By Kenesha Collins
When you are trying to solidify yourself in the writing industry, there are many things you can do to create a brand. You can podcast, teach courses online, or freelance for businesses. However, the ONE thing you can truly do to put your stamp on the writing world is to write a book. That sentence may create nervousness if you are truly passionate about your work. You may want to write the book but feel you don’t have enough knowledge.
Newsflash: The only way you will gain knowledge is through experience. If you’re waiting until you know EVERYTHING about writing, then you will never write the book. Also, at this moment, you probably know enough to write a book. You are ready, so what are you waiting for? Do you still think you’re ill-equipped? Here are some reasons why you just need to write the book:
You will be respected as an author.
Once you become an author, it catapults you to a level of seniority and respect. After you tell someone you are a published author, people will automatically give you that nod of approval. They will be intrigued you put out a book. The reason is that writing a book is hard. You are sitting down day and night working on a product that can take years to finish. Also, you are working on something that you may not get paid for right away. It may take years to receive royalties, or you may not get paid at all.
You will become a real member of the writing community.
Writing the book provides opportunities you wouldn’t get otherwise. You may be invited to workshops, conferences, or readings. You may be able to go on book tours. Discussing writing on podcasts or writing articles is fine. The actual experience of publishing a book will give you expertise so you can become a real source of information to your audience.
You will improve in your writing.
There are thousands of books that give tips and guidance on how to improve your writing skills, but constant practice is the only way you will improve. You will also see improvements in your books. Your first will manuscript will not be your best work. It will just give you a stepping stone to get better.
You can make money.
I don’t want to give the illusion you will become rich overnight. It may take a lot of trial and error to get paid for your book, but you can get paid.
There are two ways to publish your book – Traditional and Independent. Traditional is allowing your work to be published by a publishing house. Independent is publishing solely on your own. Both ways can be lucrative, but they are not without their disadvantages. You can get an advance on your book through traditional publishing, but the amount may be very small. Normally, it’s not enough to live on at all. Promotion, marketing, sales, and exposure are greater with traditional publishing. It could get your books in more hands. The downside is you give up control over those things I just mentioned. You also don’t control when your book is released. You could get bumped because your book is the same genre as another book being released the same year.
If you decide to publish independently, you pay all the costs to publish upfront. It may take many months or even years to get that money back. But the good news is you are in complete control. You determine how much to charge, the promotion, and release date. I will talk about publishing in future posts. The main point is – you’ll have a product you can sell.
The people that are already on their fifth book are not smarter or more creative than you. They put in the work. They are disciplined to complete their goal. The hardest part is sitting at your computer or in front of a blank piece of paper. Don’t be afraid to write crap at first. Just let the words flow. You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to start.