THE WRITING PROCESS – AN OVERVIEW
This is an eBook about publishing and not about writing per se, but you
will have a much greater chance of getting your book published if you
choose your idea carefully and keep your ultimate goals in mind. Your
idea should not be strictly driven by the desire to get published, but you
also do not want to write a book that only five people will read.
For most writers coming with the desire to be published is the desire to make some
money too. As you will learn later the amount of money you will make will
be dependent on the number of books you sell and the negotiated
So where do you get ideas for a book?
The answer is you get them
everywhere! If you want to know what sells and what people are
interested in reading, you can start with a visit to the bookstore. Just
simply visit a neighborhood bookstore and look at the prominent displays.
What are the tables displaying? What types of books are present in the
With the internet it is also easy to search for lists of the most popular
books that are selling. Bestseller lists provide a quick view of the book
market and what the public is reading. There are even lists by type of
book. If you are determined to write a nonfiction book then look at the
nonfiction bestseller lists.
The ideas you get from the bookstores and the library are just the
beginning. There are many other ways to get ideas.
Talk to friends and family and ask what they enjoy reading
Quiz co-workers or the chat with people at the gym
Brainstorm and make a list of where your thoughts take you in the
way of ideas
Think about your hobbies and any areas of expertise you can claim
Consider your unique skills or abilities
Recall the times you have told yourself someone should write a
List the topics you find interesting like politics, sewing, caring for
the elderly and so on
Once you have listed the ideas you can then sort the list into a descending
list of topics that hold the most interest for you. You are almost creating a
funnel into which you pour all your ideas and coming from the narrow tip
will be those that have the most interest. You can work your list over
several times and eliminate the topics you do not feel qualified to write
Eventually you will find yourself with 2 or 3 topics and from those
you will find one that has potential to be turned into a full book.
At this point other considerations come into play. You have a good idea
for a book, but will it sell? At this stage you must match your idea to the
This is where your visit to the bookstores, the bestseller lists, and
the market needs are matched to your book idea. Does your idea fit?
That is the question you must answer.
WHAT WILL PEOPLE BUY?
The process of writing a book requires a significant investment of time
and creative energy. If your goal is to express that creativity in a way that
will enable your book to get published, then you do not want to fashion
your book into a tome that few people will read.
Realistically you will probably not write a best seller on the scale of a
Stephen King book the first time you are published. It can happen, but it
is just not likely. Yet the goal is to write a book that will be published and
Publishing a book that does not sell really does serves no useful
purpose to anyone.
To determine the type of book people will buy, is necessary to understand
the audience that will be the most likely to the book. Is it going to be
stay-at home-moms, nonprofit organizations, golfers, teenagers, mystery
lovers, or any of the hundreds of others who read books. Once you decide
what the most likely audience will be, you then must decide if it will be
Once again you are back to the question of how to publish a
book that will sell. Selling five copies will probably leave you in debt even
if you decide to self-publish.
There is a bigger consideration to keep in mind also. Publishers will only
assume the risk of publishing a new author if it believes the book will sell
a minimum of 5,000 copies. That is the absolute minimum and many of
the large publishing houses will expect many more than that to sell. In the
publishing business, sales estimates assume that approximately 5 percent
of the potential reading audience will actually invest in the book.
It becomes much clearer at this point as to why you want to write to a
The book you write will have to meet a need or a desire for information.
People who buy a self-help book need answers to life questions. People
who read mystery books have a need for a mental challenge. Those who
buy diet books need to lose weight. People who buy romance books need
to have the satisfaction of knowing romance is alive and well in the world
and may even be living vicariously though the book.
Of course all of this is speculation because there is no way to prove
exactly why people buy a certain book to read. But people will buy a book
that captures their interest, inspires the spirit, conveys information, lets
them travel to exotic places, or enables them to experience adventure.
Your goal is to match your talents, interests, and writing abilities to a
market need. Once you succeed at this task, the chances of your book
getting published have greatly improved.
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING AN IDEA
Surely you need to consider a lot more than just what books are sitting on
the bookstore tables by the front door and what you enjoy doing or
talking about. To choose a marketable book idea there are several
concepts to keep in mind.
How long will it take you to assemble the book? Will it require
charts and graphs and extensive research? Will you have to do
Is the book marketable? Will the idea get the attention of an agent?
Are there many publishers who might be interested in your book?
Will someone read your book and find a number of ways to market
Can the subject matter be covered in a reasonable number of
pages? (Now not be the time to work on your masterpiece that will
take years to complete)
Does the topic fit your talents, abilities, and experience?
Can you imagine a variety of people wanting to buy your book?
What category of book did you prefer to write?
There are many different categories of books and the category your book
will fit in will determine the publishers you can approach and the way it
will be marketing.
Following are the broad categories in the book industry.
Fiction – literary and genre
o Science Fiction
o Women’s fiction
o Young Adult
o Creative (such as a book of poetry)
o Self-improvement (health, fitness, fashion, beauty)
o Coffee table books
It is a long list of categories, but the long list gives you a number of great
options too. You should choose the potential categories that may hold
your book idea and then do some research to see if it fits based on what it
selling in the bookstores and online.
Some books may cross categories,
but that only means a publisher will have multiple ways to market the
The idea you funneled through your mix of ideas may need to be
expanded, amended, or abandoned once you consider the marketability of
your book. If you are burning to write a particular book but it turns out
that only five will sell after doing some research then you should take
your idea and rework it.
If this sounds like the creative process is being violated, do not worry.
There is a lot of romanticism that surrounds the writing business. The idea
of the Edgar Allen Poe writing alone while enslaved by madness or Louisa
May Alcott happily penning Little Women with no care as to who would
read it are false pictures. In fact, Louisa May Alcott in reality was a
business woman who her books about the four sisters to make money and
help support herself and her family. It’s a well kept literary secret!
STICK WITH WHAT YOU KNOW
You read it over and over again when researching book ideas….stick with
what you know. When you want to publish your first book, it is not the
time to take on a writing topic that has no relevance in your life.
Sometimes new authors think their life is so ordinary there are no ideas to
All budding authors have people, places, and things in their lives that will
can kick start a book idea that publisher will want to market.
You have the idea, so it’s time to start writing. By the way – to get your
book done, it is important to write something every single day. It may
only be one paragraph on some days, but even one paragraph is progress.
In the next section there is a discussion about agents. Do you need one?
If you do need one, how do you find one?
This article is actually a Chapter from the Ebook “Getting Your Book Published ”
The E-book can be accessed with one click from our safe and virus free GoogleDrive . (without any opt in or other Bs )
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