How to write a book: So you want to be an author?

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02/04/17

Let’s go over the things a person needs to do in order to write a book. The first thing a person has to do is believe that they can write a book. Adults have a major problem with believing they can do something they have never done before. The only reason I can come up with is as an adult we are constantly being told no we can’t have or do something. Maybe it all starts when we are a kid. Our parents tell us no all the time. We start to believe we can’t do anything we want to do. I can’t be sure. But yeah, first you gotta just believe you can write a book.

The next thing that a person has to do is they need to have a message. They need to have something to say. You need to have some kind of philosophical message or you need a story to tell. If you come to me and you ask me “I don’t know what I should write about”. Your problem is you don’t have a message. You don’t have a story to tell. I can’t help you with that. If you don’t have anything worth telling someone, you better work on that.

Ok, so you have a message or a story to tell, this is great. You don’t need to have anything more than the idea of what you want to write about. It helps if you have a lot to say. What you need to do is get a pen or pencil and some paper to write with. You could also use a computer to write on. Frankly, it doesn’t matter what you write on. Try stuff out and see what you like best, that is the only way I know to see what you like to write with.

You are going to need a quiet place where nobody bothers you. If you can’t get silence, utilize head phones and listen to your favorite jam. Set aside some time to write. You need to set aside time to write every day. You need to get fluent in writing. I will tell you what really helped me move forward with an interest in writing. I took a college writing class and it really polished me in writing. I am not saying I am a professor in the written word, I am saying that is awakened an interest. I used to write my thoughts down because my brain was brimming with thoughts. Once I got introduced to the science behind writing I was a new interested party.

Before I took the college class I didn’t have a clue as to how much there is to writing. I had a very primitive view of writing. The class opened a door to me. I highly recommend if you have not had a writing class, you should enroll in one. It was an odd thing for me, I had never really written much in the way of a short story. One day after class I went to the college library and I got inspired and I wrote this slap stick type comedy short story. I was literally laughing my way through the story. I was having a lot of fun throwing that story together.

When it came time to turn that short story in, the instructor liked it so much she read it in front of the class. I couldn’t help myself, I started cracking up in class. I had fun writing the story, I had never had so much fun writing before. I don’t know what came over me, I just took the task seriously and I just suddenly got inspired. I actually applied myself to something whole heartedly. This is a big deal to me because normally I am thinking about a dozen things that splits my attention.

So you just start writing and you keep writing until you are done. Whether it be stating a message you have to tell the world or a story that you want to share with the world. I did not write my two manuscripts  for money, I wrote them because I wanted to share with the world messages I had developed. This reminds me, know that nothing exists outside of us until it first exists inside our mind. In reading this, I am sure it sounds simplistic. That doesn’t change the fact that it is true and something worth paying attention to.

Whatever you want to exist, you first have to see it in your mind.

After you finish writing everything you want to say, you read through the entire manuscript. You are reading through it to make sure the wording makes sense. After you get done doing that, read through it again to check for grammar and punctuation errors. You want to remove word redundancies, wordiness and irrelevant thoughts. If we are talking about cars, don’t start talking about camels. You need to stay on point and on topic.

Once you get done with the manuscript you need to either get an agent to approach a publisher, or you need to self publish. After a lot of looking around I settled on Create Space, a company owned by Amazon. They will print your book for free and give you an ISBN. No blog would be complete without explaining to you what I am talking about,

man·u·script
noun
noun: manuscript; plural noun: manuscripts
  1. a book, document, or piece of music written by hand rather than typed or printed.

ISBN: An ISBN is an International Standard Book Number. ISBNs were 10 digits in length up to the end of December 2006, but since 1 January 2007 they now always consist of 13 digits. ISBNs are calculated using a specific mathematical formula and include a check digit to validate the number.

Here is a link to more information about it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Standard_Book_Number

I am pursuing going through Createspace, here is the link.

https://www.createspace.com/Products/Book/

Since I am pursuing self publish AKA POD (Print on Demand)

It only makes sense to give you the source I am using. In order to use the site or to see anything of any real value, you need to sign up for an account. After that they give you access to the steps that you need to take to upload your manuscript. See,  no matter how you create the manuscript you need to get in into the computer and turn it into a PDF. They have specific formatting requirements to ensure the book gets printed correctly.

They list a couple of options when it comes to the ISBN which is required. They will give you one ISBN for free but there is a catch. You should know that you need one ISBN for each format you use to publish your book. You need one for a hardcover,  soft cover, ebook. You can buy a universal ISBN from Amazon for $99 which means you can publish through other companies aside from Amazon. Amazon wants their cut of the pie you made. Basically, you made the pie and Amazon has the oven.

They also give you a third option to select your ISBN, you can provide your own. You get your single ISBN or multiple through this site.

http://www.bowker.com/products/ISBN-US.html

If you are like me I had some questions about publish a book. I am going to list them here and answer them in a short way.

Q:How do I publish a book?

A:You can hire an agent or you can self publish.

Q:How do I get an agent?

A: I don’t know, Google it?

Q:How do I self publish?

A. Go to createspace.com and set up your book through Amazon.

Q:Can you hold my hand through the process?

A: Yes, you can pay me. Contact me for pricing.

Q:How do you write a manuscript?

