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Could you write a bestselling book?

todayNovember 15, 2022 1

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People often say they have a book in them but just never have the time to write it. Do you have a bestseller buried deep within? Might you be the next Julia Donaldson, JK Rowling or Stephen King if you just had a bit more time?

Could you write a book?

First things first, let’s leave the word ‘bestselling’ out of it. The truth is, anyone can write a book. Granted, it might not be very good, but there’s nothing stopping you aside from yourself. The biggest factors that prevent most people from doing so are time – there’s far too much other stuff going on in your life – and confidence – you don’t think it would be good enough to publish. In reality, you won’t know until you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and give it a go.

How do I go about it?

Writing takes time and discipline. It sounds obvious, but you have to get the words on the page; it doesn’t just happen by osmosis. Most writers spend an agonisingly long time researching, writing and editing their work. You’re very unlikely to be granted extra (or paid) hours to write your book, so you’ll have to carve it out of your existing timeline to do so, which may mean sacrificing other things. If possible, set aside a set time each day or week and keep that exclusively for book stuff. Even if you just spend it doing research or staring at a blank screen, don’t let anything encroach on this time. And remember that a first draft is exactly that. You can craft and recraft it once you have words on the page, so don’t worry too much about it being excellent first time round. It most likely won’t be!

Find an editor

Once you have a first (or ideally second) draft, it’s worth putting some feelers out for editors who could give initial feedback. If your book is very niche, it’s worth finding an editor who is an expert in that particular field (ie steam trains/eighteenth-century literary fiction/apologetics). A good editor will work with you collaboratively, encouraging you to make helpful rewrites and politely pointing out any issues with your writing before the critics get their hands on it.  

Find a publisher

If you’re after a traditional book deal, you may need an agent to help you pitch your book to the publisher. Research agents and publishers who work on books similar to yours and make sure you contact them in the way specified on their websites. You may want to self-publish your book, in which case you can skip this step, but you’ll still need to do some research when it comes to book cover design, interior design, printing, uploading and selling your book. There are definite pros to self-publishing if it’s done well.

Sell your book

Most people feel that their work is done once the book has been printed, but in reality it’s only just begun. You will need to promote your book well if you want it to sell. Get on top of social media and see how other authors use their platforms to shift copies. Arrange blog tours and send free copies to influential book bloggers/reviewers. Encourage friends and family to write reviews. You may even want to pay a marketing agency to get your book out there.

Go for it!

If you have the inclination, the idea and the time to write a book, go for it! Don’t wait for guarantees of it being a bestseller, as they will never come. Just do your best and see what happens. Enjoy the process, and if it turns out to be a success… that’s an added bonus!

Written by: Steven Grimmer

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