foreshadowing

Foreshadowing: What is Foreshadowing & How to Use it (Sneakily)

Without foreshadowing in your book…you run the risk of an unsatisfying story.

Let’s be honest, how many of us pick up a book, read half of it, get busy and never get back to it?

Life or other books get in the way and, well, as good as that book was, we were never really hooked. There was nothing compelling us to read to the end.

No harm, no foul, right?…Wrong.

When you’re the author of that half-read book, then it’s devastating.

what is foreshadowing

Still, there are certain tools you can use when writing a book to hold the reader’s attention to the end and one of the most powerful among them is foreshadowing.

Because even the best writing prompts and story ideas need finessing in order to become mind-blowing reads.

Here’s how to use foreshadowing in your novel:

  1. Understand what foreshadowing is
  2. Learn what foreshadowing means
  3. Utilize foreshadowing examples
  4. Use prophecy
  5. Use Chekov’s Gun
  6. Use Omens
  7. Use “I got this weird feeling”
  8. Outline your book
  9. Use flashbacks or flashforwards

NOTE: We cover everything in this blog post and much more about the writing, marketing, and publishing process in our VIP Fundamentals of Fiction Self-Publishing Program.
Learn more about it here

What is foreshadowing?

Foreshadowing is a literary device used in fiction that drops hints and clues as to what will happen later in the story in order to give readers the sensations of shock but satisfaction when they finish the book.

Foreshadowing can be used in a number of ways but the point of it is to ensure that your book and the outcome of it makes sense but is still shocking to the readers.

If you’ve ever read a book and thought, “I should have seen that coming!”, then you understand the impact foreshadowing can have.

This is one of the most important things that makes for a good book.

What does foreshadowing mean?

Foreshadowing is a literary device in which the writer gives advanced warning that something specific is going to happen later in the story. Through foreshadowing, you are preparing the reader for an event that will eventually take place in your story.

In other words, the writer is managing reader expectations by giving them a heads up.

And the better you set those expectations, the faster the reader will turn those pages to see how it will happen.

But what does a writer foreshadow? Anything really. A character’s action, reaction, victory, defeat or even death. The st

Here are some elements an author can foreshadow:

  • The story’s major (or minor) plot points
  • A shocking twist … it doesn’t really matter.
  • Character development throughout the novel

All that matters is that you’ve prepared the reader for what’s to come so that they don’t get to that golden moment in your story and go, “Huh? Where the hell did that come from?”

That can be a major flaw of your published book—that you can’t undo.

Foreshadowing Examples

One of the best ways to learn any skill, including foreshadowing, is to look at examples and understand why they were done.

Here are some of our top foreshadowing examples (you probably recognize) that you can learn from in order to put these writing tips to use.

Foreshadowing Example #1 – Nightlock in Hunger Games

By now, we all pretty much know the story of Katniss Everdeen, the selfless sister who bravely sacrificed herself as a Hunger Game competition in order to save her younger sister.

This series has a number of fantastic foreshadowing examples, but one that sticks out to us the most is the prevalence of nightlock, a poisonous berry that causes death upon consumption.

foreshadowing example

These are the instances in which the use of nightlock is used as foreshadowing:

  • In the beginning of the book, we learn that Katniss is well-versed in which wilderness elements are poisonous and which aren’t
  • The second time we see nightlock is when Katniss is at the Capital, training for the games and we learn more of it
  • Later, while in the competition, Katniss has a run-in with Peeta and recalls her father telling her of nightlock’s dangers
  • Lastly, during the Hunger Games, Katniss wanders near a dead competitor, who had died by eating nightlock

All of these instances are meant to show us just how important nightlock is to the story. And later, when Katniss and Peeta nearly eat the berries on purpose, we know just how fatal the result of this would be.

Foreshadowing Example #2 – Obi-Wan’s Death in Starwars

This one might speak to all of you Star Wars fans out there.

Obi Wan’s death (spoiler alert) was foreshadowed very early on—to the point of how he would die…and by whom.

There’s actually a moment when Obi-Wan Kenobi is talking to Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode II when he says, “Why do I get the feeling, you will be the death of me?”

This was a complete foreshadowing of what happened later in the book. However, readers can mistake this for a side comment and not take it too seriously.

Foreshadowing Example #3 – Lennie Killing in Of Mice and Men

If you’re familiar with Of Mice and Men (meaning, if your teachers made you read it in school), you know that Lennie, a mentally delayed man, kills his puppy by being too rough with it—unintentionally, of course.

This foreshadows Lennie accidentally killing Candy, a woman who mirrors the puppy in various ways.

Because we learn early on that Lennie is strong enough to kill, this makes moments of him interacting with others more foreboding.

Foreshadowing Example #4 – The Prologue in Game of Thrones

If you’ve read George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, you know just how vital the prologue of the series is—they even recreated this perfectly in the HBO show.

The White Walkers in Game of Thrones are among the biggest threats in the world Martin has created. They become the center of conflict and dread.

Martin foreshadows this from the very, very beginning by narrating some men venturing beyond the wall, all thinking the White Walkers are just a myth—a legend meant to scare children at bedtime.

The end of the the prologue in Game of Thrones

During this prologue (spoiler alert), all the men, aside from one man of the Night’s Watch, are killed.

This single man runs away (from The Wall) and is intercepted in Winterfell as a deserter, where he tells this story to those who don’t believe him. This is the key foreshadowing moment of the potential horror the white walkers induce in this series.

The Power of Foreshadowing and the Writer’s 6th Sense

Let’s talk about one of the greatest plot twists in modern cinematic history: The 6th Sense.

Before I go on, spoiler alert!.. you have been warned!

If we weren’t prepared for the surprising fact that Bruce Willis’ character was actually dead, we’d meet that final, climactic reveal with confusion and anger. Instead, M. Night Shyamalan painstakingly prepares us with visual effects like one’s misty breath when a ghost appears, he has Haley Joel Osment tells out outright that some ghosts, “Don’t even know that they’re dead,” and when the reveal finally happens, it’s met with a montage of all the moments that M. Night Shyamalan foreshadowed that shocking plot twist.

And most of us still left the theatre going: “I didn’t see that coming.”

What none of us did do was leave the theater disappointed or confused, saying, “Well that came out of nowhere.”  

Make no mistake, when used correctly, foreshadowing can be more of your most powerful tools in keeping your reader hooked.

How to Use Foreshadowing in Your Novel

There are five common foreshadowing techniques that will never get old.

Use them wisely and readers will be hooked for life (and give you those 5-star Amazon reviews).

#1 – Prophecy

With ultimate power comes ultimate…knowledge? Wait…that’s not right.

But what is right is that as the author, you possess god-like powers over your characters. You make them do, say or think anything. You know what is going to happen to them down to the last word they utter. You’ve seen it all.

You can see the future!

Trouble is, it’s all in your head.

That’s when you can use a prophetic character or event in your book to foreshadow what’s coming. It could come in the form of an actual prophet screaming from the hilltops that the ‘end is nigh’… and then the end actually becomes nigh.

Or some wise old man who says something like, “When I was a young lad, those dark clouds meant a storm was coming.”

One example of this foreshadowing in books is Professor Trelawney in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter.

Professor Trelawney is seen as a “fraud” by many (if not all) of her students, particularly when she has her “episodes.” However, Rowling wrote this in such a way that you as a reader also don’t believe what she’s saying is true…when in fact, it is.

Whatever you choose to do, use your secondary characters in your book to prophesize (foreshadow) events yet to come.

# 2 – Chekov’s Gun

There is an old rule in writing, known as Checkov’s Gun: If you see a gun in Act One, it better go off in Act Three.

I find that the opposite is equally true. If a gun goes off in Act Three, you better have shown it earlier.

By focusing on some detail, especially one that isn’t immediately obvious as important, you are essentially giving your reader a heads up that this will come back in some significant way later on in the story.

A famous (non-gun) example of this is the Nightlock poisonous berries in the Hunger Games, as we mentioned in the examples above. At the climax of the book (spoiler alert), Katniss threatens to commit suicide by eating the berries.

This is foreshadowed three times:

  • First, at the beginning of the book when we see her out in the wilderness, foraging for food. We learn that she knows what’s poisonous and what’s not.
  • The second time occurs at the Capital when she is training for the Games. In that scene, we actually read about Nightlock.
  • The third time is when, during the Games, Katniss finds a dead tribute who accidently poisoned herself by eating the berries.

We saw the gun, ahhh, I mean berries, several times before that big climactic moment.

And because of that, we knew they’d be important (and we also didn’t think, “Well, isn’t that convenient” when they did show up.

In other words, the author foreshadowed that big final moment.

#3 – Omens

Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight. Red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning.”

OK, so if your main character is a shepherd and it’s about to go down, then delight your readers with a dawn that lights the sky blood red.

What are omens?

Omens, or common cultural symbols, can be extremely effective tools when foreshadowing a coming plot point.

Here are some examples of common omens in fiction:

  • A black cat for bad luck
  • A four-leaf clover for good luck
  • Walking under a ladder
  • Finding a penny heads up
  • A crow symbolizing death

NOTE for foreshadowing with omens: You don’t have to stick to omens from our world. Make them up! For example, if you’re writing a novel that’s set in some magical kingdom or a distant planet, ask yourself, “What are the ‘omens’ they have?”

It could be anything… touching a Minotaur’s horn, seeing a mermaid, the three moons simultaneously appearing in the morning sky, etc.,…

Just make sure that whatever you decide, you adequately explain it to the reader, too.

#4 – “I Got This Weird Feeling”

Three characters walk into an abandoned cabin. One of them says, “I got a bad feeling about this…” and BOOM!

You’re away to the foreshadowing races!

Here’s the literary schtick: In real life, when your mom calls you because she had a bad dream about you getting hit by a bus, it’s just her being overprotective. (Jeez mom, chill. I’ll look both ways when I cross the road. I promise.)

But in fiction, if a character’s mother calls them with that same bad dream, it better be foreshadowing events to come (or don’t include that little tidbit at all).

#5 – Outline your book for better foreshadowing

It’s very, very hard to drop foreshadowing hints if you have no idea where your book is going.

For that reason, outlining your book will help you create much stronger (and sneakier) foreshadowing elements.

Think of it this way: the more you know about your own story, the better foreshadowing bits and pieces you can leave behind in order to hide them better from your readers.

#6 – Flashbacks/Flash Forwards

Setting a scene outside of the narrative timeline can also be an effective foreshadowing tool.

For example, you could have a flash forward scene with a sinking ship, then return to the story’s present time, three hours earlier, and the reader can watch with delight as the hero boards that very same ship.

Oh boy—someone gonna drown!

Or, a character could walk into a room and smell a strange, meaty odor that leads to a flashback of a time when he was fighting a gang of cannibals who were barbequing his buddy.

Oh wait—someone is getting grilled!

These elements are very helpful in creating foreshadowing but remember that flashbacks and flash-forwards should also show up elsewhere in your novel instead of just for a single foreshadowing event.

So there you have it, foreshadowing and all its mighty powers. Use this tool wisely, young Padowan, and I promise, you’ll have your reader frantically turning the pages until the glorious end.

Are you ready to write a bestselling novel?

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finish writing your book

How to Finish Writing a Book: 8 Actionable Steps to Finish Your First Draft


Do you struggle with actually finishing a full draft of your manuscript? Do you actually know how to finish writing a book?

Trust me, it can be a lot harder than you think and I’ll explain why below…

If you’re someone who hops projects when you get bored or stuck, we have the solution to your common problem—and it might be different than you think.

how to finish writing a book

Here are our top tips to help you finish writing a book:

  1. Outline your book
  2. Schedule writing time
  3. Budget & save for publication
  4. Be realistic with your goals
  5. Get accountability partners
  6. Make finishing your book a part of your life
  7. Power through to finish your book
  8. Avoid burnout

Why Many Aspiring Authors Don’t Finish Writing a Book

I think we’ve all been there before…

We have fantastic story ideas or even writing prompts, are so motivated to sit down and write a book, but we end up hitting the midway point and…stopping.

So many writers out there fall short when actually finishing their books.

Sure, you might be able to write a poem and finish that, or even complete writing a short story or two…but manuscripts are different.

But why?

They’re longer and take a lot more time and discipline to finish.

Most writers are going through the process of writing and publishing a book blind. And without the right process (or help) in place, it’s easy to fall off the rails and end up with only half a manuscript shoved in a desk drawer somewhere collecting dust.

Most writers fail to finish writing a book because they don’t have a process to keep them accountable in order to finish.

But that’s where we come in.

NOTE: If you’re ready to actually FINISH your book, tune in to our FREE training to get it done. Don’t let that amazing idea sit dormant for years and years, only to feel regret 5 years down the line. Get it done by starting TODAY.

How many authors do you know who sit around and say, “I wish I would have waited to start?”
Learn more about it here

How to Finish Writing a Book

Obviously you’re ready to commit—to take the leap and actually finish your book.

Maybe you’ve struggled for a few months or maybe you’ve been trying to finish your book for years. Either way, we’ve got the best tips to actually complete your manuscript.

#1 – Outline

The best way to finish a project (and finish it quickly!) is to have a plan. A book’s plan is your outline.

Now, not everyone is on board with book outlines. There are “plotters,” there are “pantsers,” and there are the in-betweeners (which we affectionately call “plotsers”).

However, even writers who finish books regularly and claim they are vehemently against outlines are usually outlining.

What’s the difference between pantsers and plotters?

“Pantsers” tend to call their first draft something like a discovery draft, or draft zero, or, as Nora Roberts calls it, the piece of shit draft.

Even though they say they don’t outline, this first draft is a type of outline.

Even though Stephen King says, “Outlines are the last resource of bad fiction writers,” we know what he really means is, “My first draft is actually a type of outline, and that’s the method I’ve found that works for me, personally.”

“Prose is architecture. It’s not interior design.” – Ernest Hemingway

Some people love every single detail planned before they begin writing, while others think outlines make their stories too formulaic. The good news is, there’s a type of outline for everyone! If there isn’t one already penned in existence, you can make. one. up. 😮

There are so many different kinds of outlines:

  • Extremely detailed outlines with a sentence for every action in each scene
  • Basic bullet points of the ideas you want to cover, or “first draft” outlines where you plan your book by writing a version of it
  • “Draft zero,” a pansted first draft, is one you can finish in roughly the same amount of time it takes you to plan and outline your book

You don’t have to follow certain outline rules or guidelines–your outline is a tool for you and the way you work. So find a system that works best and utilize it!

Pro Outlining Tip: If you’re more of a “pantser,” use what I call a “liquid outline.” Let it be flexible as your project progresses. For example, start with a bullet point outline of what you expect to happen, then as you write each chapter, go back and revise your outline when things change. This will keep you on track and organized, but it will also allow you the freedom and on-the-spot creativity of “pantsing” your book.

#2 – Schedule your writing time

A great way to stay productive is to set a writing schedule in order to develop a writing habit.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself in order to finish writing your book:

  • Which days and times will you write?
  • How long will you write in each session?
  • Will you hit a time limit each day, or do you want to reach a certain word count?

Further than scheduling your writing, you can schedule the entire publication process to keep your book on track through production and into marketing!

Having a timeline for drafting, editing, beta rounds, cover, and interior design, book release, marketing, etc., will help you work more efficiently and coordinate the steps that require other people.

For example, many cover designers require you to book months, or even years, in advance! Scheduling and planning will help you stay ahead of possible roadblocks.

#3 – Budget and save

Self-publishing might be more expensive than you think it will be! If you haven’t done it yet, take some time to research possible costs of publishing a book.

For example, do you want a cover designer? A professional editor? Special marketing? Determine out how much it will cost and how long you have to save, then set up a savings plan to be sure you can cover these costs.

Here’s a breakdown of potential costs you have to consider when writing your book:

finish writing a book

If you have no idea how to set up a savings plan, Jenna Moreci has a great video on budgeting and savings basics!

If you don’t take the time to budget for book production and save ahead of time, you may happen upon a charge you weren’t expecting and aren’t prepared to pay. Then your options are to halt production to save for it, go without, or take a loan.

Saving ahead of time is much better than all three of those options, so do your research!

If you want more information on the publishing expenses you can expect, check out the video below—and the biggest cost might be the most surprising.

#4 – Be realistic

In scheduling, budgeting, and saving, be realistic about your goals and timelines.

If you convince yourself you have four hours of writing time each day to finish a draft in a month, but you have a full-time job and three kids? That’s probably not a realistic goal.

Maybe you can only write for twenty minutes a day. Maybe you can only write on weekends. Maybe writing a few paragraphs during lunch breaks is your only option for now.

Be honest, be logical, and set goals you have a chance of achieving. While you can always find ways to write faster in order to make the most of that writing time, you still have to set reasonable goals.

Nothing is more demoralizing than never reaching your goals.

#5 – Consider finding a team to hold yourself accountable

I have a critique group with two other writers who are also writing fantasy novels. Every Sunday, we exchange the chapter we wrote that week, as well as the other two writer’s chapters from the previous week with our critique comments.

When utilizing a critique partner or group, I recommend the following:

  1. Find people with similar WIPs
  2. Set up a schedule for swapping chapters, stories, poems, scripts, etc.
  3. Keep open lines of communication!

Having other people expect your routine updates, as well as having other people to discuss issues and setbacks, will help to keep you on track with a writing schedule.

At Self-Publishing School, there’s actually a Mastermind Community each student gets to be a part of where accountability partners run rampant. All these writers are looking for others to help them finish writing their books.

how to finish writing a book

#6 – Make your WIP a part of your life

Let your book take up a lot of real estate in your mind, your home, and your daily life.

As you grow your writing platform and market your book, talk about your work in progress. Tell your friends and family about it.

The more people who know you’re writing a book, the more they’ll ask you about it.

This hold you accountable to actually finish writing your book.

You can even make a Youtube channel, like mine, in order to have more people familiar with you writing a book. (This is also a great strategy to market yourself as a writer)

If you make a physical outline or a moodboard, hang it by your desk where you can see it. Set your main character’s profile sketch as your phone background.

Make it where you can’t skip a writing day without thinking about it.

This will keep your mind working toward solutions for your project every day.

#7 – Power through!

Don’t let yourself get hung up on edits before your draft is finished. Don’t overthink it–just focus on getting through your first draft.

Of course it won’t be perfect!

But, like Nora Roberts said, “you can fix anything but a blank page.”

You can’t edit nothing! Don’t slow down, keep your momentum, and pound out that first draft!

The hardest part of writing a book is finishing the first draft. After that, it’s all downhill so just get it done!

#8 – Avoid burnout

Writing burnout is when you feel like your work is trash. You think you have nothing important to say. Maybe you think no one cares about what you’re writing or maybe you’ve fallen into a pit of writer’s block.

Don’t fall into this hole!

Your first instinct when confronted with writing burnout is usually to stop writing. Never stop writing. Maybe this WIP is sucking your joy, but realize that it isn’t you, and it isn’t your writing–it’s the project.

Try swapping to something a little easier, like a short story or a poem, but set a time to return to your book.

Don’t let so much time slip away that you get too far away to return.

Remind yourself of the reason to write a book in the first place.

Ask yourself these questions if you’re feeling writer burnout:

  • Where does your inspiration come from?
  • Who are you writing for?
  • Why is it important to you?

Write down your motivation and hang it somewhere you can see it

Don’t let yourself get burned out before you can finish your project. Take a breather, but make a promise to yourself that you’ll get back to work and set a specific time to do so.

Moral of the story: plan ahead and DON’T STOP UNTIL YOU’RE FINISHED!

Are you ready to start—and finally finish—your book?

Turn in to our free training to help you go from blank page to published author in as little as 90 days.

Yes, how long it takes to write a book can be as little as three months with our methods!

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Are you struggling to finish your book? Tell us what it’s about and what you’re hung up on!

become bestselling author

How to Become a Bestselling Author & Get on a Bestseller List

We know it’s your dream.

It’s almost every author’s dream…

…to become a bestselling author—to have your name on a list indicating that people wanted to buy your book more than all the other books.

It sounds great, right?

But there’s more to becoming a bestselling author than simply writing and publishing a book.

There are steps you need to take both when writing your book and during the publishing process that will make the difference between landing yourself on a bestseller list and hardly selling books.

how to become a bestselling author

As a bestselling author of 6 books, I’ve got some tips to help you become one, too.

Here’s how to become a bestselling author:

  1. Decide which Bestseller list you want to be on
  2. Write an amazing book
  3. Build your author platform
  4. Market your book ASAP
  5. Decide between traditional or self-publishing
  6. Build a launch team
  7. Create a strong launch plan
  8. Become a bestselling author

NOTE: We cover everything in this blog post and much more about the writing, marketing, and publishing process in our VIP Self-Publishing Program—where we teach our students to become Amazon bestselling authors in 90 days!

Learn more about it here

What is a bestseller list?

A bestseller list is created by different publications indicating and recognizing the top selling books of a given time period in any given number of places.

I think you’ve all heard of the New York Time’s Bestsellers list. This is by far the most popular list, but there are many other types of bestseller lists out there today.

Types of bestseller lists

Not all besteller lists are the same. Like I mentioned above, the New York Time’s Bestsellers list is among the most popular, but any publication can craft their own version of a bestseller list.

And that means you, as an author, have more opportunitites than just one to become a bestselling author.

After all, the term is “bestselling author” not just “New York Times bestselling author”.

These are the most popular bestseller lists you can land on:

  • New York Times Bestsellers List
  • Publishers Weekly Bestsellers List
  • Amazon Bestsellers List
  • USA Today Bestsellers List
  • The Wallstreet Journal Bestseller List

Are bestseller lists a lie?

I can’t continue with this blog post without touching on the controversary surrounding bestseller lists—espeically the New York Times bestseller list (but all of them are like this).

Most of the bestseller lists you know about or hear about aren’t exactly all they’re cracked up to be.

I’ll explain…

When we hear or see the term “bestseller list” we automatically think that it encompasses all the books who had the most sales.

That’s what “best seller” technically translates to.

There’s only one problem.

Bestseller lists (like the New York Times bestseller list) choose their own criteria for what constitutes a “best seller” and they don’t only rely on book sales.

For example, most lists only take into account the number of book sales in a very specific time period and from very specific places—and most of them don’t count online book sales the same as in-store sales.

become bestselling author

What does this mean for you and your desire to be on a bestseller list?

While bestseller lists aren’t exactly a “lie,” they don’t paint the whole picture. Someone who sells a lot of books right at launch and then nothing for a while can still make the New York Times bestseller list…even though they might sell far fewer books than someone else who just didn’t have as many sales at once.

Essentially, it means that becoming a New York Times bestseller is a great goal to have, but it doesn’t mean that your book is any better than the millions of others out there.

That being said, many of us love the title of becoming a bestseller, so I’m here to walk you through how to do that in the way that makes the most sense for you.

Benefits of being a bestselling author

Even if most of the popular bestseller lists aren’t necessarily “fair,” there are still some perks to becoming a bestselling author.

Here are some benefits of landing your name on a bestseller list:

  1. The title. There’s really nothing that has quite as satisfying of a ring to it as “bestselling author” does. It makes you feel good and rightfully so! It’s an accomplishment no matter how it happened and the confidence boost alone is enough of a reason to work hard to reach that goal.
  2. The credibility. People just take bestselling authors more seriously. Because there’s some sort of proof that your book sold more, people think that means it’s better. When they feel that way about you being a bestselling author, they’re far more likely to respect you, your book, and anything else you put in front of them—like a business.
  3. It helps you sell more books. Just like I mentioned above, being a bestselling author increases credibility. That means people will buy your book simply because it has that title—even if they’re not quite sure who you are or what’s in your book. It’s a simple way to increase your book sales.
  4. It’s easier to sell future books. Once you hit bestseller status once, you can then add that title to your future books. Because of the same reason I mentioned in the point above, people are more likely to buy your book because the public perceived a bestseller status as an indicator of a good book.
  5. You can charge more for non-author gigs. This includes if you want to be a speaker or any other side business connected to your book. Because you have that bestseller status, you can charge more.

How to become a bestselling author

If your heart is set on becoming a bestselling author and reaping all the rewards associated with it, we can help you get there

No matter if you want to become a New York Times bestselling author or an Amazon bestselling author, we’ve got you covered.

#1 – Decide which bestseller list you want to get on

This will ultimately define which path you follow to get published.

Our list above details a couple bestseller lists you can aim to get on, or you can shoot for all of them if you’re really ambitious.

Here at Self-Publishing School, we teach our students how to excel in becoming Amazon bestselling authors in order to gain authority, increase your book’s rankings on the #1 platform for book sales in the world, and ultimately, sell more of their books.

It’s up to you to determine if you want to get on one, two, or even all of the bestseller lists available.

#2 – Write an amazing book

Obviously, your book is important. While there is a lot of strategy involved in becoming a bestselling author, you do have to write a book worthy of selling.

Here’s how you can write an amazing book:

  1. Decide if you want to write fiction or nonfiction. Both types of books can land on their respective bestseller list. This is a fairly easy decision—just go with the first idea you have.
  2. Come up with a book idea. This can be made a lot easier with a list of writing prompts like this one right here. Remember that you have to be passionate about your book because if you’re not, your readers will be able to tell. No “bestseller” banner will save you from negative reviews.
  3. Outline your book. One of the best ways I’ve learned how to write a good book is to outline it. When you know where you’re going, everything in between is easier to write, and that means you can focus on writing with quality.
  4. Write your book. It may take time, but if you follow our process for writing a quality book, you will be proud to have it out into the world. Keep our tips in mind throughout the process and you’ll write a better book, faster.

#3 – Build an author platform

This should happen before you write your book—or during it, if you just decided you want to become an author at all, let alone a bestselling author.

What is an author platform?

Your platform is your audience. In order to sell your book and on a consistent basis (which is key if you want to be a full-time author), people need to:

  1. know you exist and
  2. that you’re writing books for them to read.

In order to do this, you have to be present on social media, have an author website, and market yourself as an author regularly.

Where you spend your most time and how you go about that marketing will depend on what type of book you’re writing and who your audience.

As an example, if your intended audience is an older generation between the ages of 45-60, they’re more likely to be on Facebook than other social platforms simply because those are Facebook’s deomgraphics.

Here are the demographics for social platforms so you can determine where you’ll focus your efforts:

  • Facebook: 54% female, 46% male, 65% between 50-64 years old
  • Twitter: 24% women, 23% men, 40% between 18-29 years old
  • Instagram: 39% women, 30% men, 72% between 13-17 years old
  • Pinterest: 41% women, 16% men, 34% between 40-49 years old

Using these numbers, you can get a better idea of where you should start building up your author platform first.

#4 – Market your book NOW

Yes, before it’s even done.

If you start on your author platform like I mentioned above, you can start marketing by simply creating social posts, videos, and more content related to your book and its contents.

Here are some ideas for marketing your book before it’s done:

  • Create social posts with tips and tricks related to your book’s contents
  • Update your followers on your book’s progress
  • Talk about the process of writing a book
  • Voice your challenges with the writing or content itself
  • Create countdown posts when it gets closer to time to launch
  • Engage with your followers by asking them to comment below—and then have conversations with them
  • Reach out for interviews about you and your book

We have more tips for marketing your book right here that will help you grow your following and get your book’s name out here.

#5 – Decide to pursue self-publishing or traditional publishing

This is where your earlier decision of which bestseller list you want to be on comes into play.

If your goal is to become a New York Times bestselling author (which isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, but you do you), you’ll have to go the traditional publishing route and commit to spending a couple years mostly waiting.

However, if you want to become an Amazon bestselling author, that achievement is right around the corner.

Ultimately, you have to decide which is best for you, traditional or self-publishing?

Here are some of the main differences to help you decide:

What You GetSelf-PublishingTraditional Publishing
Sole control of your book's outcome
X
Sole control of your book's rightsX
Control over the storyX
Control over the coverX
100% of royaltiesX
Editing includedX
Cover designX
MarketingXX
DeadlinesX

#6 – Build a large launch team

And make it a good one.

If your goal is to hit bestseller numbers on the first week of your launch, you need a large and dedicated launch team to help make it happen.

What is a launch team?

A launch team is a group of people dedicated to helping you launch your book. They read it, review it on Amazon and other platforms, and participate in promotional activities.

Here’s what to look for in a good launch team:

  1. They’re actually interested in your book.
  2. They’re motivated and enthusiastic
  3. They participate in promotional tactics
  4. They offer new promotional methods
  5. They have a moderate sized audience of their own
  6. They’ve been on a launch team before

Your launch team will be an integral part of whether or not you become a bestselling author—keep that in mind when recruiting volunteers.

#7 – Create a solid launch plan

become bestselling author

We have a very specific process for launching your book to become an Amazon bestseller.

These tactics may not work for if you want to be a NYT’s Bestseller. But they will get you that coveted orange “#1 Bestseller” banner on Amazon, which has relatively the same perks.

Here’s the launch plan we recommend (and you can read the full method right here):

  1. Price your book for maximum sales
  2. Host a “soft launch” and nail down your complete launch strategy
  3. Get book reviews from your launch team
  4. Reach out to book promotion sites for both paid and free promo
  5. Stick to a minimalistic launch plan

Again, our full book launch guide can be found right here for you to set up your book launch on Amazon in order to become a bestseller.

#8 Become a bestseller

If only it was that simple.

This last step should really be something along the lines of “mess up, try again, try it all over again, and then hope and pray, and try again” instead of “become a bestseller.”

Because that’s what it usually takes:

Luck, the right marketing, the best launch team, and a lot of hope.

But if you have a system that is proven to make you an Amazon bestseller, then it’s almost guaranteed.

NOTE: We cover everything in this blog post and much more about the writing, marketing, and publishing process in our VIP Self-Publishing Program—where we teach our students to become Amazon bestselling authors in 90 days!

Learn more about it here

How many books do you have to sell to become a bestselling author?

There is no set specific number of book sales needed in order to become a bestselling author. After all, it depends on how many books other authors are selling at the same time.

And it also depends on the rules and criteria of that specific bestseller list.

Here’s a guideline you can follow when it comes to other lists:

  • New York Times Bestseller list: 9,000 copies
  • The Wall Street Journal Bestseller list: 3,000 books
  • Amazon Bestseller list: this number depends on current numbers being sold in the categories you listed your book in

Ultimately, we here at Self-Publishing School believe becoming an Amazon bestseller is not only the most attainable goal of becoming a bestseller author, but it also grants the same rewards as the others.

How to become a bestselling author in the next 90 days…

It’s true! We help our students become Amazon bestselling authors within 90 days.

Check this out if you’re curious as to how.

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

Spots are limited!

Click Here to Save Your Spot

Why do you want to become a bestselling author? Comment down below to tell us your why!

how long does it take to write a book

How Long Does it Take to Write a Book?

The most valuable thing a writer can learn is how long does it take to write a book. And while most sources say it depends, we break it down for you.

According to this article that interviewed famous authors, when asked how long it took to produce their debut novels, the answers ranged from four years to a decade. In other words, a very long time.

While it’s nice to be able to take your time honing and polishing your new book, a rough draft sitting on your hard drive isn’t doing anything for you.

It’s not building your author name, spreading your message, or growing your audience.

Moreover, it’s not earning you a single cent.

how long does it take to write a book

But there is amazing news:

Writing your book can take far less time than you think. You just need to have the right mindset and stay motivated.

Here’s what you’ll learn about how long it takes to write a book:

  1. How to create a deadline
  2. Prioritizing to take less time to write a book
  3. Create word count goals
  4. Find accountability to write a book faster
  5. Set challenges to finish writing your book

Here at Self-Publishing School, our goal is to improve this arduous writing process. Right now, we coach our students to routinely complete a new book in just 90 days, finishing their first draft in as little as 30 days!

They are able to accomplish this by following a simple step-by-step guide that we’re going to share with you today.

NOTE: We cover everything in this blog post and much more about the writing, marketing, and publishing process in our VIP Self-Publishing Program.
Learn more about it here

How long does it take to write a book?

Many authors report that it takes up to a year to write a book, but more recently, authors are finishing their books in as little as a month to 90 days. How long it takes to write a book largely depends on how much time the writer puts in to actually writing it, though.

The truth about how long it takes to write a book depends on how many words are in it.

Here’s a guideline for how long it takes to write a book:

  • 30,000 – 50,000 words: 500 words/day = 60 – 100 days
  • 50,000 – 80,000 words: 500 words/day = 100 – 160 days
  • 80,000 – 100,000 words: 500 words/day = 160 – 200 days

Essentially, the length of time it takes can be anywhere from two months to 7 months depending on how often you write and how many words you write per session.

Following the guidelines below, you can learn to supercharge your own book writing process, and you’ll become a published author much faster.

How to Write a Book Faster so it Doesn’t Take as Long

If you want to know how to write a book faster so it doesn’t take as long, here are our best tips.

#1 – Establishing a Strategic Deadline

Deadlines are designed to help you inch closer to completing your book. It also encourages you to work every day hitting both short-term and long-term goals. However, you won’t find success by setting arbitrary due dates. They must be set up for your book’s success.

Here are 3 ways to establish strategic deadlines:

  1. Define realistic deadlines. Set short term and long term deadlines for each portion of your draft that breaks down your entire book.
  2. Set honest expectations. If you’re only able to write 500 words a day, so be it. Don’t push yourself into thinking that you can complete an unrealistic task. Be honest with your abilities and align it with your deadline.
  3. Implement rewards. Don’t make writing a book feel like a tedious job. Reward yourself for achieving your goals! Attaching rewards to each accomplishment will make finishing your book much more aspiring to complete.

Action Step:

Before writing, set your first draft time frame between 30-90 days and set target dates that tackle both short term and long term goals for your first draft.

#2 – Prioritizing Your Writing Into Tasks

What separates those who can write multiple books to those who can barely write a page is the ability to prioritize. Because there are so many competing factors that pull away our time and energy, prioritizing is actually a very hard concept to implement.

But in order to write your book, you need to establish clear priorities to get anything done.

Here are some ways to prioritize your work:

  • List out every detail of your book and turn them into tasks
  • Assess each task to identify what carries the biggest value to completing your book
  • Order tasks by its immediate priority and length of time to complete
  • Anticipate unexpected changes to your schedule, and plan an alternative schedule to stay on track

Action Step:

Make the effort and spend a few hours prioritizing your writing process. You will be surprised with how much writing you can accomplish with a well thought out task plan.

#3 – Creating Word Count Goals

One of the best ways to accelerate the writing process is to set word count goals. Like training intervals, setting up word count goals will pace how many words to write a day.

First you have to understand how many words in a novel for your genre. Once you know this, you can work backward to figure out how much you have to write each day in order to reach your deadline.

By establishing these parameters for your own success, not only will you be more likely to accomplish these goals, but you will also notice improvements to your writing.

Here’s an example of a tracking sheet you can set up in order to accomplish your word count goals:

how long does it take to write a book

We recommend writing down your daily, weekly, and monthly word count goals to not only show your current progress, but to keep you motivated until you reach the end.

It also helps to include rewards for every new milestone!

Action Step:

Start your daily word count goal to 500-1,000 words per day. By completing 1,000 words per day, you’ll be looking at your completed 30,000 word first draft in one month!

#4 – Finding Your Accountability Partner

A supportive partner can be a great soundboard, a first pair of eyes, and a protector of your sanity. They can also be the extrinsic motivation you need to meet your own deadlines and word counts.

When you have an accountability partner backing you up, it makes it harder to procrastinate because they expect great results from you!

At Self-Publishing School, we believe in the accountability system and encourage our students to pair up with other like-minded students to encourage one another and hold each other accountable for reaching goals and deadlines.

This is done through our Mastermind Community, so everyone has the same goal in mind: start writing a book and finish by self-publishing a book.

It’s a great motivating tactic and helps our students complete their books on time.

Action Step:

Find an accountability partner who is willing to encourage and hold you accountable to meet your deadlines!

#5 – Setting Challenges for Yourself

Following the same routine can get old quickly especially for something lengthy like writing the first draft of your book.

To combat the fear of boredom and add more spark to your writing project, we encourage you to set challenges for yourself!

Here are some simple challenges to set to write your book faster:

  • Double the word count you’ve originally set daily, monthly, yearly
  • Purposely tighten deadlines to increase pressure
  • Ban the use of your phone or all forms of distractions until you’ve completed your task
  • Read your unfinished draft out loud to someone new for feedback

Action Step:

Include a few of these challenges every so often to increase the intensity of your writing. You may tack on even better rewards for each successful challenge you’ve completed.

If you ever dream of becoming a self-published author, now is the time to finally make it a reality.

By following these guidelines on how to develop a robust writing process, you will have your first book ready to publish in no time.

Ready to become a successful author?

You already know you want to write a book. Your problem is how to get it done timely. Because let’s be honest, we all don’t have years to get a book done.

But that’s where we come in.

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

Spots are limited!

Click Here to Save Your Spot

Book Title Ideas: How to Choose the Perfect Title for Your Book

I get how frustrating it can be.

Writing the book might seem like the most difficult part…and then you have to actually title the darn thing!

When it comes to writing a book, coming up with reasonable book title ideas is surprisingly one of the hardest parts to complete. It’s difficult because titles are essentially short hooks that advertise your book using the fewest words possible.

It’s also what readers look for first when they discover new books, and can take less than 5 seconds to make a decision.

This is why it’s so crucial to craft a perfect name.

book title ideas

Here’s how to come up with book title ideas:

  1. Write down the problem you’re solving
  2. Create a subtitle to clarify
  3. Make it memorable
  4. Make sure it’s genre-appropriate
  5. Create it to stir intrigue
  6. Include your character in the title

To help spur your creative process, we’ve created a few essential guidelines for you to follow as you craft the perfect book title ideas for your masterpiece.

Since there are different title considerations for fiction and non-fiction, we broke these two topics down separately into:

Let’s create your selling title!


NOTE: We cover everything in this blog post and much more about the writing, marketing, and publishing process in our VIP Self-Publishing Program. Learn more about it here

How to Choose a Book Title for Non-Fiction

As you begin crafting your book title ideas for your non-fiction book, the key is knowing that non-fiction readers are looking for solutions. 

Whether it’s losing weight, becoming a master in sales, or becoming better at fostering relationships, they’re simply looking for a book that will solve their problem.

To leverage this idea, here are a set of rules to consider:

#1 – Your Title Must Include a Solution to a Problem

Your title should be crystal clear on what your readers will achieve by reading your book. Experts say that a title with a clear promise or a guarantee of results will further intrigue your readers.

