There are many reasons that people choose to write books. Having an escape and allowing others an opportunity to escape, or building authority in an industry are just a couple, but there are endless motivations. So long as you are driven and have the knowledge and passion for writing, you have the opportunity to shine.

It can help to keep the reason why you are writing your book in mind throughout. This helps with remembering why you started if you need some encouragement, and can often make the process of writing quicker.

In this blog, we have outlined 10 tips to help when it comes to writing a book and taking the steps towards publication. These pointers can be effective in keeping you on track throughout the process of writing a book, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction.

1.      Develop a Strong Idea

Every book starts with an idea. Before you dive straight into writing a book, try to identify a gap in the market and make it a bestselling idea. While this may sound like it’s easier said than done, take a look at the top-performing books in the genre that you are writing about as a starting point.

Make sure that the story or information you want to share in your book will be different from what is out there at the moment. Uniqueness is key.

2.      Arrange your Creative Environment

Once you have examined the competition and thought a bit deeper about your idea, you will need to create a working space that will encourage productivity.

This doesn’t mean that you have to re-arrange your entire workspace, but simple steps such as closing your emails and social media and turning your phone off or putting it to one side can help you to focus your thoughts at first.

With fewer opportunities for procrastination, you can help to eliminate excuses for not writing the book.

3.      Research

Once you have your idea, think about what you need to know. It is best to list all of the things you need to find out first, and then to set a time frame for research so that you don’t get carried away and end up procrastinating.

If you need to research occupations, cultures, historical events and so on, do some preliminary research. Should you need to delve further into a topic, you can re-visit it at a later date, but at this stage, try to get enough information to help you plan out the main parts of the book.

You may also want to think about the motivation behind your book; is it fiction or non-fiction? Visit our blog for some guidance on different writing styles to suit the messaging.

4.      Outline the Story

Mind mapping is helpful here. Separate all ideas on a mind-map first. You can then transfer each part of the story to sticky notes and move them around so that they fit into the right parts of the story. These sticky notes could indicate different chapters.

Having this outline when writing a book will help to keep on track and to organise all ideas, making it easier to focus as you write. You will always know what is coming up next if you plan it out before you start.

5.      One at a Time

Stay committed to one project at a time. This may seem difficult to do, as new and exciting ideas may arise, or projects may be offered to you. There is lots to think about and organise when writing a book, and having details of two or three books in your head at once may confuse things and make it take longer to write.

Learn to turn down other projects and not to spread yourself too thin. Stay focused!

If you do have a genius idea, make a note somewhere but then re-focus on your current project.

6.      Set Deadlines

Whatever your timeframe, be sure to set ‘checkpoints’. This can help to focus on the different stages of writing a book and keeping your focus, motivating you to keep going and to work effectively.

Remember that in addition to the research, planning and actual writing of a book, you will also need to allow time for editing, proofreading and publishing.

7.      Edit

Once your first draft has been completed, it is time for editing.

First, read through the book yourself to see if the messages you aimed to convey were achieved and if you feel your storytelling makes sense. If chapters need to be rearranged, this is your chance to do so.

When you are content with the structure of the book, get a second set of eyes to edit it, too. Ask a trusted colleague, peer or a professional editor to carefully edit the book. At this stage, you can also find out if the book makes sense to them. If so, brilliant! If more things need clarifying, you can add or change elements of the book at this stage.

8.      Proofread

The proofreading stage comes after all of the editing is complete. A proofreader’s role is to check the syntax, grammar and punctuation within the book, so if any small errors such as typos have been made in the writing or editing stages, they can be rectified at this point.

Our professional proofreaders have the skills and expertise to proofread your book efficiently and to the highest standard. Obtain an instant quote, and we will make sure that your book is to the best grammatical standards with no silly or potentially embarrassing mistakes.

9.      Prepare Manuscript

You may already have an idea of the publishers you want to send your book to. Each publisher is likely to have their own guidelines, as they can adapt them to a format which is the easiest for them to work with.

If you take the time to follow the guidelines set out by these publishers, it will show that you are serious about working with them and understand what they are looking for.

10.       Query Letter

Your query letter is a one-page document that you send to literary agents and it has to excite them about your book. The intention of the query letter is to intrigue these agents enough to request your manuscript.

It may be challenging to condense your entire book into about 300 words, but it has to be done.

Give a very brief summary of the book, the genre, word count and why you wrote it.  Then, give a one or two paragraph introduction to the book as well as a short introduction to yourself.

There are plenty of resources online which can give you a deeper insight into what makes a fantastic query letter which, when you get to this stage, you could take a look at.

An Introduction to Writing a Book

We hope that our top ten tips for writing a book help you in the planning and execution of your book.

Remember that at Express Proofreading, we offer proofreading as well as editing services to make sure that your work is the best it can be before you send it off to the publishers.

If you want to check things through yourself first, read our blog on how to effectively proofread your documents. For more information about our book proofreading services visit our book proofreading page and obtain an instant proofreading quote today.