A:To find this out I picked up a couple of my books to see how they set it up. At first I thought there was a specific way a book had to be in order for it to be a legit manuscript. The fact is there is no set way on how a book can be created. It is your book, use whatever font you want and whatever letter size you want. You should use proper English and proof read multiple times look for typos. Don’t be like me and try to write a masterpiece the first time. The first manuscript I wrote I screwed the format up. The second manuscript I realized the mistakes I made on the first run and did it differently. Essentially, you need a title page, an introduction page with intro pages to follow. You need to explain what your book is about and who it is for. Don’t be like so many sleazy authors who throw on a catchy title and glamorize their ideas when they don’t deliver. Don’t promise the stars if all you have to offer is dust. To be fair, this does sell books. I don’t see those people as legit and neither will the rest of the world. If you are remotely good at writing, society needs you! There are so many lousy writers out there that just want to sell books. My advice is to look at some of your books and see what they did with their book, it will make your book seem more legit when you start writing. If you know how the published authors set up their book, you can just copy it. You should not use multiple fonts in your manuscript, it is annoying to read. When you are writing your manuscript, double space your lines. It will make writing your manuscript so much better! There is nothing worse than trying to write your manuscript when all the sentences are smashed together. When you go to read through it looking for errors, trust me double space it. You want to read through your manuscript at least 3 times. J.K Rowling rewrote Harry Potter, like 5 times. You want everything to make sense. You want everything to add up. You don’t want to say your character Popper to say he hates seafood in one scene and then in the next you have him eating salmon. Billy says, hey Popper I thought you didn’t like seafood?? OH! Right! Picks up the salmon and throws it behind his head. I don’t know why I was eating that. Can someone pass me the bread sticks? The whole audience is going, huh? What just happened? Does Popper have amnesia? This might make sense until Popper says, ” I hate seafood Billy! What are you talking about! eh? Billy says in disbelief, “You were just eating Salmon??? Popper gets angry and retorts “Liar!” Next thing we know Popper and Billy are rolling on the ground beating up on each other and the whole audience is like what???? Anyway this would make a lame story line and it would be really boring. It comes across as choppy and pointless. It actually sickens me to use such a lousy piece of writing to illustrate my point.

 

 

 

1/30/17

It should actually be more like, how do you build a book. There is no comparison between writing an actual book and just writing. Anyone can write if they learned how. Not anyone can write a book. You don’t just write a book. You have to learn through trial and error how to write a book. Here is how it started for me:

I took a Notepad, I wrote all my contact in it. Then I typed it out on a type writer, then I put it into a fancy leather bound journal and then I typed it into the computer. The biggest thing I found to weigh on whether I wrote or not was the experience. I liked the tactile experience of typing on a type writer. I liked the clicking noise it made and I liked the sound also. I felt like my writing was valuable so I bought a leather bound journal to write the draft in. As a matter of fact, I am still working on the book right now. I am typing into my laptop, titling the pages and number them. The formatting of the book is a tedious job.

What works for me might not work for you, experiment for yourself to see what works for you. Right now, I printed off my manuscript and  I am formatting and typing out the data. I have had to be careful about how much time I spent doing this work. One afternoon I spent 3 hours and it burnt me out for the rest of the day. I discovered I can only spend so much time on it before I need to call it a day. No matter how you look at it, creating a book is work. It is just a much a job as anything else a person could do. I personally have a lot to say. Which is why writing for me is a shoe in. I don’t particularly enjoy the writing process which I realize is a absolute problem.

If you plan to write a book it is critical that you have a supportive and comfortable chair to sit in while you write. It is critical that you don’t have any distractions. There should be nobody around making noises or causing drama. You need peace and quiet while you work on coming up with ideas and deciding the best way to proceed with keeping your content tidy. You should be writing or typing depending on which you enjoy more. If you have a better time writing with a pen, get your rough draft built that way.

It is important to spread out the work. Compiling a book is a brain intensive job. You need to be comfortable while you do your work. I know what I am saying is true because I have tried to write while being around loud people and sitting in a chair that wasn’t comfortable. It is a miracle I have made it this far with my writing in spite of the fact I have not had a comfortable place to write nor have a had a quiet place to sit. Writing a book is like fighting in the blind. You just keep writing even though you have no idea what you are doing. You just have this distant idea that you want to have a book published.

If you aren’t trying to create a work of art, it is possible to write a mediocre book without too much trouble. I, on the other hand am working on creating a masterpiece. I am not trying to produce a mediocre work. It helps if you don’t have to work! If I didn’t have to work I could spend every day working on my book and that would make me happy! The first book is going to be the most challenging because you don’t know what you are doing. I have found that even when I did research on how to write a book, it was more confusing then it was helpful.

I swear there are so many people that can’t assimilate data. They are lousy writers. They might be good story tellers but they don’t know how to organize data in a way that makes plain sense. The world needs more great writers. It amazes me that of all the books I have read most of them aren’t well written. All a writer has to do is make the book a page turned. Keep your reader interested enough to keep turning the page. This means don’t dwell on the same idea for too long, keep adding spark to your work. Or you could call it juice, keep adding juice to the writing. This will keep the reader wanting to find out what happens next.

What I do is think of the most interesting places and things I can come up with and then mix them together.

 

 

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