Here are some questions to consider when creating your title:

  • Are you teaching a desirable skill?
  • Can your personal discoveries impact someone’s life?
  • Can your book solve a very difficult problem?

Here are our favorite book titles that offer a clear solution to a problem with promising results:

  • Asperger’s Rules! How to Make Sense of School and Friendship by Blythe Grossman
  • How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease by Michael Greger
  • The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss
book title ideas

Book Title Ideas Action Plan:

Write down the best solutions or teachings your book offers and form these into potential book title ideas.

#2 – Use a Subtitle for Clarity

A great non-fiction title employs a subtitle to clarify what the desired outcome will be from reading your book.

In this video clip, Chandler explains in 5 simple steps how to create a compelling subtitle:

Here are some questions to consider when creating your subtitle:

  • How can your subtitle further expand on achieving a desirable outcome?
  • What are the biggest pain points that your subtitle can provide a solution for?
  • How can you further address your innovative solution in the subtitle?

Here are our favorite book subtitles that spell out what their readers can expect from reading their books:

  • The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion by Elle Luna
  • Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin
  • Work Rules! Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock

Book Title Ideas Action Plan:

Make a list of 10 attention-grabbing subtitles that promise big outcomes and other positive benefits.

#3 – Make Your Title Unforgettable

Catchy titles are memorable, boring titles are not. So make an effort to be more creative and fun with your book title! Use alliterations to make your title easier to read and remember. A memorable and light-hearted title adds additional character to your book and is also a great way to attract readers.

Here are some questions to consider when creating your memorable title:

  • Will a fun title turn a normally boring subject into something more interesting?
  • Will adding humor to your title further entice readers?
  • Will a cleverly written title stand out from other books in this genre?

Here are our favorite books that engaged us with clever titles and subtitles:

  • Me Talk Pretty One Day and Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris
  • Trust me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator by Ryan Holiday
  • Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt

Book Title Ideas Action Plan:

Experiment with different types of styles and poll your audience to determine whether a comedic, shocking, or even bizarre title will be the most appealing to your target audience.

No matter which method works best on creating a compelling title for nonfiction books, a good thing to remember is to always test multiple titles with different audiences to determine which book title generates the biggest response.

Getting good feedback is the only way to know for certain which title is perfect for your book.

How to Generate Book Title Ideas for Fiction

Generally, fiction titles are allowed more creative wiggle room than their non-fiction counterparts. That being said, an effective fiction title must still pique your readers’ attention. And while it’s true that you can title your fictional book with random names, it still must catch the reader’s attention.

Here are some key guidelines to keep in mind:

#1 – Your Title Should be Appropriate to Your Genre

Your novel title should use language that resonates with both your genre and target audience. For example, a romantic book can call for dreamy language whereas an action book can warrant strong and powerful words.

This means that you must know your book’s genre and words that best fit the style of title.

Here are some questions to consider for appropriate genre titles:

  • What genre best fits this story?
  • Which are the perfect choice words for your genre?

Here are our favorite fictional titles based on genre:

  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Godfather by Mario Puzo

Book Title Ideas Action Plan:

Based on the genre of your book, pick out a few keywords that best suit its category and evoke strong emotions in your readers.

#2 – Your Book Title Should Pique Your Reader’s Interest

A great fiction title teases and leaves your audience wanting more. You want your audience to read your title and think, “I must read what’s behind that great book cover!”

Create fictional titles intriguing enough to capture the imaginations of your readers, and get to them to read your story.

Here are some questions to consider on how to pique interest with your title:

  • Which key components of your story best captivates your readers?
  • What emotions do you want your readers to have once they read your title?

Here are our favorite fictional titles that drew our attention:

  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

Book Title Ideas Action Plan:

Choose a theme that will best draw your reader’s attention. Come up with 5 titles that will catch your reader’s attention and pique their curiosity.

#3 – Look to Your Characters for Book Title Inspiration

A great book title captures the spirit of the protagonist. Some authors simply use the hero’s name for their title.

Others have combined the names of their hero along with their special qualities to inform the audience about their protagonist’s accomplishments like Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.

On the flip-side, a formidable antagonist can also be an amazing book title.

A sinister name can convey a sense of dread and expectation for what’s to come like Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. Both choices are great title ideas and should be seriously considered for your fictional book.

Here are some questions to consider when including a character as a title:

  • Between the hero and villain, who impacts the story more?
  • Are there any stunning qualities from your characters that will draw a reader’s emotion?
  • Can the plot of the story be summed up as a title?

Here are our favorite fictional books that use characters for its title:

  • Harry Potter (Literary Series) by J. K. Rowling
  • Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Book Title Ideas Action Plan:

Determine which character best conveys what the story will tell in your title. You may also include creative words or themes to further showcase the character’s unique qualities or the journey itself.

Your Next Steps

Ultimately, the title of your book depends on you, the author. By following these constructive guidelines, you will be able to generate a number of book title ideas you can use to find the perfect one that grasps the attention of readers and soon become an Amazon bestseller in no time!

#1 – Join your FREE training!

This training was created just for you. Make sure to save your spot and sign up right now so you can learn exactly what it takes to write and publish your book within 90 days…or even less!

You won’t find this guide anywhere else. Take advantage of this offer so you can spark multiple book title ideas in as little as an hour!

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

Spots are limited!

Click Here to Save Your Spot

#2 – Create a list of book title ideas

Now is the time to fire up that imagination and start brainstorming! We gave you a number of different actionable steps to help you generate book title ideas that work well.

Now is the time to make a list of every potential book title you can think of! The more, the merrier.

When this is done, you’ll want to go through and jot down any that really make you feel something in a separate list. These are the ones you’ll use for the next step.

#3 – Get feedback about the top title

It’s hard to pick a title by yourself because you’re too close to the book. What will help you find the best title is putting the options out there for your target audience to choose.

A fantastic way to do this is to join writing and publishing groups online where you can post polls.

For example, our Facebook Mastermind Community has a very large number of experienced authors who respond to polls just like these on a near-daily basis.

Locate a group you like, join, and start polling about your title!

Have you thought of the perfect name for your book? What did your process look like to get there?

self-publishing companies

Self-Publishing Companies: What to Expect & If It’s Worth it

It might not be clear to you yet (we’ll get to it), but you need some help self-publishing your book.

I get it. The concept might seem a little crazy right now. After all, it’s called self-publishing, not self-and-a-company-publishing.

But the thing is…you don’t know everything you need to in order to self-publish…

Okay, that’s not true. You don’t know everything you need in order to self-publish successfully.

That’s the key here. Do you have what it takes to self-publish and actually achieve the level of success you desire?

The truth is that the large majority of self-publishers out there don’t.

And we’re going to cover exactly how self-publishing companies can help you bridge this gap.

self publishing companies

What is a Self-Publishing Company?

A self-publishing company is a business dedicated to helping you achieve your desired level of success within your self-publishing journey.

They detail the process and streamline otherwise difficult avenues you might not be able to maneuver yourself.

But every self-publishing company is different.

Here at Self-Publishing School, our mission is to make the process as easy as possible for you while ensuring you do everything you can to succeed the right way.

Sure, you can throw your book online with a cover you created in Canva and call yourself a self-published author. But will that yield book sales? Will that give you the authority, recognition, and fulfillment you’re looking for?

NOTE: We ARE a self-publishing company – and ready to work with you. Join our VIP Self-Publishing Program to go from blank page to published author, all in 90 days. Learn more about it here

How is a Self-Publishing Company Different than a Traditional Publishing House?

Self-publishing companies and traditional publishing houses are completely different in the sense that the former does not publish the book for you, but rather, we help you by providing necessary (crucial!) information about how to complete the process successfully.

Traditional publishing houses are where you first land an agent, and then they submit your manuscript, and they take care of the printing/editing/publishing – at the expense of your hard earned royalties, of course.

Here’s a table detailing the differences between self-publishing companies and traditional publishing.

What You GetSelf-PublishingTraditional Publishing
Sole control of your book's outcome
X
Sole control of your book's rightsX
Control over the storyX
Control over the coverX
100% of royaltiesX
Editing includedX
Cover designX
MarketingXX
DeadlinesX

Why Use a Self-Publishing Company?

After all, you want to do this yourself, right? Self-publish. But like I mentioned before, you don’t know everything about self-publishing.

Do you know the best method for actually writing your book?

Do you know exactly how to craft your subtitle and book description to maximize sales?

Do you know the best book launch process for getting your book with the coveted orange “Bestseller” banner (that also increases your book’s ranking, and sales!)?

There is far more to self-publishing than simply hitting “publish” on Amazon, and without the right process, your book might end up as one of those stereotypical self-published books that sells 3 copies – to family members.

And that’s why you use a self-publishing company. Someone else has already done the research, the work, and has the experience to guide you through the process.

If you’re someone who wants to see real book sales and achieve other goals, like growing a business or becoming a full-time author, then a self-publishing company will help.

What You Can Expect with a Self-Publishing Company

What does working with a self-publishing company look like?

While not all self-publishing companies are the same or provide the same type of information and training for you, it’s important to understand what you’ll take away from working with one.

This is what you can expect when working with a company that helps you self-publish.

#1 – You keep all rights to your book

Unlike traditional publishing houses, you actually get to keep all the rights to your books.

What does this mean?

It mean that, when you publish, you are the sole owner of the book and all of its contents. It’s copyrighted under your name and the self-publishing companies will not have any of their information inside of the book (unless you want to thank them for everything they’ve helped you with).

This is a major benefit because with self-publishing companies, you can keep the book in print for however long you want.

On the flip side, traditional publishing houses can choose when to pull your book from shelves and simply no longer print or sell it. And since you no longer own the rights, you can’t self-publish that book unless you buy the rights back (which some publishing houses don’t even offer you the option of).

#2 – You’ll save time

Time is our most valuable asset. It’s the one thing in our lives we can never get back no matter what.

Unless you’re a secret time traveler and have uncovered the secrets of bending and warping time (and if you are, PLEASE SHARE), you have to treat time like it’s precious.

One of the biggest perks of using self-publishing companies to help you get your book published is the simple fact that they tell you what needs to be done, when, and how.

Not only will you save time actually writing the book (assuming the company gives you instructions on how to write faster, like we do here at Self-Publishing School), but you won’t have to go through the hours upon hours of research in order to get it right.

And, you don’t have to waste time making mistakes and adjusting them.

#3 – You keep 100% of royalties

Everything you earn, you keep. Now, there may be self-publishing companies out there who require a percentage of your royalties, since they helped you, but here at Self-Publishing School don’t’ believe in that.

After all, you did the work. You put forth the time and effort. This is your book. Therefore, you keep what you actually earn.

Aside from what Amazon takes for allowing you to use their platform, 100% of your profit is yours to keep.

This is much different than traditional publishing houses in the sense that through them, you’re only pocketing about 10% of royalties (and sometimes even less).

#4 – You’re kept accountable

The hardship is in the name itself: self-publishing.

It’s a very lonely process if you don’t have anyone else going through it with you. And we all know how much easier it is to stay on track when we have someone else rooting for (or hollering at) us.

Many self-publishing companies have some sort of progress tracking, coaching, or community to help keep you motivated and working to achieve your dream.

How we do that here at Self-Publishing School is through all three of those methods, including a Facebook Mastermind Community with hundreds of dedicated current and past students ready to help.

self publishing companies

#5 – You get coached by experts

At least here at Self-Publishing School, you do. Not all programs have this perk, and boy is it a perk.

Our coaches are all experts in their field. You get one-on-one coaching that allows you to take personalized tips and put them to use in your own publishing journey.

Since coaches have been exactly where you are and have come out on top, and maintained book sales themselves, you get a leg up on anyone else doing this without that help.

Take a look at one of our amazing coaches, Lise Cartwright, and how she still manages to bring in $4,000 on her self-published books, all while helping our students learn to do the same.

Again, not all self-publishing companies offer this service to their students, but if they do, it can help you understand a side of the industry you likely wouldn’t get to see otherwise.

#6 – You make connections

This is particularly true for programs that include access to a community of somesort.

You never know who you’ll get to know, like, and befriend. These are all like-minded people who are after the same things as you.

You can make dear friends, get even more advice when needed, and maintain a sense of purpose when you’re constantly fed motivation from them.

#7 – You create a bigger impact with your book

What’s the reason you’re self-publishing. Why do you really want to get your book out into the world?

I’m willing to bet it has something meaningful to you. You want to help others, share information, or show the world a theme or message that’s important to you.

By using one of the self-publishing companies out there, you’re able to create a bigger impact with your book.

How?

Because you will write it better, market it smarter, and sell more. And after all, that’s the point. Right? You want to get as many eyes on it as you possibly can.

#8 – You gain more opportunities

Because your book will do better than it would if you didn’t have that outside help, you gain many more opportunities.

Becoming a published author places you as an authority in any field you’re writing in. Not only does this help your business grow, if that’s your goal, but it also helps you sell more books through new and better opportunities than you’d have otherwise.

Take these students of ours for example:

publishing companies

After publishing their books, they have been either contacted or pursued speaking engagements on their own along with other opportunities to grow their book and platform.

#9 – Your business will grow

Leveraging your book to grow your business is one of the best methods out there.

Chandler Bolt, you know him—the guy who built this 8 figure business from his first bestselling book—swears by it.

But he’s not the only expert out there who agrees.

Ryan Deiss, CEO of DigitalMarketer, also uses a book to grow his business. You can check out how he does so in the video above, but the point remains: self-publishing is a perfect way to grow your business.

And if that’s your goal, then you want to make sure you’re self-publishing for success. Otherwise, your book won’t make nearly as big of an impact on your business, which is why working with a self-publishing company can help.

#10 – You have a repeatable, successful process

Many of our students write multiple books with our program – not just one.

As one of our favorite author says, if you write one book and you enjoy it, you will write another book.

self-publishing companies

The most successful self-published authors out there are those who write more than one book. Not only do they maintain a steady stream of passive income this way, but since they have a reliable, repeatable process, it makes it easy for them to publish multiple.

So long as the self-publishing company you’re working with has lifetime access (like we do), you can hop on and go through the system every time you want to.

Plus, imagine how nice it would feel to say, “Yes, I’m a published author of multiple books.” Has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

Self-Publishing Companies to Avoid

Not all self-publishing companies are created equal. Unfortunately, there are some self-publishing companies who only want your money and don’t want to see you succeed.

These are some red flags to keep a lookout for when researching self-publishing companies to help you get your book out there.

#1 – They take a cut of your royalties

Why even self-publish if you don’t actually get to keep your hard earned money?

This won’t necessarily mean that self-publishing company is a scam or fraudulent in any way. However, it is something to think about and be wary of.

You want to make sure you’re actually benefiting fairly for your book’s success. So working with a company that allows you to keep every cent is essential.

#2 – They make you sign over your book rights

As mentioned earlier, traditional publishing houses technically “purchase” your book from you. It’s why you get that nice big (usually not big, though) advance.

However, self-publishing companies should not require this. Since you are self-publishing, all of the rights should remains 100% yours.

#3 – They maintain creative control

Obviously, self-publishing companies are meant to help you.

list of self publishing companies

That being said, they can certainly offer advice on your book title, subtitle, cover, and even contents, but they should never demand something of your book in order for you to continue with their program.

#4 – Unrealistic expectations

Self-publishing is a varied game. No two authors can expect the exact same outcome and your results largely vary on how much you’re willing to work and how well you’re following their program.

However, self-publishing companies also shouldn’t guarantee crazy expectations—especially without having the proof to back it up.

Guarantees of making $10,000 in the first month are often unfounded. Look for company promises that you feel good about actually being able to achieve them.

#5 – There are a large number of complaints online

Not every self-publishing company can meet everyone’s expectations. Not every single review will be positive – and that’s understandable.

What you do want to lookout for is a large number of negative reviews, complaints, or claims of fraud or scams. These are certainly something to be wary of, but make sure you research some positives as well.

Ready to Self-Publish Your book with THIS Self-Publishing Company?

Because we’re ready for you!

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

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Have you worked with a self-publishing company? Are you READY to work with one? Comment your experience below!

book marketing

Book Marketing: How to Strategically Market to Increase Book Sales

Just because you wrote a new book doesn’t mean that your book is guaranteed to sell.

Harsh? Maybe. But it’s true. And here at Self-Publishing School, you first have to learn the truth before taking action.

Even if your book is the next Great American Novel, it won’t be a success if it doesn’t get into the collective conscious of the public. 

This is why you need good book marketing tactics to back it up.

book marketing

Here are the book marketing strategies we cover:

  1. Social media marketing strategies
  2. Use a launch team for book marketing
  3. Pricing your book effectively
  4. Build a website to market your book
  5. Grow your email list
  6. Influencer outreach for book promotion
  7. Apply for BookBub
  8. Land interviews on podcasts
  9. Reach book clubs
  10. Write another book

Book Marketing for Self-Published Authors

Marketing takes planning, organization, and consistent action; it’s hard work. But the good news is that marketing is also about fostering connections and relationships, which can be rewarding to you and your fan base.

And since you’re the one who knows your book from cover to cover, your backstory, your reasons for writing it, and who your ideal reader is, it’s your duty to put a plan in place to best connect with your intended audience and share your story.

We know, we know…you’ve put a ton of effort into writing, editing, and getting your book ready for publication that the thought of adding another layer of “work” is not the most appealing idea.

NOTE: We cover everything in this blog post and much more about how to build a platform and maintain consistent book sales in our Sell More Books Program. Learn more about it here

But realize that if you launch your book without a marketing plan, FAR fewer people will read it.

It will hamper the success of the book you’re working on now, as well as others you plan on publishing in the future. So if you dream of becoming a New York Times bestselling author, or if you want your book to help you reach other lifestyle goals, a book marketing strategy is your essential key to success.

And if you want a quicker, easier way of understanding what’s in this blog post, check out your free training.

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

Spots are limited!

Click Here to Save Your Spot

Book Marketing Strategies for Social Media

Having a quick overview of exactly what you can do and how much time and effort each will take can help you better plan for your book marketing plan.

Here are our recommended book marketing strategies and what you need for each.

Book Marketing PlatformWhat to do
Twitter- use appropriate hashtags
- post relatable tweets to increase shares
- engage by liking and replying to others
- search common hashtags to find your audience
Instagram- use appropriate hashtags
- post photos related to the content of your book
- engage by liking and replying to others
- ask questions in photos to increase engagement
- search common hashtags to find your audience
Facebook- create a page for yourself or your book
- post video content
- go Live to answer questions or discuss your book
- post blog posts supporting your topic/ideas/book
Pinterest- create pins linking back to your website
- repin content related to your genre
- create appropriate boards for your content
- optimize pins with keywords
- join group boards
- connect with others who pin similar ideas
LinkedIn- great for business-related topics
- share insights/stats
- share blog posts supporting your ideas/topics
- connect with leaders in your industry
Personal Website- create a website
- maintain a blog with posts about your main topic
- use this to create an email list
- keep this updated regularly

Free Book Marketing Plan

Having seen and been involved in so many book launches ourselves, we know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to book marketing.

We’ll walk you through a play-by-play of exactly what you need to do so that your readers can find your book and buy it.

We’ve broken this guide down into three main sections for learning book marketing:

  1. Pre-Launch: Building Your Book Marketing Launch Team
  2. Pricing Your Book for Maximum Sales
  3. Post-Launch: 8 Strategies for Selling More Books

Let’s get started!

Pre-Launch: Build Your Book Marketing Launch Team

The first step of preparing for your book launch, and the marketing behind it, is to build your launch team or street team, as it’s also commonly referred to.

What is a launch team?

The ideal launch team, also known as a “street team,” is a dedicated, hand-selected group eager to make your launch successful. If you use your team’s talent and communicate well, there’s nothing your launch team can’t accomplish!

This video does a great job of detailing what a launch team is and exactly what they do:

 

#1 – Launch Team Size

The first step is to determine the projected size of your book marketing launch team based on the size of your audience.

Your audience is anyone interested in you, your book, and your product.

They could be five of your lifelong friends, members of your community, big organizations you’re connected to, social media followers, email subscribers, anyone who might be interested in what you’re sharing.

If you have a smaller following, we suggest you aim for a launch team of 10-50. Those with hundreds in their network can aim for 100-250 team members.

How to Find a Launch Team

If you don’t have much of a following right now, start by looking at your personal inner circle— your family, your close friends—then branch out to their connections, families, and colleagues.

You can reach out to peers from college, your volunteer work, or even your first job. You may even consider parents at your child’s school, fellow dog owners, or members of your yoga class.

Even though you may not know these people well, they are a part of your network, and you may be pleasantly surprised to discover that they’re inspired by your book and would be eager to share it.

Once you’ve completed this exercise, you should have an initial list of potential launch team members!

#2 – Recruit Quality People for Your Launch Team

Now that you’ve determined your potential recruitment pool, the second step is to initiate contact and gauge their interest level.

The most important lesson to consider about your book marketing launch team is that QUALITY trumps QUANTITY.

One top-quality, dedicated team member trumps a handful of mediocre ones.

To begin recruitment for your launch team, create a simple questionnaire process that describes your book, your expectations of the team, and questions asking:

  • Why are you interested in supporting my book?
  • What part of my book speaks to you?
  • What specialized skills can you contribute?
  • What’s your available time commitment?
  • Who are influential people you can reach out to?
  • Why would these influential people be interested?

To sweeten the recruitment deal, feel free to offer a free signed copy of your book or an inclusion in the “acknowledgments” section. You can easily do this through email, or through online forms like Typeform.

#3 – Record a Welcome Video

Take the time to record a warm welcome video for your new supporters! In your video, first, congratulate your team for being selected and express gratitude for their help.

Then, detail your expectations, your unique mission for writing your book, and why you want to share it with as many people as you can!

This welcome video will help you create a more personal connection with your book launch team, and show them a bit more about why you’re creating it and what message you’re trying to convey.

Be sure to send it to everyone who completes your questionnaire!

#4 – Establish a Communication Style

Here’s the secret to a successful book marketing launch team: Effective communication.

Communicate with your team regularly to keep them focused on weekly tasks, progress, and innovative ideas by doing the following:

  • Strive to send one email per week preceding launch then increase it to three or more during launch week.
  • Use a Facebook group to engage, share ideas, and post feedback. Set the tone by posting “Dos and Don’ts” to keep conversations focused and positive.
  • Boost morale and build rapport by sharing inspiring quotes, gifts, and goofy photos to keep energy high and build vital connections.

No matter which mode of communication you’re using, remember people like to be treated well.

Always make sure your team knows how grateful you are to them and their dedication!

#5 – Book Marketing Launch Team Assignments

You can’t just build up a catalog of supporters and not use them, though. You have to give them small assignments to help you with launching and the book marketing process in general.

It might feel weird telling people to help you, but don’t worry about it!

They’re here because they want to support your project, and as long as you’re gracious and ask nicely, they’ll be happy to support your work.

Facebook Groups will be the most effective way to dole out weekly team assignments.

Here are some book marketing initiatives you can assign your team to do:

  • Share snippets of content from your book across social media
  • Submit reviews on Amazon
  • Add their reviews to Goodreads
  • Share a book review on their YouTube channel
  • Record a testimonial for your book
  • Buy extra copies to give to their friends
  • Give you more marketing ideas!

#6 – Utilize Talents

Your team members will have a different variety of skills and talents, and it’s your job to effectively manage your team by assigning work based on their strengths.

To identify your team’s talents, write a post during the introductory week and say the following:

“If you have any special talents or connections you’d like to lend towards my book launch, please comment on this post and let me know. I’m looking for ways to help spread my book’s message to a wider audience.”

#7 – Have Fun and Say “Thank You!”

Your launch team will commit weeks of their time, energy, and talent, so make sure you thank each and every person for their contribution!

Ensure that each person on your team feels valued and appreciated for their efforts.

And most importantly, let them know how to get your book for free (or at least at a deep discount)!

Which brings us to…

How to Price Your Book

One of the most important factors in how successful your book launch is will be how you price it.

To find out how to price your book for success, we recommend reading Book Launch.

But for the sake of this article, here are some of Self-Publishing School’s biggest secrets that will get your book to soar up the Amazon’s charts:

  • If you have a sizable audience, we recommend launching your book for $0.99, and then increasing the price to $2.99 or higher after about a week.
  • For first-time authors, we recommend Amazon’s Free Book Promotions for your book launch.

Although you won’t get paid by putting your book out for free, realize that it will be featured on another author’s page which instantaneously increases your exposure and recognition.

Once the free promotion has ended, switch your book’s price to $0.99 for the following week, then slowly increase the price by $1 per week until sales stagnate.

Post-Launch: 8 Book Marketing Strategies for Selling More Books

All marketing—no matter which market or industry—is fundamentally about people and making connections.

Part of pitching your book will be figuring out how your book relates to your readers and how they will benefit from it.

Now that your book is out in the wild, you want to get as many people to it as possible. Here are the eight best strategies for doing just that.

NOTE: We cover everything in this post-launch marketing section and much more about how to build a platform and maintain consistent book sales in our Sell More Books Program.
Learn more about it here

#1 – Build Your Book Website

Can you imagine if you came home one day and your house was…missing?

Well, that is what an author’s life can be like without a website to post fresh content.

You’ll always be missing a home where you can park your books. Many authors think they don’t need a website because they can promote their books through social media or the author platform on Amazon.

Sorry, not exactly.

There is a huge difference. Having an author website is the difference between renting or buying a piece of property. When you rent, you are living in someone else’s space.

It doesn’t belong to you and they can cancel your lease at any time. Maintaining your own website on a hosted server with your domain name is the same as having that piece of real estate.

You can customize your site your way, publish your own content, and you are always in complete control of how it looks and what gets published.

When it comes to book marketing with your own website, the sky’s the limit. You can:

    – Publish your book’s landing page on your site.
    – Post blogs about your upcoming book
    – Create a countdown timer for the book’s release date.
    – Set up an affiliate link to your Amazon page so you get commissions on book sales Include sample chapters from your book
    – Link to video clips about the book on your website
    – Communicate directly with your email subscribers about new releases or your current blog post

    And you can also set up a Google Alert so you can be notified about where your name and your book show up online.

    If someone gives you good feedback or a stellar review, reach out and thank them and ask them to link back to your book’s website.

    Action Step:

    If your book doesn’t already have a website, get one started! To set up your website and personal blog on a paid server, you can try Bluehost or Godaddy and use WordPress for building your site.

    #2 – Build Your Email List

    There is a saying going around that says: “the money is in the list.” Why? It’s simple. A list of followers who are in love with your writing will be the first to line up when you have a new product to sell.

    These people are essentially your customers.

    Your email list is yours. It doesn’t belong to Amazon or social media. You control what you want to say, how you say it, and when. Imagine if every time you had a new book ready to launch, hundreds or thousands of people were waiting for it so they could get it first.

    If you are serious about your book marketing your current project and all future ones as well, building your list should be a top priority. Nothing else comes close.

    Although building a list takes time, in the long run it is the easiest way to market.

    These are the true fans that will get the word out and be the first to leave verified reviews after buying your new release at the special price of 0.99. But that is just the beginning.

    You can continue to build your list by including a reader magnet at the front and back of your book. Get people hooked on your brand and then keep them there by writing your next book, and then, including them in your next launch.

    As your book reaches more people, and you get more signups, your marketing capacity grows…exponentially.

    Action Step:

    If you haven’t started on your list building, go to an email management system such as Mailchimp or AWeber and sign up for an account. Then get building and start to funnel your fans into your books today.

    #3 – Reach Out to Influencers

    When it comes to book promoting, nothing can have a bigger impact on your book than influencers through book endorsements.

    Even Gary Vaynerchuk, one of the most influential and knowledgable people in the marketing game, thinks so.

    What is an influencer?

    Influencers can be podcasters, bloggers, or authors with strong email lists. It’s someone with an established platform that can get you noticed if they notice you.

    An influencer is someone who has a lot of promotional weight and can spread the word about your book to thousands of people with just a brief mention to their email list, on their blog, or by sharing on social media, for example.

    Influencers have a long reach. What you can do is identify the influencers in your niche and reach out to them. Tell them who you are and ask if they can help to promote your latest book.

    A lot of the time, they’ll want a free copy to read and review. You can also offer to support their future endeavors as a way of giving back.

    Influencers can have a major impact on your exposure as an author, so try to set up interviews in your hometown or reach out to someone online and offer to do an interview so you can deliver value to their target audience.

    Guest post blogging on an influencer’s blog or website is another way to market your book.

    For example, if you wrote a book on recipes for Italian food, you could try connecting with people in the Italian cooking niche.

    They may have a blog, podcast, or a webinar on which you want to appear.

    Action Step:

    Identify at least one influencer in your market and reach out to that person. Tell them who you are and what you do. Get on their podcast or get interviewed. Exposure to fans in your niche will have a big influence on book sales.

    #4 – Leverage Two Social Media Platforms

    Social media is a powerful way to promote your book to potential readers. We can engage with thousands of people just by hitting a few buttons.

    But with social media sites, the big scare is the amount of time we can get sucked into trying to do everything. If you try to connect with everyone, you’ll match up with nobody.

    When promoting and marketing your book, you can’t be everywhere doing all things at once.

    That is why we recommend you choose two social media sites to work with and post your content regularly on these two sites.

    For example, you can have a YouTube channel and post weekly videos covering a wide range of topics centering around your book. After a few months, you could build up a library of content that will bring in the right audience, engage with new subscribers, and even create a course out of your videos.

    Here’s an example of Youtube content from a writer currently working on her first fiction novel. She created a Youtube channel to engage fellow writers, who are also readers:

    book marketing youtube example

    By creating a Youtube channel and giving advice about writing, she’s appealing to writers while also advertising that she is also a writer and has a book in progress.

    Switching gears to Facebook, you can promote your book or blog using Facebook ads that drive new readers to your Facebook page or your book’s website.

    You could also post popular quotes or snippets of material from your upcoming book. With Twitter, you can post multiple times a day with brief quotes or messages under 280 characters. Twitter has proven to be a powerful platform for authors when it comes time to promote and market a book.

    And if your book is more business-focused, you may find that LinkedIn works best for you, since it allows you to connect with new readers on a more professional platform.

    We recommend choosing two social media platforms and focusing on consistent engagement. This will keep your book’s appearance fresh and invite new people in to check out your work.

    Using Specific Hashtags to Grow on Social Media#

    In the writing community, there are a number of very popular hashtags authors and writers use to connect with each other.

    Why make connections with other authors? Because almost every other is also a reader!

    Here are some of the top hashtags you can use on each platform:

    Twitter

    • #amwriting (as in, “I am writing”)
    • #writerslife
    • #fantasywriter, #scifiwriter, #contemporarywriter, etc.
    • #writerprobs, #writerproblems

    Instagram

    • #amwriting (as in, “I am writing”)
    • #writerslife
    • #fantasywriter, #scifiwriter, #contemporarywriter, etc.
    • #writerprobs, #writerproblems
    • #writersofig, #writersofinstagram, #writersofinsta

    Facebook

    • #amwriting (as in, “I am writing”)
    • #writerslife
    • #fantasywriter, #scifiwriter, #contemporarywriter, etc.
    • #writerprobs, #writerproblems

    Action Step:

    Choose two social media platforms and commit to publishing content regularly. If you only want to focus on one, master it, and then move to another that is perfectly fine! It is better to do one thing and get it right then do two things poorly.

    #5 – Get on Bookbub

    Bookbub is the cream of the crop when it comes to promoting and marketing your book. In fact, you should submit your book for promotion as either free or for 99 cents right after your book launch.

    Bookbub has a massive following and can get your book delivered to thousands of readers. It really is the “Big One” when it comes to book marketing.

    The cost isn’t cheap and can run you anywhere from $200 to $2,000 for a promo, depending on the genre, category, and the price of your book.

    But is it worth it? Yes. Definitely.

    For example, if you are running a promo for 99 cents in general nonfiction, you could potentially sell, on average, 2,000 copies of your book. Not only will you make a profit, but this could bring in hundreds of subscribers and leads to your email list.

    From there you can upsell readers on your other books or even a course if you have one.

    Action Step:

    Go here for Bookbub submission requirements. You can also check out the pricing here and submit your book here.

    #6 – Interviews and Podcasts

    A local radio or podcast interview can introduce you to new readers. While this may sound intimidating, you can pull this off like a pro with a little preparation.

    Look to local colleges, podcast hosts, or local radio stations for interview opportunities

    (Pro Tip: Hosts love to interview up-and-coming authors, so you may be surprised at the many offers that come your way when you reach out).

    Reach out, let them know a little bit about your book and why it might be interesting to their audience, and include a free sample of it so they can see if you’d be a good fit.

    If you have a press release describing what your book is about, feel free to include that as well to give them more context.

    Then be sure that when you go on, you present a great story about your book and get their listeners excited to read it!

    Action Step:

    What are three podcasts or radio shows you could go on to talk about your book? Find their contact info and reach out with a pitch about having you on.

    #7 – Book Clubs

    Local book clubs are another goldmine of new readers; you already know they like books! Find and connect with these groups.

    You can offer to attend a meet-and-greet and hand out copies of your free signed book. You can also get your book listed in Facebook Groups and other groups dedicated to readers.

    There are also paid lists, such as Buck Books, that can reach tens to hundreds of thousands of readers. Book Launch also teaches what lists are out there, and which ones are the best to use.

    Action Step:

    Are there any book clubs you could join? Look on Facebook for groups that would be a good fit for your book.

    #8 – Write Another Book

    Publishing another book is great for brand building. In fact, it’s much harder to market just one book unless it is a ground-breaking phenomenal masterpiece.

    Your book may be great, but you can compound that greatness by writing more books, preferably in a series.

    With every new book you put out there, you increase the chances of your work getting recognized by influencers and people online who are hanging out in all the places you can target for promotion and sharing.

    self-publishing companies

    Become a Book Marketing Guru with FREE Training

    Launching your book is only the beginning. The real work begins after the initial “bang” is over and you have to dig in deep to promote, engage, and provide solutions to readers’ problems.

    Remember: Marketing is about delivering a product [your book] to the right people [your audience] who need desperately what you have to offer [your solution].

    Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

    Spots are limited!

    Click Here to Save Your Spot

    No matter which marketing tactics sound best for you, remember that choosing a few key strategies and executing on them regularly is crucial to increasing book sales. Let these strategies be your secret weapon to a successful book launch, and you’ll be on your way to being a bestseller in no time!

    What is your best book marketing strategy and how has it worked for you so far?

How to Publish an Ebook: A Simple Ebook Publishing Guide to SELL

Learning how to publish an ebook can be pretty painful without the right process.

With kindle direct publishing, Amazon publishing, and other forms of self-publishing at your disposal, it can even be easy – with our help.

We get how much information is out there about learning how to publish an ebook.

how to publish an ebook

Here are the steps for how to publish an ebook:

  1. Write a strong book
  2. Create an Amazon KDP account
  3. Format your ebook for publishing
  4. Upload your ebook to KDP
  5. Choose your ebook publish date
  6. Build your book launch team
  7. Create hype for your ebook
  8. Publish your ebook!
  9. Create emphasis for it on your site

With all the different types of advice, how do you know what to follow and what will just elongate your already lengthy process?

Since we specialize in self-publishing, we can easily teach you how to publish an ebook without all the fuss and fluff that can bog you down along the way.

Why write an ebook?

The ever-rising trend of ebooks should be more than enough of a reason to write and publish your own ebook but if you’re not quite sold, we’ll break it down a bit further.

Here are the benefits of an ebook:

  • In 2018, ebook sales are projected to account for about one quarter of global book sales.
  • Ebooks sell easier online
  • Ebooks can be used to grow your business more so than physical books
  • You make a bigger profit from ebooks
  • You can grow your blog and its income
  • Passive income
  • You help save trees!
  • You can embed links directly to your site and products you sell
  • They’re cheaper to produce

Many authors choose to sell both physical copies and ebooks when they write a book but you can easily sell only ebooks and reap all of the benefits above.

Now that you know the why, let’s talk about how to publish an ebook.

NOTE: We cover everything in this blog post and much more about the writing, marketing, and publishing process in our VIP Self-Publishing Program.
Learn more about it here

How to publish an Ebook on Amazon

Amazon is the biggest retailer online and with the world of book-buying migrating and settling on the internet, Amazon is the place to publish.

Here’s how you can publish an ebook on Amazon with Kindle Direct Publishing.

#1 – Write a book worth buying

There’s no point in publishing a book that’s not your best work. But if you’re not much of a writer or have no idea how to write a book in the first place, that can make this entire process much more daunting.

In order to write a great ebook to sell on Amazon or even on your own website, you first have to pick a book idea that you’re passionate about. Remember, you’ll be writing up to and even more than 25,000 words so you want to make sure you have a topic you know a lot about and love.

Here are the overall steps for writing a book and getting it ready for publication:

This might seem overwhelming but I promise, it’s not. We even have free training for you to understand exactly what it takes to write and publish your book.

#2 – Create your Amazon KDP account

Learning how to publish an ebook means navigating the online space in a way you may not be familiar with, like using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing to get your ebook out into the world.

Setting up your KDP account is actually really easy.

Here’s all you have to do:

  • Visit https://kdp.amazon.com and create an account. You can either use your existing Amazon account or a different email address.
  • Set up all your tax information. You can’t submit your published ebook unless you have all of these steps completed.
  • Once your tax information is all filled in, hit “Finished” and you’re all done.

See? It’s pretty easy and simple to use from there. If you’re having trouble, we detailed more in-depth instructions over here.

#3 – Format the ebook properly

Book formatting is really, really important. If you just upload your manuscript as is, you’ll run into a number of different problems.

And this is awful because with the “Look Inside” feature Amazon offers, anyone can see the formatting of your book right away.

If it’s bad and difficult to read, they’ll avoid buying your ebook and your sales will tank.

Most people hire a professional to format their book to ensure everything looks great but we also have a guide to help you format your book properly.

#4 – Upload your ebook to KDP account

This is a very simple step for publishing an ebook. All you really have to do is “plug and chug,” as they say.

You have all of the information you need and now it’s just about uploading your formatted manuscript to your KDP account and filling in the information you need to.

That means you’ll need to fill out the title, subtitle, and the description.

Now, you really don’t want to write a boring “filler” description. After the cover, this is the single most important part of publishing an ebook.

If people aren’t sucked in by your description, they won’t buy your book.

Here’s an example of a killer description that has helped sell thousands of copies of this book:

how to publish an ebook

#5 – Choose a launch date

Believe it or not, there are actually good and bad days to launch your book. Typically speaking, the winter holiday season is the worst time to publish a book simply because the advertising market will be super saturated.

