Congratulations on writing your book. Are you considering what to do next?
Your publication method will depend, in part, on your reason for getting up early, or staying awake late at night, to work on your manuscript. And you probably fall into one, or maybe two, of the following categories.
To Tell A Story
The principal reason for writing a book is often personal, the motivation being to overcome a tragedy or personal struggle, an awaking or turning point in an author’s life, or something so mind-blowing that the writer felt compelled to share his story. By writing his book, the author hopes to motivate and inspire other people. Does this resinate with you?
Or did you find the writing process therapeutic and has it helped you rationalise or understand a particularly painful or traumatic event?
Another reason you may have written your book is because you wanted to leave an item of permanence in the world. Don’t we all want to know how we will be remembered?
To Become a Career Author
Many published authors began writing to satisfy a passion or ambition they’d had since childhood.
Some very imaginative people are compelled to empty their heads of the voices, characters and worlds which inhabit them, whilst others find writing helps them escape from reality.
In general, these authors seek to make money from their books, and there is nothing wrong with this. It is possible to make a part or full time living as an author, but it requires dedication and time in the chair writing and producing the book, and the next one, and the one after that …
While it may take you months or even years to write your book, unlike most goods and services, books don’t have an expiry date and can earn a passive income long after they are published. The Queen’s Gambit, written by Walter Tevis, was propelled onto the New York Times bestseller list thirty-seven years after it was written, by the Netflix adaption in 2020.
For a Business Reason
Do you want to share your expertise or the knowledge they have acquired to help others? If so, you might be able to earn an extra stream of income from writing your book and becoming known as an expert in your particular field.
The Latin word Auctoritatem, meaning “invention (creation), advice, opinion, influence, command” is the origin of both ‘author’ and ‘authority’. Writing a book can help you be seen by the word as an authority in your profession.
We can all write a 140 character tweet or a Facebook or Instagram post in minutes and even a 1,000 word blog post only takes a few hours. But writing a book is a longer, deeper process which takes months or even years. Readers know this and they will appreciate and respect you for your commitment to the writing process, and assume a certain level of expertise and knowledge. If not, how could you write such a book?
A non-fiction book written about your business, or skill, is an excellent business card or customer gift. You are giving the recipient an item of value and by reading it they will become emotionally involved with you, your message and hopefully the products and services you offer.
I had no desire to become an author before January 2019. My husband is in the military and I realised that for the next eight years we would be moving regularly, and mostly internationally. I wouldn’t have the time to set up a physical business and finding employment in different countries is hard, because of language and local employment laws. I chose to try writing as a means of earning an income and to give my day’s purpose and structure.
I wrote a fiction book based in Kenya, where we had been living, with all the characters, environment and unique experiences the country had to offer. I chose the cozy mystery genre as that was one type, or genre, of book I read: I didn’t know enough about the Kenyan police and legal system, or forensics, to write an authentic police procedural.
I’ve completed six books in the series and I’ve entertained many readers. How do I know? They’ve written and told me, and that makes all the hours taping away on my laptop worthwhile.
I want to help you by sharing the knowledge and experience I’ve gained on my writing journey so you can navigate the publishing maze, avoid common pitfalls and publish a book without spending the weekly grocery money, investing all your family’s hard-earned savings or getting into debt.
Sign up for my newsletter and I’ll send you tips, resources and advice about writing and publishing on a shoestring? Visit ShoestringPublishing.com
Do you have a question about this post? Or is something else in the writing and publishing process confusing you?
Drop me an email at VATaitAuthor@gmail.com