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How to write your own book & get published

Updated on July 4, 2011

Following your dream

Many authors have a dream to complete their own novel, get published and live happily ever after. As great an ambition as this is, it can be difficult to pursue because of the level of competition. However, knowing the ins and outs of what to do and what not to do means nothing is off limits if you wish to write your own book and get published.

Gain inspiration and banish fears

Before you begin to put pen to paper and construct that award winning novel, it's crucial to plan well and get your head straight. Many people begin their journey to success without a stable anchor that keeps them in the right place, and this is usually the biggest mistake of all.

Think positive

The key to becoming a great and successful author is to have unlimited inspiration and no fears. Fears are what stops many talented writers from getting their big break. This could be a fear to construct relationships with those who could help assist you on your way to success, or maybe a fear of being rejected and giving up all to soon.

Learning how to have determination, motivation and a complete focus on the task ahead is a great start. Remember, that everyone fears in their lifetime. No matter how confident or powerful, fear arises in many situations, especially those that an individual is not used to.

Do not let anyone knock you down. If negative comments arise from anyone who thinks you can't succeed, completely ignore them. They'll be the foolish one when you do succeed. These people are narrow minded and want to knock you off course, so keep your head held high and tell yourself, 'I can do this.'

Acting confident, even though it may be a front, is helpful to getting past the hurdles of nerves and fear of rejection. Think positively and nothing should stand in your way. Even the most successful authors felt they didn't stand a chance, but if you have something interesting to bring to the table and a commitment to be desired then there is not much chance of failure.

Planning your journey

Take a pin board or a notice board that you are able to fix to your wall and view at all times. On this board, add some inspirational quotes from your idols, inspirational pieces of writing from yourself and even some images. These images could be of wonderful places or things that you wish to do someday. Viewing these images on a daily basis will motivate you and push you to work hard constantly, for that career and lifestyle of freedom that you desire.

Aswell as this, place a date or time limit as to when you hope to complete your book. Having a time limit helps to keep a person on track and determined to meet it. When you set yourself a target and do not meet it, there is a real lack of commitment. Get ideas from other authors and take a notepad wherever you go. This way you can write down ideas that arise from everyday situations and even gain some knowledge from those that have conquered the industry.

Once you have these points under control, you should feel comfortable and ready to face the obstacle course that stands in your way. Remember, the obstacle course is as easy as you allow it to be. Work well, persevere and things are sure to run smoothly.

Writing your book

When you decide to write your book, you should think well about your subject. Many people fail when they decide to write a book because they do not thoroughly decide what they wish to write about.

This then either turns into an unfinished book, a book that is no good or results in the person having to rewrite the entire thing because they changed their mind on the topic. Avoid this from happening by planning well.

Getting an idea

Ask yourself: What do people want to read about? Don't just pluck up answers from this question by assuming you know what people wish to read about. Ask some friends, family and members of the public about their favourite hobbies, topics and things they enjoy to read about.

From the answers you'll receive, you can distinguish the answers that regularly crop up and use them to create your book. If you have chosen what you want to write about and are certain this is what you would like your book to be based on, then why not do another questionnaire asking people if this is the type of thing they'd like to read about?

Whatever you decide upon, ensure you have a good understanding and knowledge of what you are writing about. Without knowing what to write about you will have to conduct alot of research and waste alot of time. It is good to research on certain areas of your writing, but when you have no idea about the subject, your readers will recognise that you know little about what you are writing.

Setting yourself a schedule

A daily or weekly schedule is essential to creating your book in the time limit you have set yourself. Depending on your other commitments such as work or caring for family, you should try to figure out the how much time you can spend on writing each day.

Set yourself a plan which you can also add to your pin board or notice board. This means you do not slip in your schedule. You are your own boss, so discipline yourself and work hard. How else will you succeed if you put no effort in?

If making a schedule on paper is not enough motivation, create reminders or alarms on your cell phone that will remind you constantly when you should be working.

Where you write and what you use to write

As important as anything else is the location you write in and what you use to write with. For an author, it is important to have a quiet and tranquil space of your own where you can be alone wih your thoughts and have the calm atmosphere that you need to write well.

This could be yor bedroom, garden or a seperate room just for you. Try to have a space that is comfortable and with no distractions. Avoid television or radio playing in the background and put all of your concentration into your writing. This is where the best writing stems from.

Aswell as this, think to yourself: What am I using to write my book?

Many people choose to write on pen and paper. If this is so, use a hardback notepad and keep it in a safe place. It may be a good idea to use pencil so that when you make a mistake (as everybody does) you can easily erase it and avoid confusion from messy crossing outs.

Alternatively, many people use a computer. There are a variety of computer softwares that allow you to write pieces and save them to your computer. Whichever you are most comfortable with using, be sure to spell check your writing thoroughly for errors and back up your work efficiently.

Work that is not backed up will be at risk of getting lost if your computer has a problem. Purchase a USB or a cd-rom if you do not have one and save all your work onto this.