Everyone is putting their best ads forward so they can reap the rewards of those holiday spending dollars.

And although this might seem like the perfect time to launch, it’s actually one of the worst.

Your book can easily become lost in the hype of literally every other book and product marketed during that time.

If you want to launch a book during the best possible time for its sales, use this guide below:

Month to LaunchGood ForBad For
JanuarySelf-help, goal setting, inspirational/motivationalSummer-focused reads, fiction
FebruaryLove, romance, poetryFiction, recipe books
MarchBaseball books, sports, spring, women's booksSelf-help, holiday
AprilReligious, Easter, memoirs, World War II, FictionLove/romance, winter/holiday
MaySummer reads, fiction, history, parentingRomance/love, self-help
JuneContemporary fiction, fatherhood/parenthoodDiet/exercise, romance
July/AugustFiction, heavier reading materialsHoliday, self-help
SeptemberHistory, politics, memoirs, school, collegeFiction, romance/love
OctoberMysteries, horror, thrillers, dark nonfictionLove/romance, happily-ever-afters, self-help
NovemberCookbooks, holidays, religion, children's booksSelf-help, romance/love
DecemberGenerally avoid launching during heavy buy/ad monthsMost books

#6 – Put together your launch team

This is such an important step when it comes to self-publishing an ebook. What you really need is a great group of people who can help launch your book to heights you wouldn’t reach otherwise.

If you want to learn more about how a launch team can hep you, check out the video below:

Your launch team should be composed of people who:

  • Love your book
  • Want to help you
  • Are very enthusiastic about your book
  • Have some sort of following or online presence
  • Are fans of you and your work

Since you’re trusting these people to help get the word out, make sure they’re all committed. A great way to do that is to have an online application form that each person has to fill out.

This will help narrow down those who are serious about helping you and will put in the time and effort to do so.

Make sure to also check out this guide to building and managing your book launch team.

#7 – Build hype for your ebook on your website or blog

Many who publish ebooks usually have a website or blog they can use to drive traffic to it. Not only that, but some actually use the ebook as a lead magnet and even the main source of income on their site.

And publishing a book – even just an ebook – can do wonders for growing your online business as well.

What you have to do before your launch is to build interest about the ebook.

Here’s how you can build hype for publishing your ebook:

  • Link to your book within blog posts
  • Create blog posts related to the topic of your book
  • Create graphics for your book and place in your sidebar and within blog posts
  • Create a graphic to use on the front page of your website
  • Create an email sequence to sell your book (this is for those more advanced with a larger email list)
  • Continuously look for ways to integrate your book into blog post ideas and on social media

The idea with optimizing your website with your book is to convert your blog followers into customers and to give those coming to your website from your book the content they’re actually looking for.

All of this builds fans and most importantly, a loyal and engaged following!

For example, we use Chandler Bolt’s book Published. as a main point of interest on our website. This gives those who are already interested in the publishing industry something of high value right off the bat.

publish an ebook

#8 – Publish your ebook!

It’s time to kick off your ebook and launch! If you’ve followed the steps above, then you’re ready to get your book published and start reaping the rewards.

The best part about publishing an ebook is that you don’t have to worry about ordering prints and going through the proofs and the entire process of adjusting how they look.

Once the ebook format is complete, that’s all you need to concern yourself with in terms of delivery!

Your launch day is very important and exciting.

Make sure your launch team is ready for a day of sharing and even some activities.

It’s best to host activities that your audience can actually engage in. Some fun launch day activities include things like hosting a live webinar, doing a Q&A on Twitter or Facebook or your preferred platform, sending out an email to your entire email list, and any other fun pursuit your readers will benefit from.

Get together with your launch team beforehand and have everyone brainstorm some launch day events.

You can even give prizes to those whose ideas get used!

#9 – Create emphasis of your book on your webiste, social, or email list

Now is the time to leverage that book!

Writing the ebook itself isn’t the hardest part of this process; making continuous sales is. And the best way to ensure you keep pushing buyers to your book is to make it the focus of your blog and website.

Plus, if you have those great reviews from your launch team, you can actually leverage those to make more sales.

Place reviews on your website on the same page your book is linked to. They’re kind of like testimonials for a service. Except, in this case, your service is a book.

You can feature them on your website wherever you want.

Obviously, if you’re someone who only wants to sell your ebook, a blog or website might not even be something on your ebook publishing to-do list.

You should, however, think about creating a website to at least host your book and information on in case others want to find you and even connect with you about speaking engagements and other amazing opportunities a book can grant you.

Are you ready to succeed with your book?

Learning how to publish an ebook isn’t easy and it’s even more difficult without knowing exactly what to do next.

So if you’re looking to write and publish your ebook anytime soon, follow these steps to get ahead of the curve and set yourself up for real success!

#1 – Sign up for your free training!

That’s right! We’re offering you FREE training that’ll help you learn exactly what you need to do to go from blank page to published author in as little as 90 days – and yes, it’s perfect even if you’re just going to publish an ebook.

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

Spots are limited!

Click Here to Save Your Spot

#2 – Create your Kindle Direct Publishing account

Right now! Head on over and sign up for Kindle Direct Publishing. Create your account and follow the steps necessary above to set it all up according to what you need.

This is a very quick process that will bring you one step closer to success.

#3 – Start writing your book

It’s a little scary, we get it. But if you utilize your free training, you should be more than ready to get started!

If you do need a little help, we have this really helpful guide for learning how to start writing a book that will help fill in any missing parts you might not know about.

Now that you know how to publish an ebook, it’s time to write it! What will yours be about and what else do you need to get started?

amazon book reviews

How to Get Book Reviews on Amazon: Our Method for Free Book Reviews

Book reviews are what make or break you as an author and since Amazon is the leader in book retailers, getting reviews on Amazon is even more important.

As scary as it can be to leave your own fate in the hands of others, it’s true – especially if you publish through Amazon.

As a self-published author, having a portfolio of authentic positive Amazon reviews, right from the beginning, can skyrocket your book launch and make your book stand out in your market.

And yet– it is one of the hardest things to get.

amazon book reviews

For any Amazon product, positive or negative product reviews can be the difference between success and failure.

Here’s how to get amazon book reviews:

  1. Learn Amazon book review guidelines
  2. Build a launch team for book reviews
  3. Contact Amazon top reviewers
  4. Apply to book review sites
  5. Include a reminder in your book
  6. Relaunch your book
  7. Deal with negative reviews
  8. Go through the Amazon book review checklist

There’s nothing more painful after going through the blood, sweat, and tears of writing, publishing, and launching your book, to get very few to no sales because of your lack of reviews.

But where do we start to get Amazon reviews?

Who do we ask?

How do we get reviews that our audience will respect?

How many people should we have on our launch team to guarantee a certain number of reviews for setting up promotional sites?

How many reviews is enough?

We will look at the ways to get legitimate Amazon reviews for your book so that you can reap the benefits of turning your book into a thriving long-term business.

NOTE: We cover everything in this blog post and much more about the writing, marketing, and publishing process in our VIP Self-Publishing Program. Learn more about it here

How to Get Amazon Reviews and the Review Process

When you publish a book, there are essentially 6 things that score at making your book a bestseller.

They are:

  1. A great book cover design.
  2. An irresistible book title.
  3. An amazing book description.
  4. Stealthy keywords.
  5. Targeted book categories.

And… Book Reviews.

When Amazon ranks your book, the ranking is based on the volume of downloads your book gets and, the amount of reviews stacked on the book’s review page.

Amazon’s system is designed to take notice of books that are getting steady traction when reviews get posted.

This is why it is critical that when you launch your book you set everything up to get as many reviews as possible to get momentum going, increase organic traffic, and drive your rankings in the search engines. This means a higher percentage of people writing reviews for your book, not just at launch, but for months (and years) down the road.

The bottom line is, reviews carry big weight in the form of social proof that can drive your book to a bestseller and continue to bring in healthy passive income every month.

Why do book reviews matter?

Because of Amazon’s algorithm, maintaining a steady income of new book reviews is vital for your book to rise in the rankings. Meaning that if you want your book to continue to sell, you need to obtain real and fresh book reviews.

This is a breakdown of why book reviews matter:

  1. The more reviews you get, the more visibility your book gets. This means more sales and potential organic reviews.
  2. You create a stronger relationship with your readers
  3. A boatload of reviews adds credibility to your book and brand.

Book reviews for your book on Amazon are one of the defining factors that determine if a potential reader will click the BUY NOW button or not. In fact, if your book has less than 10 reviews, there is a strong chance that your book will get passed over.

People want validation before purchasing, and the best way to make that decision is on the front of the product page: reviews.

Amazon Reviewer Guidelines

You can find everything you need to know about posting reviews on Amazon right here under the Community Guidelines.

Amazon has tightened the ropes on reviews and as an author, you have to be aware of the tactics that are prohibited.

Here is what not to do when it comes to getting book reviews on Amazon:

  1. Pay someone to leave a review. This not only goes against Amazon’s terms, but it could get your book removed from the shelf and your account banned.
  2. Offer a free ‘gift’ in exchange for a review. No gifts allowed. This is still considered payment for a review.
  3. Join Facebook groups offering book review swaps. These sites are bad news. Amazon prohibits review swapping and is considered gaming the system. The Amazon algorithm can easily trace reviews back to these sources.
  4. Offer an Amazon gift card after a review has been published. It works like this: “You download the book and leave a review, and I will send you a gift card.” Again, this is against policy and is considered paying for a review.
  5. Leave a review for an author, then contact that person requesting they leave a review in return. This would be a form blackmail or trapping the other author into guilt. But this doesn’t work and if you receive any such email, inform the other author that you don’t work that way. I did this once and they just removed their review.

Most of these fall under the label of “incentivized reviews“, as there is a form of compensation in exchange for a review by Amazon sellers. Amazon has made it their mission to crack down on these on their platform.

What’s the Difference Between Verified and Unverified Book Reviews?

According to Amazon, an “Amazon Verified Purchase” review means they’ve verified that the person writing the review purchased the product at Amazon and didn’t receive the product at a deep discount

Product reviews that are not marked “Amazon Verified Purchase” are valuable as well, but we either can’t confirm that the product was purchased at Amazon or the customer did not pay a price available to most Amazon shoppers.

Verified reviews are favorable and are social proof that the reader did in fact buy the book and has potentially read through it before posting a review. A verified review shows up as a yellow banner that says “Verified Purchase,” as seen in the example below:

amazon book reviews

For unverified reviews, in most cases, the reviewer received an advance copy of the book and was possibly on a launch team to support the book’s release.

While this is still a legit practice for garnering reviews for your book, if the majority of reviews are non-verified, this could affect your potential customer’s decision to buy or not.

How to Get More Amazon Book Reviews

There are many ways to get reviews but searching for reviewers to review your book is a time-consuming process. You could waste precious time chasing bad leads and end up with nothing for your effort.

So where do you get reviews without spending hordes of time?

No matter how you do it, remember that it isn’t just about quantity but quality as well. While we can’t control what reviewers will say about our work, we can stay focused on writing great content that adds value in order to increase our chances of getting positive reviews.

To get Amazon reviews for your next book launch, or to add reviews to an existing book, consider taking action on these following strategies:

#1 – Build a launch team

There are many ways to hunt down reviewers for your book. As we have seen, you can contact the top reviewers, target free book review sites, or reach out to book bloggers.

These methods, while they may get you a handful of reviews, is time intensive and a lot of work.

I have found, after running over two dozen book launches, that the most effective way to get reviews fast on launch is through setting up a launch team.

Your launch team is a group of people who have agreed to read your book in advance and follow up with a review immediately after the book is live.

When it comes to building a launch team, it is about building relationships over the long term. This is why, in order to run an effective launch team, you should focus on the relationship with your early-bird reviewers.

Here is a step-by-step process for organizing your team:

How to Set Up a Launch Team

1. Start building your relationships early. Launch teams don’t just happen. They take work, months of outreaching, and asking the right people if they want to help launch your book when the time is right. You can generate interest by posting snippets of the book on Social media, sharing chapters of your work with your list, and promoting your cover to people.

Share your content and advertise your brand. Communicate with people in person and through online channels about your writing. Keep in mind the purpose for this is to make genuine relationships with people and not to just add them to your launch. And most importantly, to make friends with people who read in your niche, so that your book gets recommended alongside the other books they’re reading.

2. Create your list of potential reviewers. As you build these relationships with your fanbase, start making a list of people who express interest in joining your launch. If you have multiple books and have been through the publishing process already, take note of the readers who have left reviews already.

Contact them closer to the launch of your next book to get them on board. Set up an excel spreadsheet and keep track of the names of people who sign up.

Action Step:

Contact people directly and invite them to the launch team. Keep track of early-bird reviewers in excel.

3. Set up an email template through your email server. Add everyone to the list. If you aren’t using an email server yet you can check out Mailchimp, Convert Kit or Mailerlite. Make it as easy as possible so you aren’t wasting time searching for contact information.

Send out a welcome email with a link to your book in PDF or/and Mobi form. You can create a folder in Dropbox and just include the link to a shared folder. Make it easy for them to access the material.

Action Step:

Import your list of emails onto an email server list.

4. Send out the Welcome email. Ideally you want to send out your book at least two weeks before launch. This gives people enough time to read it through. In the welcome email I include details for the launch date and any other expectations. At this stage the book isn’t live yet so you will send another email on that day with the link.

For the book delivery, you can upload a PDF version as well as a Mobi version of the book. To create a MOBI, PDF or EPUB file you can check out the Calibre ebook management software.

Here’s the difference between EPUB vs MOBI vs PDF so you can choose which to use.

After you have all the files ready, you can create a shared folder in Dropbox and share the link with your team.

If any top reviewers agreed to leave a review, you absolutely want to message them to follow up.

Action Step:

Create a welcome email template. Send out your welcome message to the team. Include a link to your book content.

5. Send out your ‘Take Action’ email on launch day. Your book is live and it is time for people to step up. Contact the team on launch day as soon as the book is live. After publishing a book it should take 12-24 hours for Amazon to get it posted. In the email, include a link to your book. More specifically, a link to the review page so that team members can go straight to the page with one click.

6. Day 3: Reminder email. I wait 3 days and send out a reminder email. In this email I thank everyone who has left a review and thank people in advance who are still working on the book and haven’t posted yet.

7. Final Call: This is the last email I will send out. Similar to the previous email, reminding people the book is live and is ready for a review whenever you are. You can remind your team that book is at a special discounted price if you are launching it at 0.99 or it’s free.

8. Contact Your List: If you have a list, this is gold for getting paid downloads and possible reviews. You should contact your list on the first day the book is live and let people know that the book has just launched. Then, several days later, email them again asking if they had a chance to get into the material. You could add something of value here just to show subscribers how much you value their support. This is the email where I include a ‘leave a review’ invite.

These are the steps I use to communicate with my launch team. Generally speaking, if you want 100 reviews for your book, you should aim for at least 200 people.

That is a lot of emails but, what I have experienced is that, on average, you are batting a 50% success rate. What happens to those other 50% who don’t review?

Here’s why some people won’t review your book:

  1. They didn’t like the book.
  2. They forgot to review altogether.
  3. They didn’t read the book.
  4. They couldn’t be bothered to review.

If you can get 20+ reviews on launch after one week you are looking very good. This is enough to get momentum moving and the Amazon algorithm will see that your book is doing well.

#2 – Contact Amazon Top Reviewers

There is a list of top 1000 reviewers on Amazon. These people review everything via the Amazon vine program, although certain reviewers target books specifically. If you can get an Amazon Top Reviewer to look at your book, this is well worth it.

Check out the Amazon Top Customer Reviewers list. This is a time-consuming process but, if you can get 2-3 reviewers to agree to a book review, you’re all set.

get amazon book reviews

Here’s how to get more reviews on Amazon with top reviewers:

  1. Go into the reviewer’s profile and check the books they have reviewed. To be specific, you want to check for books in your genre. If you wrote a book on weight loss and the reviewer has written most of their reviews for romance novels, it’s a good indication of what they favor. Target the reviewers interested in your topic.
  2. Check for contact information. Due to the large volume of spam and requests for reviews, most top reviewers have removed their personal email. If they have a website set up, you can send a direct email to request a review.
  3. Wait for a reply. Most reviewers, from my own experience, did not reply. I would recommend targeting 20 reviewers and wait one week. You can then resend the request again.

This is a time-consuming process but, if you get a top reviewer to agree to a review, keep that person’s contact information in an excel file. Then, when you launch your next book, you can reach out to them again and again.

#3 – Book Review Sites

There are a number of sites out there that will find reviewers for your book. This is not the same as buying reviews for your book which, I’ll restate again, goes against Amazon’s review policy and should be avoided.

In fact, Amazon has taken action against over 1000 sites on Fiverr that were selling incentivized reviews and fake review services. Yes, avoid.

Review services, however, can speed up the process and find reviewers for your book. One of my favorites is BookRazor. It is a paid site but they promote a system of honest reviewers for your book by providing a contact list of potential readers.

There are many other sites you can check out as well, and many of them are free while some are paid:

#4 – Include a reminder in your book

Here is a tactic that works well. Did you know that you can include insert a request in your book for readers to leave a review? It’s a great way to invite people to review your book.

I have a page at the back of my books that looks like this:

What Did You Think of [Your Book Title Here]?

First of all, thank you for purchasing this book [Your Book Title Here]. I know you could have picked any number of books to read, but you picked this book and for that I am extremely grateful.

I hope that it added at value and quality to your everyday life. If so, it would be really nice if you could share this book with your friends and family by posting to Facebook and Twitter.

If you enjoyed this book and found some benefit in reading this, I’d like to hear from you and hope that you could take some time to post a review on Amazon. Your feedback and support will help this author to greatly improve his writing craft for future projects and make this book even better.

You can follow this link to [Book link here] now.

I want you, the reader, to know that your review is very important and so, if you’d like to leave a review, all you have to do is click here and away you go. I wish you all the best in your future success!

When you do this, you want to have a link directing customers right back to the review page on Amazon. Make it so easy for them that it requires as little effort as possible.

Many authors will include a cute ‘cat photo’ or even pictures of their kids begging asking for a review. This strategy can work well if you sell a large volume of books during the initial launch phase.

But remember it takes readers time to go through your book and so, if you don’t see the reviews appear in the first week, you might get them trickling in weeks or even months later.

#5 – Relaunch Your Book

You can relaunch your book if book sales drop and the reviews stop coming in. When you relaunch your book, you can put together a new launch team, and even add a new chapter to the book to generate a renewed interest in your book.

I have tried this strategy several times in the past year and, by relaunching the book, adding new value to the content, I put together another small launch team of 30-40 people. This brought in another 20+ reviews for a book that was suffering from lack of sales and poor rankings.

It happens, so we have to stay on top of keeping the book active.

How to Deal with Negative Reviews

Getting positive reviews on your book is a great feeling. In a perfect world, we all want to have just the good stuff when it comes to our review platform. But alas, there will always be that dissatisfied reader that was expecting something much different than what your book was offering.

Readers will leave a negative review for various reasons, and in most cases, there is nothing we can do.

But first of all, receiving a negative review isn’t the end of the world. In fact, it can lend to a book’s credibility. Look at it from a reader’s perspective. If a book has 100 positive 5-star reviews, although the reviews may be legitimate, we know that not every book is perfect.

Having a load of good reviews and nothing that is under three stars could create doubt for the browser, just as having a book with only a handful of reviews turns browsers the other way.

While negative reviews aren’t all bad, there are steps we can take to reduce the amount.

So how can we prevent our book from getting a lot of negative reviews and turning away potential book sales?

Here are four areas to pay attention to:

  1. Book quality: the single biggest reason a book will get panned by negative reviews is poor quality. This is credited to sloppy editing. A book that is not up to the quality expected by readers will get hit with a high amount of bad reviews. Then, it could get pulled off the shelf by Amazon until the author upgrades to better quality. Make sure your book is up the high standards people expect. Always respect your readers. The book business is like any other business, make good products, and your customers will love you.
  2. Inaccurate description of the book: make sure that your book description, title and cover all point towards the theme of the book. If your book is titled, “How to become rich in 21 days” and, after reading through the book the reader isn’t rich, well, they bought the book because of the promise you made. So, if reading a book delivers a negative outcome for your audience, someone is going to shout about it in a review.
  3. Your book is a sales pitch for your other products. If there is one thing that readers don’t like, it is being hit up with offers and the push to check out other services or products in the book. This could come across as spammy and devalues the content that the readers paid for. While your goal may be to use the book to attract customers for your online business, you want to avoid any sales pitches in the book.

How to Write and Submit a Review

Writing a review for a book you like is a great way to drive potential readers to the title. If you read a great book recently and you want to tell people about it, you can take a few minutes to write up a positive review.

Writing a review is easy. Just go to the book’s front page and, under the heading Customer Reviews, you will see a button for write a customer review. Click on that and you will be taken to a page set up for ‘Your Reviews’ where you can write reviews for your purchases.

What you do is:

  1. Select the rating of the book from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the best score.
  2. Write your book description in the box provided. Keep in mind that if you leave this page before submitting your review, you’ll have to start over again. I would recommend writing the review first in Word or Evernote and then copy and paste.
  3. Create a headline for the review.
  4. Hit submit. Your review will go live within a couple of hours, although it could take up to 24 hours.

One point to note here is that, with Amazon’s policy for posting reviews, you have to have an account that has made a purchase of at least $50 using a valid credit or debit card.

Checklist for Getting Amazon Book Reviews

If you follow these steps, you’ll be able to get more book reviews and in turn, sell more books.

  1. Set up a launch team for your book. Send your team a PDF/MOBI/EPUB file and follow up with email right up until launch. Follow up with several reminders after the launch.
  2. Include a ‘Review Request’ page at the back of your book. Insert the link taking customers directly to the review page. Make it so easy they don’t have to search around for the book on Amazon.
  3. Contact Amazon Top Reviewers. Send a personalized email to each, targeting the people who review books similar to your genre. Wait at least two weeks before following up.
  4. Contact people in your business. This doesn’t include friends and family. Contact professionals in your field who would be willing to read the book with the possibility of leaving an honest review.
  5. Hire a site that specializes in finding honest reviewers for your book. I recommend BookRazor.
  6. Relaunch your book. Add more content, a new book cover, or make it appealing for people to join your relaunch of an existing book. You can relaunch a book as many times as you want.

There are a lot of strategies out there to get reviews for your books, most are legit, and some are not. As an author, make sure you are aware of what Amazon considers to be authentic reviews when it comes to gathering reviews for your next book, and steer clear of anything it considers to be “incentivized reviews”.

If a site promises to get you positive reviews in return for cash, stay away. It isn’t worth it, trust me. Keep hunting and adding reviews to your book.

Book reviews are the secret sauce to adding value and credibility to your work, boosting sales and making your book stick on the bestseller lists. Don’t skimp out on them.

It’s Time for Your FREE Training

One of the easiest and most natural ways to get good book reviews is to write a book worthy of them.

Here’s how you can learn to do that.

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

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What are your methods for getting real, legitimate book reviews on Amazon? Have these techniques worked for you?

book about business

Write a Book About Your Business to Boost Your Sales and Awareness

So you have a business that you are rather proud of. That’s fantastic! And what would make things even better would be writing a book about your business.

Why not?

After all, you have already created a vital business, and helping others would validate your trade and diversify it as well. A published book is passive income.

write a book about your business

In addition to becoming an author, you would be marketing your business through a different venue.  We’re talking win-win here!

Here’s what we’ll teach you about how to write a book about your business:

  1. Brainstorm Your Book Content
  2. Considerations for Writing a Book About Your Business
  3. Choosing a Title for Your Book
  4. Write Your book
  5. Get Feedback From Friends
  6. Finish Fast and Imperfectly
  7. Create folders for images
  8. Choose a publishing platform

NOTE: If you’re ready to grow your business by writing a book (like Chandler Bolt did with this very company), we have everything you need in our VIP Self-Publishing Program. Learn more about it here

Why Write a Book About Your Business?

This is an obvious question. You already run your business every day, what good could come from writing a book about it?

Here are some benefits of writing a book about your business:

  • You gain authority
  • You reach new potential customers
  • You gain opportunities for speaking engagements
  • You can capture more leads by using your book
  • You gain credibility to both potential customers and others in your field

This very blog is built on the back of a website that was started with a book. Chandler Bolt published his first bestselling book at the age of 19 and since, has built an 8-figure business from the process—while using his latest book Published. to make it more successful.

Brainstorm Your Business Book’s Content

You have already experienced the step-by-step process of establishing your own livelihood whether it is full time or a sideline. Now all you have to do is explain what you did to grow your business.

One strategy is to pretend you are advising a close friend what steps to take.

Here are some ways to come up with your book idea:

  1. Brainstorm a random list of everything you remember doing when you started your business.
  2. Don’t stop now; keep brainstorming! List everything you want to include in the book–and even things that won’t go in the book. If it crosses your mind, write it down. We’ll put all of that into a book outline later.
  3. Take a break. Walk away from the computer!  Eat, drink, walk, or talk.
  4. Break’s over. You’ve got a book to write!
  5. List the process of how you created and grew your business in chronological order. This list is your reference point for an informal outline and table of contents.
  6. Prioritize. What are the top topics that you want to emphasize in your book? What do you wish you would have known when first starting your business? Most importantly, what will your readers gain from learning about your business? Let them learn from your mistakes and share in your successes.
  7. Make each topic a separate chapter even if it is really short.
  8. People like concise information, so keep your paragraphs short. Incorporate bullet points that shoot straight to the core matter for easier skimming.
  9. Look through old computer files and photographs to remind you of things that you may have forgotten connected directly or indirectly with your business.
  10. Check your lists more than twice. Did you remember to include everything that matters?

Once you’ve got the gist of what content your book will be, you’ll be ready for the next step in your business-to-book writing process.

What to Consider When Writing a Book About Your Business

There are a few things you’ll want to think about when writing your book about your business.

Here are some thins to consider before writing your book.

#1 – Do I want photographs in my book?

Depending on your business, you may find it worthwhile to add pictures in your book for explanation purposes or something just as relevant.

For example, in my book Rockin’ Crystals: How Healing Crystals Can Rock Your Life, I used images in a number of areas as you can see below.

write a book about a business

Advantages of using images in your book:

  • Color pictures add, um, color, and people like color.
  • Photos attract interest and authority.
  • Pictures explain in ways that words lack (unless you use 1,000 words per picture, according to the cliche).
  • Cell phones and their apps make it easy to take and edit pictures.

Disadvantages of using pictures in your book:

  • They add to your book’s production costs.
  • The electronic version may take a bit longer to download (but I have never had a problem with that).
  • If you have an audio version of your book, the pictures would not be included in the content.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether or not to include pictures. If it adds to the overall experience, we recommend it.

However, if pictures will only be a distraction and not useful, skip them.

#2 – How long do I want this book to be, anyway?

Does it matter, or do I just write until I am done?

This is a question many authors have regularly. How many words are in a novel?

For writing a book about your business, we recommend you write between 20,000 – 50,000 words.

This is because any shorter, and it won’t give your readers all the information they want and more than 50,000 words and you run the risk of boring your readers or giving them too much information.

This is also known as overwriting, which can be trimmed during editing but you want to make sure your book is a clean, concise, and helpful as possible.

#3 – Do I want multiple formats of a book?

Publishing your book in different formats can help you reach a wider audience. But that also means you have to decide if you want to pursue multiple formats.

Here are the different book formats you can publish:

  • Publish an ebook
  • Paperback book
  • Hardcover
  • Audiobooks

Each of these book variations comes with its own pros and cons. For example, if you choose to distribute an audiobook, you’ll have to learn how to make an audiobook in the first place.

Publishing ebooks also comes with its own set of “rules” to follow.

Ultimately, it’s recommended to publish a version of each in order to maximize your audience, but do what works best for you.

Choosing a Title for Your Book

People like knowing other people’s business. Call them curious, call them snoopy, just call to them to buy your book to learn about your business. Teach them your secrets.

Here are some overall tips for titling a book from the Self-Publishing School Youtube Channel.

If you want some additional tips for choosing a book title, here’s what worked for me:

  • A book about a business is a niche market, so make sure that your title makes the topic clear. For example, The Craft Fair Vendor Guidebook lets the reader know that the book is a guide about being a craft fair vendor. The subtitle, Ideas to Inspire, adds another element to the reader’s expectations. The cover’s photograph shows a booth with handcrafted jewelry, another clue.
writing a book about your business
  • In your book’s description, clearly explain what type(s) of business you will be covering. People like to know what to expect and may feel tricked if the book’s description isn’t comprehensive enough. A suggestion is to write your book’s description before writing the book. It’s like a “thesis paragraph” to keep yourself focused. You can keep revising the overview to fit the book as it develops. Also, that gives you more time to decide if the description is its absolute best before uploading it onto your publishing site.
  • Spell out examples of how your business practices can be applied to other ventures. The more crossover applications, the more types of people will be interested in your book.
  • Although you want all of the book to be appealing, you want the first pages to be extra engaging because those are the pages that potential readers will see if they use the “Look inside” feature on Amazon.
  • If you searched for a book about someone else’s business, what details did you want to learn? Cover these topics in your book and then some—bonus points if you use a unique take on them.

Writing a Book About Your Business

Now that you’ve got to the meat of what you’re writing about, you have a clear outline for your book, and you even have a title on hand, it’s time to write your book.

These are my best tips for writing a book about your business in order to get it right.

#1 – Look over your brainstorming notes

It always pays to have your notes handy in case there are items you forgot about that are beneficial to include.

Here’s a few things to keep in mind when going back over your notes:

  • Are there any important pieces of information that didn’t make it into the outline?
  • What bits and pieces of your notes can make your book more unique than others on the market?
  • Is there anything you feel you need in your book that you didn’t include in the outline before?

Once you’ve got those notes, move on to the next step.

#2 – Get feedback from friends

Tell a friend who doesn’t know much about business about your book.

Notice the questions your friend asks because readers will most likely have the same questions. These are very important to take note of because they’re what you’ll directly answer and address in your book.

Take those questions and create sections in your chapters to answer them specifically.

#3 – Develop a writing time and habit

The best way you’ll get your book done is to form a writing routine that will enable you to finish your book faster.

You can set a scheduled time each day to write and notify those around you that it is your time to work on your book.

writing a business book

These are our top tips for developing a writing habit:

  • Create a writing schedule like the one featured above
  • Eliminate distractions that will keep you from writing
  • Find a writing space that’s 100% dedicated to writing your book
  • Stick with it for the first few weeks before it forms into a habit
  • Find others who can keep you accountable

Forming this habit can be the hardest part of writing a book about your business—especially because your business takes up a lot of time.

Using these tips will help.

#4 – Finish fast and with fault

Worry about grammar later…but please do worry about it later—editing your book is important!

I recommend just plowing through in order to finish your first draft faster. After all, “done is better than perfect.”

Plus, you can’t edit a blank page and one of the biggest indicators of success for aspiring authors is finishing your first draft.

#5 – Create folders for images

This is a very important part of keeping all of your book’s contents organized so you don’t make the mistakes of losing something that’s vital.

If you are going to have pictures, create folders to keep them organized.

You can use Google Drive to store all of your photos so it’s easier to collaborate with your book formatter or editor.

Another option is to use Dropbox for storing photos for your book.

You can read about more pieces of writing software you can use for writing your book as well.

The big takeaway with storing your images in folders, however, is that you know exactly where everything is and can keep track of it through the proofing, editing, and publishing process.

#6 – Choose a publishing platform

If you are going to publish your book through more than one platform, definitely have folders to keep everything straight, like in the image below.

write about your business

Here are a few publishing platforms you can use:

There are other self-publishing companies out there but these are the top recommended.

Another thing to keep in mind when choosing your publishing platform is that KDP and Barnes and Noble offer free ISBNs (only for distribution on their channels), while Ingramspark does not.

However, Self-Publishing School students are recommended to buy unique ISBNs anyways, so you can distribute on multiple platforms in the future.

#7 – Read each chapter aloud

You can do this to yourself or even to others to see how it flows and to see what questions or suggestions your listeners may have.

The reason for this is because you can often catch a lot of issues like your style, flow, or even sentence structure when reading aloud that you won’t catch if you read it in your head.

This is a great way to proof and self-edit your book.

#8 – Just keep writing

Until you have covered everything important, just keep writing. It’s the best way to write faster and finish your first draft.

Don’t think about anything else and just write.

When you start worrying about your book or how it’ll be received, cast the thoughts aside and get back to it. You’ll never publish a book if you can’t finish it.

#9 – Proofread and revise

The next step for writing a book about your business is to proofread it and revise…until you can’t stand to look at your book any longer.

Make notes in areas you want to change or you want your editor to pay special attention to.

A great way to do this is to type “TK” into the text of your document so you can later do a search and find all “TK”s in your manuscript. This will only bring up those areas for you to rewrite or proof because “TK” doesn’t appear next to each other in the English language.

#10 – Get feedback on the whole book

Ask people to give you feedback on the full book. They need to have excellent grammar skills and be detail-oriented.

This is also known as the beta reading process or less commonly, the alpha reading process.

The idea here is to have others give you direct and raw feedback about your book and what you can do to make it better.

Here are some questions to ask people giving you feedback on your book:

  • Was everything clear and easy to understand?
  • What was your biggest takeaway from it?
  • Did you find any parts boring or slow?
  • What other feedback do you have that I didn’t ask you about?

Doing this will help ensure your published product is the best it can be for new readers.

#11 – Let it sit

When you feel like you are done, don’t look at your manuscript for days, maybe even a week or two. Then go back with fresh eyes.

You will find more errors to fix!

The reason for this is to separate yourself from your work a bit. The longer you’re away from your own work, the easier it is to determine its flaws, which will help you write a better book overall.

#12 – Publish Your Book About Your Business

When you believe that your book is at its best, it is time to publish it.

Search for the advantages and disadvantages of the publishing options and make your decision. Obviously, I’m a big proponent of self-publishing a book, but you can check out this blog post about the differences between self-publishing vs traditional publishing.

From there, you can prepare a launch party and gather your launch team. Upload your book and congratulate yourself!

Exciting days are ahead!

Are you ready to write your own book about your business?

You can start TODAY! Check out this free training by Chandler Bolt to get started.

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

Spots are limited!

Click Here to Save Your Spot

My Experience Writing a Book About My Business

Since it is often helpful to know how someone else did something, I will share my story. I had always wanted to write a book but thought it would be a novel since I read lots of fiction. It remained just a dream.

Meanwhile, I started wire-wrapping healing crystals to make jewelry. I opened an Etsy store and started selling jewelry and related items at craft fairs and holistic health expos.

After I thought of a way to make portable folding jewelry cases from children’s art kits, I wanted to share my idea with other jewelry vendors. I posted pictures in my Rockin’ Crystals Etsy store and briefly considered making a brochure to sell.

write a book about your business

Then I thought, “A brochure? The heck with a brochure–I need to write a book!”


I searched online for craft fair books to see what was available. I already knew how difficult it was to find pictures of displays that worked well for a temporary situation like a craft fair, so my book was going to help fill that void.

With a background in education and library, I had a lot to learn about starting and operating a home-based business. I wrote my book to help the other newbie business entrepreneurs. Far from being a business expert, I focused on my own experience because I did qualify as an “expert” regarding my personal business.

I had taken pictures at every craft fair and learned how to use photo editing apps like Photofy and WordSwag. The photos were what made my book flow. They reminded me of what was involved in the craft fair business.

After I decided to write a book, I attended events with a different perspective.

I needed examples beyond jewelry, and other vendors were happy to let me photograph their displays. I wanted the principles in the book to apply to a variety of products.

I started with publishing on Amazon and released Kindle and paperback versions. Fortunately, it is free to upload and free to revise. As a former English teacher, I revise and revise and revise. Each time I think that I am DONE, that the book is the best of my abilities. Then I think of something that would improve the book in my mind, even if nobody else would notice the difference. And there I go again!

My book has 97 color photographs, and I was beyond frustrated working with Kindle Create. The final file usually wouldn’t upload. I asked for advice in the KDP Community Forum.

Another author explained a way to upload the Kindle book that worked fairly painlessly:

  • Save the Word file as Web Page, Filtered.
  • Find the HTML document (wherever you’d saved it)
  • Right click on it and send to a Compressed (zipped) folder.
  • Find a folder with the same name that contains your photos.
  • Drag in into the Compressed (zipped) folder.
  • Use the Compressed folder for uploading the digital book on KDP.

I expanded the paperback versions with Barnes & Noble Press and IngramSpark. This was after numerous revisions with Amazon KDP. The digital version of The Craft Fair Vendor Guidebook has had fairly steady downloads with Kindle Unlimited. The paperback sales have been significantly better through Amazon compared to anywhere else.

My book about my business has outsold my other books. This may be because many people would like to have their own business and want to learn what to do. They would like to read about your business, so let’s get that book written. Future business owners are counting on you!

Are you thinking about writing a book about your business? What’s your business and why are you still on the fence?

story ideas

300+ Short Story Ideas & How to Start Your Story Off Right

These short story ideas can mean the difference between sitting at home suffering from writer’s block and knocking out another story…that could potentially be published.

We know it can be hard to summon inspiration. It’s elusive and downright impossible to drum up if it doesn’t want to be.

We’ve all been there before…

That’s why we put together these completely original, brand new writing prompts for you to use to start your next story short.

story ideas

Here are our short story ideas and how to utilize them effectively:

  1. 300+ Short Story Ideas
  2. How to start a story
  3. Story structure
  4. How to think of your own story ideas

NOTE: Learn how to take one of these story ideas and transform it into your next bestseller through our VIP Fiction Self-Publishing Program.
Learn more about it here

How to Start a Story

Starting your short story is the most important part.

Without being able to hook your readers with a strong introduction, they won’t get to enjoy the entirety of the journey through your story.

Whether you’re writing a short story or looking for your next big book idea, we’ve got tips to help you start it off right.

These are our tips for starting your short story:

  1. Shock your readers by writing something they wouldn’t expect or something that doesn’t quite make sense. This is often done by creating confusion, starting by instilling sympathy for your character, or writing something downright shocking to read.
  2. Create sympathy for your character by throwing them in the middle of a struggle. Humans are empathetic beings and making something awful happen right off the bat to an unsuspecting character will help draw intrigue.
  3. Avoid info-dumping by beginning your story with action instead of information. If all you do is give your character’s entire background (which is indicative that’ you’re now following the rules of showing versus telling), your readers won’t be sucked in.

