If you’re like most people, you too have felt the call to write a book, to express yourself and share your message with others. Yet, few people will actually heed that call and turn their idea of writing a book into the reality of a finished product. Something that someone can buy and read and hold in their hands.

What about you? Do you have what it takes? If you’d like to join the select few and take your desire to write a book beyond just the initial idea stage, then here are four things you’ll need to do as you progress along your book-writing journey.

Set Your Goals

Close your eyes and think about what kind of book you want to write. Is this a book that you’d like to present to family and friends, for your writing pleasure and their reading pleasure? Or a book that shares your knowledge, boosts your business and raises your professional profile? Or what about a book that cements your platform, earns international praise and sells copies around the world? Or, is there something else entirely you’d like your book to do?

Think carefully about your book’s purpose, who your book’s audience is and why they will pick up your book at all.

In today’s publishing landscape, writers have different options available to them depending on their goals. These include the option to publish as an amateur and the option to publish professionally.

Family and friends are more forgiving when it comes to how a book looks and the quality of the writing, but for wider, more discerning audiences, professional publishing is expected – with all of the professional management, professional editing, professional design and professional printing that it entails. But help is available.

Decide What You Want Your Book to Look Like

With all of the recent advances and changes in technology, it’s easier than ever to mass produce a great-looking book. But consider: What would you like your book to look like?

It can be in black and white or in color. It can be a hardback, paperback or spiral bound book, or not even a physical book at all. It can be one of a hundred types of ebooks. But as the saying goes, the devil is in the details.

Once you’ve written your book, you could conceivably print it up and distribute it yourself. But do you know what a book should really look like inside and out? Do you need an ISBN? Do you need an EAN bar code? Do you need a proper copyright page? Do you know what critics will be looking for? And does it matter? Again, it depends on what kind of book you want and what publishing route you take. You have multiple options if you want to see your book published.

Write Your Book

You know what kind of book you want to write and what it will look like. Now it’s time to actually write it. It’s a process that takes time and effort to be sure, but it will be worth it in the end. You will produce something that you can be proud of. Something that will stand the test of time.

If your book is destined for a limited audience, you can take the time to write to your heart’s content and simply share the message you have within you! But if you plan to sell your book, you will need to be more deliberate about satisfying your target readers’ needs, desires and expectations, as would any commercial product.

As you put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, always keep the goals for your book in mind. And don’t be afraid of asking for help. Just consider the positive effects that expert guidance could have on your book.

But no matter what type of book you’re writing or who your audience is, there’s one thing every writer can benefit from, and that’s professional editing. Professional editing ensures that your writing is clear and polished, and that readers understand what you mean to say.

Market Your Book

Your book could be the best in the world, but still, unfortunately, books don’t sell themselves. If you’d like to sell your book to the wider public, then you should plan to market your book for at least a year.

Book marketing includes alerting the right audiences to the book’s existence and then convincing them why they should acquire this particular book right now and not someone else’s.

While tactics can vary widely, marketing efforts should always be well thought out and consistent. Options include marketing your book alone, hiring someone to market your book for you, teaming up with your publisher or a combination of these.

If you’d like to sell your book to strangers, the most important thing is to market the heck out of it.

Dudley Court Press

Dudley Court Press works with writers like you every day. As a full-service, hybrid publishing house, we help thoughtful people write their books and become successful published authors.

For more information, including about DCP’s latest program Aspiring Author to Published Pro, please get in touch at +1-520-329-2729 or publisher@DudleyCourtPress.com.