If you are new writer dreaming of publishing your first book, you might wonder what strategies to employ to finish your book and publish it for the world to see. Any published author will tell you that there are some basic skills you’ll need to master in order to be successful in the self-publishing industry.
- Start writing. You can have super amazing ideas and high aspirations but every book begins with the first sentence. Don’t wait for your idea to be perfect. Open your computer or your notebook and just start. Julia Cameron wrote an entire book reminding us that we all have the right to write. Consider setting aside a few minutes today and practice writing. Remember that perfect is the enemy of good. Getting started is the only way to get better. Don’t let another day go by where your fear keeps you from success.
- Pick your peers carefully. Surround yourself with people who believe in you. You’ll have enough negative self talk to slow you down, you don’t need it from anyone else. You’ll know who these people are when see how they react when you share your fledgling dreams with them. You can meet other authors on social media or even meetups in your area. If you don’t have supportive people in your life, go find some. Keep your cheerleaders close and the doubters at bay.
- Set a goal with a date. Maybe it’s finishing a short story and publishing it to dip your toes into the world of self-publishing or maybe you are going for it and plan on publishing your debut novel. Select a date and write it down. Track your progress by writing down your daily or monthly word count. This will be proof later when you doubt yourself. Proof that you can, and have, done it. Set your goal, track your progress. Otherwise your goal is just a wish. Then write your heart out.
- Believe in yourself. This won’t be the easiest thing you’ve ever done. Feed your creative spirit with some inspiration and belief. Expect to have days when your goal feels impossible. We all doubt ourselves. We compare ourselves to famous authors and expect that we’ll somehow get where they are overnight. Compete with you and only you. Remind yourself that you can reach your goals and you will.
- Keep learning. When you feel like you don’t know what you are doing or that your writing is terrible (and you will feel that way, it’s inevitable) don’t stop. Go to conferences, read everything you can about the craft of writing. Read your favorite authors. Learn from them. Online classes like James Patterson’s Masterclass make learning from home easier than ever. You can also check out the self-publishing courses available at authortech2.wpengine.com. Learn how to market your book, become active on social media and even how to run ads for your book.