If you want to skip down to your story ideas, click right here, otherwise, let’s dive into story structure and how to use these ideas effectively.

Story Structure

No matter how many short stories idea you have, without the right story structure, they’ll be nothing more than just…ideas.

Let’s go over proper story structure so you can do these story ideas justice.

There are 5 key milestones in every novel, and for short stories, there are typically 4 (due to word count and lack of longevity in general).

Story Structure Milestone 1 – The Setup

Every story needs a setup in which to move from. This is the very beginning of your story.

You may decide to use one of these short story ideas and in that case, you’ll have to construct a catchy and enticing first paragraph/s in order to pull readers in.

The difference between writing a novel and writing a short story is the fact that your short story introduction has to be short, snappy, and filled with intrigue.

Here are a few ways to write a good story beginning:

  • Start in medias res, which means “in the middle.” This is in reference to the action and how you start a story. Starting in the middle gives the story a more natural beginning and helps you avoid info-dumping.
  • Introduce a major story element within the first page. This gives your readers a clear idea about what your story will involve. By “main element,” I mean magic or flying spacecraft or a love interest. You want your readers to know the type of story they’re getting in the opening so they can become more interested in its ending.
  • Make us care about the main character in some way through strong character development. The more your reader can bond with the focus of your story, the more likely it is they’ll stick around to find out what happens to them.

Story Structure Milestone 2 – The Inciting Incident

There’s always one thing that happens in any story or book or even movie that kicks off the chain of events.

Your story needs to have an inciting incident as part of its story structure too.

For example, the inciting incident in Game of Thrones that kicks off the entire Stark VS Lannister war that’s ultimately the reason behind all the heartache, death, and drama is when Jaime Lannister pushes Bran Stark out of the window. This puts a target on Bran’s back since he didn’t actually die and then he was nearly killed by a “hitman” with a Lannister blade.

That is the inciting incident for both the first book and the whole of the war for the iron throne.

Figure out what your (probably smaller) inciting incident is, whether that’s a stranger wandering in to your character’s classroom or some unknown object smacking your character in the back of the head while they jogged past their favorite, and oddly empty, coffee shop one morning.

Story Structure Milestone 3 – The Slap

When writing a novel, there are two of these “slaps,” the second worse than the first. No matter if you’re writing a short story or a full novel, your story will still get a slap.

These slaps are critical and harrowing events that halt the progression of your story and make it harder for your character to succeed in whatever it is they’re trying to do.

During this slap, your character’s world and hope and whatever they’re working toward comes to a standstill as they face this obstacle in their journey.

For a short story, this can range from your character losing all the money they had to get home to the death of their loved one. Choose something that’s shocking but will still leave your readers with some hope.

Story Structure Milestone 4 – The Climax

You know what the story climax is. It’s the point in your story where all the events come to a head with the biggest event in your story.

The climax is when your character either succeeds or loses what they’re after.

Oftentimes, authors choose this time to provide readers with an unexpected twist. No matter how you decide to write your story’s climax, make sure it’s the highlight of your story.

The falling action, otherwise known as the resolution, comes directly after and is how you end your story. (We suggest making sure it’s satisfying instead of just dropping off the end of the climax)

How to Think of Your Own Story Ideas

Coming up with story ideas can take some time and practice—especially when your imagination has been at a standstill for a long time.

short story ideas

In order to come up with your own story ideas, use the “what if” method. Think of a situation and then ask yourself, “what if…” and fill in the end.

For example, your situation may be a character who wants to ditch school.

To create your own story idea, ask yourself, “What if…that character ditches school and then runs into their teacher.”

And then, “what if…that teacher is also playing hooky.”

This allows you to craft story ideas centering around one main idea with multiple possibilities.

Ultimately, coming up with your own story ideas from nothing can be much more difficult than expanding on story ideas someone else has come up with—like us.

Here are over 300 story ideas for you to use and write about.

300+ Short Story Ideas to Use Today

  1. Write a story about a new strain of flower and how its scent is intoxicating to humans, but also deadly.
  2. Write a story about the first stranger you see today.
  3. Write about a lizard that’s living in your character’s walls.
  4. Write a story about a city that has hidden from civilized society for thousands of years until an unsuspecting traveler walks right into the heart of it.
  5. Write a story from the perspective of a mouse.
  6. Write about the worst lie you’ve ever told.
  7. Write a story that starts in a room of windows.
  8. Write about a little girl who purposely leaves a backpack of bombs in a local coffee shop.
  9. Write a story involving two people from opposite sides of a massive town with a long history of rivalry.
  10. Write about another planet that has life just like Earth’s—everything is exactly the same only there were 1/3 of the Earth’s population.
  11. Write about a chair sitting on the old, broken down front porch.
  12. Write a story about a girl walking down the center of the street.
  13. Write about apples falling from the sky.
  14. Write about the incessant shrill of a morning bird outside the barely cracked window.
  15. Write a story involving three women and a stolen cane.
  16. Write a story that starts with, “She was aware of just how much she was making things harder for herself.”
  17. Write a story about a cold house in the depths of an overpopulated town.
  18. Write about two birds and their role in a heist.
  19. Write about what it’s like to be fully submerged in jelly.
  20. Write a story that starts with the smell of salt in an open field.
  21. Write a story involving a teacher and a 217-year-old child.
  22. Write about succulents drying up on a windowsill.
  23. Write a story that starts with, “And now I actually have to figure out what I did wrong.”
  24. Write a story about a character who forgets one person in his life every day, though not always the same person.
  25. Write about a character who wants nothing more than to learn how to build a house.
  26. Write a story involving fish crackers and a rogue lemon.
  27. Write a short story about an orphan who can hear whispers.
  28. Write a story that starts with, “She was filled with the sense that her work here wasn’t done just yet.”
  29. Write about black curtains in a room of white.
  30. Write about a new packet of dried fruit sent through the mail.
  31. Write a story about a guitar with a unique signature on the inside.
  32. Write about bananas and what they mean for a future society.
  33. Write about a dog that loses a paw.
  34. Write about a nice meal that was had over poison wine.
  35. Write a story about one man and the lost scarf.
  36. Write a story that starts with, “After what seemed like the longest night of his life, he had only one more thing to do.”
  37. Write about the sun filtering through countless leaves before finding your cheek in the morning.
  38. Write a story involving a really strong cup of coffee and the worst churro ever.
  39. Write a story that takes place on the middle floor in the middle suite in a 56 story hotel.
  40. Write about the rattling your character regularly hears coming from the basement.
  41. Write a story involving a song your character knows but doesn’t remember.
  42. Write a story that starts with, “How he waited this long without killing someone was beyond him. But he made it through…mostly.”
  43. Write a story that takes place on a crowded beach in the middle of summer.
  44. Write a story about a rooftop bar and an unlikely accident.
  45. Write a story involving three roles of tape and a garden hose.
  46. Write about flying on an airplane for the first time.
  47. Write a story from the perspective of a plant.
  48. Write the story of an old baseball cap now bleaching on a headstone.
  49. Write a story that begins with an old man tapping his toes.
  50. Write about one character who has too much love for pepper.
  51. Write a story about a cactus left on the front porch of your character’s new house.
  52. Write about cascading doubt infiltrating a woman’s unusually high self-esteem.
  53. Write a story involving a camera and a pack of ice.
  54. Write about what it’s like to be the only person who knows the true purpose of life.
  55. Write a story that starts with, “You never know just how bad things can get until you’re waist-deep in the sandpit you used to play in as a child.”
  56. Write about that one time your character forgot to wear shoes to school.
  57. Write a story about a bookcase floating down a river.
  58. Write about what happens when an ex-convict opens an ice cream shop.
  59. Write about two flowers smushed on a doorstep.
  60. Write a story the begins with your character watching rain flood their dirty streets.
  61. Write a story about a single sticky note worn with folds and faded with time.
  62. Write about a girl gifted with an award for something she must’ve done, but doesn’t remember.
  63. Write a story using the words “trial” and “reckoning”.
  64. Write a story that starts with, “I knew that mongrel was a problem the second I set eyes on him.”
  65. Write a story that involves a unique hat, two bottles, and a disgruntled bee.
  66. Write about the first person who comes to mind.
  67. Write a narrative of your day as if you were in the 1800s.
  68. Write a story about how much a soldier misses the taste of honey buttered biscuits.
  69. Write about a character who just found out they have a rare disease that makes their skin change colors to match their surroundings.
  70. Write about a faraway world where humans are not the most intelligent life form.
  71. Write a story about six kids on their quest to uncover a hidden lair deep in the forest.
  72. Write a story involving a wrench, a flower pot, and two teenagers.
  73. Write about what happens when the government puts secret viruses in essential oils in order to dull the minds of its users.
  74. Write a story that starts with, “What happened to me was…meant to happen. At least that’s what I tell myself.”
  75. Write about an old woman’s journey to relocate someone she had a passionate fling with in her younger years.
  76. Write about how love can become muddled in difficult families.
  77. Write a story involving a rare book and two people fighting over it.
  78. Write a story in a world where books are outlawed.
  79. Write about a time you thought you would explode with some sort of emotion.
  80. Write a story about a character who finds a perfect sketch of themselves for sale in a coffee shop…2,000 miles from where they live.
  81. Write about a lime tree and its worst predator.
  82. Write a story about a dog who won’t stop digging at one specific spot.
  83. Write about what would happen in a world where children are regarded as the most precious beings to the point of being worshiped.
  84. Write about a girl in an ancient society who hears voices in her head that aren’t her own.
  85. Write a story about an antique cash register and a type of money that nobody can place.
  86. Write about a life-changing book and its journey through multiple readers and its home on the library shelf.
  87. Write a story that beings with, “His hand fell from the gash in his eyebrow, red trickling down his hand to do his tattered jeans.”
  88. Write about a wheelbarrow, a young boy, and a snake hiding in the backyard.
  89. Write a story that involves a glass koala.
  90. Write about what it means to be fully awake.
  91. Write a story about a girl who spends half her night awake…as someone else.
  92. Write a story about a man who can see a person’s worst day ever whenever he touches them.
  93. Write a story that begins with the patter of baby footsteps on the hardwood floor.
  94. Write a story involving a broken car trunk, a DVD, and batteries.
  95. Write a story that starts with, “They never tell you what it’s like when your world gets turned upside down.”
  96. Write about how the sticky note pile on your desk keeps dwindling day after day, without you using it.
  97. Write a story about a lie told over breakfast.
  98. Write about your life as if you were telling it from a bystander’s perspective.
  99. Write a story about how you take a bit of an eggroll only to discover a scroll inside.
  100. Write a story that begins with a warm breeze blowing off a house that’s on fire in the middle of winter.
  101. Write about a card game that goes wrong.
  102. Write a story from the perspective of an owl flying around a campground at night.
  103. Write about a lost bracelet.
  104. Write a story about how to find your way back home.
  105. Write a story that starts with, “His pack was heavy, no doubt about that with what he hid inside.”
  106. Write a story like you were the only person left in an amusement park at night.
  107. Write about a time when your friends made you feel betrayed for the first time.
  108. Write about a journey to discover what happens when you reach the bottom of a waterfall.
  109. Write about the lives of two hamsters as they squeeze out of their cage.
  110. Write a story from the perspective of yourself as a 3-year-old.
  111. Write about a story that begins with a bird flying through a window.
  112. Write a story about a character who can’t stop lying to those closest to them.
  113. Write about a brand new couch found sitting in the middle of a back country road.
  114. Write a story about what was found beneath a palm tree during a beach party.
  115. Write about a bathtub and a drawing pad.
  116. Write a story about how a character finds a message in the bottom of their coffee cup.
  117. Write a story about what would happen if food manufacturing companies shut down.
  118. Write a story that starts with, “That oil spill was the least of his problems.”
  119. Write about a character who discovers why nobody can find a cure for cancer.
  120. Write a story detailing the process of creating a bouquet from homegrown florals.
  121. Write about a high school graduation that gets a major surprise.
  122. Write a story involving a rare coin and two thieves fighting over it.
  123. Write about climbing a tree for the first time.
  124. Write a story involving a water spigot and a nest of baby bunnies.
  125. Write about a secret room beneath an open field.
  126. Write a story about a character who discovers their parents’ hidden library.
  127. Write a story involving a notepad, a flashlight, and a goat.
  128. Write a story about holding your breath.
  129. Write about what happens at night inside the small town’s antique shop.
  130. Write a story about a character who lives in a future society that’s struggling to produce enough food.
  131. Write about a secret government’s method of population control.
  132. Write a story about a writer who gets their ideas from the remnants of dreams.
  133. Write a story that starts with, “In any other time, what she did would be considered heroic.”
  134. Write about how dropping their ice cream as a little boy changed your main character completely.
  135. Write a story in which two people argue about who has the worse sleeping problems.
  136. Write about a psychic who wants nothing more than to be believed in a world that shuns psychics.
  137. Write a story that begins with the sound of raindrops on a tin can.
  138. Write about flooding in a society that hasn’t seen good rain in years.
  139. Write about what it would be like to lose every possession you own.
  140. Write a story about the struggles of being born with purple hair in a world where color is frowned upon.
  141. Write about the smell of banana bread and coffee as your character skips downstairs for breakfast.
  142. Write about what it’s like to live in a small shed that’s half buried from before the sickness took nearly half the population.
  143. Write a story that begins with, “She scuttled backward, shoving herself against the wall, sweat bleeding through her torn shirt. It’s worth it.
  144. Write about a time your character slipped and broke an arm outside a donut shop.
  145. Write about a reserved, creepy EMT who draws your character’s blood for seemingly no reason.
  146. Write about someone who’s afraid to feel the wind.
  147. Write a story that starts with car tires crunching over an abandoned road.
  148. Write a story about a haunted barn.
  149. Write a story involving an air freshener, a trailer, and a basketball.
  150. Write a story about what happens in a small town surrounded by militant forces.
  151. Write about a character who’s never read a book, lost in a library.
  152. Write a story that involves seashells and a stolen ring.
  153. Write a story that starts with, “Her hair was parted on the right side.”
  154. Write about a journal that made everything written in it come to life.
  155. Write about an old woman who spends her whole days gardening.
  156. Write about a time when you forgot something very important.
  157. Write about a whale and a little girl’s toy boat.
  158. Write a story using the words “exposure” and “calamity.”
  159. Write a one-sentence story using the word “charcuterie.”
  160. Write a story about an underdeveloped society learning that their government is listening in on them daily.
  161. Write about a string and a broken cello.
  162. Write a story involving a bar stool and a farm.
  163. Write about what it would be like to step foot on another planet for the first time.
  164. Write about a parade from the perspective of a child.
  165. Write a short story centering around a little boy’s trip to the emergency room in the back of an ambulance.
  166. Write a story about how wine is made.
  167. Write a story about the intricacies of writing a poem.
  168. Write about a character who was born in an open field, and spent the next seventeen years—his whole life—never crossing the forest line beyond the field.
  169. Write a story about the places a woman keeps finding sand after her recent (and very brief) trip to the ocean.
  170. Write a story that centers around a song and its dire meaning to a certain civilization.
  171. Write a story about a young girl’s quest to write a book.
  172. Write about a time when your character accidentally slipped up in a big lie.
  173. Write a story that starts with, “It wouldn’t be long now. She knew she deserved what was about to happen.”
  174. Write about a story revolving around a single family in a small town that nobody ever knows anything about.
  175. Write a story that mentions the words “hacksaw” and “blueberry candle.”
  176. Write about what would happen if one day, all your books started disappearing.
  177. Write a story about a new facial spa treatment of the future.
  178. Write a story based in a far away society where fire is worshipped.
  179. Write about a world where animals are sacred and killing anything, be it plant or animal, is punishable to the extreme.
  180. Write about what it looks like when one guy follows his dream of becoming an ice cream truck owner.
  181. Write a story about a dandelion flying through the air.
  182. Write about the next greatest discovery in human history.
  183. Write a story about the last time you embarrassed yourself.
  184. Write a story that starts with your character on a pier, barely noticing the person who’s been following them for miles.
  185. Write about how the last book you read made you feel.
  186. Write about a young boy’s fascination with trees.
  187. Write about a girl moving to a new city for the first time.
  188. Write a love story about two trees in your neighbor’s backyard.
  189. Write a story that begins with, “The street was long and dark.”
  190. Write a story that includes a rummage sale, an old book, and hot sauce.
  191. Write a book about finding your inner peace while backpacking in a forest.
  192. Write about a fantasy world where magic—and your ability to control it—is a currency.
  193. Write about the best sandwich shop and its secret.
  194. Write a story about sand whipping at your shins.
  195. Write a story centering around a playground with a hidden entrance.
  196. Write a story that begins on a warm spring night with a girl frantically brushing spider webs out of her hair.
  197. Write about flowers that only bloom at midnight on the tenth day of the month.
  198. Write a story about a dog and its friend, a mouse.
  199. Write a story that uses the words “happening,” “case studies,” and “sunglasses.”
  200. Write about how it feels to stub your toe, but from the perspective of the couch it was stubbed on.
  201. Write about a wedding in a field of daisies.
  202. Write about a dropped popsicle on the hottest day of summer.
  203. Write a story about what it’s like to interview people for a living.
  204. Write a story involving an empty picture frame, a lone guitar pick, and applesauce.
  205. Write a story about a character who can’t help but sneeze whenever they so much as see a cookie.
  206. Write a short story from the perspective of a therapist after a long day of sessions.
  207. Write a story that starts with, “That front porch needed fixing, alright.”
  208. Write about a special lamp purchased at a garage sale.
  209. Write a story featuring a goofy cat, its toy mouse, and a real mouse.
  210. Write a story about the adverse effects of a full moon on a certain, interesting, family.
  211. Write a story involving two antique lamps being stolen from an old widow’s home.
  212. Write a story that begins with a tree flickering in the inconsistent breeze.
  213. Write about a dog who lost its eyesight.
  214. Write about what it’s like to go through the hardship of losing your most prized possession.
  215. Write a story from the perspective of a bird flying over a beach.
  216. Write a story that starts with, “When it was all over, she would be done…at least that’s what she kept telling herself.”
  217. Write about a cactus found growing in the middle of a forest.
  218. Write about a great tyrant battling their inner demons.
  219. Write a story that involves a dragon, mist, and a canopy.
  220. Write about why one woman is walking downtown in a snowman costume.
  221. Write a story that uses the words “influence,” “haberdashery,” and “walnut.”
  222. Write a story about the last dream you had.
  223. Write about what it’s like to paddle out far from the shore on a surfboard.
  224. Write a story in which two people who have never met go to the exact same places in the exact same order.
  225. Write a story about a world where lying causes uncontrollable hives to sprout on your body.
  226. Write a story from the perspective of a ghost at a funeral.
  227. Write about what it’s like to ride the subway for the first time.
  228. Write about a foreign visitor and a runaway hat.
  229. Write a story that starts with, “How would things be any different if she stopped herself?”
  230. Write about the beach and a seemingly neverending hole in the sand.
  231. Write a story that begins with a character who’s running their hands along a wall looking for the light switch.
  232. Write a story from the perspective of a child running through an ancient castle.
  233. Write about a future society where privacy is no more a standard human right.
  234. Write a story where children are being born as prodigies—all of them.
  235. Write about a time where your character lost their cool at the most inopportune time.
  236. Write a story detailing why one man can make the perfect loaf of bread.
  237. Write a story that begins with, “She wasn’t a hard woman to work with. She was just…a unique person to work with.”
  238. Write about what would happen if the internet went down for one week.
  239. Write a story that involves a baseball bat, honey, and a board game.
  240. Write about a man who owns a very small, very intricate brewery.
  241. Write a story about a future civilization that’s on the hunt to discover why the human population dropped by 1/3 over a thousand years prior.
  242. Write a story about how one detective solved a mystery by using Instagram.
  243. Write about the next greatest invention of our generation.
  244. Write a story featuring a sprinkler, a trampoline, and a toothpick.
  245. Write about a trailer that’s been sitting in the same spot in the woods for years and has finally been opened.
  246. Write a story about a time capsule being uncovered in a small town and the very interesting and alarming object inside.
  247. Write a story about what would happen if one day, you realize that everyone in your life is in on something major except for you.
  248. Write a romance story that opens with a woman rapidly throwing apples at the bread aisle in a grocery store.
  249. Write a short story about what happens when humans have their identification information embedded on a chip in their arm.
  250. Write a story about a stranger on the bus who has a very intricate burn scar on their forearm.
  251. Write a story that starts with, “It started with a headache.”
  252. Write about what would happen if humans were suddenly able to manipulate time, but only if they store enough of it by not sleeping.
  253. Write a short story detailing how one mom broke out of jail.
  254. Write a mystery short story about what happened with a lamp and a missing tooth.
  255. Write a story about a born-and-raised spy who snuck out and went downtown for the first time in her life.
  256. Write a story that shows us why government and rules are so necessary in society.
  257. Write a story about an overgrown apple tree.
  258. Write about how long it takes to make a real change in your life.
  259. Write about one child’s dream of becoming a bestselling author.
  260. Write a short story that starts with an argument between a man and his pet fish.
  261. Write a story about a box of photos and the secrets they contain.
  262. Write a story that starts with, “I remember running. Just running.”
  263. Write about a single patch of vibrant, thriving green grass in the middle of a desert.
  264. Write a one-page story about why a woman is repeatedly washing an old teacup.
  265. Write a romance about two old friends after they’ve been married, divorced, and moved back home.
  266. Write a story that opens with the sound of clanking boots on metal grates.
  267. Write a story about why one man always smells cinnamon wherever he goes.
  268. Write about what happens when one caregiver gets sick and the children have to take care of her.
  269. Write a story that starts with, “The man couldn’t give clear instructions if his life depended on it. “
  270. Write about a suspicious email sent to your character detailing specifics about their life no stranger would know.
  271. Write about a black and white painting of a single flower.
  272. Write a story about creating a sculpture with a special, specific meaning.
  273. Write about a pool and the missing bottom tile.
  274. Write a story involving a toothbrush, a map, and a used sock.
  275. Write a short story about twins caught trying to pull off a con.
  276. Write about the long summer’s impact on an already overheated world.
  277. Write about what it’s like to jump out of a plane and have your parachute malfunction.
  278. Write a story that ends with a canoe tipped over in the river.
  279. Write a short story that starts with, “The buzz of midday summer heat sang across the backyard.”
  280. Write about a blogger who inadvertently uncovers something major in their research.
  281. Write about a two-tailed lion at the circus.
  282. Write a story about a woman you see walking down the street with swollen, bruised knuckles.
  283. Write a story that includes a new song.
  284. Write a story that starts with two girls skipping down a street.
  285. Write about a dying tree, a hammock, and a blow-up pool.
  286. Write a story that starts with, “For the sake of her own self-worth, she had to swipe that man’s keys.”
  287. Write a short story that ends with a Viking discovering a hidden civilization.
  288. Write a story about a brand new religion in a small community.
  289. Write a story about a new virtual reality game that makes users never want to leave.
  290. Write a story about a type of plant that gives a person special abilities when they eat it.
  291. Write a story about loneliness and what it truly means.
  292. Write about the tale of a dragonfly in a storm.
  293. Write a story that starts with, “He crinkled the paper and shoved it aside.”
  294. Write about a magical woman who’s only goal is to make the lives of those in her town the best they can be.
  295. Write a story involving a pot of boiling water, a tree branch, and an old chair.
  296. Write about a diseased community seeking aid from the healthy, who are adamant on pushing them away.
  297. Write about the war your character was in and why they decided to switch sides.
  298. Write a story about how the new plan on your desk won’t stop growing.
  299. Write a story about a dad who just wants to get his daughter’s attention.
  300. Write a story that starts with, “What was left of that place had nothing to do with her.”
  301. Write a short story that ends with a single note left on the counter.
  302. Write about hamburgers, a short man, and two cars.
  303. Write a story about what happens when one mystical being reads every book that’s ever been published.
  304. Write a story about a young woman at the bar.
  305. Write a story about your greatest dream.

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cost to publish a book

How Much Does it Cost to Publish a Book? A Detail of Full Expenses

You already know. There is a cost to self-publish a book. Much like with any worthwhile endeavor, you may have to sacrifice some cash in order to make more down the road.

“Remember to think of the cost of self-publishing as an investment, not a cost. [A book is] an asset that earns you money long-term.”

– Joanna Penn

It’s been an epic journey, from coming up with your idea to fleshing out the first draft of your book, and now, it’s time to launch your book out to the world for everyone to enjoy.

cost to publish a book

However, you may be wondering, “How much does it cost to publish a book?” Self-publishing has broken down a lot of barriers for writers and dramatically lowered the costs of publishing a book, but there are still some involved.

Here’s what you’ll learn about the cost to publish a book:

  1. The rise of self-publishing
  2. How much it costs to publish a book
  3. Cover design cost
  4. Editor cost
  5. Formatting cost
  6. Book promotion cost
  7. Cost of publishing an audiobook
  8. Additional publishing tools

Since the explosion of digital books on Amazon and various other platforms like Kobo, iBooks, and Smashwords, first-time authors and professional authors alike can write, publish and promote their books for less than $1,000.

how much does it cost to publish a book

On the other hand, you can spend as much as $20,000 on self-publishing and book marketing costs if you have that kind of budget. Let’s break down the costs of the self-publishing process.

We’ll share some secrets to bring those costs down if you’re budget-conscious.

NOTE: We cut down self-publishing costs covered in this post by detailing the best methods for writing, marketing, and self-publishing a book in our VIP 2.0 Self-Publishing Program.

Learn more about it here

The Rise of Self-Publishing

If you’re an author dreaming of making your books available to millions of readers, you can make it happen. You only have to invest your time, some money, and a little bit of sanity.

The sky’s really the limit. Self-publishing on Amazon has made it possible for us to all fly with our books. Are you ready to make yours fly?

There are many factors that can affect the cost of publishing your book.

What it really boils down to is this:

How much are you willing to spend, and how well do you want your book to sell?

The reason I ask these questions is because if you go cheap on everything, you could end up putting out a low-quality book that gets panned by bad reviews, and then it won’t sell.

When publishing on Amazon, quality sells. And yes, quality costs money. But there are ways you can creatively cut costs and still put out a quality book. Let’s take a look.

How Much Does It Cost to Publish a Book?

The cost of publishing a book varies greatly but self-published authors can expect to spend anywhere from $100-$1500 to publish a book based on additional book production costs like editing, cover design, formatting, and more, which we cover.

cover design, formatting, and more, which we cover.

To start, let’s look at a sample budget for publishing a book.

Now, these aren’t the high-end numbers for self-publishing. You can spend as much money as you want — this is a list of budget-conscious pricing for getting your book done within a reasonable budget.

I’ll go into each of these in more detail, with links you can check out for yourself and find what works within your budget.

Take some time to shop around see where to get the best value for the best price.

However, these are some average prices you can expect when self-publishing your book.

What You NeedDetailsAverage Cost
Professional Cover DesignEach book NEEDS a professional cover. People judge books by covers and without investing in one, your book will fail.$100 - $600
Professional EditingEven if you're the best writer out there, your book will still need a fresh, unbiased pair of eyes on it.$300 - $1,500
FormattingA good book needs proper formatting for paperback, hardback (if you want this) and for Ebook. Luckily, this can be included with cover design at many design firms.$50 - $300
PromotionIf you want to run ads for your site or pay your launch team in any way, these are costs you will have to cover.$0 - $500
Author ToolsThis includes courses, building your site, automated email services, writing software, and more.$175 +

How Much Does a Book Cover Designer Cost?

Even though we’ve been told “you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover,” the reality is, we do it anyway.

The book cover design can often determine whether or not people will actually pay for it and read it. Your cover will make or break your book right off the bat. If there’s any one cost you don’t want to go cheap on, this would be it.

While it’s true you can outsource to someone on Fiverr and get a decent cover for less than $20, it pays to do your research and find a better designer who is going to deliver a good book cover that sells your book.

Cover designers aren’t just talented creators. Many who do it as a living have inside market knowledge and tailor your book cover for your specific genre.

If you do decide to go through Fiverr, check out this video Chandler Bolt recorded on how to use Fiverr.com to outsource your book cover design.

I would recommend setting aside a budget of at least $100. This isn’t to say that spending tons of money will get you an awesome cover, but going cheap may hurt your sales in the long run.

How Much Does a Book Editor Cost?

A high-quality book should always be edited by a real editor. Whether you hire a line editor or copy editor, you should get a professional to look over your work. Don’t try to cut corners here. Even if you’re a professional editor yourself with 30 years of experience, you need to outsource it to a professional editor.

Trust me: A book that contains typos will get bad reviews and sales will drop flat.

Where to hire a book editor:

Make sure you shop around when hiring a book editor. Since book editors rates vary so greatly, you can often find an amazing editor as a fraction of the price of bigger editing companies, like NY Book Editors.

If you’re a Self-Publishing School student, we provide a rolodex of tried-and-trusted editors with reduced rates.

A 40,000 manuscript edited through NY Book Editors can run you up to $2,700 for a comprehensive edit.

cost of publishing editor
NY Book Editors Cost Calculator

Love your book by spending the cash on editing. You can find quality editors at Upwork, or you can find the editors we recommend in our Preferred Outsourcer Rolodex if you’re a member of the Self-Publishing School community.

You can get a very short book, around 15,000 words, line edited for about $150-$250 if you search a wide variety of editors and find one with reasonable pricing.

Ghostwriting, developmental or structural editing will run you much more than that depending on the length of your book and the depth of edits you require — prices run around $2,000 for 100,000 words.

How Much Does Book Formatting Cost?

When it’s time to format your book, if you’re publishing on Amazon, you might want to get it formatted both for print and for Kindle. You can outsource the formatting of both your e-book and print book for around $60-$200.

Fiverr has some good formatters at reasonable prices. I’d also recommend asking fellow authors if they have any great recommendations for book formatters.

Once you find a book formatter you really like, hang on to their contact information for future reference.

How Much Does it Cost to Promote Your Book?

When it comes to spending cash on promotional sites, you could empty your bank easily. Set a budget for yourself and go with the best of the best within that budget.

Budgets vary but I’ll spend $29 on the low end for Buck Books and go as high as $1,000 if you add on a bundle of promo sites to launch your book.

cost to publish a book

Again, this is a major money suck if you’re not careful; you can throw thousands into it and get mediocre results.

For the best results on several paid launches, I have used:

When it comes to paid promotions, do your research on the top sites that can generate a good return.

Check out this detailed list of promo sites — some are free!

How Much Does it Cost to Record an Audio Book?

 Creating an audiobook can run you anywhere from $300 to $3,000 depending on the length of your book and who you hire to do it.

If you have a novel with multiple characters and want different people to read different roles, it can run towards the high end of the budget, especially if you’re using high-end talent.

Here are some places you can hire audio book narrators:

If you have a good voice or acting experience and you want to give it a shot, you can purchase the basic equipment and record the audiobook version yourself.

Check out this blog post for setting up your recording studio and doing it yourself.

Additional Author Tools and Expenses

Here are some of the basic tools for professional authors. This will add a price tag to your book, but many of these are just a one-time payment. Other tools will bill you monthly.

#1 – Book Publishing Courses

If you’re new to the game of self-publishing, take a course like Self-Publishing School or join our Mastermind Community, for everything you need to get started.

You could also look into taking multiple courses on Udemy.

But again, you can spend a fortune on various courses. I would recommend sticking with one course until you complete it and branching out to learn other skills after you get your first big win.

#2 – An Author Website

Building an author platform is a great consideration if you’re looking to expand your business, write blogs and promote your work. You can build an entire website or just a landing page with a call-to-action to get users to opt in.

It’s also important to capture leads to build your mailing list. A lead capture form on your website helps you find quality leads and determine your primary audience.

Here are some things you’ll need to look into in order to get started with building a website:

  • Hosting: You can sign up for hosting with servers such as Bluehost or Hostgator. The cost would be around $150 per year, which is very reasonable for website hosting. You will get a discount when you sign up for the first year, but pay full price when you renew.
  • Domain Name: You can purchase a domain name to secure your brand and start driving traffic to your site. Check out Name.com. A domain name will cost around $10-$15 per year.
  • Email Subscription Services:
  • If you want to collect email addresses, you’ll need to sign up for an email subscription service to manage your emails. There are several choices:
    • MailChimp: This is free up to the first 2000 subscribers. If you opt in to use their autoresponder service or other upgrades, you’ll have to pay around $10 a month depending on the number of subscribers.
    • AWeber: This platform costs $19 per month for up to 500 subscribers.
    • ConvertKit.com: ConvertKit has tons of value. Price is based on subscribers but starts at $29 a month for your first 1,000 subscribers. This is now one of the most robust sites for building an email list.

#3 – Publish Under Your Own Company

I’ve talked about this elsewhere, but there are perks to publishing your print book under your own company, instead of publishing with a CreateSpace (which has now merged with KDP) ISBN or another print-on-demand service.

The ISBN (the 13-digit number above the barcode at the back of your book) lets bookstores and libraries know everything about your book, including the publisher.

If you use a free, generic ISBN assigned to you by CreateSpace or Ingramspark, you’ll limit your chances of a bookstore carrying your own book.

Free ISBNs eliminate your ebook from being stocked on Overdrive, for example, which circulated more than 105 million eBooks in 2014 to public libraries all over the world.

Getting your own ISBN and setting yourself up as your own publisher will cost $295 for 10 ISBN codes, but it will help you access all distribution channels.

This isn’t necessary if you’re just starting out — it’s more important to publish your book and get it out there. However, if you are serious about building a self-publishing empire and making a full-time living from your writing, you’ll want to eventually invest in getting your own ISBN codes and setting up your own publishing company.

How to Increase Book Sales

We all want to make cash with our writing. It may not be the only reason we write, but self-publishing your own book is still an investment. And like any investment, it’s nice to get a return rather than taking a loss.

Here is a list of strategies you can implement to increase your book sales, crush those low book sales, and get more eyeballs on your work.

  1. Run a contest through Goodreads.
  2. Reach out to podcasters and influencers in your niche and set up an interview. This has proven to be a big game-changer for authors like Hal Elrod and Tim Ferriss.
  3. Run promos every 3 months. After your book has been at regular price for a while, wait three months and then drop it to 99 cents again. Set up some paid ads every other day for one week. Try using the KDP countdown strategy.
  4. Blog about the topics in your book. Set up a blog and get more traffic and interest in your work by writing about what you love. Traffic that lands on your page can be directed to your Amazon Author Page and that means more book sales!
  5. Write another book. Building a catalog of books is a great formula for generating higher monthly income.
  6. Apply for a spot on Bookbub. Bookbub is the big gorilla when it comes to book promoting. It’s expensive ($300 and up), but it’s a solid investment and you will make your money back on the promo costs. You can check out Bookbub here and sign up for an author account to get started.

4 Ways to Save Money on Your Book Costs

Self-publishing can be expensive if you let it. Here are a few tips to help you save on your book costs, both now and in the future.

#1 – Save Money on Book Formatting (if you dare!)

Write your ebook with Scrivener. Not only is Scrivener the number one author tool for writing and organizing your manuscript but, if used effectively, it can save you money on formatting costs.

If you’d like to learn more about how it works, check out this Scrivener Webinar hosted by Joseph Michael with Chandler Bolt. Joel Friedlander’s The Book Designer also offers a bundle of book design templates for both fiction and nonfiction.

These templates cost money but will save you money in the long run from outsourcing. I have personally been using these to do the formatting for my books.

It can be time-consuming at first but once you get the hang of it, you’ll save money on formatting costs.

#2 – Build a List of Email Subscribers

Although this topic deserves its own blog (or book), I’ll mention it here because if you build up an email list now, it can save you thousands of dollars in promotional costs down the road.

When you launch your next book, you’ll have hundreds or thousands of fans waiting for your next release.

Not only that, but these are the fans who will leave reviews if they join your book launch team and purchase your book the first week it comes out.

This drives your rankings up, and this drives sales even further. Sound good?

You can start to build your email list by including a link to a lead magnet in your ebook. A lead magnet is an offer of a free, valuable piece of content that readers will get if they go to your website and subscribe to your email list.

#3 – Barter When You Can

If you’re just starting out with self-publishing and you’re on a tight budget, look to barter services when you can. By coming to a deal where you exchange your services or something you have that is of value to people, you can save yourself lots of money.

As a writer, maybe you have some copywriting skills.

See if you can share some of that in exchange for design work from a cover designer. But it doesn’t have to be just raw skills that you barter — Dana Sitar got a cartoonist friend of hers to do the illustrations for her book in exchange for $50 and 10 percent of direct sales of the book.

It’s a decision she doesn’t regret, as the illustrations get her raving reviews. If you’re on a budget, you don’t need to fully cut back on the quality of your book.

See if there are possibilities to cut a deal and get the service you require to set your book apart.

#4 – Write a Great Book!

This might seem like an obvious tip, but paying attention to the quality of your book throughout the writing process is going to save you money. The better your book, the less you’ll have to spend on editing.

You will also gain a solid reputation as someone who writes really well. This means loyal fans will spread the word about your book and your blog, your email list grows, and any future books you release will practically promote themselves.

Well, almost.

Your Next Step

We are in a great era of self-publishing.

Anyone can turn their dream into a reality with just a few months of hard work, a bit of cash, and a great book idea. We’ve broken down the cost to publish your book so that you have a rough idea of what to budget. Writers have gone on to publish bestsellers with as little an investment as $1,000, while others have required up to $20,000.

It all depends what you prioritize and if you can save costs in a manner that doesn’t decrease the quality of your book.

While money matters, remember the reasons you want to self-publish your book: to get your message out there, build authority, and add something new to the world.

Spend what you can to make your book as high quality as possible. If your audience likes it, you’ll be sure to hit your goals.

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

Spots are limited!

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How much are you willing to pay to get your book written, published, and selling well? Let us know in the comments below!

Author Interviews: How to Land Appearances on Podcasts for Book Promotion

Author interviews via podcast appearances are one of the best ways to build authority and reach targeted audiences of ideal readers, as well as promote your book.

Best of all, once you’ve appeared on a podcast, you’ll be able to use your interview as proof of your expertise and experience when you pitch to other podcasts.

This is especially beneficial if you self-published a book since you don’t have the support of a big publishing house—you’re doing all the book marketing on your own!

And this is a powerful way to spread the word about all the good your book can do.

