I have an idea for a book – now what?

PART 1

So, you’ve had that book idea going round and around your head for some time. You’ve imagined it for so long but now you are ready to make it real. So now what? What steps do you need to take to write and publish your own book?


Well, that’s the million dollar question isn’t it? The answer will depend on where you are at in your process. Have you even written anything yet? Have you finished writing and does it need editing? Do you want to go down the traditional publishing route or would you like to self-publish?


This is turning into quite a decision tree so we at MindBody thought we’d break it down into easier chunks so you can start to see the wood for the trees and see your best pathway out. We have separated the ‘now what’ question into various parts so that we can give you dedicated information without overwhelming you with all the different possibilities at once. Part 1 is about getting writing. Parts 2 & 3 will be about editing your work and deciding on your publishing route. Stick with us and we know you’ll find your way.


Starting to write your book

First off, this advice assumes that you want to write the book yourself. You can of course find a writer to do the writing for you but you will have to share the credit. Alternatively, you can hire a ghost-writer - where they do the writing – this way you get all the credit, but with either option, expect to rack up considerable expense. So, if you are going it alone here’s what we’d suggest.

1. Just start writing – Whether in an old notebook or on a laptop, just start to write the key scenes you have in your head. Don’t worry about grammar or style or how things come about. This is called free writing and is very effective for getting the creative juices flowing.

2. The order isn’t important – you could start with the middle or even the ending. It’s all about getting the ideas out at this stage. So start with the exciting bits. As you get going, these will expand and the links between scenes will almost write themselves.

3. Don’t get hung up on rules – Take what works for you and discard what doesn’t. Don’t worry about how many drafts you have or whether they are badly written or in a tatty disjointed flow. This is normal, even for seasoned writers.