Have you been thinking about writing and publishing a book, but you haven’t gotten around to making it happen yet? That’s okay. You still have the chance.

January is a wonderful opportunity to take some time to consider what’s important to you – what goals you have for the upcoming year. While many people have already made resolutions like getting in shape or watching less TV, don’t be afraid to think bigger and rein in one of your really big life goals.

Make this the year you finally write and publish that book you’re proud to call your own! Writing and publishing a book is an achievement that will stand long after this new year becomes next year.

Here are the four steps you need in order to write and publish a book by this time next year:

1. Decide what kind of book you’re going to write and why.

Every good book starts with a good idea. In fact, you probably already know what type of book you’d like to write. Will you write nonfiction, where you can share your knowledge and experiences with the world – letting your expertise shine? Or will you write fiction, where you can let your imagination roam free?

If nonfiction is your more to your liking, will you teach others about a subject you know well? Will you write about what you’ve learned throughout your career, your studies or your life? Or will you share a particular experience you had – maybe while traveling, with an illness or with someone who changed your life somehow?

If fiction is what calls you, are you more keen to write something like a romantic novel, a gripping thriller, a clever work of science fiction or a dramatic political tale?

Get clear on what your book is about and who is likely to read it. But most importantly, determine what you’d like to get out of writing and publishing a book.

Are you more interested in the personal satisfaction a book can bring? Or in becoming a recognized expert in your field? Or are you driven by a different reason entirely? Determine your “why” for writing and publishing a book. Your “why” that will drive you to the finish line.

2. Get the right support.

Almost all writers benefit from the support of a good editor and publisher. Their solid professional guidance can save hours of anxiety, overwhelm and many wrong turns. At Dudley Court Press, for example, we not only help our authors refine their book ideas, we also work closely with them to ensure that books are structured well, written and edited properly and, of course, we offer full-service publishing including book production, distribution and marketing.

For first-time and experienced authors alike, Dudley Court Press is a resource you can trust to ensure your book is transformed from just an idea into a high-quality book that earns royalties and good reviews.

3. Write your book.

Consider how you will convey your message. Will you write your book on your own, carefully developing your ideas one by one, or will you team up with a ghostwriter to help you produce a well-written book more efficiently?

If you’re the type of person who loves to write, then writing your first draft may go rather quickly, especially if you commit to writing every day. However, your challenge may lie in the rewriting and editing of your book, in creating the best narrative for your reader without overwhelming them.

If you’re not a natural writer, but you have important thoughts and knowledge to share, you may have the opposite problem. You may find yourself going straight to the point, giving each word incalculable value. However, your challenge may lie in fully expressing and developing your ideas in the way that readers expect. You will be able to do it, with or without the assistance of a ghostwriter.

Either way, your determination to write a quality book plus the work of a good editor will get your book ready for publication and the wider world.

4. Build your platform.

Think about how your published book will come to the attention of readers. Do you have a popular blog? Do you speak at conferences? Are you well known in your community? Or do you have another type of platform with an audience who trusts you?

Consider how you can build up and use that platform to draw readers to your book. Cultivating relationships with people who want to hear what you have to say will greatly help to give your book the warm welcome it deserves.

This will require strategic thinking and sustained effort, but doing it in the right way will translate into higher book sales.

Have you heard of the author Lee Albert? Dudley Court Press helped him to write and publish Live Pain-free Without Drugs or Surgery, and bring the title to the attention of his clients and students. Their enthusiasm was instrumental in bringing the book to a wider audience, who has in turn responded very positively to his methods. And because of this success, he and his book will now be featured in a PBS Special, for which we anticipate even greater success for him and even higher book sales!

Get Your Book on the Right Track

Would you like to write and publish a book by this time next year? Contact Gail Woodard at Info@DudleyCourtPress.com.

Are you thinking about Self-Publishing your book? Let Dudley Court Press help through our Assisted Self-Publishing Program.

Check out our newest online programs Writer’s Sprint, Memoir Writing Made Easy and Aspiring Author to Published Pro.