Here’s how to land author interviews:

  1. Do your research
  2. Rate and review the podcast
  3. Feature the podcast hosts
  4. Tailor your pitch
  5. Offer ideas related to your book
  6. Leverage common connections you have
  7. Send samples of previous author interviews
  8. Create a one-sheet
  9. Deliver value first

NOTE: If you’re ready to turn being an author into a real career, check out our Sell More Books Program where we teach you how to build sustainable income with book sales. Learn more about it here

Why do you need author interviews?

Author interviews are beneficial for authors to spread the word about themselves as an author as well as their new and previous books.

Think about author interviews the same as celebrity interviews when they have movies or TV shows premiering.

Here’s how author interviews can benefit you:

  • You will reach a new audience
  • Your audience will be more receptive
  • You market yourself as an author
  • You market your newest book launch
  • You can market any previous books you have
  • You will gain a larger social platform
  • You will sell more books

Overall, author interviews can only help you in your quest to become a full-time author by offering you book marketing opportunities.

Check out this example of how beneficial an author interview of our very own Student Success Coach, Lise Cartwright, can be below. It’s available both on our Youtube channel and Podcast.

With over 8700 views on Youtube and many listens on the podcast, this interview certainly helped maintain her passive income through books.

How to Get Author Interviews on Podcasts

Below, you’ll discover 9 simple strategies to stand out in the eyes of podcasters and land author interviews on their shows.

#1 – Do your research

First of all, listen to the show before reaching out to podcast hosts. Podcasters are often approached by an author who sends generic emails proclaiming “I love your show,” and then ask to become a guest to promote their book.

Other times, they’re approached with specific pitch letters, but the fit isn’t right.

The reason for the mismatch usually is that the author who is pitching hasn’t listened to the show.

If it feels like a chore to listen to the podcast, that’s a sign that you might be better off reaching out to a different podcast host.

After all, you want to find podcasts that are in your niche, which usually happens to be those you listen to anyways.

Here are a few things to ask yourself when you want to reach out to a podcast for an interview:

  • Do you listen to them on your own?
  • Do you resonate with their core message/theme?
  • Are you involved in their community on a regular basis?
  • Would you be proud to be a featured guest on their podcast?
  • Are you a fan of past featured guests?

Answering these positively will help you determine which podcasts to reach out to. Without doing the proper research, you could wind up upsetting the hosts and burning those bridges.

#2 – Rate and review the show

Once you’ve listened to a show, subscribe to it on iTunes. Then, rate and review, too.

Ratings, reviews, and subscriptions help the podcast’s ranking. Most importantly, reviews are a powerful form of social proof that will encourage new people to listen.

Mention the review when you submit your pitch.

For example, you could write, “Listening to John Doe’s description of his struggle to grow his business in spite of his terminal disease was truly inspiring. Now, when things get tough, that message keeps me going. That’s why it was such a pleasure to write a 5-star review of your show on iTunes.”

author interviews podcasts

Your message will bring awareness to what you’ve done to support the show, greatly increasing your chances of landing a guest spot.

#3 – Feature the podcast hosts

If you currently have a podcast or YouTube channel, invite the host to be featured as a guest.

By being on your show, the podcasters will learn about your background, and most importantly, about your book. In many cases, they’ll be compelled to invite you as a guest.

Even if the podcast hosts don’t ask you to be on their show, they’re still much more likely to say yes when you ask them.

Also, I send a copy of my book to my podcast guests, who in many cases write a review of the book on Amazon and then offer to have me on their show.

If you don’t have a podcast, then feature them on your social media or website.

You could also write a blog post about the main lessons learned from the show, and tag the host on social media when the article is published. Be cautious when applying this strategy, however.

A subpar article, a half-hearted effort to capture what’s valuable about the show, or overblown praise will probably backfire.

#4 – Tailor your pitch to the host’s story and the mission of the show

When I first pitched my ideas to Dave Lukas, host of the Misfit Entrepreneur Podcast, I mentioned how much I loved that he’d created the show as a legacy for his daughter.

When he learned that I related to and understood his mission, it was easy for him to agree to have me on his show.

You can do the same. Find out why they do what they do, and if it resonates with you, then center your pitch around that.

Here are a few tips for tailoring your pitch to land your author interview:

  • Mention something you learned from their show
  • Make a connection from yourself to the show’s mission and theme
  • Connect your book’s message with their show’s

Doing this will help you reach podcast hosts much more effectively and show them you’re a great fit for their show.

#5 – Offer three unique ideas related to your book

Before I submit a pitch, I research the episodes in the past two to three months to see if anyone has explored the topics I have in mind.

If my topics are fresh, I submit them. If not, I reposition my expertise with a different angle.

My book is about influencer marketing. If I notice that only three weeks prior, another guest talked about influencer marketing as part of a business’s marketing mix, I pitch a different aspect of the topic, such as “how to build a list of subscribers with influencer marketing,” or “how to initiate connections with social media influencers to launch your book.”

Resist the temptation to speak about a topic that deviates from your book. If you do that, your interview will probably not bring in new book sales.

I encourage you to take a moment right now and write down three to five topic ideas based on the core message in your book, which you can modify depending on the targeted show.

#6 – Leverage common connections you have with the host

Who do you think has a better chance to get a last-minute appointment with a busy hair stylist: a complete stranger or the friend of a current customer?

The same idea applies to landing guest appearances on a podcast. Common connections matter.

Often, when I appear on a podcast, the host will offer to introduce me to other podcast hosts who might want to have me as a guest.

This is one of the easiest ways to secure future guest appearances.

You might not even need a formal introduction. When you pitch, just mention that you know one or more of their previous guests.

The idea is to find common ground.

#7 – Send samples of previous interviews

In every podcast pitch I submit, I include links to three of my most relevant and significant podcast appearances.

Those podcast interviews are relevant because they’re ideal for the audience of the new podcast I’m targeting, and they’re significant because they have reached large audiences.

If you haven’t had podcast appearances yet, I encourage you to create audio or video clips with valuable content relevant to your audience that you publish on your site, and use those links as samples for the host.

Even though samples of actual podcast interviews are much more powerful, the mere fact that you have a sample of your work will help you stand out among the competition.

#8 – Create a one-sheet

To save yourself time and effort, and to show your professionalism, I suggest you create a “one-sheet.”

A one-sheet is a document that’s a summary of who you are and what you offer as a guest.

You could send the link to your one-sheet with your pitch, or use the information within the one-sheet to complete your guest request form or email pitch.

Regardless of the situation, having this document readily available will save you time and effort.

The main elements of a one-sheet are:    

  1. Bio
  2. Headshot
  3. Potential interview topics
  4. Talking points
  5. Relevant links
  6. Affiliate links
  7. Contact information

Here’s an example of my own, personal one-sheet and what all the below information looks like compiled into, well, one sheet.

author interview one sheet example

Now let’s delve into what each of these sections needs.

Bio

Create different versions of your bio (50-, 100-, 150-, and 200-word bios) so you’re ready when the podcast host asks you for a specific length. If you’re submitting the entire one-sheet, include the 100-word version of your bio in it.

The bio should mention your book (even if you haven’t published it yet), and other credentials as proof of your expertise, along with at least one personal tidbit about yourself.

Headshot

It’s standard for all podcast guests to submit their profile picture before they’re interviewed. Invest in a professional photographer.

No selfies, please!

Potential interview topics

List no more than seven topics related to your book you could explore as a guest.

You can check back to step number 5 if you need to generate some.

Talking points

Some hosts will ask you to provide talking points for the topic you’ll explore. Others favor a free-form style, and will lead the interview as an informal conversation.

In either case, you should be prepared to provide talking points within 48 hours of being approved as a guest, though you can double check with the podcast host for specifics about this.

Relevant links

Include links to your main website, your book, your free offer for the listeners, and your primary social media pages.

Depending on the host, you might also be asked to provide an affiliate link to a free download or low-ticket offer. In most cases, providing affiliate links isn’t required, but having the ability to create such a link on demand will help you stand out.

If you’re submitting the one-sheet, then just write “Affiliate link for free download available.”

Contact information

Include your email address and phone number.

Having your one-sheet ready will allow you to simply copy and paste the information when you complete guest request forms or pitch via email.

author interview podcasts

#9 – Always aim to deliver value first

Above all, remember that your primary goal is to deliver value to your audience, and book sales will be a natural result of that value. If instead you approach the podcasters with the only intention to sell more books, they might simply ignore you.

When you submit your pitch, always start what ifs a personalized explanation of why you are a fan of the show and how you can inspire and educate its audience.

Then, mention your book as an additional asset listeners may benefit from.

Value First!

Good luck landing your author interview!

After you land your first podcast appearance, it’ll be much easier for you to land the next. When you least expect it, the word about your book will have spread and you will make a much greater impact with your message.

What matters most is that you take action and start reaching out to podcast hosts. You—and your book—deserve to be known!


Ready to become a successful author?

No successful author started from nothing.

They had to work hard and earn their place by learning and applying what they learned when writing a book.

Here’s how you can learn more about how to become a successful author because you’ll never get there if you don’t start today.

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

Spots are limited!

Click Here to Save Your Spot

Have you been a guest on a podcast? What’s your #1 lesson learned? Drop your answer below so we can start a conversation!

how to publish a book

How to Publish a Book in 2019: A Step-by-Step Guide for First-Timers

Historically, if you wanted to know how to publish a book, you needed an agent to get a traditional publisher to look at your manuscript.

In fact, many publishing companies won’t even open a manuscript if it doesn’t come through an agent…

Which makes learning how to publish a book way more difficult. Not to mention the fact that going through all that work to just land an agent isn’t necessary if you want to publish a book.

how to publish a book

What’s worse is even if they do open it, it’s still unlikely that your book will be published and sold in bookstores!

*Cue the groans and grumbles of irritation*

So is there a better method?

Yes! It’s called self-publishing.

Here’s how to publish a book step-by-step:

  1. Decide Why You Want to Publish a Book
  2. Write Your Book
  3. Get Feedback Before Publishing Your Book
  4. Choose a Book Title
  5. Hire a Great Book Editor
  6. Design a Book Cover that Converts
  7. Create Your Kindle Direct Publishing Account
  8. Format and Upload your Book
  9. Self-Publish Your Book
  10. Price Your Book
  11. Form a Launch Team
  12. Maximize Book Launch Exposure
  13. Celebrate Publishing a Book!

In fact, there is another way for your book to not only be published, but to even become a bestseller! This method has led to the success of many authors and is changing the book and traditional publishing industry.

NOTE: We cover everything in this blog post and much more about the writing, marketing, and publishing process in our VIP Self-Publishing Program. Learn more about it here

What is Self-Publishing?

Self-publishing is the act of independently publishing your book on a platform like Amazon without the need of a traditional publishing house.

Personally speaking, I’ve self-published 6 bestselling non-fiction books on Amazon, sold tens of thousands of copies, and continue to collect thousands per month in royalty checks.

The success of my books has been directly responsible for the strong performance of my business, which has grown to over 7 figures in less than 2 years.

Self-publishing a book is done with these steps:

  • Write a book you’re proud of
  • Decide which self-publishing platform to use
  • Get your book edited, a cover designed, and it formatted
  • Upload your manuscript and accompanying assets
  • Hit “Publish” when you’re read
  • Your book is self-published!

It’s really that easy.

Five years ago, in order to achieve this level of publishing success, you would have needed to be extremely lucky to even land an agent who would attempt to find you a deal at one of the “Big 5” publishing houses.

This is no longer the case.

Not only do you no longer need one of the “Big 5” companies to publish your book, now self-published authors are actively turning down offers from publishing companies!

So If you are trying to publish your book and are having no luck landing a publisher, self-publishing could be the best option for you.

Better yet, making the decision to learn how to navigate the self-publishing world the right away can save you countless wasted hours.

Whether you want to do it yourself or work with one of the many self-publishing companies out there, we can help.

What’s the Difference Between Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing?

It’s easy to look at these two publishing routes and get confused. Why would someone self-publish when there are companies dedicated to doing it for you? There are actually many reasons.

What is the difference between self-publishing vs traditional publishing?

Self-publishing is a completely independent route with no barriers to entry whereas traditional publishing involves the acts of querying, landing an agent, and getting approved by a publishing house.

Check out the video above for more details on choosing self-publishing or traditional publishing.

Here’s a chart detailing what you receive through self-publishing versus traditional publishing.

What You GetSelf-PublishingTraditional Publishing
Sole control of your book's outcome
X
Sole control of your book's rightsX
Control over the storyX
Control over the coverX
100% of royaltiesX
Editing includedX
Cover designX
MarketingXX
DeadlinesX

How Much Does it Cost to Publish a Book?

Pricing to publish a book varies greatly depending on its length, production costs, and the retail price you set.

That being said, it’s important to be prepared when it comes to how much you’ll actually pay to self-publish a book.

There are a number of factors that contribute to how much it costs to self-publish a book:

  • The length of your book (this impacts printing costs)
  • Getting your book edited
  • The book cover design
  • Any promotional ads/materials you want to utilize
  • Another surprising, lesser-known cost I cover in the video below

How to Publish a Book in 2019

So many writers get overwhelmed with the abundance of information about the self-publishing process, what it’ll cost, how to do it right, how to come up with a good book idea, and more.

I’ve created a step-by-step comprehensive self-publishing guide that will walk you through the beginning steps of how to write your book all the way to how to self-publish it on Amazon’s Kindle (KDP) Network.

Let’s get started so you can get started!

 

Do you have what it takes to become a published author?

 

 

Click Here to Take the Quiz 

 

#1 – Decide Why You Want to Learn How to Publish a Book

What you need to decide first when self-publishing a book, is WHY you want to write a book.

I encourage going through this brainstorming process as it’s the only way to ensure that you’re 100% committed to writing a book (and you’re doing it for the right reasons).

Here are some questions for you to decide why you want to publish a book:

  • Are you an entrepreneur or freelancer with a new business trying to get a leg up on your competition by publishing a book?
  • Do you want to leverage your skills and knowledge to become a paid speaker or coach?
  • Do you have a well-established business and you want to write a book to diversify your income streams and land speaking engagements?
  • Or do you already have a successful story, and want to build an asset that will share the knowledge and skills you’ve gained over decades of experience?
  • Do you have a larger number of book ideas or prompts you need to start writing?

Action Plan:

Come up with at least 10 valid reasons why you want to write a book. Use the questions above as a starting guide to brainstorm.

#2 – Write Your Book

If you’ve ever tried to start writing a book, you might have had moments where you’ve stared at a blank page for hours with nothing to show for it. Feeling frustrated, you resort to procrastinating and get nothing done!

This is normal, writing a book is hard work.

In fact, coming up with a book idea in general can be very tricky. But in order to start writing your book, you must develop a writing process.

Here’s are some effective ways to write a book worth self-publishing:

  • Buy a calendar. The best way to have your book complete is to have a calendar that schedules your goals per day/week.
  • Create an outline. An outline is like a map of your book that provides direction to your story. It keeps you on track and ensures that your ideas are organized.
  • Develop a writing habit. Condition yourself to write at the same time every day. With this practice, it will soon become a habit that will make writing a book automatic.
  • Get an accountability partner. You can hold each other accountable to write and finish your by your “draft done” date.
  • Build your writing environment. Yes, this can be a blanket for if you choose to use “build” literally or you can simply find an area where your head is clear, there are no distractions, and where you can write in peace.

To learn more tips on how to write faster, here’s a tutorial video of the simple process I use to write over 1500 words per hour:

Action Plan:

Create a resistance plan! Figure out which methods best filter out the negative noise to get you into the writing process.

#3 – Get Feedback on Your Book Before Publishing

When writing your book, it’s important to get as much feedback as early in the process as possible.

It’s essential to get this feedback in order to improve your writing.

Everything from creative writing to factual, non-fiction works needs feedback in order to produce a polished publication.

As writers, it’s all too easy to retreat into your cave for a long period of time, spend countless hours writing what you think is the perfect first draft, only to find that a) your draft doesn’t make sense to anyone else or b) no one else is as interested in the topic as you originally thought.

Writing tips can come from anywhere and the best usually come from those reading your book for the first time.

Not only can a fresh set of eyes on your book help you catch typos and grammatical errors, but a new perspective can give you ideas for tightening up your story and making the theme more clear, like in the example below.

publishing a book feedback

Giving your book to one (or more) “beta readers” before giving it to an editor and self-publishing can also cut down on the time and cost of paying a professional editor.

You can also use a beneficial piece of writing software like Grammarly or the Hemingway Editor so you can learn as you write!

Action Plan:

Reach out to a few friends who could provide good (preferably unbiased) feedback, and ask them if they’ll be willing to read a chapter or two (or the whole book!) as you finish writing

#4 – Choose a Book Title

Contrary to popular belief, you should never decide on a book title until after you are done writing your first draft. 

This is because choosing a book title first often results in you “writing yourself into a corner” because you’re trying so hard to align your story to the title of the book instead of writing what needs to be written.

Don’t make this more complicated than it needs to be.

The key to choosing a perfect title is: the simpler the title, the better.

As you’re brainstorming ideas, always remember to keep it simple.

Your title should also be clear on what your readers will receive by reading your book. This is because experts state that a clear promise or a guarantee of results will further intrigue your readers.

book title checklist

Here are some questions to consider when creating your memorable book title:

  • Is your title going to teach a high demand skill?
  • Can your title impact someone’s life?
  • Can your book solve a very difficult problem?
  • Is it short enough to read in a thumbnail image on Amazon?
  • Does it elicit an emotional response?

Action Plan:

Once you’ve narrowed down your book titles, send out an email to your friends and family or put a poll up to your audience asking what title they’d prefer. You could also ask a community of other authors what they think.

#5 – Hire a Great Book Editor

Hiring a great book editor can mean the difference between becoming a bestselling author, or self-publishing a mediocre book. Therefore, it’s important to take as much time as necessary during this stage of the process.

To find an editor for your book, begin with your personal network.

Do you personally know any qualified editors?

Start there. If you don’t, then do you know someone who knows an editor? If you don’t have any luck finding an editor within your personal network, don’t worry!

Depending on your budget, you can either hire a professional book editor or hire a more budget-friendly editor from Upwork. But be careful and always check references and portfolios of work.

As a Self-Publishing School student, we will also provide you with a Rolodex of approved and vetted book editors who all do a great job, as you can see in the example below.

how to publish a book choosing editor

No matter how you find your editor, make sure you’re a good fit before committing to the full book by paying them a small sum ($25 or so) to edit a few pages or a chapter of your book.

Make sure the editor is interested in the subject matter, that they can get your whole book edited in 3.5 weeks or less including back-and-forth revisions, and that their edits are both accurate and make sense to you.

If you don’t feel you’re a good fit following a sample edit, then let that $25 go and find an editor who’s going to work out rather than sinking more money into a relationship that might be a mistake.

Whatever you do, don’t give up during the editorial process! If one editor isn’t working out for you or meeting your needs, find another.

Action Plan:

Find a friend or professional editor who can make sure your book is error-free, and start working with them sooner rather than later!

#6 – Design a Book Cover that Converts

When it comes to self-publishing, a high-quality book cover is one of the most important elements that will get your book to convert into sales!

The reason is that your book cover design is what readers see first and will immediately determine whether they want to read your book or not.

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” simply doesn’t apply to actual book covers, as much as we wish it did.

The hard truth is that everyone judges a book by its cover whether they realize it or not.

So you must make sure that it is created professionally and that it will stand apart from the rest of the books in your genre or category.

What makes a good book cover?

  • Simplistic styling. Too much going on will make readers unable to figure out what your book is about. Keep the cover minimalistic and it will convert more readers.
  • Professionally designed. Book cover designers know how to create book covers that convert. They have industry knowledge and have studied what works and what doesn’t.
  • Clear title and subtitle. The title on your cover does matter. The easier it is to read, the better. This allows your readers to clearly see what your book is about as they scroll through Amazon or other book retailers.
  • A design style that fits your intended audience. If you’re writing a faith-based book intended for an audience of faith, having an overly dark, devilish cover doesn’t make sense.

You can find amazing book cover designers on freelancing sites such as:

Prices will vary depending on what type of service you want, but the end result will be well worth the spend.

Action Plan:

Find a book designer with any of these sites and your book will stand apart from the rest of its competition!

#7 – Create Your Kindle Direct Self-Publishing Account

Amazon has a self-publishing service called Kindle Direct Publishing where you can create and manage your Kindle eBook, paperback, and audio books.

Amazon has recently acquired the well-known book printing company CreateSpace and they’re now merged as one.

This means you can now offer print books to your audience. It’s the best way to learn how to publish a book and start selling quickly, and I’ve used it for all my self-published books.

I highly recommend it for all new self-publishers!

Here’s how to set up your KDP account on Amazon:

  1. Visit https://kdp.amazon.com and create an account with either your existing Amazon account or your email address.
  2. Next, you must complete your tax information. You will not be able to submit your published book if you do not complete this step.
  3. Once your tax information is complete, hit “Finished” and your account is complete!

Action Plan:

Follow these steps to create your KDP account! With this platform, you can figure out how to publish your book within minutes and soon have it appear worldwide!

#8 – Format Your Self-Published Book

If you’re on a budget, there are plenty of resources online that can tell you how to format your book yourself for free. You can start by looking at Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing forums where there are plenty of discussions on book formatting.

You can also use KDP’s free resources to help format your book. Formatting can be a frustrating experience for the uninitiated though, so if you have a few bucks to spare, you might consider paying someone to help you.

Also keep in mind that formatting will look different for fiction versus nonfiction books.

Typically, nonfiction books don’t have an indent between paragraphs but instead, they have spaces whereas fiction books are indented with each new paragraph.

Below are formatting examples from Jenna Moreci’s The Savior’s Champion and my book, Published.

how to publish a book fiction vs nonfiction

If you want to pay for formatting, Liber Writeris a low-cost, effective option for converting a Microsoft Word file to Amazon’s Kindle format. If $60 is too much, you can also find people on Fiverr to format your book for Kindle.

Just be sure you hire someone who knows how to format your specific book genre.

Action Plan:

Make sure your book is formatted properly by using the free online resource above or hiring someone who can handle the formatting process for you.

#9 – Self-Publish Your Book

When you feel confident your book is ready for the public, you can create a KDP account and upload your book.

This is how to upload your book on KDP:

  1. On the KDP mainpage, locate and click on “Your Bookshelf”.
  2. Locate and click on “Kindle eBook Actions”.
  3. Then, locate and click on “Edit eBook Content”.
  4. Finally, click on “Upload eBook Manuscript”, and upload your manuscript file from your computer.

Amazon also allows you to select 7 keywords or keyword phrases to make sure your intended audience can find your book when searching on Amazon.

It’s highly recommended you also select two different categories on Amazon your book might fit into so you can reach a broader audience.

To select keywords and categories, look at other best-selling books in your niche and notice what keywords and categories those authors chose.

Once Amazon finishes uploading your file, a confirmation message will be sent and you can preview the uploaded file to check for any errors. Create your Amazon author central account after uploading your book.

Include a bio, photo, and link to your website or blog to help you stand out among authors. After a few more steps, you’ll be ready to publish your book, at which time you’ll click “save & publish” in your KDP book dashboard.

Afterward, you should be ready to publish your book! Just click “save & publish” in the book editing screen!

Action Plan:

Follow these steps to upload your book. You are allowed to upload your manuscript as many times as you want with each upload overriding the previous.

#10 – Price Your Book

One of the most important decisions when it comes to self-publishing a book is how to price it. The most common question I get from new writers is, “How much should my book cost?”

To answer this, my general rule of thumb is to have your book priced is between $2.99 to $5.99. To be more specific, when beginning a launch, I would begin by pricing the book at $0.99 for the launch period. 

Then I would set the price to 2.99, and I would moderately increase the price by $1 every week and measure how well the new price performs. Once you see a sales dip, that will determine the exact price of your book that will guarantee book sales.

Action Plan:

Find the perfect price by using this strategy that will attract your readers and best drive long-term success.

#11 – Form a Launch Team

Your launch team is the group of people who are dedicated to helping make your book successful.

They should be a passionate group of individuals who are eager to make your book launch successful. Remember, one highly skilled team member is better than a group of mediocre ones!

Here’s a video detailing how to use a launch team effectively:

To find quality candidates, here’s a questionnaire you can use to assess applicants and see if they’re qualified to market your book:

  • Why do you want to support my book?
  • What goals are you trying to reach with this project?
  • How would you market this book?
  • Which influencers would you reach out to and why?
  • Do you have a genuine interest in my book and its genre?

Action Plan:

Create an application with questions that align with your thought process. Try to be open-minded with those who think outside the box – they may be the perfect candidates that can get your book to become a bestseller.

#12 – Maximize Book Launch Exposure with Reviews

It’s not enough to learn how to publish a book and be done with it. You still have to take action even after your official launch.

As soon as your book goes live on Amazon, be sure to leverage your launch team and your audience to help you market your book! It may be odd to ask your fans for help, but your fans are there to support your project and want to see you succeed. 

You might be surprised how willing they’ll be to help you if you just ask!

Here are some marketing initiatives you can assign your team and audience to do:

  • Share content from your book as blog posts across social media
  • Submit reviews on Amazon (ensuring they don’t make the mistakes in the video below)
  • Help build your book’s website
  • Reach out to influencers for a future guest post or podcast feature
  • Share a book review on their YouTube channel
  • Buy extra copies to gift their friends

The additional exposure generated from your launch team and audience will help push your book up Amazon’s rankings, which will drive more sales!

Action Plan:

Create your book marketing launch plan using these methods. Measure each of these methods to see which will best get your book in the hands of new readers and convert into sales.

#13 – Celebrate Learning How to Self-Publish a Book!

Publishing after writing a book is just the beginning. Depending on your goals for your book, self-publishing can get you more customers, free publicity, and establish you as an expert in your niche.

publishing a book celebration

This can help you land speaking gigs and build a business within your area of expertise.

Your book sales can also help fund your lifestyle with passive income.

Dream big about what you want your book to do for you. When you have a vision for where you want your book to take you, it will be easier to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.

Getting clear on what you want will also help you to be more effective when expanding your network along on your journey.

What to do Next

Now that you’ve learned how to publish a book, it’s time to take action and bring yourself one step closer to your goals and dreams. Here are a few actionable steps you can take right now!

#1 – Learn more!

If self-publishing a bestseller is something you want to do, and you’re serious about changing your life and your business for the better by getting your book out there in the world, then you need to focus on learning more about the process.

Because without having the knowledge, moving toward success is very difficult – but that’s where we come in!

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

Spots are limited!

Click Here to Save Your Spot

#2 – Find your WHY and your topic

Ask yourself right now why you want to write a book. Having your purpose at the forefront of your mind for the duration of writing your book will help keep you focused and motivated.

Make a list of all the reasons you want to write a book and circle the one that’s the strongest; the reason you want to write a book that makes you excited about the possibilities.

Now what do you actually want to write about? Are you going for a fiction book or do you want to write a memoir that showcases your life’s most influential moments?

Jot down your goal or topic and get started on the next step.

#3 – Start your mind map

Yes, you’re already ready to start working that mind map! We’ll actually help you out a little bit and give you a couple free templates you can use to get started.

Organizing your thoughts on a specific topic can be really hard unless you have a guide to help jog some ideas.

You can download either our fiction mind map or our non-fiction depending on which topic you’re writing about. Just click on either below and start mapping your book!

Are you ready to learn how to publish a book? What’s holding you back from writing, publishing, and selling a life-changing book?

writing prompts

400+ Creative Writing Prompts to Kickstart Your Imagination Right Now

Creative writing prompts are the missing link all writers need…

Picture this: your imagination is a match…and you need to light it.

There are a number of different methods of setting a match ablaze. You can swipe it on the ground, against a rough surface, use your own nail, or even light it with another match that’s already burning.

But the best (and easiest) way? Striking it against the matchbox it came in. That’s what it’s for, after all.

Here are the creative writing prompts we have for you:

  1. Fantasy Writing Prompts
  2. Sci-Fi Writing Prompts
  3. Dystopian Writing Prompts
  4. Contemporary Writing Prompts
  5. Romance Writing Prompts
  6. Horror / Thriller Writing Prompts
  7. Mystery Writing Prompts
  8. Reddit Writing Prompts
  9. Nonfiction Writing Prompts

Creative Writing Prompts are Your Matchbox

All you need is one writing prompt to light your imaginative fire and you can burn through a book idea, formulating the plot and all with just a single prompt. You can even write a powerful short story with a small prompt!

And that’s exactly what we’re here to help you with. 

Real writers know that you can easily come up with bits and fragments of a story but the overarching plot can be tricky to drum up.

You know what you want to write about: life’s happenings, a tragedy in your life, a deep memoir, magic, advanced science, realistic contemporary stories, but you just can’t figure out how to go from the genre and character development to a writing a novel.

writing prompts

200+ Creative Writing Prompts for Fiction Book Ideas

If you’re ready to take the plunge and finally start writing a book like you’ve always talked about, we can help you get started.

Something to keep in mind is that creative writing is largely driven by voice, style, characters, and your plot.

These are 100% original, never-before-seen creative writing prompts you won’t find anywhere else.

If you want to keep this list of creative writing prompts for future use, download the entire list now!

Download over 200 fiction prompts here!


But if you’re ready to start right now, here are a few to set the creative wheel of your imagination in motion so you can find your writing style and master your craft.

30 Fantasy Writing Prompts

Fantasy is all about magic, creatures, and abilities. The possibilities with a fantasy world are nearly endless.

You can literally make up anything you want. This is why fantasy is my preferred genre to write in.

Here are 30 original fantasy writing prompts:

  1. Write about a character who finds an odd-looking egg in the forest. When they take it home, they never could have predicted what was inside it.
  2. Write a book about a character who has always had the ability to change how they looked, and so they hid their true appearance behind attractive façades. Now, their abilities aren’t working, exposing what they truly look like.
  3. Write a story about once peaceful water dwellers who have suddenly declared war on a settlement that was its only true ally. Your character has no idea why and is thrust into the war against their will.
  4. Write about how magic is the norm. Some excel at it, some are only okay, and others are against it completely, despite being able to use it. Your main character is the latter.
  5. Write a story about how time has always been a constant in a world where reality can be warped and stretched. Then your character, through research and hard work, discovers you can even alter time.
  6. Write about a character who researches untouched societies as a living. While deep in the jungle on an assignment, they accidentally allow themselves to be seen by someone from the society, a big no-no. What that person is capable of is beyond the world your character knew existed.
  7. Write about a character whose world is dying. The actual earth is sick and killing all the plants and probably life as they know it.
  8. Write a story about one of your characters who has magic. The other wants nothing more than to have magic. How far is that one person willing to go to make that magic theirs?
  9. Your character and their brother have always been best friends. They know practically everything about each other. Until they catch him do something they never thought possible.
  10. Write a book about an ancient society where your character hears a voice within their own mind. Shunned by their village, they spend their life as a near-slave, waiting on others, doing the hardest work, and granted little freedom. Well, they did, anyway, until they uncovered who the voice belonged to.
  11. Your character boards a ship to sail across to a newly discovered land. What they find when they get there are undiscovered species – both animal and humanoid.
  12. Non-magic people are outlawed. Your character has no magic and their older sibling has been ensuring nobody knows since your character was born. One missed moment might ruin everything.
  13. Write about a character who needs a miracle, and they meet one too! Who knew miracles were actually beings and not just something that happens? Your character makes a bad first impression when their miracle shows up to help them out.
  14. Write a story about how all types of magic exists in your character’s world. While drinking liquid happiness (magic drink) from a local tavern, they’re hit with a vision that overpowered every drop of happiness consumed. They’ve never had visions before, either.
  15. Your character has always believed magic exists. They just didn’t know how close it really was.
  16. Write a book about how after an accident that killed your character’s father, they uncover secrets they can’t even understand. Then their father’s friend shows up out of nowhere and explains all of it.
  17. Write about how your character teaches children magic. When one kid proves to be way more than expected, they have to help them understand exactly what they can do – and stop them from doing something that could be dangerous.
  18. Write a story about your character and while awaiting test results in the hospital, they encounter an…odd  person who teaches them about a world beyond their own – and better than their own.
  19. Write about a character who embarks on a quest to locate a special type of rock that lights fires almost instantly – something their settlement needs. What they didn’t expect to find, however, was a mermaid-like species living in the cave that houses most of that rock.
  20. Write a fantasy story about a character who wakes up every day feeling the same thing: that something in their life is just…missing.  When they realize their frequent nightmares are actually memories, it all becomes clear.
  21. Emotions can be controlled. Thoughts can be stolen. In the world your character lives in, holding on to your own sanity is the difference between destruction and thriving. They must learn to push out anyone who tries to alter their perception of reality.
  22. Write about your character, who gets caught in the middle of an ancient feud between two families as a result of one of their failures. In order to make things right, they have to dive head first into a world they’d rather not know even existed.
  23. Your character is short on food, shelter, and even patience. When they (literally) run into someone from their past, their reality starts to make sense. If only that person could undo what’s been done to them.
  24. Magic is the currency. Your character is a rare breed who was born without it. When they find themselves in a dangerous challenge to prove their worth to the settlement, magic would’ve come in handy.
  25. Write a book about a character who can teleport – but only to places they’ve been before. Their dream? To backpack across each of your world’s countries in order to acquire the most locations. The only thing stopping them is a past that’s sprinting to catch up to them.
  26. Your character’s country is the best…until a new ruler steals the throne by force…of magic. The most shocking part? Nobody from that country knows magic exists…and everybody with magic didn’t know those without it exist.
  27. Write about a character who wants to do everything on their “bucket list.” But when they’re kidnapped and shipped off to the unknown, there’s only one thing left on their list: survive. It just so happens the place they end up stuck is one of dreams.
  28. Your character hears a language they’ve never heard uttered before that day…yet they understood every single word. Turns out, they’re not really from where they think.
  29. Your character is a compulsive liar, unable to stop themselves from spinning tales that make them the envy of everyone around them. Then they wake up one day to discover that their lies have all come true…
  30. Write about a character who goes looking for magic out of curiosity. They find more than magic in their family history.

How to Write Fantasy Stories:

Fantasy is a wildly popular genre. There are countless fantasy worlds out there and that means you really have to focus on being unique within your world.

creative writing prompts

Here are a few ideas to do these writing prompts justice:

  • Create 100% unique cultures
  • Develop slang for your world based on what’s popular/trending/makes sense with the time it takes place
  • Do NOT use common phrases like “train of thought” if trains don’t exist in your world
  • Use unique names
  • Don’t forget about diversity!
  • Opt for an unexpected and different journey and outcome (many fantasy novels follow a similar formula)
  • Write what you want to read!
  • Schedule your writing time and follow those deadlines if you really want to finish

30 Sci-Fi Writing Prompts

Are you one who loves advanced technology, diseases, and even space travel? If so, science fiction writing is right up your alley.

When it comes to creating new technologies and advanced societies, you really have to think outside the box.

sci fi writing prompt

Here are 30 sci-fi creative writing prompts:

  1. Write about a character who wakes up in a space pod alone…next to a ship so massive it’s actually carrying a planet beneath it. Your character has no memory from before they wake.
  2. Write a story about a character who lives in a world where every single person’s DNA is carefully genetically designed for something to help the community. Your main character despises what they were created for. This has never happened before.
  3. Write about how your character lives on a planet other than Earth. In fact, they don’t even know Earth exists. Well, they didn’t until some sort of advanced, technical probe crash-landed in their settlement, exposing the fact that they’re not alone. Now they have to decide what’s best for their settlement.
  4. Write a book about how the world used to be plagued with war and famine and inhumanity. But after years and years of developing a technical system that is the center of and controls everything, it’s almost completely peaceful. Your character is the engineer keeping the system running and when they uncover how it works, they contemplate abandoning everything they know.
  5. Write about the newest advancement in virtual reality that adds a physical sense. Now your characters can even hook up with people through your phone, all while staying at home. But when a glitch alters the mechanisms, what was once pleasure becomes pain and the user gets trapped in a VR state.
  6. Write a story about how others have been keeping your character alive for over 300 years because of a secret they know. When someone new finally learns the truth, reality becomes…confusing. Now, with only a short adulthood left to live, your character must ensure nobody else learns of this secret. But…well, news spreads fast.
  7. Write about how they didn’t mean to, but in an attempt to build a time traveling machine, your character actually discovered alternate universes – and then accidentally trapped themselves there. Oh, and this alternate universe hasn’t discovered electricity yet.
  8. Write a story about a character who lives in an ancient society. When a shiny, unnatural looking contraption touches down and creatures emerge, everything they once knew changes.
  9. Write about how the only reason your character is alive is because of a test device implanted around their heart. It wasn’t supposed to work and now, they’re not only healed, but they’re also changing. Just what exactly was that device made out of?
  10. Write about a character who wakes up in a dark, hot room dressed in hardly anything. Their memory is foggy but clearing up, and they have some sort of technical device securing their hands together. They stumble over to a tiny window that gives them a clear view of a world far below them.
  11. Write about your character’s sister who is discovered dead and the cause of death ruled an overdose. Your character knows better. She was the only person in the family who never had an issue with drugs. In fact, she was developing a cure for cancer in the most advanced research center in the world. Your character finds that…suspicious.
  12. Write a story about how computers are outlawed. Having access to technology is punishable by life in prison. Your character runs an underground cyber center that gets crashed by local law enforcement. But during interrogation, they get hired instead of prosecuted…because something unworldly has touched down.
  13. Write about a character who accidentally created a virtual reality software that taps into the user’s psyche and creates their ultimate dream reality. They were on track to become a billionaire until some users became addicted and unable to free themselves from its hold.
  14. Write a story about how the world your character currently lives on is nearing its breaking point. While the rest of the world rushes to evacuate everyone to a space pod with a destination of a livable planet, your character remains behind bars, left to die with the rest of the world’s prisoners. The kicker? They’re wrongfully convicted.
  15. Write about how disease is finally eradicated. Cancer is nothing more than an old nightmare. Your character spent years working his way into a lab dedicated to making sure it stays that way. Their secret? They’re a hardcore believer in natural selection. He decides to take Darwinism into his own hands.
  16. Write a book about a city that’s the first to implement an entirely technological government. It’s under strict surveillance from the outside in order to determine if this is the future of your country…and the world. Your character stumbles into trouble when they discover that technology isn’t in charge at all – a group of people they’ve never seen or heard of are.
  17. Write about hot time altering is possible, but fatally illegal. In this world, characters can bend, pause, rewind, and even fast forward time…but at the risk of their lives. Your character, in a midst of panic, accidentally alters time…by going 300 years into the past.
  18. Write a story about how the outdoors is plagued with radioactive particles created by a new technology once thought to eradicate airborne diseases. People are confined to the indoors unless they use a special, very expensive suit. Citizens who can’t afford them are driven mad by confinement. Your character wants to find a way for everyone to have a suit – no matter what law enforcement says.
  19. Write about a character who invents airborne particles with the intent to eradicate diseases. Unfortunately, they become radioactive, toxic, and severely deadly to anyone who breathes in even a tiny amount.
  20. Scientists have created a man-made atmosphere around the planet of Mars in order to make it completely livable. Your character is one of the lucky few who are chosen to be among the first to inhabit the planet. What they don’t know is that there is no atmosphere…and others already inhabit it.
  21. Write about your character who lives in a world where the outdoors is plagued with natural disasters daily. Venturing outside is dangerous and rarely done. When they’re forced to leave their home to rush to the aid of someone struggling outside, they learn that those “natural” disasters are completely fabricated. Their new life mission is to find out why.
  22. Write a story about how in your character’s world, identity is implanted into your forearm at birth. It’s scannable and contains any information someone would ever need to know, including age, overall health, risk for diseases, and more. Your character, having spent their life in a type of foster care, applies for a job only to realize that now, at the age of 18, their identity is showing two different sets of information.
  23. Your character’s job is to lead the mission of colonizing new planets – even if there’s life present. When the truth of how they manage to find habitable planets surfaces, a new recruit shows them just how wrong it really is. Your characters new goal? To stop it.
  24. Write about how oceanic cities have been built for the rich. They float atop the ocean, traveling hundreds of miles a day, all while its citizens go about their everyday life. Unfortunately, your character discovers a superstorm developing below the ocean’s surface, something that has never happened before – something they are wildly unprepared for.
  25. Your character develops a new device you implant in your ear that reads the minds of those they focus on. After light testing, they accidentally discover that the local baker has a massive, dangerous, potentially even deadly secret.
  26. Write about how in the distant future, magic is discovered as being real…at least for the humanoid creatures inhabiting an Earth-like planet. Your main character is among the few chosen to venture to the planet and study them. They just never expected to discover the source of the magic like they did in the process.
  27. Write a story about how oxygen levels on Earth have been plummeting for centuries. Now, with the population dwindling due to suffocation and disease, your main character has to find a way off the dying planet without attracting too much attention from the Keeps, also known as the highly deadly enforcement force tasked with making sure only certain individuals leave.
  28. Write a story about how centuries ago, a solar flare damaged the Earth’s atmosphere in the opposite way expected; it actually made it stronger. But now the sun’s rays have difficulty penetrating it and the world is slowly growing colder. Your character is among the many determined to find a way to fix it.
  29. Happiness is an illusion, as are every other emotion. In your futuristic society, humans are bred in a lab without them as a means of creating equality. The only problem is that your main character was born the natural way…with every emotion intact. If this is discovered, they’ll have to fend for their life.
  30. Write about how your main character was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Tasked with delivering something seemingly unimportant, they witness something they shouldn’t have and are pulled into a world of secrecy, dangerous weapon manufacturing, and a virtual war the public is blind to.

