How to write a book

I got an email from someone that wanted to know how to write a book, and where to begin, so I thought I share my reply here on my blog too, because I’m sure there are people out there wondering about this. This is just a brief explanation, but should be enough for anyone to just begin the process! 😀

Here’s my reply:

Hi Lisa,

Thank you for contacting me, and thank you for your kind words:-)

Where to begin writing a book? I can tell you a bit about my own experience and how it all began for me. I have written and published one book so far, and are writing on my second, and I’m doing it in two wholly different ways! The first book; Energy Awareness: How To Use Energy To Change Your Life, came from my writings and notes that I had had for years and one day I started to “clean” up in everything and thought; “hey, this could be a book!”, and so I started to put everything together and saw that the book has been there all along, waiting for me to put the pieces together.

It was a long process, because I had A LOT of notes and I had them pretty much all over the place, in note-books, in my computer, journals, here and there, and there were no order whatsoever, so I started to re-write everything and putting them into categories etc, which later came to be the contents of my book.

So my suggestion to you if you too have journals and notes etc laying around; put it all together into categories and make some sort of order out of everything.

I didn’t know what my book was going to “be about” in the beginning, it sort of came about as I moved forward in the process. Obviously I knew it would be a self development book, but not exactly how it would look like in the end, so don’t be too concerned about that, just begin anywhere, and your book will carry you forward. Your book already exists, and your “job” is to put it together, and “it” will tell you in every step what to do next.

If you don’t have notes anywhere but in your mind, then I suggest that you simply just begin to write!

I would suggest that you make a list of maybe 20-25 chapters that your book is going to have, and then use the list as a guide, so that you don’t stay in one chapter for too long, which can be easy if it is about something that has a strong emotional attachment to you.

It’s very difficult to give any other advice that just: JUST BEGIN WRITING NOW, and write something every day.

My second book that I’m writing now is a completely different process for me as I mentioned, because this time I’m “downloading” the information/message right away whenever I sit down and write, it’s a completely different flow.

There are practical differences too this time around. Now I know what format to write in etc, I know how to set up chapters etc, so what I would suggest that you do, is that you looked in an book, looked at how it really looks so to speak, how the chapters begin, the copyright-page, how many chapters there are in an average and just get the feel of it. An average book has about 40 000-60 000 words in it, so if you write about one A4-page (600 words) on your computer everyday, you would be finished within a few months with the writing it self.

If you use Word or something similar, write in a format that shows to pages at a time – can’t remember the exact format right now – but it’s important that you see two pages on the screen at once. (don’t worry, you can always change it later when you know the exact format, it’s just easier to do it right from the beginning:-)

Page number one and two should be blank. Look into any kind of book you have, to see what I mean. In fact, go get one right now, and open it up. The first and second page should be blank in every book, it’s a “rule”, and then on page three, which has to be on the right hand side, you have the title of the book.

Page four (should be on the left hand side) is the copyright-page, page five is the dedication-page (“This book is dedicated to…”), page six is blank (left side of the book), page seven is the contents-page, and if you have many contents in your book, you just continue writing them on page eight and so on.

And then, on the next right hand side-page, you begin writing the introduction-pages of your book, and when you are done with that, you continue writing the title once again on the next page that is on the right hand side, and after that; a blank page, and THEN the book begins for real! So, you have more than ten pages before the book even begin. Another “rule” is that ALL chapters should always begin on the right hand side of the book. It doesn’t matter if you have only three words on the previous page, you want to always begin a new chapter on the right hand side – always.

And in the end of the book, leave a few blank pages there as well. (it looks better)

When you have written your book, you should hire an editor, and you can find them if you Google, or you can contact the one I hired; you can find her contact-info at the bottom of my books website.

And oh, very important! Always, always, make copies of your writings, and save them not only in your computer but also on discs if God forbid, something should happen to your computer.

And when the book is completed, and you are thinking of making an e-book, you should make an PDF of it, and also protect it from being copied or changed in any way. (a PDF can’t be changed, so save copies of your original too!)

When you get your book back, or maybe while you’re waiting for it, and you are thinking about self-publish it (you can do it with http://www.lulu.com for example), you can begin creating a front-page to the book, write the back-side of the book (a description about the book), and also get an ISBN-number for your book. It’s the ID-number that your book will have and depending on where you live, you either buy one, or get one for free. Just Google ISBN and your country’s name and the appropriate information comes up.

—This was a brief explanation of how to begin writing a book and a little bit of the process as well.

But the most important thing is to just BEGIN writing, and don’t think so much of the whole process itself which might feel a bit overwhelming, because the journey will unfold for you in a perfect flow and you will know exactly what to do in every given moment. I hope this information has got the inspiration flowing within you and that you feel empowered to just begin right now! 🙂

 

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