By Sogi Chukwuanu
The ultimate three-step guide to becoming a published author
Have you ever wondered how to become a published author?
There’s a peculiar rush that comes with holding your own book in your hands. The weight of the pages, the smell of ink and paper, and the realisation that your words are now permanently etched into the world – all of these can be nothing short of magical.
But it’s not just about the thrill. Publishing a book comes with added advantages – increased credibility, more attention, and, of course, increased earnings. It’s no wonder the global nonfiction book market is projected to reach $16.61 billion by 2026.
So, let’s cut to the chase: how can you pull this off? In this blog post, I’ll show you how to become a self-published author and join the ranks of extraordinary entrepreneurs who have supercharged their personal brands by publishing a book.
How hard is it to become a published author?
There’s more to becoming a published author than simply writing a book, slapping on the “author” tag, and calling it a day. In fact, going down this path can feel painful, tiresome – and on days when you aren’t making any headway – like a downright waste of time.
However, if you’ve got the right processes in place, you’ll be able to navigate these challenges and even enjoy the experience. I like to boil down these processes into three major steps:
2. Write (like your life depends on it)
(P.S: Check out our ebook: 5 Simple Steps to Write & Launch That Business Book for a comprehensive breakdown of what these steps entail).
How to become a published author in the UK (and anywhere else!)
The first step to becoming a published author is research. And no, this doesn’t necessarily mean combing through search engines for inspiration (that can come later). Instead, this stage involves a great deal of introspection – answering the what, why, and how questions of publishing.
WHAT do you want to write about? WHY are you writing it? HOW do you intend to pull it off?
Here’s what this might look like in action:
Pin-point a main theme
So, you’ve decided to write a book and you’re brimming with ideas. But before you dive headfirst into the writing process, it’s essential to pin-point a main theme. After all, this is the heartbeat of your book – the topic that will drive your narrative and captivate your readers (if you play your cards right). So take a moment to reflect on what you’re truly passionate about. A great way to figure this out is by asking yourself: what topic can you give a speech about for one hour with no breaks and no notes? Once you’ve got your answer, you’ve nailed your main theme.
Think of your main theme as the backbone of your book – it’s the central idea that everything else revolves around. But to truly bring your theme to life, you need sub-themes – these are the branches that add depth and richness to your story.
Ask yourself: What other related topics can you explore that will enhance your reader’s understanding of your main theme? For example, if you’re writing about personal branding, you might consider exploring sub-themes like social media marketing, thought leadership, and personal branding toolkits.
By developing these sub-themes, you’ll be able to offer your readers a well-rounded perspective on your main topic and keep them engaged throughout the book.
Decide how you’re going to write it
Having a brilliant idea for a book is one thing; getting it out on paper is a completely different ballgame. If you’ve got the time and the skills, you could have a go at writing your book yourself. However, if you’re not confident in your writing abilities, it’s definitely a good idea to outsource it to professionals – and before you ask, no, this isn’t cheating.
Choose a publishing route
When it comes to publishing your book, there are three main routes you can take: traditional publishing, hybrid publishing, and self-publishing. But before you make a choice, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each option so you can select the one that best aligns with your goals and vision.
For instance, if you’d prefer to have complete control over the process, you might be better off joining the ranks of self-published authors, rather than traditional publishing.
Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to publishing – it’s all about finding the right fit for you and your book.
P.S: For more details on how to choose the best publishing route, check out our ebook: The 3 Routes To Publishing For Non-Fiction Authors – Which One Is Best For You?
Every bestseller begins with an embarrassing first draft. If you’ll be outsourcing the writing to a professional, skip this bit and jump to the next step. However, if you’ve decided to take on this task yourself, here’s how to do it:
Pretty disappointing advice, isn’t it? But it’s really the trick. When you write one word, you’ll find it easier to write the next one and before you know it, you’ll already have your first paragraph on paper.
However, the key to truly turning this mountain into a molehill is constructing an outline. You want to distil thousands of words into a few chapters and then create outlines for each chapter. This way, it’ll be easier to get into the zone.
Once you have your first draft ready, it’s time to edit. But here’s the snag: don’t do it yourself.
If you’ve spent months working on your book, it’ll be pretty hard to view it objectively and make the right call on what needs to come out or stay in. Luckily, there are tons of editors for self-publishing authors who can handle this bit for you.
Of course, there are other phases to consider such as design, formatting, and typesetting, all of which can be outsourced to professionals as well.
If you’ve chosen the traditional publishing route, now’s the time to send your manuscript to agents and publishers. Heads up: this may take weeks or even months, so you’ll need an incredible amount of patience.
Not sure how to get started with this? Check out our guide on How To Write A Successful Publisher Submission.
On the other hand, if you’re joining the ranks of self-published authors, you’ll need to start thinking about uploading your book onto your chosen platforms.
So, there you have it. The three simple steps to becoming a published author and making your dreams a reality. This isn’t to say that it’ll be a smooth ride – it probably won’t. But if you’ve got the right team and processes, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
And lastly, remember that it’s okay to outsource the finicky bits. You don’t have to do it all alone!
Ready to take the plunge and become a published author? We’re here to support you every step of the way. Book a clarity call today to find out more about our Content Creation Process™ and how we can help you bring your book to life!