How to Write Science Fiction:

This genre is another very popular one, and for good reason. You can imagine a realistic, yet very different future than what we currently have.

But you also want to make sure to remember a few of these guidelines when creating your science fiction world from these writing prompts:

  • Decide if the story will take place in this world or a completely unique one
  • Create realistic advanced technology that your characters would actually use
  • Avoid modern-day slang unless the story takes place here
  • Create your own slang. A great example of this is in Jenna Moreci’s sci-fi novel, EVE: The Awakening pictured below)
writing prompt example

“Dynamic” is the slang the author created in this instance. It fits with the sci-fi world and further creates a sense of realism and it pulls the reader deeper into the world.

30 Dystopian Writing Prompts

As this genre gains more and more popularity, you may find yourself wondering what a certain post-apocalyptic world might look like.

Why not write about it?

Here are 30 dystopian creative writing prompts:

  1. Write about a character who finds an odd-looking egg in the forest. When they take it home, they never could have predicted what was inside it.
  2. Write a story about how natural farming doesn’t exist anymore. Due to climate change, all food has to be manufactured in bulk and distributed. There is no flavor and is the same every day. Your character, who has spent their entire life in this world, takes a trip to the mountains far away from their home. There, they discover real plants, and on them, berries.
  3. Write about nature extremists taking over the government, stopping at nothing to ensure all man-made harm on the planet is eradicated. Your character ends up in their clutches, forced to do their bidding.
  4. Write a story about how, due to climate change, wildfires have engulfed the large majority of living land. Your character is one of many attempting to board a ship set for a new in-ocean settlement. The problem? That settlement doesn’t actually exist.
  5. Write about how after a devastating illness that rocked only the wildlife population over 200 years ago, a scientist created a virus that strengthens animal’s immune systems with the purpose of creating balance and stabilizing the wildlife population once again. The problem is that it worked too well and the wildlife has exceeded (and reduced) the world’s population
  6. Write a book about how after a devastating storm that encompassed the entire  world, the population has thinned significantly and your character, who lost all of their family but their youngest sibling, has to go up against the new “government” with a group of allies as they attempt to gain control over the living population of the world – in the worst way.
  7. Write about how over the course of a few hundred years, cases of depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses caused the death and destruction of generations. Then an airborne substance was created to balance all levels of each person so they’re created 100% equal in every way. Turns out, your character is immune to the substance.
  8. Write about how the third World War is done and over with for many years now. It was the downfall of the world’s economic system. Now your main character must navigate a world where governments no longer exist, money is useless, and survival is the only objective. Oh, and they have a debilitating medical condition to look after, too
  9. Write a story about how two thousand years after a massive wave of a fatal illness swept over the entire world, your character navigates a life of poverty and hardship, struggling to feed their very young twin siblings and alcoholic father. That is, until a new form of choosing a leader is proposed. Now they can finally compete to rule over their settlement.
  10. Write about how books have nearly been abolished. Your country is separated into three main regions with a dangerous “neutral” zone in the center. With a rumor of a way out located in the midst of the neutral zone, your main character must venture through two other regions to get there.
  11. Write a book about a character who is fortunate to have been born into a powerful family after the downfall of the world. They have everything they would ever hope to have…except for a clue as to what happens outside their very large, protective walls. Once they find out, they can’t help but need to change it.
  12. Write about a single tower that powers what’s left of the country’s population. When an outsider tampers with its mechanisms, the tower breaks down, leaving your main character and everyone else struggling to survive.
  13. Write about how the birthrate has dropped significantly. So much so that children are now worth millions. Your main character, a very poor woman, just found out she’s pregnant – and won’t be able to hide it for long. Kidnapping and worse await her if anyone finds out that she can reproduce, and will soon have a child up for “grabs.” In order to save herself – and her child – she must confess her pregnancy to the father, a very wealthy man in politics.
  14. Write a story about a character who ventures away from the only town they’ve ever known, despite warnings and many attempts to make them stay. What they find is emptiness…for miles and miles and miles.
  15. Write a story about a hidden temple is the only thing standing in the way of your character becoming the next ruler of a post-apocalyptic, off-the-grid society. When a newcomer ventures into their land, their chance of finding the temple becomes dangerous…maybe even impossible.
  16. Write a book about how they really thought they were helping by creating a single drug with the power to eradicate diseases, illnesses, and even cancer. What they didn’t anticipate was the massive super virus 100% resistant to the drug. Your main character seems to be the only one who can’t catch it…that they know of.
  17. Write about how society has collapsed over hundreds of years, not with war or a single event like they always thought would happen. Your main character discovers a voice message from 700 years prior detailing the downfall’s construction. The 300 years it took to destroy society was completely planned. But why?
  18. Since the manmade radioactive superstorm that destroyed most of life as they knew it, extreme measures have been taken to document every move of every person. Your main character scans a chip when they eat, sleep, travel, and even when they have sex. When offered a way out, your main character takes it without question…which might be their biggest mistake.
  19. Write a story about how the government was taken over by the rich nearly 50 years ago. Your main character was lucky enough to be born into the wealthiest family. What they never thought of, though, was the fact that one day, the could be kidnapped and used as leverage.
  20. Write about a character who, after witnessing horrors of rising crime and drug rates, ran away at the age of 12 to live on their own in a secluded wooded area. Now, after 10 years of solitude, people start filing into their neck of the woods covered in wounds, tattered clothing, and bruises.
  21. Write about a super tsunami that’s demolished the eastern portion of the United States. But contrary to what was expected, the water is actually creeping inland, not back out to sea. Your main character’s home is a victim of the ocean.
  22. Write a story about how electricity is scarce…and very expensive. Your main character walks home one night to discover a brand-new electric car sitting idle in behind a forest tree line. They follow its tire tracks to find a massive house lit up and blasting music. A stranger waves at them to come in.
  23. Write a book about how at the height of your character’s career – and life as a whole – an attack destroys their city, kills their spouse, and forces them into poverty…and maybe even war. With new laws, new standards, and new rulers in place, their life obtains a whole new purpose.
  24. Write a story about how a little boy is running toward your main character, a look of absolute joy lighting up their face. Then they freeze, their joy turning to anger, rage. Your character cocks their head, confused, and then the truth hits them. He must be one of the Ruin Children, born from the people affected by the Great Tragedy.
  25. Write about a trial being the only way your character can ever hope to rise above their current abysmal ranking. Your world’s current society is one bred for advancement. Anyone who can’t meet the standards is done for. Your character needs a near miracle to pass their trial.
  26. Due to an error made by someone in the distant future when time traveling, the world’s societal (and time) structure has collapsed. Each day may produce a completely different reality than the one before. Survival isn’t guaranteed and strangers could have been your best friend – or more – only yesterday.
  27. Your character’s world is what happens when an experimental chemical compound intended to sustain plant life is pumped into the atmosphere. Now trees have overgrown, plants are squeezing into homes, and the Earth’s oxygen levels are (if you can believe it) too high.
  28. Tagged, chipped, and shuffled into line. That’s your character’s everyday reality. They’re herded like cattle…to be used in the same way as cattle. Then a single guard takes pity on your character and offers them a way out.
  29. Write a story about a main character who’s read all about the warning signs of a solar flare and the flipping of the Earth’s magnetic field. They’ve scoured through studies and research papers depicting what would happen. Since both occurred within the same year over a century ago, they’re stuck to live in the aftermath.
  30. Peace. The world is ruled by one person dedicated to keeping the peace. There’s been no war or poverty or famine in centuries. Your main character is newly employed to be the ruler’s personal assistant. When they discover how the world is kept at peace, their life changes forever.

How to write Dystopian books:

Dystopian novels are one of the biggest trends sweeping the literary world. With books like The Handmaid’s Tale stirring more post-apocalyptic stories, it’s easy to get stuck in the same mindset as many other dystopian novelists.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to write dystopian using these writing prompts:

  • Think way outside of the box
  • Use elements from your story’s past to form their present
  • Paint a very clear picture of everyday life for your character from the very first page
  • Get creative with the laws, culture, and customs
  • Don’t just “go with the flow”: The Handmaid’s Tale is so popular largely due to the fact that it’s unique. Not many people would have thought of a world that was overrun by a religion – and that’s what makes it so tantalizing; it’s unexpected.
dystopian writing prompt

28 Contemporary Writing Prompts

Some people don’t necessarily want to escape from this world. In fact, they just want to escape from their own life for a little bit but prefer to read something realistic, something they can relate to.

Contemporary writing is all about forming connections with readers.

Here are 28 contemporary writing prompts:

  1. Write about a character who’s done everything they’re told. They just graduated high school and are off to a very good college to get their degree in something reliable. But when they get there, they realize there’s a whole world of opportunity they never knew existed. Now they have to maintain the façade of going to college even though they decided to pursue a different endeavor.
  2. Write a story involving a character who answers the door to nothing but an intricate envelope on the ground; an invitation. After attending the secret underground event, they become a part of the biggest activist group out there…and nobody even knows who they are.
  3. Write about how, while on a hike with friends, your main character discovers a small tower buried beneath the ground. After some digging, they realize it’s filled with scrolls they can hardly make out. What they contain will change your character’s view of life forever.
  4. Write a book about how a character has been living a very sheltered, very dangerous life. After the death of their overbearing father, they’re thrust into the real world – only to realize just how different their life really is from those around them.
  5. Write a book about how your main character gets called out of school/work by someone they don’t know for something they are clueless about. But for some reason, the person addressing them thinks they already know everything about it.
  6. Write a story about how, as an artist, your main character has it well. But when everything they’ve worked for is burned in a tragic fire, they have to start all over with nothing to their name and a roommate determined to hold them back.
  7. Write about how life for your main character has never been easy. After venturing in and out of foster homes, they’re finally an adult and on their own. When their birth mother reaches out to reconnect, they never could’ve predicted what’s kept her away for so long. Now your character has to decide between getting involved with their real mother or cutting ties forever.
  8. Write about how death is a natural part of life. Your main character has been feared it or been affected by it. But when their best friend goes missing and their body shows up in front of their house, your character makes it their mission to find out who’s responsible – even if it means breaking the law…a lot of laws.
  9. Write a story about a character who’s in an accident that leaves them blind. When they meet a stranger who shows them how to enjoy life again, everything seems to be perfect. Until tragedy strikes that stranger.
  10. A strange person approaches your character claiming to be their long-lost parent. But your character isn’t adopted…so they think. Now they have to make sense of a new reality and an identity that’s shocking.
  11. Write about how a half-eaten apple flies through the air and smacks your character on the head. There’s nobody around and no way for anyone to hide. Then it happens again the next day. They do some digging and discover the source…a small child with rags for clothes and hollow cheeks.
  12. Your character’s identity is stolen, racking up thousands of dollars in debt. They were just fired, and to top it all off, their long-term significant other just broke up with them for their friend. And they said your twenties would be the best years of your life.
  13. Your character was adopted from foster care when she was 5. Their memories of their time in that foster home are almost non-existent. All they can remember is feeling scared and a distinct song that gets stuck in their head from time to time. As they’re walking to class one day, they hear that familiar song in the distance.
  14. Write a story about how your character woke up in a stranger’s home with a gaping, painful wound on their leg. They have no idea where they are, how they go there, or who the strange man in the corner of the room watching them is.
  15. Write about how your character had been studying their whole life. With everyone in their family having gone to an ivy league school, your main character feels the pressure to get in and get A’s. They even stoop to low levels to do so.
  16. Your character embarks on a mission to prove that the key to happiness is doing whatever they want, whenever they want. But that mentality quickly lands them in serious trouble with drugs, new “friends,” and decisions they can’t undo.
  17. Write a story about a dimly lit street at 3 am. Your character strolls by like they have many nights before after a long shift at the bar. A building they’ve never noticed before flashing an “OPEN” sign catches their attention. Once inside, the direction of their entire life changes.
  18. Write about how nothing has ever really been difficult for your main character. They’ve been able to coast through life, get a good job, make good friends, and are happy. Then a social worker shows up at their door with a six-year-old child – the same child that was adopted six years prior. Turns out, raising a six-year-old is very, very difficult.
  19. Your main character has worked their entire life to make their dreams of curing cancer a reality. But when it seems like a cure is within reach, a suspicious fire burns all of their research…or so it seemed.
  20. Write about a character who survived an accident that killed one of their siblings. When they thought life couldn’t get any harder, a scary diagnosis rocks their already unstable boat. Dealing with grief, your family blaming you for a sibling’s death, and a debilitating disease isn’t easy. Thank goodness they make a new friend.
  21. Write about purple glasses. Black hair. Polka dot shoes. Your main character has seen this person on the subway every day for two years. When they notice their absence for a week straight, they decide to find out who they are. Turns out, your character shouldn’t have gone snooping.
  22. Your character lines up at the bank very early in the morning, dreading another day of mind-numbing work ahead at their corporate job. A gentleman in a grey suit with white hair greets them and engages in some small talk. Then, out of nowhere, he hands your character a gun, takes a few steps back, and fires a couple of rounds into the ceiling.
  23. Write about how fire is your main character’s solace – their addiction. Their home is littered with candles, a lighter is never more than a foot from them, and bonfires are a nightly occurrence. Addiction of any kind can be a very dangerous thing.
  24. Write a story about how your character sees balloons – hundreds of them – floating toward the sky from miles away. They go to investigate the cause and end up really regretting that decision. They get pulled into something that could change their life forever.
  25. It’s been two years since your character has actually had a steady job. After growing increasingly desperate, they answer an ad for a personal assistant position. They just didn’t expect it to be for a major drug cartel leader.
  26. Hospitals have never been your character’s favorite. They think they smell…weird. Unnatural. But they work there now and will have to get used to it. They throw on their white coat and enter the building. Ugh. The psychiatric ward always smells the worst; like wet stone and rotting wood mixed with subpar antiseptics.
  27. Your main character starts to hear voices shortly after experiencing a trauma. Now they’re in therapy, fighting with their own mind in order to sort out what really happened that day and why they can’t stop hearing another voice.
  28. Write about how children are the future. They have the power to right our wrongs and start anew. Your main character befriends an orphaned child and learns more from them than they realized was possible.

contemporary writing prompt

How to Write in the Contemporary genre:

I personally believe contemporary can be one of the hardest genres to write because you have the least wiggle room when it comes to creativity.

Everything has to be realistic in today’s society.

Here are a few tips to remember for writing contemporary from the very talented author of Little Birds and Writing Youtuber, Hannah Lee Kidder:

  • “Realistic dialogue is important. All the characters should sound different from one another, their vernacular should make sense for their background, and the writer should read it out loud.”
  • Tiny details are hella dope in descriptions. It should be so specific and vivid that when the reader finishes the story, they feel like they’ve lost a bit of reality.”
  • Imagining characters complexly is also important. Work on understanding real people. If you understand people and why they do what they do, you can understand characters and what they do”
  • Create a conflict many can relate to or sympathize with
  • Spend a lot of time on the character arc as many contemporary novels are primarily character-driven

Contemporary Writing Exercise From Hannah Lee Kidder: Sit in public and pick a random person, then write a completely made up story on them.

30 Romance Writing Prompts

Romance is the most popular book genre out there right now. People love reading about love!

But that doesn’t mean you can think of any love story and get to work.

romance creative writing prompt

Here are 30 romance writing prompts for you:

  1. Write about how your character has gone through life believing that love is a choice. Their decision? To never get involved because love can only lead to pain and hardship. But after an argument with a stranger, their view of love, and life itself, is changed.
  2. Write a story about how marriage is just what happens when you’ve been with someone forever. For your main character, that seems obvious. But when they’re months away from their wedding and an old friend barges into their life unannounced, a wedding seems like the furthest thing from their desires.
  3. Write about a character who is up for a big promotion within their company. They’ve put everything on hold for it – including their love life. But when an outsider is hired instead, they lose it, focusing all their energy on bringing this newcomer down. They just didn’t think about the fact that they might end up likingthem.
  4. Write a book about how a character and their significant other have been together since childhood. After a war between their people rips them away from each other, they’ll have to fight, manipulate, and fool in order to get each other back.
  5. Write about how a package is mailed to your main character. It’s filled with what seems like hundreds of letters all to a single person. Memories and confessions of love are penned within those letters. Your main character feels drawn to the person on the other end and sets out to find them – and the letter’s true destination.
  6. Write a story about how arranged marriages are the standard. In fact, nobody marries for love. Love doesn’t even exist in your character’s world. But when they’re drawn to someone who’s already spoken for, they start to question everything they know about love.
  7. Write about how your main character lives in a society of slavery. If you’re not born in a certain family, you’re shipped off and sold. When your character is sold for the 8th time in their short 20 years, then end up at one of the top houses – and become a personal servant to the next leader of their settlement. Soon, they’re enthralled in a romance that could get them both killed…because he’s already promised to another…a very dangerous other.
  8. Write a story about how cheating is wrong. Your character’s society puts emphasis on loyalty above anything else. In fact, cheating and betrayal of any kind in any relationship are punishable by life in prison (and even death in extreme cases). So why does something that’s been illegal for as long as they can remember feel so right when your character meets someone new? Avoiding jail just became the most difficult part of your character’s life.
  9. Write about how your character started going blind at the age of six. Fifteen years later, they meet someone who makes their life better in ways they couldn’t have imagined. Then they realize that they’ve actually met that person before.
  10. Your main character has seen the same person at the bus stop every day for what seems like over a year. They also bump into them frequently at coffee shops, grocery stores, and even restaurants. Finally, they decide to introduce themselves to the person who Fate seems to be pushing their way.
  11. It had been 10 years since your character last saw their biggest crush. How they both ended up in the same city away from their hometowns makes no sense to them. It’s got to be more than a coincidence, right?
  12. A waft of something flowery washes over your main character as they jog down the street. They turn and follow the scent to someone dancing in the middle of the street to no music while reading a book.
  13. Write a book. about how your character runs away from their tribe in the dead of night. After an injury leaves them exposed, an unlikely ally of a rivaling clan saves their life.
  14. Reading minds might seem like an advantage in the dating world. But when your character can hear every single thought someone has about them, it quickly reduces their chances at finding love.
  15. Write a. story about how a treehouse in the deep woods is your character’s favorite place to relax. But when they get interrupted by the weird kid at school, they have to set some ground rules for its use. Sharing a treehouse with the weirdo might just be the best thing they’ve ever done.
  16. Write about how it’s rare to find true love as a child. Your main character did – and they grew up to marry their childhood sweetheart. But after an unexpected death, your character is forced to live without their true love. Oh…and they have a one-year-old to take care of on top of it.
  17. Write a book about how your character waited two weeks for their date to call. What seemed like a perfect evening must’ve not been all that great for them. Then their date’s sibling called…to tell them they had died. But they did leave a few notes with your character’s name on them before it happened.
  18. Her brother’s friends are off limits. Her dad’s friends are off limits. She knows those rules. But when a new coworker of her dad’s enters the picture, she’ll have to find a way around her father’s rules.
  19. Write a story about how many memories of love and loss come to your character’s mind when they’re invited to an all-adult summer camp. They decide to go for it and spend 6 weeks in paradise with complete strangers.
  20. Write a romance story about how you don’t know unconditional love until you’ve ever felt it at your core. And once you do, you can never settle for anything less ever again.
  21. “Marry your best friend,” they said. “It’ll be fun,” they said. But when your best friend turns out to be the complete opposite of how you thought, a relationship can get tricky. Your character is on the lookout for a new best friend.
  22. Write a romance about how your character is basically a “starving artist,” an art student just barely getting by. Their roommate, another art student and your character’s crush, opens a gallery featuring breathtaking paintings of your character. It’s everything your character could want…and then they meet the person who pays thousands for their portrait. Now their roommate is hardly on their mind.
  23. In an ancient world, your character is getting ready for a life partner ceremony. Their partner – someone they’ve known their whole life – is already chosen and it’s time to secure the bond. But when someone your character has never met before steps up to challenge your supposed-to-be life partner, they’re forced to be with a stranger.
  24. Write about how two old bicycles are embedded in a tree – grown into it from years of being chained to it. Upon further inspection, your character finds a bottle in one of the baskets and in that bottle, a letter. They attempt to return the letter to its owner to find someone else entirely.
  25. Write a story about how in order to marry in your character’s society, suitors have to fight a person’s entire family for their hand. On the same day your character challenges their love’s family of 8, someone else challenges theirs – a family of only 3.
  26. “All’s fair in love and war.” Does this still ring true when your character is fighting a war for love? Some say they’ll move mountains to get to the love of their life. Others will move kingdoms.
  27. Write a romance about how falling in love is dangerous – especially for your character, who must stay focused if they want to rule someday. But when their mother’s friend brings her daughter to their palace, their entire focus changes. If only she would notice your character.
  28. Write about what happens when your very particular character meets the least likely person to ever be a good match for them.
  29. Falling in love is never easy. It’s even more difficult, however, when you find out the person you’re head over heels for is a torturer. And worse…they enjoy it.
  30. Write about a character who decides to take a vacation for themselves to a secluded little town in order to figure out what to do with their life after college. Little did they know that this small town could house so much of what they’re really looking for in life – including a hottie with a less-than-favorable reputation.

How to Write Romance:

Even though romance is an extremely popular genre doesn’t mean you can be lazy when it comes to the actual romance and creative writing prompts isn’t always enough to help you develop a full-blown romance.

People read romance to be invested, to feel something real.

That’s why you have to remember these tips when writing romance when using these writing prompts:

  • NEVER romanticize abuse as “love” (AKA, a jealous boyfriend should never be praised for “loving your character more” because this is harmful to readers)
  • Create real chemistry by giving your characters qualities that would actually foster a connection
  • Avoid “insta-love” by giving your characters time to bond and get to know each other
  • Look out for serious romance cliches and overused plot lines like love triangles, forbidden romances (these can be great if done uniquely!), and crazy exes
  • Continuously up the stakes whenever the reader gets comfortable with the relationship

30 Horror/Thriller Writing Prompts

Because being terrified is entertaining to some people, horror and thriller books exist and are quite popular!

The great thing about this genre is that you can get really creative and really dark.

Here are our 30 horror and thriller writing prompts:

  1. Write a book about how your main character is home alone, just like most nights. This time, however, a new neighbor pays them a visit. And it wasn’t for the last time.
  2. Write a story about how eight murders have taken place in your character’s town in the past 8 weeks. Once a week, on the same day, at the same time. When your character gets abducted after being out past the town’s new curfew, they have only 48 hours to discover why this is happening and how to get free…all while being tortured by the murderer.
  3. Write a horror story about how it’s a day of celebration in your character’s hometown! A 100-year-old time capsule is about to be opened, so of course, they go, just like most of the town. When a deceased human hand with a sinister note attached to it is the only thing in the capsule, questions start to buzz. The first being, who is the person who wrote the note? Oddly enough, the note is written in your main character’s handwriting…with their signature…dated 82 years before they were even born.
  4. Write about how your main character suffers from a condition that gives them periodic blackouts for seemingly no reason. The only thing they can seem to remember from before each blackout is a bike. A red bike with a white basket and muddy tires. One day, they see that very bike leaning up against their house but this time, they don’t blackout.
  5. Write a thriller about how odd and unexplainable events are said to happen in a certain seaside town. Your main character takes it upon themselves to visit in an effort to see just how accurate the sightings are. What they find is beyond anything they imagined. But now they can’t seem to escape the town.
  6. Write a story about how your main character and a couple of friends take a boat trip to a tiny, vacant, off-limits island for a night of celebration. When the sun goes down, they realize just how occupied the island actually is…and there’s a reason it’s off-limits.
  7. Write a book about a character who’s in therapy because whenever they close their eyes at night, they see (very vividly) someone’s tragic death. Some say it’s just their twisted imagination, their new therapist thinks it is something much, much different…and dangerous.
  8. Write a story about how your main character gets into an accident. While they make a seemingly full recovery, something has just been off inside their head since the crash. When they wake up next to a mutilated body in an unrecognizable place, they start to worry.
  9. A new town, a new job, a new life. Your character moved away to start over and become someone they’ve always wanted to be. The problem? They just can’t seem to stop killing people.
  10. The lure of a mysterious person will never get old. Their dark hat, sly smirk, and inquisitive eyes pull your main character in…until they can’t get out.
  11. Write about a dare. That’s how it all started, like all those horror movies your main character loves. They venture into that basement from the outside with confidence…only to discover two kids and a decaying body chained up. Now they have to make sure they don’t get caught. The hidden camera on the basement stairs doesn’t help with that.
  12. Write a horror about how your character gets a new job in a restaurant as a waiter. The tight-knit family running the place welcomes them with open arms…and then invites them to take part in what really happens when they close at night.
  13. Your character’s significant other has always talked in their sleep; it’s nothing new. But when their voice changes and their words take a dark turn, your character can’t help but do some digging into why that is…and they don’t like what they find.
  14. Your character thinks they must be the last person left on Earth. After a devastating disease swept over the entire world, they wander aimlessly. Then they come across a town that seems unchanged, inhabiting seemingly normal people. They learn that’s far from the truth.
  15. Write about how after wandering into a brand-new book store, your character thoroughly enjoys the last few books they’ve read. When they go to buy another, the owner recommends a very specific book. They start reading only to realize it’s about that very town, 50 years earlier, about a book shop owner who preys on customers.
  16. Your character is walking home midday when they hear an usual sound coming from an ordinary house in the suburbs. They soon forget about it for the rest of the day. Then, when they’re falling asleep, they hear that same sound outside their window.
  17. A boot, a broken glass bottle, and a scuba diving mask show up on your character’s front lawn after a city-wide festival. Thinking nothing of it, they toss them in the garbage…only for them to reappear the next morning.
  18. Write a story involving a character who officially meets the person they’ve been bumping into all over town. After hitting it off, they go out on a date that ends very poorly for one of them.
  19. Write about how the painting that’s been in your character’s home for over 50 years starts screaming.
  20. They said not to visit the museum at night. They said strange things might happen. Your character never imagined just how much they should’ve listened.
  21. Your character’s best friend just got back from some intense rehab. They seem better than ever…until your character discovers their method of staying clean; a new addiction has taken its place.
  22. Write a thriller novel about how your character wakes up to a door slamming. They rush to their toddler’s room only for them to be missing. A single gardening glove is in their place on the bed.
  23. Your character’s mom is caught sneaking into their house in the middle of the night…a trail of mud patterning the floor in the shape of her heels. She’s in a trance and won’t answer to her name.
  24. Write about how your character gets up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and is alarmed to see their dad standing in the hallway. After shaking it off, they ask him what he’s doing. Without a word, his eyes start to bleed.
  25. Write a book about a character who’s known the neighbor across the street for years. But after witnessing them limping into their home, covered in something dark at 4 am, your character has questions. Getting close to them might be the only way to find out their secret.
  26. Write about how all the pictures of your character and their sister go missing from their home…one by one.
  27. Your character wakes up one morning and all the candles in their house are lit. They haven’t lit them for weeks.
  28. Witnessing someone’s descent into madness is something your character never thought they’d experience. It soon becomes increasingly clear that they might not witness it in its entirety.
  29. Write about how the school gym is filled. It’s a day of celebration. Your main character graduates today and when it’s their time to take the stage, a scream is released from someone in the stands.
  30. Write a horror book about how there have been attacks in your character’s town as of late. Instead of physical injury or even death…the victims are injected with heroin over and over and over until they’re completely addicted. Then they’re released.

How to write horror and thriller:

Scaring people so much so that they sweat while simply reading is a difficult task. You really have to focus on the structure of your writing in order to create that reaction.

Here are a few things to remember if you use these writing prompts:

  • Building anticipation will be your #1 focus
  • Readers need to feel surprised and scared so dig deep and get twisted
  • Plot twists are a must; never let your characters or readers see what’s coming
  • Continuously up the stakes
  • Focus on building deep sympathy for your character from the very beginning. This will make the stakes seem even higher and increase tension, just as Stephen King does in his infamous novel, IT, pictured below.
creative writing prompts horror

30 Mystery Writing Prompts

Human curiosity is what makes this genre so incredibly popular. We always want to figure out what happened. Mystery books are natural page-turners because we just aren’t satisfied until we find out what happened.

But that can be difficult to create from nothing.

Here are 30 mystery creative writing prompts:

  1. Write a mystery about how your character is 16 and just learned they were the last person to see their crush the night they were murdered. But when they come forward with these details, they become the new main suspect. They’re determined to solve their crushes murder or risk going to jail for something they didn’t do.
  2. Write a story about how recently, there’s been a number of abandoned cars scattered throughout the city. Nobody knows where they’re coming from and there’s not a single personal item in them. That is, until one is discovered with a freshly removed human scalp on the dashboard.
  3. Write about how for the past month, your character has received a number of disturbing and detailed drawings in their mailbox. After chalking it up to immature kid stunts, they try to forget about it. But when the drawings come to life in brutal, horrific ways, they’re the only person who knows of the drawings and therefore, knows what one will come next.
  4. Write about a character who gets a DNA test for fun – just to see where they really come from. After becoming obsessed with one little detail, they soon discover a number of their ancestors from all over the world were once located in a single, unpopulated place; a gathering of sorts.
  5. Write a mystery about how your character’s spouse nearly falls through the door, beaten nearly to requiring hospitalization. When an unknown but distinct brand marking is discovered between their shoulder blades, your character has to find out who they are and why they did it.
  6. Write about a single member of each noble family who has been murdered every week for the past two months. Your character is of a very noble household and can barely sleep each night. So they decide to find out who is responsible.
  7. Write a story about a character whose religion has a talisman as old as the religion itself. After it goes missing, all fingers point to the chief’s oldest child of 19 years, engaged to the healer’s oldest child. But they never could’ve done it. They were (romantically involved) with your main character when the theft occurred.
  8. Write about how your main character wakes up every morning feeling as though they didn’t get more than a couple of hours of sleep. After sleep studies, medications, and trying everything available, nothing seems to work. They decide to videotape a night of sleep to determine if maybe they’re sleepwalking. Turns out, they are. Except they seem completely conscious. In fact, in the video, they approach the camera, smirk, and walk away with a wave before disappearing for nearly the entire night.
  9. Write about how your main character is a key witness for a murder case. Video footage of them at the scene during the murder shows that clearly. The only problem? They can’t remember anything from that night.
  10. Write a story about a character living in an average sized town. As of late, a very large number of people have been going missing. They leave no trace. There’s nothing connecting them. It’s as if they all vanish in the middle of the day.
  11. Two years after your character’s significant other goes missing, presumed dead, they start getting messages that could only be from them.
  12. Your character is going about their normal day when suddenly, a low sound blares outside and doesn’t stop. For weeks. Nobody knows what’s causing it.
  13. During a follow-up set of interviews, your character conducts around a certain mob member, long thought to have put an end to that very mob, they find out that the mob member has been lying – for 30 years…about everything.
  14. Write about how, to make some extra money, your character puts their spare room on Airbnb. The first few people seem fine and the extra income is great. Then someone comes to stay for a week and very…odd events keep taking place in that room.
  15. Your character is a professional photographer. When processing images from a recent event, they notice a single person on the outskirts of every photo…and it’s not a coincidence.
  16. Your character opens an old sketchbook to try their hand at it again after years of being too busy with their corporate job. When they open it, their half-finished pieces are completed…and it wasn’t their doing.
  17. All the plants in and around houses in your character’s town are dying even though all other foliage is left untouched. It started happening after the last meteor shower.
  18. In your character’s world, crime is nonexistent. Everyone lives in harmony with each other. That’s why the murdered child found in the street sets the town into complete and utter chaos.
  19. Write a mystery about how when the Internet was first invented, warnings of sharing your personal information were everywhere. Now your character knows why. Cyber information is being used to frame innocents in extreme crime cases.
  20. Write a book about how a crack in the window was all the thief needed to secure the right position that allowed them access to the town’s most famous piece of history. Your character is the one who was supposed to keep it safe.
  21. Your character’s people believe a certain boulder is sacred. It’s the heart of their civilization and religion. One day the town wakes to find it pulverized, reduced to nothing but dust and sand.
  22. Write about how there’s a house at a dead end that’s not abandoned, but hardly anyone has even caught sight of who lives there. Your character decides to pay them a visit and discovers why nobody has seen them.
  23. Your character is introduced to someone that seems perfect for them. After digging into their past, a string of crimes has followed them but your character can’t necessarily prove it was them. So they decide to ask about them.
  24. Someone left their bag on the bus. Your character, being the good person they naturally are, grabs it and rushes after the person. They never turn around and your character is left with a bag full disturbing ransom notes.
  25. All the statues in your character’s entire town go missing. They were carefully removed from building, monuments, and schools. Nobody knows how or where they are now.
  26. Write about how your character moves to a new town with hopes of finally settling into real adult life. But they soon realize that nobody remembers who they are day after day, despite making very clear and memorable introductions.
  27. The leaves on all the trees have turned black but refuse to fall off the branches. It’s the middle of spring.
  28. A number of dead bodies are uncovered when your character decides to participate in the upkeep of the city’s public garden. No wonder the food has been so great – it’s been freshly fertilized.
  29. Write a story about how your character wakes up to a little girl’s screams outside. They rush to her but she’s not hurt. She just has no idea who she is, where she’s from, or how she got there.
  30. Write about how your character receives a number of letters in the mail to a name they don’t recognize. After weeks of letters piling up, they finally decide to read one. The first letter contains nothing more than a set of coordinates…so do the rest.

How to Write Mystery:

Mystery is a very difficult genre to write. You have to ensure that you don’t give away too much information so the readers don’t figure it out.

These are some of our tips for writing mystery using these creative prompts:

  • Make readers think they know what will happen by planting false foreshadowing along with real hints
  • Make the antagonist very likable
  • Juxtapose tense scenes with mellow ones to increase tension
  • Keep the story moving forward always

Reddit Writing Prompts

Reddit is home to many different things—including writing prompts that you’d never find anywhere else.

Oftentimes, people go ahead and create threads expanding on a writing prompts they read.

Here are some of the best Reddit writing prompts:

#1 – “You have a machine that tells you the effect of an action you are thinking about making, but you can only activate/use it once.”

#2 – “Well…you never asked.”

#3 – And to top it all off, they give you a medal for it.

#4 –  Every Christmas, Santa delivers gifts to the children who have been ‘nice’. But there’s a lesser known brother Santa who every five years takes gifts away from children who have been ‘naughty’ even once. You just don’t know when…

Reddit Writing Prompts

#5 – You are casually walking down a deserted road when you fall into an open man-hole.

#6 – You weren’t sure which was real.

#7 – People thought society would be better if we killed the worst 1% every year. Today is the hundredth anniversary, and the notion of the “worst” is getting really tricky.

Reddit Writing Prompts

#8 – Absolutely everything that makes you uncomfortable is beneficial for you. Weakened viruses train your immune system, small muscle tears make you stronger…and small bullets make you more resistant to larger bullets. Turns out, the government is awfully interested in your unusual ability.

#9 – Before you, the villain holds your sidekick and love interest over a cliff, taunting you to choose one to save. You take one (1) second to think about it. You then shoot them both, to the shock and horror of your archenemisis.

#10 – You’re a man/woman happily married with kids but in severe financial difficulty. A genie gives you the chance to irreversibly rewind time back to the date of your tenth birthday and you accept, hoping to make your current life better with the knowledge you have…

reddit writing prompts

#11 – Every time you die, you are reincarnated into a new body. Unfortunately, the first few times, you failed to act as a normal child after being reborn. You are now a known factor for world powers, crazy nutjobs, major religions, and people who would give anything for the immortality you possess.

