How To Be A Writer. You Can Quickly Turn Your Expert Knowledge, Business Experience, Or Hobby Into A Best-Selling eBook!
Learn to Make the Decision
The first problem most novice writers face is actually making the decision to write a book. Many people will think and talk about writing a book for months or years, and then do nothing constructive about their ideas. In order to start their recovery program, the first thing an alcoholic or compulsive gambler must do, is openly and publicly admit their addiction.
Similarly, your first action as a writer is to tell yourself, your family, and all your friends that you’re a writer…and start believing it! Assemble the necessary equipment and software – a good word processor or personal computer and a competent writing program, which includes a dictionary, spell checker, thesaurus, and much more.
A word processor is a computer program providing more features than a basic text editor such as the WordPad program that comes as part of Microsoft's Windows operating system. The term originated to distinguish simple text building programs from text editing software. A word-processor is much more than just a text-editor. It has features to modify text and layout, as well as include images and graphics. The higher-end word processors evolve into publishing software.
The professional writer usually prefers a simple word-processor and ignoring all the bells and whistles will churn out standard text in a Times 12-point font. Apart from headings, paragraph and first-line formatting, with a page-break at the end of each chapter, the rest of the formatting is left to editing and eBook compiling.
Here is a list of free Word Processors you can download and use now:
- Abiword: AbiWord is a free word processing program similar to Microsoft® Word. It is suitable for a wide variety of word processing tasks. AbiWord allows you to collaborate with multiple people on one document at the same time. Click here for more info online...
- OpenOffice Writer: OpenOffice is one of the most acclaimed free office suites of software. Their popularity increases daily, because it is completely open source, and is regularly updated. One of the modules of OpenOffice is Writer, which is free word processing program. It provides most of the features that Microsoft Word offers, and more. Check it out online here...
- IBM Lotus Symphony 3: This free software lets you create all type of documents. It supports both Microsoft Word format, as well as .odt format of OpenOffice. Download a copy here...
- Google Docs: With this free online software, you can create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations for your business. Click here to take a tour online...
It's Not What You Say,
It's How You Say It!
You'll no doubt have heard some people telling a joke or a really funny story and hardly getting a laugh. You'll also have seen other people tell the same joke or story in such a way that their audience is laughing until their eyes stream with tears.
It's all a matter of timing, facial expression, voice inflection, body language, and simply knowing how to tell it in a professional manner. Skills that are learned over time and after hours of practice.
Some writers are so taken up with their work, they think that once they've written 'The End' their job is over. They use the first compiler they find and churn out a 'home-made' eBook. Then they wonder why it bombs...A good eBook must have great content, which has to be well-presented and easy to follow and read. The appearance of each page must be attractive, while navigation must be simple and encourage the reader to continue.
There are many ways this can be achieved, according to the style of the content and length of the eBook. Download a few eBooks from this Website, and you'll see some of the different approaches you can use.
The Dreaded Blank Page
Your next problem to overcome is the dreaded ‘blank page’ syndrome. Many established writers suffer all kinds of mental blocks, traumas, and self-doubt from staring at the blank page on their screen. Some will stare for hours or even days, and many turn to the bottle for inspiration.
The only solution that works every time is the instant you open the blank page you start writing…without forethought or planning. Just let the words flow. You’ll be surprised how your writing soon falls into place and follows the outline of your project.
Sometimes, rather than writing large paragraphs of copy, if you’re stuck for ideas you can start a list. For example if you are writing about ‘apples’ you can start your list: apple pie; apple tree; cooking apple; toffee apple; and so on. What this exercise will do is start the process of thinking about the subject, and as you write each item on the list, the more ideas will come to your mind.
Titles And Sub-Titles
Many writers of novels and short stories say they simply sit at their word processor and start writing, and let the story and characters develop. However, writers of non-fiction need to prepare their writing projects more thoroughly, so that the writing is easier and the finished work follows a pre-set pattern.
When you open your first blank page, jot down a series of working titles for your project, and one of them will soon grow on you, and develop into the final book title. Ideally, the title needs to be short – pithy, and to the point, so the subject matter is instantly obvious.
Many books of non-fiction also have a sub-heading, which can be considerably longer and not only explain what the book is about, but also say why this book is different. Write out a number of different sub-titles, and over time you can develop the best of them for the finished book.
Write A Summary
It is often a good idea to write a thesis that completely summarises your book. This exercise can also give you a better understanding of what you want to achieve. When you write this summary, you must keep in mind exactly who it is that you’re writing this book for – who you anticipate will be your market.
You must also consider your reasons for writing the book: Is it a book for sale, to generate profits? Do you want the book to promote you, your business, your Website, or is it a free-gift for users who complete a survey, or subscribe to your newsletter, and much more.
Your Book Outline
It may be necessary to divide your book into different parts; for example, if you are writing a book on athletics, you may have the first part for track events, and the second part for field events.
You then may need sections within each division; in the athletics book, there may be a section for each distance in the track events division, and for each discipline in the field events division. Finally, each section will have chapters; the marathon section in the track events division may have chapters on clothing, footwear, training, racing, warm-ups and cooling down, food and food supplements, weight lifting, and much more.
Once you have completed this outline, you’ll find it much easier to actually research and write the book. Furthermore, you customers will find the book a great deal easier to read.
Research The Contents
It is likely, and probably advisable, that your first book will be on a subject that you know well, or perhaps you are even an expert with considerable experience.
This is excellent, and you’ll be able to write a believable book. However, there may well be new developments in some areas, and it is a good idea for you to do some comprehensive research on each topic.
Schedule A Time To Write
If you do not set a daily schedule that clearly sets out the periods allocated to writing, your writing project is likely to be doomed for failure from the start.
We are creatures of habit, and if you write for a specific length of time, and at the same time each day, you will quickly form the writing habit. However, if you are not strict, and simply sit down to write when you feel the urge, or when you have some free time, your work will be all uphill!
Your Writing Style
Your book will be easier for your customers to read (and for you to write) if you use your normal style of talking and thinking. You must write with a casual, conversational manner rather than adopting a formal tone. We all have friends and relatives who put on that special voice when taking a business phone call and it is so unnatural. Especially in writing.
There are some links below to Websites with specific information on style and grammar for business writing - ideal for non-fiction writers.
Practice Makes Perfect
Like most things worthwhile in life, good writing takes a great deal of practice to learn, which means you must write a number of pages every day. If you do this for just one month, then go back, and read the first day’s writing, you will be surprised at how much you have improved. You will notice so many mistakes and poor writing in your first pages!
Useful Links for Writers:
- The Economist Magazine - An International Style Guide
- An American Style Guide from Webster
- Grammar and Style for Business and the Internet
- Excellent tips on Writing for Journalists and Magazine Writers
- The Elements of Style - William Strunk, Jnr.