consult a literary agent or expert book consultant before you even start writing a word is that you need an idea of what types of books readers are buying, and what book topics publishers are currently looking for.

A writer who is passionate about what they write is more likely to become a bestselling author, but passion can only take you so far.

It can help to know which literary tropes to avoid or what sort of books are selling right now, and this is the sort of advice that a book coach or literary agent can offer.

For example, a book publisher or literary agent accepting manuscripts for science-fiction novels may be able to give you specific tips for hot topics and themes that readers are looking for.

This five-minute agent evaluation will help you discover the three most common manuscript “red flags” that send literary agents and publishers running for the hills, and show you how to fix them so you can avoid the slush pile and make your mark on the shelves.

You can also learn the secrets of bestselling authors by doing one or more MasterClass writing classes by famous MasterClass authors.

author of a book

#4. Write your book outline or plot

As an aspiring author, it’s helpful to know that there are two types of authors so you can understand which one you are:

  • Plotters are writers who need an outline to write
  • Pantsers are 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 a book outline or plot first.

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.

If you’re writing fiction, it’s important to start out with your book plot and learn how to write a novel outline. If you’re writing a non-fiction book, such as a how-to guide, you’ll still need to create an outline to follow.

How To Write A Book For Beginners

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.

Before you begin writing, use this free novel writing guide to plan out your narrative arc, and key plot points, flesh out your characters and begin to build your world so that when you begin your writing journey, you’ll have a map to guide you.

You can also use AutoCrit, a novel writing software, for step-by-step recommendations for improving your manuscript in over 20 areas with the click of a button.

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 your manuscript

Once your book manuscript is complete, you must 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 book writing, editing, publishing, and promotion tasks on the Fiverr Self-Publishing Services site.

book authors

#6. Contact a book publisher

If you want to get your book published traditionally, it’s a good idea to first find out what sort of book topics publishers are looking for. You can get this information from printed resource guides, like the latest Writer’s Market Guide.

Once your book has been proofread and edited, you’re ready to send your manuscript to book agents or publishing companies, along with a professional query letter and a compelling book proposal.

In this free writing course, award-winning book writing coach, Lisa Tener shows you how to write a book and a book proposal to get published.

In the Big Book Deal course, you’ll learn how to sell a non-fiction book to a major publisher that offers the highest advances so you have the best chance of landing your book on the bestseller lists.

steps to writing a novel for beginner

If you don’t have access to a list of book agents or publishers, you can browse websites like QueryTracker to look for the right agent or publisher for your genre.

You’ll be required to submit a synopsis and a few chapters of your book manuscript, along with a query letter.  So make sure you have all of this information ready before you contact the agent or book publisher.

You can also consult with 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.

In this Free 20-Step Author Quick Start Guide, Brian Tracy offers useful tips to quickly and easily organize your book, secret writing exercises to improve your writing speed, and a simple plan for getting your book into publishers’ hands immediately.

How To Become Writer

#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?

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, you may want to consider self-publishing on Amazon KDP.

According to author Derek Murphy:

“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.”

Book publishing is an ever-changing business, and this free eBook on How To Go From First Draft To Published Author will walk you through the entire process, from refining your manuscript to deciding on a publishing path to get your book out there.

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.

published author

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 you’re figuring out 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 to know more.

If it’s a novel, you might start with a character or scene that is likely to intrigue your reader. 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.

But even a non-fiction book can start with an intriguing story that raises questions you can answer in later chapters. For example, Malcolm Gladwell is a master of creative non-fiction and storytelling.

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, establish the tone and style of the book, and they introduce the main characters and plot.

This free Creating Legends eBook will teach you how to create characters who are compelling, engaging, and relatable based on their actions, motives, and history.

kindle self publishing

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, 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.

book consultant

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.

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 in a creative writing MasterClass.

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.

self publishing

Book writing tips for beginners

How To Write A Book For Beginners
How To Write A Book Step-By-Step
How To Start Writing A Book For Beginners
How To Start Writing A Book
Writing A Book For Beginners
Beginners Guide To Writing A Book
How To Start Writing A Novel For Beginners

© 2021 – 2022, Priya Florence Shah. All rights reserved.

2 thoughts on “How To Start Writing A Book For Beginners”

  1. The thought of writing a book was very annoying before I read your article. But after reading this article I have gained confidence and I think that I can definitely write my own book. Thank you for providing me with so much inspiration from your article.

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