#12 –You have a name in your contacts that isn’t in any language you know, you delete it but the next day the number appears again. And that’s when life becomes a little weirder.

#13 – You get to heaven only to find that the judgement is entirely based on how many promises you’ve broken.

#14 – Before you became apprentice, nobody told you learning a new spell is the easiest part of your studies. The real challenge is learning to survive the diverse and alien consequences of casting a spell.

#15 –  A war-thirsty species is finally defeated after rampaging through the galaxy for decades, and their remains are exiled to a far away and dangerous planet. Everyone panics when, millennia later, Humanity comes out of that planet asking where is everybody.

reddit sci fi writing prompt

Non-fiction Writing Prompts

I bet I know you.

You’re the type of person who has dreamt of writing a book for however many years, only held back by the lack of ideas – or good ideas, rather.

Or maybe you’re the type who has tons of ideas but aren’t sure if they’re worth pursuing.

It’s hard. I get it. A book is a big commitment and one you might actually want to go through with. But without having a clear idea of what to write about, that dream can seem too far out of reach.

But I’m telling you, it’s not.

In fact, using writing prompts can help you free your mind from its current constraints so you can explore ideas you might not have otherwise thought of yourself – in addition to a number of other benefits.

If you want to keep this list of writing prompts for future use, download the entire list now!

Download over 200 nonfiction prompts here!


Nonfiction Writing Prompts for Good Book Ideas

It’s one thing to use a writing prompt, it’s another to ensure that idea is actually a good one. We put together a list of tried-and-true writing prompts that can help you understand what’s most important to you and what you should pursue.

While reading these, note which ones cause you to pause and think – if only for a moment longer than the rest.

Those are the ideas to ponder and create a mind map for.

Here are a few writing prompts for a number of different broader categories that have proven to be prosperous.

Writing Prompts about Morals and Values

This is one of the top book ideas right now. Writing about your personal beliefs, how you came to them, and how they steer your life is something almost everyone can relate to.

And in a time where morality is being questioned time and time again by the media, it’s the best time to write on this topic.

Here are 25 writing prompts about morals and values:

  1. Write about a time when you were wrong and didn’t realize it for maybe years.
  2. Write about morals and how one discovers what truly matters to them.
  3. Write about the biggest value in your life.
  4. Write about the biggest problems in the world and how it impacts us every day.
  5. Write about problems in the world nobody is paying attention to.
  6. Write about a time your morals were compromised and how it affected your life.
  7. Write about a time your values were challenged and you had to face it.
  8. Write about the difference between a value and a moral.
  9. Write about societal values that actually negatively impact our lives.
  10. Write about morals that have inadvertently negative impacts.
  11. Write about an inner struggle between what’s morally right and what feels right.
  12. Write about how to find what you value in life.
  13. Write about what life would look life if morals were not in place.
  14. Write about the idea of values affecting your morals in life.
  15. Write about popular moral dilemmas in the world.
  16. Write about how morals and values differ within different cultures and regions.
  17. Write about a time when you had to debate morals and values.
  18. Write about your idea of the best combination of morals and values.
  19. Write about a conflict you once endured because of mismatched morals.
  20. Write about how to overcome doubting your morals and beliefs.
  21. Write about how morals and values shape happiness in life.
  22. Write about the importance of matching morals and values in relationships.
  23. Write about how to share your morals with others.
  24. Write about ways in which one can develop new morals and values.
  25. Write about how our morals and values change as we grow up.

Tips for Expanding on these Writing Prompts:

  • Be honest but don’t force your ideas on someone else
  • Use research and facts to back up your statements
  • Give real-life accounts of your experiences
  • Avoid adopting a “know-it-all” voice
nonfiction writing prompts

Writing Prompts about Health and Wellness

This is another book topic that has seen a rise in sales and engagement over the past few years. Society is starting to focus on health and well-being more so than many other important life ventures and now is the time to write about it!

Here are 25 healthy and wellness writing prompts:

  1. Write about your struggle with an addiction of some kind and how you overcame it.
  2. Write a book about your journey to become healthy.
  3. Write about what being healthy inside and out means to you.
  4. Write about how others can overcome unhealthy habits.
  5. Write a book about the importance of mental health and wellness.
  6. Write about how to form healthy habits.
  7. Write about how to find the best exercise type for your needs.
  8. Write a book about the idea of self-care and what it means to you.
  9. Write about how to find health through personal reflection.
  10. Write about the technicalities of being “healthy.”
  11. Write about the different ways in which someone can find health and wellness.
  12. Write about how others can affect your health.
  13. Write about the impact of mental health on your physical health.
  14. Write about a specific form of exercise you’ve grown to love and why.
  15. Write about what it means to have overall life wellness.
  16. Write about the impact of who you surround yourself with on your mental health.
  17. Write about how learning can impact your health.
  18. Write about dietary needs and how they affect your mental health.
  19. Write about how to break unhealthy habits that drag you down.
  20. Write about how negativity can greatly impact your health.
  21. Write about your ideal health and wellness system for long-term success.
  22. Write about a time when you had to overcome super unhealthy ways.
  23. Write about what you’ve learned about yourself through pursuing wellness.
  24. Write about how professional athletes approach health and wellness.
  25. Write about societal standards of health and wellness.

Tips for Expanding on these Writing Prompts:

  • Always use facts and research with something as sensitive as health
  • Talk about what has worked for you personally and why
  • Feature advice from experts in the field
  • Include actionable steps others can learn from
creative writing prompts

Writing Prompts about Love and Relationships

This can be a tricky topic to write about because love is different for everyone.

Each relationship has different needs and trying to tell someone what their relationship needs can often cause issues if it’s not actually what their specific relationship can benefit from.

That being said, keeping your message broad enough to impact a lot of people while also hitting specific key points can make it easier.

Here are 25 writing prompts about relationships and love:

  1. Tell a story about how you see love.
  2. Write about what’s most important in a relationship.
  3. Write about how to enjoy your relationship in every phase of life.
  4. Write about your idea of a successful relationship.
  5. Write about what it really takes to have a> successful relationship.
  6. Write about how your friendships play a part in your relationships.
  7. Write about how self-doubt can affect your search for love.
  8. Write about how to love someone else in a way they need.
  9. Write about how to find what you truly enjoy in a life partner.
  10. Write about becoming open-minded in your pursuit of love.
  11. Write about the importance of loving yourself before loving someone else.
  12. Write about your journey to find love and what it’s meant for you.
  13. Write about a time you thought you found love but were very wrong.
  14. Write about how finding love has changed the way you care for others.
  15. Write about how to develop healthy and nurturing relationships.
  16. Write about friendships and how they play a role in your happiness.
  17. Write about creating relationships that lift you up and not drag you down.
  18. Write about what it means to truly love unconditionally.
  19. Write about how intimacy can help your self-esteem.
  20. Write about ways in which you can improve your sex life.
  21. Write about ways in which you can improve your romantic relationship.
  22. Write about ways in which you can improve your platonic relationships.
  23. Write about loving yourself and what that fully means.
  24. Write about building strong relationship foundations in a family.
  25. Write about how to communicate in relationships.

Tips for Expanding on these Writing Prompts:

  • Never assume every single person loves and wants love the same way
  • Tell personal, real-life stories to build relatability
  • Keep your advice open-ended and always encourage communication

Writing Prompts about Childhood and Family

We all had a childhood and we all have a family – even if we’ve decided to adopt friends to be a part of our family.

That means everyone can relate to being a child and having a family.

That being said, it’s hard to decide on which direction you can take when writing about your childhood or family.

Here are 25 writing prompts about childhood and family:

  1. Write to your parents about all they’ve taught you about life, love, and happiness.
  2. Write to your family about what they mean to you.
  3. Write about parenthood and how it’s changed you.
  4. Write about your parents and what they taught you.
  5. Write about what your parents didn’t teach you and how it affected your life.
  6. Write about how not having parents impacted your life.
  7. Write about your childhood and how it shaped you.
  8. Write about what the definition of family truly means to you.
  9. Write about finding family in the least expected places.
  10. Write about discovering who you are within your family.
  11. Write about the lessons you didn’t realize you learned as a child.
  12. Write about how your childhood friends affected your adult life.
  13. Write about whether or not your family can truly impact who you are as an adult.
  14. Write about how to have healthy communication in your family.
  15. Write about the trials and tribulations of a blended family.
  16. Write about your journey as an adopted child.
  17. Write about whether or not emotional closeness with family affects your life.
  18. Write about your vision as a child and whether or not you lived up to it.
  19. Write about childhood pains that have followed you into adulthood.
  20. Write about how to let go of a crappy childhood to find happiness as an adult.
  21. Write about how your family doesn’t define you.
  22. Write about letting go of toxic family members to find happiness.
  23. Write about how you’d change your childhood if given the chance.
  24. Write about the journey of parenting and what it’s taught you about yourself.
  25. Write about how to make your own family when you can’t rely on your own.

Tips for Expanding on these Writing Prompts:

  • Family can be a sensitive subject so avoid hard “facts” about “all” families
  • Make sure to include details about differences
  • Tell stories others can easily relate to at the beginning

Writing Prompts about Happiness

Happiness is very subjective. We all have very different ideas about what true happiness is and how it comes about.

What you have to remember, though, is that everybody wants to be happy.

Here are 26 writing prompts about happiness:

  1. Write about the idea of wants versus needs in life.
  2. Write about work and finding happiness in your career.
  3. Write about not being happy in your career and how to conquer it.
  4. Write about finding success in your career.
  5. Write about finding success in every aspect of your life.
  6. Write about building a successful love life, family life, and career.
  7. Write about balancing a career and family life.
  8. Write about being open-minded in life.
  9. Write about what rewards you can reap from being kind.
  10. Write about what you can gain from being open-minded in every aspect of life.
  11. Write about goals in life and how to accomplish them.
  12. Write about what living a happy life is defined as according to you.
  13. Write about a time you had very little happiness and how you found it again.
  14. Write about the ups and downs of life and how to get through them.
  15. Write about what truly contributes to happiness in life.
  16. Write about the true measures of happiness in life.
  17. Write about how success ties into happiness and how to define them separately.
  18. Write about the difference between how you view happiness now versus when you were a kid.
  19. Write about the biggest life lessons one can learn through finding happiness.
  20. Write about what people should focus on instead of happiness in life.
  21. Write about the difference between self-fulfillment and happiness.
  22. Write about the biggest problem in today’s society revolving around happiness.
  23. Write about the idea of NOT looking for happiness in order to find it.
  24. Write about how self-reflection can increase happiness.
  25. Write about what you expected happiness to be versus how it truly is.
  26. Write about how to include the people in your life when finding happiness.

Tips for Expanding on these Writing Prompts:

  • Remember that your happiness is not what makes everyone else happy
  • Focus on helping others find what makes them happy
  • Talk about times you were unhappy frequently to drive the point home

Writing Prompts about Self-Esteem and Confidence

No matter who you are, you’ll experience moments of self-doubt and a lack of confidence.

Yes, even Beyonce has felt down about herself occasionally (though probably not often!).

The point is, writing about a lack of self-esteem and how to gain it is something everyone has experienced and therefore, everyone can relate to.

Here are 25 writing prompts about confidence:

  1. Write about accepting who you truly are and how it can change your life.
  2. Write about how to ignore societal expectations when they clash with who you are.
  3. Write about how to change your overall outlook to be more positive.
  4. Write about what it’s like to go from disliking yourself to truly loving yourself.
  5. Write about what it truly means to have complete confidence in yourself.
  6. Write about how to conquer inner demons in order to love yourself.
  7. Write about your journey to accepting your flaws and seeing them as strengths.
  8. Write about daily habits that will lead to overall confidence.
  9. Write about how bettering your health can increase the way you view yourself.
  10. Write about how physical appearance actually has little to do with confidence.
  11. Write about how journaling can relieve negative thoughts about yourself.
  12. Write about your journey with therapy and the quest to gain confidence.
  13. Write about alternative methods one can use to gain confidence.
  14. Write about how using certain essential oils daily can help with your mood and self-esteem.
  15. Write about the internal effects of a negative opinion of yourself.
  16. Write a workbook dedicated to making someone feel positive about themselves.
  17. Write about the negative impact toxic friends/family have on your self-esteem.
  18. Write about how toxic relationships can alter your self-esteem for the worse.
  19. Write about how to overcome a learned toxic thought-process when thinking about yourself.
  20. Write about how to introduce self-love into your life.
  21. Write about the difference your life can have if you have self-confidence.
  22. Write about struggling with self-esteem and how it can affect relationships.
  23. Write about how to know if you actually do love yourself or not.
  24. Write about how to use your passions to increase your confidence.
  25. Write about how to help someone else learn to how themselves.

Tips for Expanding on these Writing Prompts:

  • Be honest, real, and raw when writing about your experiences
  • Offer different solutions even if they didn’t work for you personally
  • Interview a psychology expert in order to further the book’s credibility
creative writing prompts of faith

Faith-Based Writing Prompts

Faith is a very personal journey for people. Whether you’ve been a lifelong believer or have recently stumbled into something that has changed your life, others have been there.

And they’ll want to read about it.

Here are 25 writing prompts about faith:

  1. Write about your faith and how you discovered its meaning.
  2. Write about how your faith changed your life.
  3. Write about how you learned to love yourself through your faith.
  4. Write about your journey from not having any faith to where you are now.
  5. Write a message to anybody who doesn’t think they have something to believe in.
  6. > Write a book to the person who helped you discover your faith.
  7. Write about how your faith shapes your family.
  8. Write about overcoming questioning your faith.
  9. Write about the unexpected realities of having strong faith.
  10. Write about how your faith can steer your career and life.
  11. Write about how much others can gain from pursuing faith.
  12. Write about your own struggles with faith and how you maneuvered them.
  13. Write about juggling faith, family, friends, and love.
  14. Write about how school impacted your faith negatively or positively.
  15. Write about common struggles with faith and how to overcome them.
  16. Write a memoir about your life’s journey to accepting faith.
  17. Write about being part of a family with split faith
  18. Write about friends or family not understanding your faith.
  19. Write about how there’s more to life than JUST your faith and how to avoid blinding yourself to it.
  20. Write about different faiths and how to separate differences.
  21. Write about what faith means to you and how you express it daily.
  22. Write a how-to guide for finding something to believe in.
  23. Write a guide for how to discover what’s truly meaningful to you with your faith.
  24. Write about how faith can give you a whole new family and a sense of belonging.
  25. Write about the differences in your life since believing in something bigger than you.

Tips for Expanding on these Writing Prompts:

  • This is a great time to be open and specific about your beliefs
  • Avoid shaming others in an attempt to get your message across
  • Tell deeply personal stories so others can relate

Writing Prompts about Personal Journeys

Everyone has a personal journey. No matter what you’ve been through, there is a lesson hidden within it.

You can use these writing prompts to not only discover more about yourself, but perhaps light the way for others to see and understand as well.

Here are 25 writing prompts about your personal journey:

  1. Write about a moment in your life that changed the way you saw the world.
  2. Don’t censor yourself and write about what you believe the meaning of life is.
  3. Write about the biggest struggle you’ve faced in life.
  4. Write about your journey to finding yourself and all you’ve learned.
  5. Write about life lessons you believe everyone should learn.
  6. Write about how you got to where you are in life and where you’ll go from here.
  7. Write about a tragedy you, unfortunately, lived through and how it has shaped you.
  8. Write about an internal struggle of yours and how you were able to solve it.
  9. Write about your pet/s and what they mean to you.
  10. Write about how you were able to accomplish so much by a young age.
  11. Write about your life and what lessons you learned that others should know.
  12. Write about what you’ve gained from networking throughout your life.
  13. Write about your top life values and how they contribute to happiness and success.
  14. Write about learning to live with something difficult or painful every day.
  15. Write a memoir about your unique life.
  16. Write a story to your younger self about life, love, and happiness.
  17. Write about conflict in your life and how you managed to get through it.
  18. Write about your life’s expectations versus its reality.
  19. Write about art and how it can show you a lot about yourself.
  20. Write about a time when you thought all was lost.
  21. Write about looking for the light in life instead of succumbing to darkness.
  22. Write about your journey to understand what it means to truly be alive.
  23. Write about how to conquer toxic desires.
  24. Write about your journey through sports and how they shaped you. 25. Write about your journey to write and publish a book 🙂

Tips for Expanding on these Writing Prompts:

  • Don’t censor yourself
  • Talk to a therapist or psychologist to better understand your own journey
  • Bring your real-life experiences into play

WHAT TO DO NEXT – IF YOU’RE SERIOUS

Having the book idea isn’t all it takes to write a great book. You need the ins and outs of the process, how to start your outline, and even what to do in order to take this idea to a finished, published product.

Here’s what you can do right now to get started!

#1 – Download your FREE master list of writing prompts

We have two lists for you. Each is a list of over 200 unique writing prompts. You’ll recognize a few on the list from this blog post but many more you have not seen.

No matter which genre you want to write in or if you write fiction or nonfiction, these creative writing prompts can help you develop a book idea that can turn into a captivating, intriguing story.

#2 – Sign up for your FREE training

Writing prompts can only get you so far. Without the proper system in place, those ideas won’t really get to see the light of day.

And as much fun as it can be to allow them to live inside your mind, it’s even more fulfilling to see them on paper – and in the hands of raving fans.

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

Spots are limited!

Click Here to Save Your Spot

You don’t want to miss out on all he has to offer because once you watch this, you’ll be able to put these creative writing prompts to use.

#3 – Get started on your mindmap!

You’re ready to get to work on your mindmap, also known as a rough outline of what your plot will look like.

We have a great fiction mindmap template right here for you to download – for free!

This will help you get started with the brainstorming process and before you know it, you’ll have a fully completed outline that’s ready for you to start writing!

Writing prompts can be very powerful ways to start a novel! How did you come up with your book idea and how much has it changed or grown from its conception?

writing jobs

Writing Jobs: How to Make Money Writing Online in 2019

The options are out there.

Take it from someone who figured out how to make a living writing after only a few months…you can do it the same way I did (which I’ll explain in this post).

Do you want to work from home?

Do you want to work for yourself?

Do you want to make a living doing something meaningful and fulfilling?

The answer is obvious and the only question is…

How?

Whether you want to be your own boss, spend your day doing something you love and are good at, or even if you’re just looking for a new career opportunity, learning how to make money writing and which writing jobs are even available to you is worth it.

writing jobs

How to Make Money Writing

So you’ve already determined you want to write. You love it, it’s fulfilling, and you don’t despise it nearly as much as you do that 9-5 you’ve got now (or are still avoiding like the plague).

Firstly, that’s fantastic (we love writing here at Self-Publishing School, if you haven’t noticed)!

Secondly, now the work begins because writing jobs won’t just start falling from the sky and landing in your lap.

And that’s why you’ll have to learn how to make money writing, since there are far more opportunities than you think exist out there…

In this post, we’re going to cover:

  1. The highest paying writing jobs
  2. How to find writing jobs online
  3. Online and remote writing jobs (& how to find them!)
  4. Jobs for creative writers
  5. Blog writing jobs

By the end of this blog post, you’ll know exactly how to make money writing like our very own Student Coach here at Self-Publishing School, Lise Cartwright.

She makes a full-time income of over $4,000 per month just from her self-published books—and you can do the same.

What are the highest paying writing jobs?

Not all writing jobs are created equal. After all, there are many different forms of writing, all coming with their own price tags.

These are the highest paying writing jobs and our advice for breaking into them.

#1 – Author $$$$$

One of the best jobs with one of the highest earning potential is becoming an author.

This could be nonfiction or fiction, it doesn’t matter.

I understand that this one may come as a surprise. After all, the reputation of “starving artist” and the stigma against authors has to have been created for a reason.

But in today’s age, with technology and the possibility of self-publishing, making a large income as an author is not only realistic…

…it’s easily attainable with the right system.

Being a self-published author is far more lucrative than traditional publishing nowadays solely because it’s directly up to you how much you make.

The more you work and market and push for more book sales, the better you’ll do. And therefore, this has the highest earning potential.

NOTE: If you’re ready to become an author within the next 90 days to start earning what you’re worth, check out our VIP Self-Publishing Program, where we teach you exactly that!

Learn more about it here

#2 – Screenwriter $$$$$

If you’re someone who would rather write movies or TV shows than books or novels, this could be the path for you.

Screenwriters—especially if you work hard and make it to the “big leagues”—have extremely high earning potential.

A screenwriter writes TV shows and movies. Contrary to what many believe, there are typically several writers who work on one show and movie, but it’s not necessarily easy to become a Hollywood screenwriter.

That means if you work hard, play your cards right, and focus on committing to this path, you can potentially make a lot of money writing.

#3 – Content writer $$$$

If you’re looking for a great career as a writer, content writing is where it’s at.

Now, I may be biased (since this one is actually my job), but it’s a lucrative field to get into—especially nowadays.

Every company has a website. And as Russ Henneberry from DigitalMarket says, every business should have a blog.

And that means every business needs a writer for those blogs.

However, keep in mind that content writing is more than just writing. There’s a lot of information about SEO you need to learn if you want to be effective at your job.

That being said, it’s a growing field and you can even find remote jobs.

#4 – Technical writer $$$

Not many people realize there’s a lot of opportunity in this department.

What is a technical writer? This is a person who knows how to take complex topics and condense them into easy-to-understand jargon for the layman.

This includes writing in the fitness field, medical, psychological, law, and many more.

If you have a set of specialized knowledge, seek writing jobs for companies looking to break it down so anyone can understand it.

How to Find Writing Jobs Online

The best method for finding writing jobs is to hit up the internet.

You’re bound to have better luck searching online than any other way. And with so many different job sites and apps out there, it’s worth diving into a few to see what jobs are available.

Here are a few of the best websites to find high paying writing jobs:

These are also reliable places to find freelance writing work, however, you will often be paid less for these jobs and they’re typically short jobs:

When it comes to searching for writing jobs online, you have to keep in mind that some people will be more reliable than others.

Our first list covers places you can find writing jobs that are typically much better pay and longevity than the websites in our second list.

However, don’t dismiss Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer completely. I personally got my start on them!

Online and Remote Writing Jobs

What sounds better than working from the comfort of your own home, and even from bed, with nothing more than a laptop in front of you?

Almost nothing.

As someone who works remotely and as a writer, it’s extremely convenient and enjoyable to do what I love.

If you’re wondering where to get started, here’s a list of remote writing jobs you could potentially have:

  • Content Manager
  • Content Editor
  • Content Writer
  • Copywriter
  • Technical Writer
  • Speech/Script Writer
  • Transcriptionist
  • Academic Writer
  • Columnist
  • Grant Writer
  • Proposal Writer
  • Translator
  • Social Media Manager
  • Film Critic
  • Food Critic
  • Proofreader
  • Editor
  • Travel Writer
  • Ghost Writer

This list could go on, but this is great starting point for you to pinpoint what interests you. From there, you can learn how to find these types of jobs.

How to Find Online and Remote Writing Jobs:

If you’ve decided what you want to write about, it’s your job to do research so you can find the best job that fits what you’re looking to do.

There are two methods for finding writing jobs online:

  1. Outreach – you personally find websites and platforms you want to work for and reach out via email cold pitching your writing services.
  2. Respond to job postings – this is the more traditional method in which you visit job boards (like the ones listed above) and respond to job postings with your resume.

Outreach for Writing Jobs:

This method often takes the most finesse in order to get right. After my stint with Upwork and Fiverr ended, personally used outreach to land some of my most consistent and highest paying clients.

Here’s how you can do outreach to land writing jobs:

  1. Determine your niche and the type of content you want to write. This can be beauty, fashion, education, parenting, movies, television, fitness, lifestyle, and any category you’re interested in. We recommend choosing one you both enjoy and know a lot about (less research means you can do more and therefore get paid more).
  2. Visit websites you know have content in this niche. For example: if you want to write about food and travel, Thrillist.com might be your best bet. Choosing a niche like wellness might land you on sites like TheGreatist.com. If you’re not sure which sites cover your niche, just do a quick google search for, “[your niche] websites”.
  3. Scroll down to the very bottom of the site’s homepage and look for “write for us” link. Not all websites will have this but many that are primarily content usually have a means for you to write for them, as seen in the example below from IntrovertDear.com.

  4. Click on the “write for us” or equivalent page. Read over their guidelines to see if this is a good fit for you. If you want to know about compensation and they don’t list any, simply location a contact email or fill out a contact form and ask!
  5. Cold pitch your idea. Technically, since they are accepting writers, it’s not considered a “cold” pitch, but you do still have to sell them on your ideas. Focus on what they can gain from working with you and less on you. This becomes easier with experience and proven results.

Responding to Job Postings for Writing Jobs:

This one is just like any other job you apply for online.

After searching for writing jobs via the job boards listed above, simply send in your resume and CV if applicable.

A few tips to optimize your resume for writing jobs:

  • Be unique and creative with its appearance
  • Focus on the results your writing has obtained
  • List technical writing skills in addition to just “writing”
  • Make sure to mention your knowledge and experience with SEO (which you’ll need for almost any online writing job)
  • Be humorous and let your style come out

Here’s an example of my personal resume that landed me this writing job.

writing jobs resume

As you can see, I tailored it to this company’s branding and made sure to focus on getting my own personality on the page (address/company info is hidden).

The trick is to find jobs that you’re a good fit for and where your style and voice will fit in the best.

Jobs for Creative Writers

There are more jobs for creative writers than you think.

Many of us automatically think “author” when we think of creative writing. And while an author is one of the best options, it’s not the only one.

NOTE: If you do want to write creatively as an author, make sure to check out our VIP Fiction Self-Publishing Program so you can get started in the next 90 days!
Learn more about it here

Here are some of the many jobs available to creative writers:

  • Author
  • Short story writer
  • Creative writing teacher
  • Story blogger
  • Playwright
  • Children’s book author
  • Novelist
  • Ghostwriter
  • Editor
  • Journalist
  • Social Media Manager

Creative writing doesn’t limit your options as a writer. All writing needs some creativity thrown in there and these jobs allow you to do that.

Blog Writing Jobs

With the invention and high utilization of the internet, every single website needs writers.

There are two options when it comes to blog writing jobs:

  1. Create your own blog
  2. Write for another blog

How to Find Blog Writing Jobs:

Blog writing jobs are everywhere. Whether a website advertises that they’re hiring or not, you can often wiggle your way into writing for them.

In the section above about performing outreach for online writing jobs, we highlight the system of cold pitching, which involves visiting websites and looking for a “write for us” page at the bottom.

If you can’t find this page, you can use tools like Hunter.io in order to locate email address in which you can pitch to.

jobs for writers

Here are a few tips for finding blog writing jobs in your area of expertise:

  • Determine your writing niche
  • Google “[your niche] websites” in order to find sites with your content
  • You can also try Googling “[your niche] write for us” to locate their specific writing page
  • Read their content to determine if your voice/style is a good match
  • Look at their blog posts and determine if there’s an area of weakness you can strengthen

Doing these things will ultimately help you find the best writing job for you.

Are you ready to get started?

If you want to make a living writing, the best thing you can do is work toward a career where you’re writing for yourself.

After all, they’re your words and your mind, don’t you want to have the freedom to utilize them in any way you want?

If so, check out this training and you can make money from writing within the next 90 days.

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

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Are you a writer? What’s your job and how did you get it?

writing blogs

11 Best Writing Blogs to Master the Craft of Creative Writing

Writing blogs are some of the best resources to become a better writer, which let’s be real, is the goal of all writers.

You already know this:

Writing is hard.

It’s so difficult, in fact, that there are countless writing tips and resources online dedicated to helping you better understand and improve the craft.

We here at Self-Publishing School are even committed to giving you the best advice out there.

But we wanted to offer you more by highlighting blogs about writing that contain solid advice for writing.

writing blogs

We’ve compiled a list of the best writing blogs on the internet for you to learn and grow from.

Here are the best writing blogs we’ll cover for you:

  1. The Write Life
  2. Writer’s Digest
  3. Write to Done
  4. The Write Practice
  5. Count Blogula by Jenna Moreci
  6. The Creative Penn
  7. Terribleminds by Chuck Wendig
  8. Daily Writing Tips
  9. Better Novel Project
  10. Well-Storied
  11. Shayla Raquel

If You’re Ready to Start Writing NOW – Watch This First

Don’t waste any more writing time than you already have.

Before we get into the meat of which writing blogs are the best and what unique qualities they have to offer, let’s set you down the path for success.

You’re here because you want to learn which blogs about writing are the best.

We get it. In fact, we already put together a free training guide for you with all the information you need to know.

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

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Click Here to Save Your Spot

Best Writing Blogs for Tips and Advice

If you’re not quite serious yet about getting your book published yet, we’ve put together a list of the best writing blogs to learn how to write a book from.

Let’s dive into exactly what these writing blogs have to offer and why you should be paying close attention to them if you want to improve your writing, start your book, and publish it on Amazon (or wherever else you want to publish it through)!

#1 – The Write Life

If you’ve been searching through for writing blogs long enough, you’re probably already aware of all The Write Life has to offer.

This blog about writing is a fantastic resource for writers of all kind.

writing blogs the write life

Whether you’re looking to write a book for the first time or jump into the freelance writing community, The Write Life has you covered.

They even have tips for blogging and marketing. All the bases are covered!

Make sure to check out their helpful writing blog posts and read the comments for extra help from their dedicated community.

Click here to check out this writing blog!

#2 – Writer’s Digest

If you love writing tips by writers, this is one of the top writing blogs to visit.

This writing blog is all about uncovering your potential through real, easy-to-follow blog posts that simplify more complicated issues in the writing community.

writing blogs writer's digest

They even host competitions, feature blog posts by editors, and give you insights to events they host or even attend.

If you’re someone who loves to physically join a writing group, you’ll love this writing blog and all it has to offer.

Click here to check out this writing blog!

#3 – Write to Done

There are a lot of different avenues writers have to be aware of when it comes to building a successful career from their work.

And Write to Done gives you just that!

writing blogs write to done

Being both a creative writing blog along with covering nonfiction writing, Write to Done teaches you how to master a number of different techniques and habits geared toward helping you succeed in the literary world.

You don’t want to miss out on all the writing advice they have to offer along with motivational material to help you keep it up.

Click here to check out Write to Done.

#4 – The Write Practice

The Write Practice is a massive source of helpful information for writers everywhere. They cover writing blog posts touching on topics revolving around key writing practices, writing exercises, and even writing prompts to get your mind stirring.

writing blogs the write practice

You won’t be without help with The Write Practice.

Not only do they offer free help through their blog posts, but they also have programs, writing contests, and help involving your author platform in general.

Click here to check out The Write Practice.

#5 – Count Blogula by Jenna Moreci

Jenna Moreci is an Award-Nominated Self-Published Author with two novels on Amazon, in libraries, and on shelves all over the country.

Count Blogula is her writing blog where aspiring authors congregate to ask specific writing, marketing, and publishing questions to be answered by this wildly successful Youtuber and Self-Published Author.

writing blogs jenna moreci

Moreci is honest (sometimes brutally – in the best way), real, and lets all writers know what it truly takes to make a career out of writing.

Head on over to her blog if you want to scroll through pages and pages and pages of free writing advice by someone who has been through it all before.

Click here to check out Count Blogula by Jenna Moreci.

#6 – The Creative Penn

If your goal is to make writing a job, it’s worth giving The Creative Penn a read.

This website has writing blog posts covering topics from genre-specific writing advice to marketing to publishing tips.

writing blogs the creative penn

Joanna Penn is an Award-nominated, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and she runs The Creative Penn to teach others how to reach her level of success with their books.

She has a number of writing-specific books available for purchase along with podcasts, courses, specific tools, and more. This is one of the best blogs about writing to add to your arsenal.

Click here to check out The Creative Penn.

#7 – Terribleminds by Chuck Wendig

Chuck Wendig has a must-acquire-a-taste-for personality. He’s curt, brutal, and gives humor to his writing tips and advice for aspiring authors.

His writing blog covers topics ranging from his own personal work and the work of others to help you specifically ask for.

writing blogs terribleminds

You’ll never be bored with Wendig’s unique delivery style and real advice.

Click here to check out Terribleminds by Chuck Wendig.

#8 – Daily Writing Tips

Daily Writing Tips is exactly as it sounds; they give writing tips for aspiring authors daily.

Their advice ranges from writing-specific to motivation to oddities, like words that Shakespeare invented.

writing blogs daily writing tips

If you’re someone who wants to improve the craft of writing with very specific tips and tricks, this is the place to frequent. You’ll never want for more help with Daily Writing Tips.

Click here to check out Daily Writing Tips.

#9 – Better Novel Project

If you love doodles along with writing tips, this is the site for you.

Better Novel Project has a number of different writing blog posts centered around helping you become a better writer.

writing blogs better novel project

From NaNoWriMo content to blog posts all about genres, writer life, character development, and even writing scene-specific details.

It’s easy to get lost the abundance of content available for you on this writing blog – so be careful, but get your fill.

Click here to check out Better Novel Project.

#10 – Well-Storied

Kristen Kieffer is the author behind Well-Storied, as well as an author of fantasy and writing resources.

Not only does she offer great writing advice, but her dedication to helping writers uncover their true abilities is nearly unmatched.

writing blogs well storied

You can check out her free courses, listen to the podcast, and even participate in her community chats.

Well-Storied has an abundance of help in the writing-world and you’ll be better off by tuning in regularly!

Click here to check out Well-Storied.

#11 – Shayla Raquel

Shayla Raquel’s writing blog is filled to the brim will knowledge regarding all aspects of writing. From prepping to writing to marketing, she has you covered.

writing blogs shayla raquel

As an editor and seasoned writer herself, Shayla works one-on-one with authors nearly every day. She has edited over 300 books and launched Amazon Bestsellers – making her experienced and competent!

Click here to check it out Shayla Raquel!

All of these writing blogs have something unique to offer that you won’t find any anywhere else. When it comes to learning any craft – especially writing – it’s important to broaden your search and learn as much as you can from as many talented minds as you can.

ARE YOU READY TO BECOME AN AUTHOR ON YOUR OWN?

Your writing blog and expertise could be up here one day with some of the best!

But you have to commit to taking action and writing your book first.

And we’re here to help you on your journey to write, market, and publish your book. But only if you’re serious about making this a reality.

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

Spots are limited!

Click Here to Save Your Spot

Do you have any favorite writing blogs? Comment them down below!

design book cover

Book Cover Design: Your Ultimate Guide for Memorable Book Covers

Are you a Richard?

Richard put hours upon hours into writing a book he was proud of. He had it edited, spent the time to have others beta read it, and was SO happy with the results.

But…of all the many hours he spent on his book, on the proofing and even self-publishing it on Amazon, the cover design was not even a whole one of them.

And that’s where he failed.

And that’s what his low book sales were reflective of.

You see, Richard knew the contents of the book were important. What he failed to realize, however, is that people do, in fact, judge a book by its cover.

In reality, according to The Book Smuggler, 79% of people say book cover designs play a decisive role in their decision to purchase a book.

So, are you a Richard…or will you learn what it takes to design a book cover that will sell your book?

Here are our tips for how to design a book cover:

  1. Cost of book cover design
  2. How long it takes to design a book cover
  3. 7 steps to design your own book cover
  4. 7 steps to hire a professional book cover designer
  5. Starting your book today

NOTE: We cover everything in this blog post and much more about the writing, marketing, and publishing process in our VIP Self-Publishing Program. Learn more about it here

How much does it cost to design a book cover?

On average, you can expect to spend anywhere from $50 – $500 for a book cover design that’s professionally crafted.

There are always (worthwhile) expenses you incur when self-publishing your book. The total cost of your book cover design will vary based on a few key factors.

These rates of a book cover design depend on the following criteria:

  • cover designer’s experience
  • how intricate your book cover is
  • the time it takes to design
  • how many options you want to choose from
  • the cover designer’s expertise with cover design
  • the cover designer’s demand for work

What you want to remember is that your book’s cover is its very first impression to the world. Investing in this is above almost anything else (aside from book editing).

How long does it take to design a book cover?

The length of time it takes to design a good book cover can vary from a few hours when making it yourself to a few weeks if you choose to hire a cover designer.

Overall, we recommend our students allot roughly three weeks from initial touchpoint to self-publishing your book in order to ensure your cover is fully complete before launching your book.

However, please keep in mind that if you hire someone to design your book cover, they may not have availability right away. Meaning, reach out a few months before you want to launch your book in order to hire someone.

Design your own book cover

If you’re not quite ready to put your book in the hands of a professional designer, we have methods to help you design your own book cover.

#1 – Develop book cover ideas

We all typically have a thought about what we want our book covers to look like. Sometimes we even save images to our phone of covers we really like or want to emulate.

Your first step for designing your own book cover is compiling all these ideas into a single place.

You can find book cover ideas in all of these places:

  • Pinterest – sign on to Pinterest and look up “book covers” to get a ton of brilliant covers all in one place. This is also a great place to create a board specifically to save book covers for future reference.
  • Goodreads – There are so many books on Goodreads for you to look at as covers inspiration. You can even simply add these to your “to be read” list in order to save them for reference as well.
  • Google book cover ideas – Others have already done the work for you! Just go to Google and type in “book cover inspiration” and click on the “images” tab to be greeted with tons of great options you can save.
  • Peruse Amazon in your book’s genre – This is by far the best method for coming up with book cover ideas. Simply go to your book’s genre by navigating to books > your genre > subgenre and look at the typical covers of bestselling books, like in the image below.
book cover design

#2 – Use free stock images for your book cover

Once you have an idea for your book, you may need to outsource the images by using free stock photo sites.

We highly recommend stock photos (if you can’t have professional ones taken) because they are readily available for use, unlike some you might find on Google and want to use.

Here are a few places you can get free photos for your book cover:

If you do want to up your game with stock photos, you can purchase licenses for the images (meaning oftentimes, you’re the only person who can use that image).

Here’s where you can find paid stock images:

#3 – Choose book cover fonts

Fonts matter! Depending on your genre, the style of your book, and even the vibe or voice you want to convey, your book cover fonts can make a major difference in how potential readers view your book.

For example, I used three different fonts to make up the covers in the images below. Depending on which font used, the title suddenly has a new meaning—and a new audience.

You have to make sure you’re using a font for your cover that coincides with its message, tone, and the audience you’re trying to reach.

#4 – Find the right book cover dimensions

You can’t design a book cover all willy nilly. The right book cover dimensions are crucial.

What are the proper book cover dimensions?

