Wednesday, September 8, 2010

So You’ve Written A Book. Now What? (The Beginning)

How do I write a book? I’ve got lots of ideas, but don’t really know how to put it all together. How do I make it readable, so people will really enjoy it? What about getting it published? I’ve heard horror stories about agents, editors and publishers.

Do these sound like your questions and concerns, or those of friends you know who are starting this agonizing process of writing and publishing? Whether you are writing a little table book for your family about your trip around the world or you’re planning to write a series of exciting murder mysteries, there are a number of things that will make you or break you, get your book published and into public view or sink it right from the beginning, or bring you success ($$$) or just cost you ($$$.) Let me share just a couple of them here and then, hopefully, direct you on to doing the very best you can do.

Before you begin, what do you want to write and who will it be for? A book about horses can be for adults or children. It can be with lots of illustrations or with none (again, children or adults either way.) There are mysteries for women or for a general audience. Ones that are higher that G-rated or those for a Christian market. So there are a lot of things to think about before you even get started.

Then, how do I write the very best book possible? This question is probably my mantra. What do I look for in self-editing, before it goes out to an audience of agents and publishers? What is the story flow? I think my story is exciting, but is it? I’m trying to tell about my heroes so people will understand them, but is it too much? Where can I get help on the actual style or format of my book?

And ultimately, what kind of publishers are there and how can I get my manuscript in front of them? What about marketing?

These are only a few of the questions you will face as you begin this process and work through to actually getting published. And they go and on and on.

I’ll be back next time with looking at beginning to put your work on paper and then beginning the process of making it the best you can, so come back for the next part, Self-Editing. Or, jump right into the Website and see the mini-book, So You’ve Written A Book. Now What? at

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Jim Magwood is the author of the international mystery novel, SANCTION. You can visit him at his site, He is also the webmaster of a site dedicated to showcasing authors and their works to readers everywhere at a cost any author can afford. Visit The Author’s Inn at

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