Getting your book published

If you are happy with your book after your hard work, you should certainly try to be rewarded. Having people notice your writing and read your stories is a very enjoyable thing and is certainly worth the wait.

This is the area most writers get stuck on. As difficult as it may be to commit time to a job such as writing and completing a long awaited novel, it can be even more challenging to get your work noticed. So long as you have a good attitude, confidence and interesting writing technique you should delve into the possibility of getting published.

How to get published

  • To begin in your quest to getting published you should do a little homework. Make sure you read. Read many types of writing from fiction to non-fiction. Understand a little about other languages and styles of writing. Also, reread. Whether you reread your work or others, this helps you to understand the way books work. Understanding this means you are more able to implement different styles of writing into your work, making you a valued author that someone wants to help get published.
  • Make sure your writing is honest. Readers can pick up when an author is writing for the wrong reasons or with little knowledge about their chosen topic. Using your own opinions and honesty in your writing allows your personality to reflect through, which is something a reader highly values. This is crucial for a book to be published.
  • Learn about the publishing indistry. Whether you have small talks or gain advice from those who know a little about publishing, this helps you to establish bonds and speak with those in authority. Even getting an internship in a publishing field can assist in your success. It's all about who you know and how willing you are to get involved. Always remember to focus on your goal and dreams.
  • Do some market research. This entirely depends on what your book is about. Conducting some research about the types of books that have been published in your area of writing, allows you to gain an insight into the type of work the author has done that has got them in this position. You can also learn how your market is competing in the sales stakes. Use the internet or visit libraries and bookstores.
  • Rewrite your work. This is essential to succeed. Your work, no matter how many times you have read over it may still contain minor errors. Rewriting your work helps you to highlight the problems, rectify them and be completely happy with the work you have produced. Never try to get published until your work is 100% complete. You could even get feedback off close family and friends who can give you tips and comments on how they found your writing.
  • Try to get an agent. This is not crucial but it does help. An agent can help you to send queries out to countless publishers in a professional manner. On these queries you can get some knowledge about the type of books these publishers want to promote and what you'll need to be accepted by them. Also, if you are faced with a possible contract, an agent can assure you that it is a safe contract with good prospects.
  • Now you have completed your manuscript, do some more research and query the best publishers in your area with a high success rate from their authors. Send your copies of work to these people and include an impressive covering letter. State your goals, ambitions and reasons for writing. This shows you have thought about what you want and are acting professional. Identify a publisher who specialises in your subject.
  • Number your pages. Sending off your manuscript without numbered pages can lower your chances of getting published. This may seem insane, but it's true and can really affect your chances. Provide work of a high quality, neatly presented with a covering letter and professionalism. Be honest and yourself. Allow your personality to shine through your writing, but one thing to avoid is adding a photo to your application. Just an address is all you need.
  • Finally, follow up on where you have submitted your manuscripts. It can sometimes take a few months to get a reply because of the high volume of people applying to get published. Keep a note of where you have submitted your work and stay target driven. Send another polite letter or call the publisher to get some feedback.

Success is just around the corner

Don't give up

As frustrating and time consuming as it may be to go through this process, the main thing is to never give up. The rewards of getting your book published is truly satisfying and can change your life. Nobody won by giving up too soon. Keep on striving for success and there's no reason why you won't get it. Good luck!


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    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 

      7 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Terrific advice. I like the idea of the board with motivational quotes - that can certainly help. Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • Obscure_Treasures profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      Nice hub. It is very motivational,and extremely useful.

      Keep up the great work.

    • BethanRose profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from South Wales

      Go for it! Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something. Let their negativity make you motivated to prove them you can do it! :-)

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Kitty Fields 

      7 years ago from Summerland

      I'm in the process of writing my first novel, too. There are many avenues to take in order to get published...with a publisher or by yourself. Great tips here...positivity is always needed for success. If I let everyone tell me that I can't succeed with my writing then I won't succeed...I'd give up. I've already had a few people tell me that I'll never be another "Anne Rice" or write a good novel...well POO on them! I don't want to be Anne Rice, I want to be myself and write what I enjoy writing! Voted up.

    • BethanRose profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from South Wales

      Nothing is out of reach if you really want it! Yes I have started mine, it was long awaited but things are slowly falling into place, just gotta put your mind to it. Thanks Husky for your great comments!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great hub and extremely useful. Writing and publishing a book seems like such a monumental task, but you make it seem possible. Your writing is very motivational. I hope you have started YOUR book. Let me know when it hits the market. Voted up and awesome.

    • BethanRose profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from South Wales

      Thanks so much! I'd love to publish my own book and I'm currently in the process of writing it, so who knows, one day!! Tell your grandpa to go for it!:)

    • profile image

      rorshak sobchak 

      7 years ago

      Nice Hub. My grandpa was thinking about starting his own book I would love to show this to him. Keep up the great work!

    • BethanRose profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from South Wales

      Thank you so much! Thats so kind... I appreciate it! And I'm glad you liked the hub! I enjoyed writing it! :)

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image


      7 years ago

      Great tips and advice! I am so impressed. right on! :-)

      I voted up and shared with many


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