Once you have that great idea for a book, it’s time to develop a plan. This is an important step and varies depending on your reasons for writing a book. If your objective when writing a book is to make a profit, then the first step in the plan should be to decide who will want to read your book. It’s called knowing your market. The only way to make certain your book will be purchased is to know who is going to purchase it before you write the first sentence.
Once you know who will buy the book you will know the information they want and need and then you are ready to beginning planning the actual writing of the book. The first step in this process is compiling all the information you have on the topic. I prefer to compile all my data in a word processor because once I am ready to organize it the task will be much easier. Don’t worry about organizing all the information initially because it will cause you to overlook important things. Just compile every piece of information that could potentially contribute to your book.
Once you have the information compiled begin organizing using an outline. I begin by creating the outline at the beginning of all my compiled information. I list the headings and cut and paste the information that fits in that heading. I don’t attempt to put it in order at this point but just organize the data under the appropriate headings. Usually during this process I come up with headings that I had not considered because of all the loose information I have gathered.
Once I have all the headings I copy and paste them to form a well organized outline of everything that I want to write. During this process I add even more information to each heading and I wind up with a well organized outline for my book and I can begin writing. In my next post I will cover how I use this outline to write my book.
Are there less costly ways to self publish a print book than through Createspace? I know they exist and I have checked out some of them. I stick with Createspace because they consistently do a good job and give me excellent customer service if a problem does arise.
My goal in self publishing is to make a profit and keep things as simple as possible. Createspace keeps my upfront cost low but more importantly, once you learn how to prepare your interior and cover files, they take care of everything. You can market your book around the world and they handle all aspects of the fulfillment.
Certainly I could make more on each book if I purchased a quantity and fulfilled the orders myself but that would also take a lot of my time away from writing and publishing other books and that is where I prefer to spend my time. Once I have published a book I never have to do anything else other than marketing using my web site and other methods.
Createspace creates an eStore for my books in addition to placing it on Amazon. They also make it available worldwide. When an order comes in, the credit card sale is processed, the book is printed in the appropriate country, and the book is shipped to the customer promptly. At the end of the month my share of the sale is deposited in my bank account.
For me this makes business easy so I can continue writing which is what I love to do. Createspace has worked for me since 2007 and after 18 books I don’t have a single complaint about the way they do business.
Why do you want to write a book? There are probably as many answers as there are writers. For me there are three reasons and the main one is that I enjoy writing about the things I do. The second reason is because I enjoy teaching others how to do the things I have learned to do well. It feels good to pass along valuable knowledge to others. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I do it for the money. I enjoy selling my books and when people are willing to pay for the information I write about it seems to add value.
Would I continue to write even if my books didn’t sell? I have no doubt that I would. Perhaps it wouldn’t be as much fun but that wouldn’t stop me. Sitting at a computer and putting down your thoughts and ideas for others to read is too much fun to stop just because the money doesn’t come. Anyway, that’s just me.
What about you? Why do you write? Is it about profit or do you just write for the enjoyment. Or, are you like me and both are important to you. I believe that just wanting to write is reason enough. There is no need to justify writing a book or anything else if it is what you want to do.
After writing and publishing several books on the business of woodworking I decided to write a book for novice woodworkers. All my business books include some information about the simplified methods I use to increase profits. These same methods are excellent to help novice woodworkers to design and build simplified quality projects. Instead of just writing the book I’ve decided to begin sharing the information immediately in a blog called Woodworking Simplified: Building Cabinets, Bookcases, and Other Wood Projects Faster, Easier, and Safer. After just a few weeks the blog is quite extensive. Check it out now at http://bit.ly/10JeEA3 .
You can write and publish a book or ebook entirely on your own but many of the steps can be difficult and lacking experience you can come up with a poor quality book that could hinder sales in spite of your marketing efforts. If you want to do it all, my self publishing workbook (http://selfpublishingworkbook.com/) can be a great help and you can find help in this blog plus soon I will have some tutorials available on specific aspects of the publishing process for both print and ebooks. Unless you are already skilled in the various steps involved or can learn them, I suggest that you hire some help to ensure a quality book.
I write how-to books so for me the writing is about helping others to do a specific job, perform a task, or run a business. I write about what I know and have personally experienced. As I read posts, comments, articles, and even books, I notice that individuals have questions or sometimes I just notice that information seems complex and I can simplify it with my own information. This is how the idea begins and in the next posts I’ll cover how I take those ideas and apply them to my writing.
If you plan to do most of the work yourself because you have the skills or face a limited budget it takes some time and effort to learn the various aspects. I believe that the entire process is often overcomplicated or over priced unnecessarily. To do it yourself it’s important to keep things as simple as possible. I am including a series of posts on my publishing simplified blog and will be sharing some of that information on this blog also. This will include specific methods for simplifying every task. This post is an introduction to the many simple methods I use to write and publish my books and ebooks. These are methods that you can use to keep things simple.
I write and publish how-to books based on my personal experience but my methods will work just as well for any non-fiction books even if based on research and will even help with fiction books. In the next few posts I will cover every step I go through when writing and publishing my books. If you find them of value you can follow them and ask any questions you may have.
In the next post I will describe how I begin writing my books.
For me, backups have to be controlled manually and they can’t be overdone. I can’t conceive of trusting years of my valuable data to anyone. I’m fairly certain that most individuals would consider my backup methods overkill. I have an original and two copies of all my data on external USB drives and none of it is in the cloud. I encourage others to to do the same because I know it’s critically important to take data backup seriously but there is another method.
Backup to the cloud has become quite popular and some companies provide an excellent service that promises automatic backups. All you do is configure it and then forget it. The forget it part worries me. If you choose to use a cloud based backup method I strongly encourage you to check your backups at regular intervals to make certain they are working as configured. Automatic is great but a small glitch could cause the backup process to stop and without notification you might never know until you really needed the backup and it wasn’t there. Take care of yourself by checking your backups regularly.
As an IT professional I deal with computer problems everyday but it still surprises me when individuals lose years of work because of a serious computer crash. In many of these cases backup methods are readily available but simply not used. While most large businesses realize the consequences of lost data and have extensive backup methods that even include multiple location replication, individuals still seem to believe that computers, laptops, and tablets are invincible and don’t require backup. After losing hundreds of pages of your inspired writing you will certainly realize the folly of that belief. Hopefully you won’t wait until that happens to start backing up your work. More on backup in my next post.
Since I publish books for other writers in addition to self publishing my own writing, the publishing aspect of my business takes a lot of my time but the writing is what I enjoy the most. As a one-person business I get to handle everything so simplifying is critical. I’m often told that I can make more money by printing my books in quantity and fulfilling the orders myself and I realize that’s true. Unfortunately, that takes a lot of time that I prefer to spend writing. And, realistically, if you consider the time spent in storing, packaging, and shipping out books, you really aren’t making more money, you are getting paid for the additional labor. For me POD (print on demand) is the only sensible method and Createspace is my choice to handle my printing and fulfillment worldwide. I do all the front end work including design, formatting, layout, cover creation, and then upload it all. Once I go through the proof process to make certain of the quality of the book, then I can focus on marketing and let Createspace handle all the fulfillment no matter where in the world the orders come from. This allows me the time to write.
Naturally, each of us has to choose the best path to self publishing but for me, after twelve books and 7 years, Createspace print on demand is what works best.