How to Write a Book – Part Five

How to Write a Book

Some hints and tips near the end

Okay, so now you’ve sent your work out to the editor you can sit back and put your feet up right? Wrong, there’s still loads to do!

Below I am going to give you just a few ideas of other stuff that you can be working on while your writing is away. These are bits that I learnt from reading various blogs and through speaking with some helpful authors along the way.

1)      Title – You obviously need a title and it doesn’t sound like too much of a big job, but it’s very important. When people can only see the spine of your book, suddenly the title becomes a serious consideration.

I found a really good article on title creation by Rachelle Gardner and I recommend you have a read of it. Without going into what it says in great depth, she highlights some important considerations and gives you a great head start.

I can add to this by advising that when you decide upon a name have a really good hunt around online to make sure it’s not already being used by someone else!

2)      Front Cover – This has to be one of the most important decisions that you will make. You’ve heard the saying countless times before “never judge a book by its cover”, well guess what, most people do. So you need to make sure that when people see your front cover they catch their breath and say “Wow”. There are still ropey looking covers out there and I believe it’s definitely worth spending some money on this stage. This was my one big outlay but I’m so happy with it and believe it was very worthwhile.

3)      The Blurb – This is going to be the bit that in very few words tells people what your book is about, what they can expect, and more importantly, will give them a fairly good idea if they’re going to enjoy it or not. Another important element and here’s a useful article from Rebecca Laffar-Smith on writing a synopsis.

4)      Cover Design – You make think that this is the same as the front cover bit but it’s not. Once you do get your awesome artwork back you still need to design the front and back cover, choosing font types, sizes and colours, how to display your blurb on the back, where to put your ISBN number etc. Which, leads nicely on to your ISBN…

5)      ISBN – You can get yourself an ISBN number from Nielsen. I think you can buy one on its own but I’m not sure how that works (check out their site for further details) or you can do what I did and buy a batch of ten. Don’t forget if you’re publishing your first novel as an eBook and a paperback then you’ll need a separate ISBN for each anyway, so the batch of ten is probably the best buy. Don’t leave this process until the last minute either as it can take about two weeks from your initial application to get the numbers through.

6)      Price – This is another headache, what do you charge for your book? It’s not such a dilemma if you’re talking about a paperback, but if you’re referring to an eBook it can take some serious thought. There’s loads of advice out there and it all differs, so this is something that you’re going to have to decide by yourself. I do think that we shouldn’t undervalue our work and I don’t think I’ll be giving my book away for free just yet, but there may come a time when that’s appropriate.

7)      Agents & Publishers – Another consideration is whether or not you want to approach any agents or publishers before you self-publish your work. You could just go ahead and self-publish whilst doing this, the choice is yours. I don’t personally know if the fact that a book has been already released will put them off but it’s something for you to think about and maybe make some more enquiries if you feel you need that question answered.

So, there are just a few ideas to get you started. I’m sure once you’re underway many more will spring to mind. Why not share them below to help out others in this process.

In the final part of ‘How to Write a Book’ we’ll be looking at the social media side of things and building yourself a platform.


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