This guide outlines how to write a book on any topic, with steps to take you from ideas through to publishing.
More and more people are writing books to share their stories and ideas with the world. As this happens, more people are curious and want to start their own books. If that’s you, here are some basic steps to help you get started writing a book about anything you want.
How to write a book: 6 steps
Step 1: Brainstorm Ideas
The first step in how to write a book is to identify a topic that interests you. Some people like the idea of writing about their life experiences, while others prefer to write fiction or nonfiction books on topics they’re knowledgeable about.
If you’re not sure where to start with this part of the process, try brainstorming ideas and making a list of topics that sound interesting. Don’t worry about editing your ideas just yet.
Once you have a good idea for your book in mind, it’s time for research. Researching related topics will help guide how much information needs to be included in each chapter so there aren’t any holes left behind when readers finish reading through all of them.
You’ll also want to do some research into whether there are other books out there already written on these same subjects and if so, what makes yours different?
Step 2: Outline Your Book
This step of how to write a book is where you organize your ideas into an outline, which will help you stay on track as you write. You can use the following steps to create an outline for your book.
Create a timeline for your book that includes the main events in each chapter, as well as any side stories or subplots that may be important but not central to the plot (for example, if one of your characters has a troubled past). It’s also important to note whether each event takes place before or after another event.
Then, you can break down each chapter into manageable chunks by listing out bullet points for each section of dialogue or description within that section. This will help keep things organized while writing so nothing important gets left out accidentally.
Step 3: Start Writing
Set aside a specific time each day to write. Make sure your writing environment is distraction-free. You can also keep track of your work counts to see how much progress you are making each day.
As you write, one of the most important steps in how to write a book is: don’t worry about it being perfect. You can go back and edit or revise sections of your book later on. The important thing is to get everything out on “paper” or in a computer document first.
Step 4: Edit and Revise
Read your book out loud. This is the best way to catch errors and awkward phrasing that you wouldn’t notice otherwise. After you do this and make edits, you can get feedback from others. Ask friends, family members, and colleagues to read your book as well. It’s easy to send them a free PDF copy. You can also post excerpts on social media and ask people there for their thoughts. You might be surprised by how many people are willing to share their opinions with you.
Step 5: Format Your Book
Book formatting is more important in how to write a book than many first-time authors realize. Formatting your book is the last step in the process, but it’s also one of the most important.
Your book will look unprofessional and amateurish if you don’t format it correctly. This means choosing the right book size, making sure you have a table of contents, and that each section or chapter is clearly marked.
You also need to use an easy-to-read font. This ensures that when you get to the step of book printing, people won’t struggle to get through the content and everything will look high-quality and professional.
Steps 6 (plus 7 and 8: Choosing Publishing Options, Book Printing, and Marketing
Finding a publisher can be a challenging part of how to write a book for first-time authors. It’s one of the reasons why many people choose to self-publish instead.
But even this route involves finding a book printer and marketing it yourself. Many people market their content through LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, and other social media platforms that align with their target audience of people likely to read their books.
If you find a traditional publisher, they can often take care of printing and marketing for you. If you are going to DIY the book, you can find printers like BookBaby that can create high-quality copies of your book for you.
Marketing then becomes about reaching out to influencers, doing a book launch with people who get to pre-read and promote your book, and even going on other blogs and podcasts to create content. You’ll need to sell your book online and have an e-commerce store that allows you to do this.