This is often your call and depends on your book formatting, but the most common paperback book dimensions are 6″ by 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm).

This doesn’t mean you have to use this size, but this is the most common size for a paperback book, and is Amazon’s default book dimension option if you publish through them.

Here are more book cover dimensions for the multiple platforms you may publish on:

Publishing PlatformFile FormatBook Cover Size (suggested)Cover Size Requirements
Amazon KDP
JPEG or TIFF- 2560 x 1600 pixels - Ratio of 1.6:1Between 1000 x 625 pixels AND 10000 x 10000 pixels. One side must be at least 1000 pixels long/wide.
Barnes & NobleJPG or PNG- Height and width of 1400 pixels minimum750 pixels minimum for height and width
Apple iBooksJPG or PNG- 1400 x 1873 px
- 1600 x 2400 px
1400 pixels wide as a minimum
Draft 2 DigitalJPEG- 1600 x 2400 pixelsTall rectangle of 1600 wide and 2400 pixels long
Kobo BooksJPG or PNG- 1600 x 2400 pixels1400 pixels wide as a minimum

#5 – Use free or paid cover design software

Now it’s time to put everything you’ve created and gathered together and design your actual book cover.

There are many different options to choose from, some of which don’t cost you additional money, while others do.

You don’t have to be an expert designer to create a great cover, but you do have to use certain methods to make it look like your book cover was designed by an expert (and we’ll cover professional book designs in a bit).

Using different design softwares, much like writing softwares, allows you to upload your work in a way that provides you with a clean finished results.

Here are our top free book cover designs softwares to use:

These are design softwares that are more advanced, and therefore not free:

#6 – Create 3 different cover options

Instead of creating one solid cover, make three very different cover options. You never know what your audience will find most appealing.

When you only make one cover, you’re limiting yourself to only one option, which might not be what’s best to maintain high book sales.

For that reason, we always recommend to our students to have at least three different book cover options available for them to narrow it down from.

#7 – Test your book cover options with an audience

You can’t possibly know what will resonate well with your audience. Sure, if you’ve done your book research on your specific genre, you’ll have a good idea, but that’s not always a sure thing.

We’re often too close to our books to accurately determine what’s best for it.

This is why we have someone else edit it. Fresh eyes can make a major difference on deciding what’s best.

We recommend joining a group (for our students, it’s our Mastermind Facebook group) or sending your cover options out to a group of people in order to get feedback.

Here’s an example of one of our students posting their cover for feedback in our group:

book cover design

Hire a professional book cover designer

Sometimes you just have to leave the professional work to, well, the professionals.

There are tons of advantages to using a professional book cover designer instead of doing it yourself:

  1. They can create custom designs, instead of using stock photos
  2. They have inside knowledge about the book cover world
  3. They will almost always make something of higher quality
  4. You can trust that your cover will be good for its genre

There are many ways you can go about hiring a cover designer, one of which we discuss in the video below, but following our steps for working with a professional will help you come away with the best book cover you can.

#1 – Put together book cover inspiration

Much like we discussed in the section on creating your own book cover, there are so many ways to find cover designs you like.

We mentioned perusing Pinterest, searching for book cover inspiration on Google, and even heading to your book’s genre on Amazon to find what covers are performing best.

The main difference when working with a professional designer is that you should compile these ideas somewhere you can share with them.

Ultimately, they will create a cover they know to be great for your book, but they also want to know your vision for the project as well.

#2 – Research popular book covers in your genre

We touched on this in the above section as well, but when looking for book cover ideas, spend some time to research what’s populat in your genere.

Your cover designer will likely have experience creating in your genre (if you chose one wisely, at least) and can help with this but giving them a starting point will help you get to the cover you’ve always wanted, faster.

#3 – Hire a book cover designer you like

Finding a cover designer can be tricky. Here are Self-Publishing School, we actually provide a Rolodex of talented book cover designers (as seen in the image below) in order to allow our students to cut down on expenses and time spent searching.

hire book cover designer

That being said, there are many methods for finding cover designers.

Here are the many places you can find book cover designers for hire:

Once you find a book cover designer you want to work with, the rest of this process continues.

#4 – Communicate your ideas about the book cover

Be as clear with your design as you can about what you want and expect for your book cover.

Remember, they’re not miracle workers, but if their experience is in line with what you’re looking for, be very upfront about what you want.

Share your book cover inspiration ideas with them in order to give them an idea of what to create for you.

Another thing they’ll ask is what your book is about. Give them the core elements, the style of it, and the tone you want it to have along with who your core audience is.

#5 – Ask for 1-3 options

At minimum, you should have 2 different cover options completed, though we highly recommend 3 in order to get a wider range of what you truly want.

This allows you to find the cover that BEST suits what you’re looking for.

Like in the example from our very own team member, Michael Lachance’s book, Land Your Dream Job, these cover design options should vary greatly from one another, and not just be different in their text or colors. Make this very clear to your designer—most offer 3-4 cover options within their packages already.

cover design

#6 – Test your book cover options with an audience

The above image is an example of getting feedback of your cover design. It’s always a good idea to run the final cover options through a feedback group in order to see what OTHER people resonate with.

Sometimes your target market will like a book cover that isn’t your favorite.

While it’s completely up to you which cover to go with, remember to keep your audience in mind. After all, your book is for them, not for you.

#7 – Finalize your cover options

The final step for your book cover design is to finalize it! Work with yoru designer to choose your favorite design, finalize the color and font options, and that’s it!

We recommend hosting a book cover reveal as a way to stir up more anticipation for your novel before your book launch as well!

Ready to start writing your bestselling book TODAY?

Book covers are just a single, albeit important, part of the book publishing process.

In order to do your book justice, check out our free training on how to write a bestselling book!

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

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how to copyright a book

How to Copyright a Book: Understanding Copyright Law as an Author

Knowing how to copyright a book — the right way — is something that scares the crap out of most authors!

After all, if you get it wrong, someone could steal your work and pass it off as their own. It’s practically an author’s worst nightmare – for good reason.

A lot of us get caught up in a confusing haze of copyright laws, infringement, and wondering how to stay out of hot water with the law and angry lawyers (okay, maybe it’s not that dramatic) while also protecting our book babies. Learning how to copyright a book can help alleviate all of that worry.

how to copyright a book

With the explosion of self-publishing, authors must be aware of what they can and can’t do when it comes to quoting, borrowing, and publishing works from other authors.

We’ll give you all the information and resources you need to protect yourself and your own work from being misused or stolen while keeping you from committing the same crimes against your fellow authors.

Here’s everything you need to know for how to copyright a book:

  1. Steps for copyrighting your books
  2. Create your copyright page
  3. Add disclaimers to your book copyright
  4. Fiction copyrighting
  5. Nonfiction copyrighting
  6. Memoir copyrighting
  7. Understand copyrighting legal terms
  8. 9 common book copyrighting questions

We’ll also look at the most frequently asked questions authors ask when it comes to copyright concerns, for both their own works and when borrowing from other sources.

It all begins with creating the copyright page in your book.

NOTE: We cover everything in this blog post and much more about the writing, marketing, and publishing process in our VIP Self-Publishing Program. Learn more about it here

Every author needs to copyright their book. This process shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes and it’s very easy with our steps.

Here’s are the steps to copyright your book for peace of mind:

  1. Go to the Copyright.gov portal
  2. On the left box, select “Literary Works”
  3. Navigate to “Register a Literary Work” on the right sidebar
  4. Select either “new user” or login with your account
  5. If you’re a new user, fill out your information
  6. Navigate to “Copyright Registration” on the left and select “Register A New Claim”
  7. Select “Start Registration”
  8. Fill out the copyright form
  9. Pay your $85 copyright fee to complete registration
  10. Submit your finished manuscript to the U.S. Copyright Office
how to copyright a book

That’s it!

Copyrighting your book is much easier than it seems

Create Your Copyright Page

The copyright page will appear in your book right after the title page and just before the table of contents. The copyright page needs to include some essential information in order to copyright your book.

The main components of your copyright page are:

  • The copyright notice. This has the little © symbol or you can use the word “copyright.” So it would look like this: ©2018 Jane Doe
  • The year of publication of the book
  • The name of the owner of the works, which is usually the author or publishing house name
  • Ordering information
  • Reservation of rights
  • Copyright notice
  • Book editions
  • Your website (You need a site where they can learn more about you, your other books, and other opportunities.)
  • Credits to the book (cover designer, editor)
  • Disclaimer

Disclaimers When Copyrighting Your Book

You may not think you really need a disclaimer but it’s essential for protecting yourself and potentially others.

So how does a simple sentence or two do this?

If you are writing a book on health and fitness, success as an entrepreneur, providing financial advice—anything that readers could fail at—an extended disclaimer is something you should consider.

If you give advice on earning a million dollars this year, and the reader ends up losing money, you could be blamed for their misfortune because of a promise you made. Consider putting an extended disclaimer in your book that comes after the copyright jargon to protect your opinions, advice, and information.

In other words, tell readers that they are reading your book and applying your advice at their own risk. The thing to be aware of that most authors don’t realize is that these don’t have to be boring.

On the contrary, the more personality these have, the more likely they’ll be read.

A disclaimer is meant to protect you, but it can’t hurt if your audience actually reads it.

Helen Sedwick did a great job collecting examples of authors who got creative with their disclaimers and made their work all the better for it.

Let’s take a look at some specific examples of different types of disclaimers for different types of books.

#1 – Fiction Copyright Disclaimer

The typical disclaimer you’ll find in works of fiction?

The characters in this book are entirely fictional. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.

How could this be “livened” up? See how Thomas Wolf in A Man in Full, acknowledges that parts of his story are from real life:

This novel’s story and characters are fictitious. Certain long-standing institutions, agencies, and public offices are mentioned, but the characters involved are wholly imaginary.

Or Margaret Atwood in Cat’s Eye tries to dispel readers’ assumption that the book is the alter-ego of the writer:

This is a work of fiction. Although its form is that of an autobiography, it is not one. Space and time have been rearranged to suit the convenience of the book, and with the exception of public figures, any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental. The opinions expressed are those of the characters and should not be confused with the author’s.

If you’ve written about a prominent figure that people might be familiar with and don’t want confusion over whether you’re now writing history or still sticking with fiction, you can approach it similar to D. M. Thomas dealt with using Freud as a character in The White Hotel:

The role played by Freud in this narrative is entirely fictional. My imagined Freud does, however, abide by the generally known facts of the real Freud’s life, and I have sometimes quoted from his works and letters, passim. The letters . . . and all the passages relating to psychoanalysis . . . have no factual basis.

Here’s an example of what your book copyright page would look like for a fiction book.

how to copyright a book example

#2 – Nonfiction Copyright Disclaimer

The typical disclaimer you’ll find in works of nonfiction?

The advice and strategies found within may not be suitable for every situation. This work is sold with the understanding that neither the author nor the publisher are held responsible for the results accrued from the advice in this book.

However, Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks found a way to get her disclaimer to speak to the honesty of the text:

This is a work of nonfiction. No names have been changed, no characters invented, no events fabricated.

A nonfiction book copyright page looks like this:

how to copyright a book nonfiction

#3 – Memoir Copyright Disclaimer

The typical disclaimer you’ll find in memoirs?

This book is memoir. It reflects the author’s present recollections of experiences over time. Some names and characteristics have been changed, some events have been compressed, and some dialogue has been recreated.

But in The Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolf, he buries his disclaimer in his acknowledgments. As he thanks those who read drafts of the book, he says:

I have been corrected on some points, mostly of chronology. Also my mother claims that a dog I describe as ugly was actually quite handsome. I’ve allowed some of these points to stand, because this is a book of memory, and memory has its own story to tell. But I have done my best to make it tell a truthful story.

This is what a copyright page looks from our own student, Nadine Blase Psareas’s memoir Hope Dealers, that you can emulate if you’re writing a memoir:

how to copyright a memoir

I know, I know…we would rather write books, rake in the cash, and sign autographs than worry about technical legal jargon.

I get it. It can seem boring but the better you understand how copyright law works, but the more you know, the more time you can spend writing without wondering, “Is this legal?”

Here are some legal terms to keep you informed on your rights as a self-publisher and protect your works:

  • Copyright infringement: is the use of works protected by copyright law without permission, infringing certain exclusive rights granted to the copyright holder, such as the right to reproduce, distribute, display or perform the protected work, or to make derivative works. The copyright holder is typically the work’s creator, or a publisher or other business to whom copyright has been assigned. Copyright holders routinely invoke legal and technological measures to prevent and penalize copyright infringement.

  • Intellectual property (or “IP”): is a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect, and primarily encompasses copyrights, patents, and trademarks. It also includes other types of rights, such as trade secrets, publicity rights, moral rights, and rights against unfair competition. Artistic works like music and literature, as well as some discoveries, inventions, words, phrases, symbols, and designs can all be protected as intellectual property.

  • Public Domain Work: refers to works whose exclusive intellectual property rights have expired, have been forfeited, have been expressly waived, or are inapplicable. For example, the works of Shakespeare and Beethoven, and most early silent films are in the public domain either by virtue of their having been created before copyright existed, or by their copyright term having expired. Some works are not covered by copyright, and are therefore in the public domain—among them the formulae of Newtonian physics, cooking recipes, and all computer software created prior to 1974. Other works are actively dedicated by their authors to the public domain; some examples include reference implementations of cryptographic algorithms, the image-processing software ImageJ, created by the National Institutes of Health, and the CIA’s World Factbook. The term public domain is not normally applied to situations where the creator of a work retains residual rights, in which case use of the work is referred to as “under license” or “with permission”.

  • Plagiarism: is the “wrongful appropriation” and “stealing and publication” of another author’s “language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions” and the representation of them as one’s own original work.

  • First Amendment (Amendment I): to the United States Constitution prevents Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise of religion, or abridging the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble, or to petition for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.

  • Fair use: in its most general sense, a fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner. In other words, fair use is a defense against a claim of copyright infringement. If your use qualifies as a fair use, then it would not be considered an infringement.

  • Libelous writing: can be personal libel or trade libel, which is also known as “product disparagement.” Product disparagement can include a product, service or entire company. Libelous statements, whether against persons or products, are published statements that are false and damaging. Slander is the same as libel in most states, but in spoken rather than written form. The terms “libel” and “slander” are often subsumed under the broader term “defamation.” It is a tort (a wrongful act) to harm another’s reputation by defaming them.

Before you publish your next book, take a few minutes to read over this “brief” report from the United States Copyright Office.

You can also check out this handy guideline for authors from Wiley on what needs permission vs. what you can use without asking.

When in doubt, consult with legal counsel or take the time to research the material you are either protecting or planning to borrow from another source. The time invested could save you an embarrassing or costly situation down the road.

Knowing what you can and shouldn’t do is a critical part of the publishing business.

When you write and publish your own works, you are now in business for yourself, and business owners protect their property by learning how to copyright a book the right way.  Don’t make things harder for yourself!

Like this post? Sign up below for a FREE video course and learn how to go from blank page to bestseller in 90 days!

How to Copyright a Book: The 9 Most Common Questions

Nowadays, with the massive expansion of self-publishing, it is more important than ever for authors, artists, and creatives putting their work out there to ensure that it is fully protected.

When we borrow work from other authors, living or dead, we have to consider:

  1. What can I actually use?
  2. When is permission needed?

Here is the golden rule when it comes to copyright laws: Never assume that anything is free!

Everything out there, including on the internet, has been created by someone. Here are common questions authors have about protecting themselves, their works, and others they may have quoted in their books:

#1 – Do I have to register my book before it is copyrighted?

Your book is legally copyrighted as soon as it is written.

But, to scale up your legal rights and protect your material to the fullest extent, register your book with the Federal Copyright Office.

On the chance someone does attempt to pirate your book or portions of it, registering with the US Copyright Office will give you greater leverage if it comes to action being taken.

#2 – How many words can I quote from another book or source?

Generally speaking, there are no set rules on how much you can actually “borrow” from existing works. But, it’s best to exercise common sense here and keep it short, as a general rule under 300 words.

Paul Rapp, a lawyer specializing in intellectual property rights, says that, “if the quote drives your narrative, if you are using an author’s quote in your argument, or if you are giving an opinion on an author’s quote, then it is considered fair use.”

What is fair use? A legal concept that allows the reproduction of copyrighted material for certain purposes without obtaining permission and without paying a fee or royalty. Purposes permitting the application of fair use generally include review, news reporting, teaching, or scholarly research.

If you use something published by someone else with the sole purpose of monetary gain, this doesn’t constitute fair use.

#3 – Can I write about real people?

Especially in works of nonfiction, real people are often mentioned to express an opinion or as an example to clarify the writer’s fact or opinion. Generally, you can use the names of real people as long as the material isn’t damaging to their reputation or libelous.

Stick to the facts and write about what is true based on your research.

#4 – Can I borrow lyrics from songs?

Stephen King often used song lyrics for his books including Christine and The Stand. He obtained permission for these works. King says, “Lyrics quotes in this book [Christine] are assigned to the singer most commonly associated with them. This may offend the purist who feels that a song lyric belongs more to the writer than the singer.”

Basically, song lyrics fall under strict copyright even if it is just a single line used. Try to get permission if you use a song.

You can contact the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) or Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI). Once you find the rights owner, you have to ask for permission through writing.

#5 – Do I need permission to borrow material from a book that is over 100-years-old?

Once the copyright on a book or material has expired, or the author has been dead for seventy years, the work enters into the public domain and you can use it without permission or licensing.

BUT this does vary from country to country. You can check the copyright office in the US here.

#6 – Are authors liable for content used in a book?

Yup.

Even with traditional publishing houses, the author is still responsible for the content written and used in the book.

In fact, traditionally published authors usually have to sign a waiver that removes the publisher from any liability pertaining to the material the author used if the writer included that material without proper permission.

And you already know, as a self-published author, you’re on your own.

#7 – If I use an inspirational quote from another writer or famous person, do I need permission?

You don’t need permission to use quotes in a book provided that you credit the person who created it and/or spoke the quote.

For example: “Is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream” – Edgar Allan Poe

#8 – What is the best way to protect my work from being stolen?

Your work is copyrighted as soon as it is written.

But you can register your work with the US copyright office. If you have a blog where you also post content, you need to have a Terms & Privacy disclaimer on your page.

This would preferably be at the top where it is easy to see, although many writers and bloggers include this at the bottom of every page.

You should also include your Copyright on your blog that protects your content from being “copied and pasted” into another site without permission or recognition.

#9 – A royalty free stock photo means that I can use it for free and don’t have to get permission, right?

Wrong.

Most stock photos are copyrighted, even if they appear in search engines and we can easily download or copy them.

If you grab a photo off the net and think you can slap it on a book cover or use it for free in your book, think again.

It’s recommended you purchase photos through sites such as Shutterstock or Depositphotos.

What to do Next?

So now you’ve got all the information you really need when it comes to knowing how to copyright a book. But where do you go from here?

#1 – Join your FREE training

There’s really no limit to the amount of knowledge you can have when it comes to getting a book written, marketed, and published.

Thankfully, Chandler Bolt has a wealth of information that he’s giving away FOR FREE!

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

Spots are limited!

Click Here to Save Your Spot

#2 – Finish your book

If it’s not already done, get on it! Writing a book can be difficult but we have a number of different resources available to make the process much easier –and faster.

Before you can really worry about knowing how to copyright a book, you have to actually have a book first. Get to work and put a schedule together so you can stay productive when writing your book.

#3 – Double check that you don’t violate any copyright laws

Depending on where you are in the book writing process, you have to check your work over to make sure you’re not using song lyrics without permission or violating any other copyright laws.

Do a once-over and, as always, make sure you work with an editor to ensure nothing is missed.

Do you have another question about copyrighting a book we didn’t answer above or any additional advice you’ve found helpful for you? Post it in the comments below!

launch team

How To Build and Manage Your Book Launch Team

When it comes to launching a bestselling book on Amazon, the biggest leverage an author can invest in is building a stellar book launch team.

Your launch team will receive an early bird copy of the book, read through it, and write an honest review to be posted when the book is live.

But a launch team can be much more effective in other ways too that we will look at in this post.

In this post, I will walk you through the steps for building, guiding and managing your book street team.

If you follow this system, you will be investing in the most critical part of your book launch, setting your book up for the long term success it deserves.

launch team

What is a Book Launch Team?

Your launch team, also known as a street team, is a group of people who are going to set you up for success when your book launches. They could be fans of your previous work, readers of your blog, friends who want to support you, or the members in your mastermind group.

And, ideally, a combination of all of the above.

The launch team has a massive impact on, not only the success of your book launch but, the long term success of the book. They are a group of people who are passionate about your book, your brand, and they want you to succeed as much as you do.

Your job, as the author of the book, is to guide your team to take action both before the book is launched and then during the launch window.

Why do you need a book launch team?

Launch team members will help you to get reviews during the launch and, help you to share the book launch as well as get downloads for your book.

If you have a weak launch, you have weak book sales and you’ll be forever struggling to drive traffic towards your book.

Your launch team will read the book before anyone else and prepare an honest review of the work to be posted during launch week. Amazon favors books with review activity.

The more Amazon reviews you can get posted, your book moves up the rankings faster and gets promoted by Amazon under the “books you also might like” section.

Reviews also increase book sales. If you manage to get 20-30 reviews in the first week, this would create serious momentum for your book rankings. It is the best social proof that your book is getting read and people are taking an interest in the content.

The bottom line: Reviews convince browsers to buy. Amazon will rank your book higher as well if there is activity taking place.

Building Your Team: Where do I recruit?

The question that I often get is, “Where do I find people to join my team?” This is a challenge if you don’t have much of a  following and have never launched a book before.

Let’s assume that this is your first book launch and you are looking for people to join your launch team. Where do we begin to build? Who can we ask?

Here are a few suggestions for building a book launch team:

  • Make a list of 20-30 people you can contact directly.These can be business contacts, online relationships, or subscribers to your email list. This list functions as your core team, what I call your level 1 launch team. They are the most committed to your launch. Perhaps they joined a previous launch you had and now they want to sign up for this one as well.
  • Post to your Facebook/Social Media Platforms/Mastermind Groups.This is where you can gather a lot of your level 2 launch team members. If you are going for a large launch team, this would be the next phase. If you want to keep it more personal and limit the number of people, just follow through with the first step and leave it at that.

Keep in mind, with your level 2 launch team, you could get anywhere from 20-200 people sign up. The reason we call it a level 2 group is, many of the people joining may not know you personally, but they have an interest in your book.

But the question is, how committed are they to following through?

It is just a fact that not everyone on your team is going to follow through. Maybe they didn’t like the book, they had no time to read it, or, they were uncertain what to do during the launch. There is the possibility that they won’t leave a review for whatever reasons.

This is why we have to be clear with our launch team as to:

  • What actions to take
  • When to take it, and;
  • How to implement the action plan

The best you can do is encourage people throughout the launch and keep the pressure momentum turned on. This is where team incentives and providing value will deliver in the end.

When people feel as if they are a part of something important, they are more likely to follow through.

Team Incentives: What to offer?

This is the part of the process in launch building that you can really make a difference to the strength of your team. By adding incentives to what you can give your team, you will increase the commitment of your team.

Decide what you will give to your team to offer quality incentives that makes them feel a part of the team.

What can you offer a launch team?

Check out Kevin Kruse’s post “Sample invitation to build a launch team.” In this invitation to join his street team, Kevin offered up a bundle of incentives to the launch team when he published 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management.

Some of these perks included membership into a Mastermind Group on Facebook and an exclusive “ask me anything” webinar before the launch.

Likewise Michael Hyatt, when he launched Living Forward, offered launch members an exclusive look into how the book launch was structured as well as access to a special 30-minute group phone session with him prior to launching the book.

So, what you can offer your launch team is:

  1. The digital version of the book way before anyone else sees it. This can be in PDF or Mobi file. For creating a PDF or mobi file of the book, check out the free calibre software.
  2. A free hardcopy of the book delivered right to your door.
  3. A free webinar or a facebook Live Q&A session: you can get close and personal with your team by hosting a live webinar where you talk about the book, get into behind-the-scenes strategies of the launch, and share inside tactics that nobody else can get.
  4. Exclusive access to a private Facebook group. Here you can post videos, share posts, and converse with your team in real time as they get excited about the launch
  5. Free training videos based on the content of your book
  6. Additional freebies that you want to share with your team.
  7. An advance copy of a workbook that you will be offering to subscribers
  8. Early access to course material that won’t be available until the book is launched.

The goal is to provide your team with a lot of value so that they know they are part of something important. This will increase the level of commitment you will get from members reading and promoting the book during launch week.

Building a Quality Launch Team

When it comes to launch team members joining your team, it isn’t about the numbers. It is the quality of the team. It is much better to have 40 people who are committed than 200 that just sign up and don’t do anything.

You want your team to be involved and take action. So, how do you build a quality street team fully committed to launching your book to bestseller status?

Here are four strategies for building a quality launch team:

  1. Reach out to people personally. By contacting people you know on a personal basis you can get a solid commitment from that person with a personal email.
  2. Create an application form process. This creates a barrier to entry. The people who are serious players will fill out and commit. You can check out an application form template right here. In the application process you let the potential member know what is expected and what they will be responsible for. The application process creates accountability and exclusive access to the launch team material.
  3. Invite people who you have worked with and trust, such as podcasters, bloggers and influencers, to help you with the launch.
  4. Create a team of committed reviewers and promoters to set the launch on fire when it takes off.

How to Manage Launch Team Expectations

This is when you are up front with the launch team about what is to be expected during the launch. What actions are you asking them to do? On what days will they take these actions? What is at stake as far as the success of the book is concerned.

Remember: The success of your launch plan is critical, and the launch team is the all-important component to making it happen.

Expectations should be made clear from the beginning. When you put up a post for early bird readers, let them know that taking action is a must. This is the big ask and what you will expect from the team if they are selected to join your launch.

Here is what you could ask of your launch team:

  1. Read the book before the launch day. Provide feedback if they pick up on such as formatting problems, misspellings, etc…
  2. Write up an honest review of the book and post it during launch week.
  3. Share word of the launch through your social platforms, mentioning the book in a weekly blog post, and starting a discussion about the book in chat forums. This could also include tweets, Facebook posts, or post the cover to Pinterest and Instagram.
  4. Share promotional ideas within the launch group. This is where a Facebook Group would come in. Members can easily post ideas and swap strategies for promoting the book.
  5. Take a photo of you holding up a copy of the paperback. This would require that the paperback be ready in advance to send to select team members so they have time to take the photo before launch.

Provide your team with a list of action strategies they can take during launch week. Let them choose what strategies they like and fits into their schedule. You can encourage the team by adding a points system.

The members who take action and complete each promotional strategy earn a number of points. This could lead to receiving even more freebies.

Launch Team Communication

Now that you have your team together with emails, you have set the expectations and outlined the launch plan, now you have to decide how you will communicate with your team.

People need to feel connected to you during the launch or else they lose interest and you lose the trust of your team. Set up your method of communication and invite everyone into the launch.

Email Campaign

Set up at least 6-10 emails to be delivered throughout the launch. You can add your team emails to a campaign in your email service provider such as Mailchimp, Mailerlite or Convert Kit. You can set up email autoresponders to go out on certain dates, or customize your emails as you go.

Launch Team Emails: How often and how many?

One question that comes up often is, “how many emails do I send out, how often and what should the content look like? Once again, if you are running a Facebook Group and using that as your main source of communication, I still recommend you have a set of emails set up to be delivered throughout the launch.

I send out an email every second day.

Here is a breakdown of what these launch team emails would look like:

  • Email #1: Welcome Email: Includes Intro to the team and the PDF of the book.
  • Email #2: How is the book reading? General overview of the launch plan.
  • Email #3: 5 Days Before Launch. Include a video of how to leave a review on Amazon
  • Email #4: The day before launch—Are you ready?
  • Email #5: LAUNCH DAY! It is time to take action.
  • Email #6: Review reminder, update on book status and current ranking.
  • Email #7: Final reminder. Leave a review and FREE paperback giveaway reminder.
  • Email #8: Final email. Thank you for joining the launch team.

What you want to do is take time to customize your own emails. You can space the emails out accordingly. I like to keep them balanced so that the team is getting the support they need without feeling too overwhelmed.

Facebook Group

A group you can add your members to for easy access and communication. You can post regularly and easily add video and communicate with regular updates. Members can, as we mentioned, share ideas for promoting the book during the launch day.

Even if you do a Facebook Group, I recommend sending out regular emails regardless. Not everyone is going to be into joining a Facebook Group, so communicating with regular emails set up to be delivered on select dates will cover all the bases.

Sending Out Your Book to Your Launch Team

There are three ways you can get the advance copy to your team.

PDF Form. Attach the PDF to the welcome email if you are delivering it this way. For larger files, you can drop the book in Dropbox and share the link with your team. Dropbox allows people to download the book without having to sign up for an account.

Bookfunnel.com This is a great way to deliver your book. BookFunnel has a yearly subscription fee but it’s worth it if you launch regularly. The basic price is $20 a month for 1 pen name and 500 downloads per month. You can check out the features of bookfunnel right here.

The pigeonhole. I’ve used the pigeonhole before and I really liked it. How it works is like this. You upload your book in PDF form to the team at Pigeonhole. You provide them with your launch team emails and then, Pigeonhole posts a chapter a day of your book on their site. Members read right on line and can comment on the book as they work through it.

This is a great platform for improving the quality of the book as well. Early readers catch the small mistakes that were missed and you can fix everything up before launching.

4 Common Launch Team Mistakes to Avoid

In order to make the most of your launch team, there are different mistakes we see often that you want to avoid.

#1 – Sending out emails with long gaps in between

You want to be consistent in communicating with your launch team. Long gaps in between emails will result in people losing interest and not following through when they should. I average an email every 2-3 days. For a Facebook group, you could post something everyday, even if it is just a short blurb.

#2 – Failing to set expectations

Remember the list of expectations we looked at in the beginning? By not setting your expectations you are leaving the launch wide open to chaos. Be sure people know what they need to do and when they need to do it. Don’t just assume people will take action. They need you, the author, to lead them. Be upfront and let them know they are with you until the end to take action.

#3 – Setting your initial price point too high

Okay, you might think this is common sense but, you want to launch your book right away at the lowest price point possible. That would be 0.99, and then possibly free after you’ve set set your promo up in the KDP dashboard.

If your price is upwards of $5-10, people may not download it. You want your price to be low so the launch team especially can download it to leave a verified purchase.

When it comes to Amazon rankings, a book that has the verified purchase tag weighs more than a non verified review. Make it easy for people to download. Set your price low and get the rankings moving. You can increase your price point after the launch.

#4 – Giving unclear directions

You want everything to be so easy for your team that it can literally run itself. What this means is, setting up all the steps so that people know exactly what to so. Some of the questions I have had from team members were:

Where do I leave  review?

How do I leave a review?

Where is the link for the book?

What is this Goodreads website?

You can eliminate confusion and wasting time answering basic questions by setting up the steps so it is like paint-by-numbers. For example, shoot a short video of how to set up a review.

Walk people through the process. Video is a fantastic way to visually teach the steps and can be done easily. You can then post it in the Facebook feed or embed the link in an email to be downloaded from Dropbox or Vimeo.

It all comes down to planning ahead. By foreseeing possible problems that can slow down your launch, prepare ahead of time and set your team up for success.

The Power of Sharing

Swipe Copy for Your Team is a set of pre-formatted/written emails and/or posts that the launch team can use to share either via email or online. You want this to be as simple as possible so people can just copy and paste to their social media platforms or deliver by email without it taking too much of their time.

The easier it is for your team to deliver, the better.

Create swipe copy for your book launch and make this available to your team via dropbox or upload to your Facebook Group. The swipe copy should be easy to use and provide material for sharing online or via email.

You should include specific instructions as to how to use the swipe copy. Not everyone has used this before and you will get questions from people if they have difficulty.

I would recommend shooting a short video explaining how to set this up on launch day. Show people how easy it is. Encourage them to share where they can and as often as possible.

If each of the people on you team threw up a post on their Facebook page, and they had an average of 500 friends each, that would exponentially share your book with a large community that you otherwise wouldn’t have had access to.

Setting up a Launch Team Roster for Future Books

Once the launch is over, your facebook group will most likely be disbanded. You could try to keep it going but after the launch is over, but without a specific purpose for the group that extends beyond the launch, it is a lot of work to keep the interest going.

This is where a long term strategy for your books could be put into play.

Are you planning to launch another book? Do you want to use some of your core launch members for another book launch?

In that case, you could set up a street team of reviewers that are ready to support you on, not only this launch, but all future launches.

Remember: a launch team is more than just getting someone to review your book. You could take the relationship to the next level. Consider setting up a private facebook group for people who want to stay in touch and support your work in future launches.

And, if they agree to this, it will be far easier to tap into a group that is already in place then recruiting new members.

Build Your Launch Team [Master Checklist]

Here is a review of the steps to build your launch team.

  1. Reach out to at least 20-30 people directly to begin the recruitment process. Ask for permission to put them on your launch team.
  2. Expand to social media circles like Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.
  3. Put together an incentive package: free digital copy, paperback, question and answer group call, or a sneak peak at the launch behind-the-scenes.
  4. Choose your method of communication: email, a Facebook group, or both. [Both methods are recommended together]
  5. Be clear about your expectations for the launch [launch goals for reviews, ranking, and book sales]
  6. Create a series of emails to send to your group. You can set these up beforehand or create as you go for a more ‘on-the-spot customized feel.
  7. Decide the method to deliver emails: gmail template or email server campaign template [recommended]. You can use Mailchimp, free up to 2000 subscribers.
  8. Prepare a “Welcome to my launch teamVideo or Post.
  9. Send out your Welcome Email. This includes the digital copy of the book. In your email outline the expectations for being on the launch team.
  10. Create a “Swipe File” for the team to share. Deliver this to your team the day before launch.
  11. Keep track of your team emails using an excel sheet.
  12. Send out a “review reminder” a week after the launch.
  13. Final email/posting: Thank your team for their support during the launch. Follow up on any final incentives promised.
  14. Stay in touch with members of your team. Continue to build relationships with people so that your book launch can get bigger with every new book release.

Learn How to Launch Your Book for SUCCESS

Now that you have a roadmap for setting up your launch team, it is time to get to work. Remember that the best time to start building your team is right now.

Work on your relationships with people interested in your material. Connect with other authors and begin to get the word out about your upcoming book launch. It is never too early to start.

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

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how to write poetry

How to Write a Poem: 8 Fundamentals for Writing Poetry That’s Meaningful


Learning how to write a poem is debatably one of the hardest forms of creative writing to master—there are so many “rules”, but at the same time, no rules at all.

Confusing, right?

Despite the challenge, writing poetry is a very fulfilling creative venue, and we have exactly what you’re looking for to learn how to nail this art form.

Because poetry is so specific to the artist, knowing how to write a poem in your own way can be tricky.

Here’s how to write a poem using our fundamentals of poetry:

  1. Understand the benefits of writing poetry
  2. Decide which type of poetry to write
  3. Have proper poem structure
  4. Include sharp imagery
  5. Focus on sound in poetry
  6. Define the poem’s meaning
  7. Have a goal
  8. Avoid clichés in your poems
  9. Opt for minimalistic poems
  10. Refine your poem to perfection

If you’re ready to learn what it takes to write (and then potentially publish a book of) good poetry, we’ve got the help you need.

NOTE: We cover everything in this blog post and much more about the writing, marketing, and publishing process in our VIP Fiction Self-Publishing Program.
Learn more about it here

Benefits of Learning How to Write a Poem

Even if you aren’t looking to become a full-time poet, or even attempt to publish a single poem, writing poetry can be beneficial in several ways.

  1. It strengthens your skills in writing solid imagery. Poetry is a very image-based form of writing, so practicing poetry will improve your imagery in other forms as well.
  2. Poetry is concise and impactfulit uses strong language, and no more words than are necessary. If you have an understanding of how to write a poem, your prose when writing a novel will become crisper and stronger.
  3. Poetry helps you to connect with emotions in a tangible way. Other forms of writing have the plot to hide behind—with poetry, all you’ve got are emotions. (Unless it’s a narrative poem, of course.)
how to write a poem

Types of Poetry

Not all types of poetry are the same, and that means learning how to write a poem involves being familiar with the different types.

Here are the different types of poetry:

  1. Narrative this kind of poem relies on a story. It tells an event and there are often a few extra elements, such as characters, a plot, and a strong narration.
  2. Lyrical a lyric poem is similar to a song, and it tends to describe a specific feeling, scene, or state of mind.

You may be familiar with these different types of poetry. For example, a lyrical poem is actually a song. Listening to your favorite radio station is just like hearing a collection of your favorite poems being read to you with some background music.

A narrative poem is, as mentioned above, more like a story told in poetic prose.

Here’s a small example of a part of Edgar Allen Poe’s famous poem, The Raven:

writing poetry

8 Fundamentals for How to Write a Poem

Poetry can often be subjective. Not every poem will speak to every person.

That being said, there are different attributes that you should learn if you want to know how to write poetry well regardless.

#1 – Structure of writing a poem

The structure of a poem can refer to many different things, but we’re going to discuss some different forms of poetry, how to use punctuation, and last words.

Form of a Poem

The form of your poem is the physical structure. It can have requirements for rhyme, line length, number of lines/stanzas, etc.

Here are different types of poetry forms:

  • Sonnet A short, rhyming poem of 14 lines
  • Haiku A poem of 3 lines where the first is 5 syllables, the middle is 7 syllables, and the last is 5.
  • Acrostic A poem where the first letter of each line spells a word that fits with the theme of the poem or exposes a deeper meaning.
  • Limerick – This is a 5-live witty poem with the first, second, and fifth lines rhyme as do the other two with each other.
  • Epic – This type of poetry is a lengthy narrative poem celebrating adventures or accomplishments of heroes.
  • Couplet – This can be a part of a poem or stand alone as a poem of two lines that rhyme.
  • Free verse – This type of poem doesn’t follow any rules and is free written poetry by the author.

The majority of poets, specifically less experienced ones, write what’s called free verse, which is a poem without a form, or with a form the poet has made up for that specific piece.

A poet may decide to have a certain rhyme scheme or might make their poems syllabic.

With a free verse poem, you can set up any theme or pattern you wish, or have none at all.

The great thing about poetry is that you can even start with a specific poem form, and then choose to alter it in order to make it unique and your own.

Poetry Punctuation

Writing a poem is difficult because you never know what the appropriate punctuation is, because it can be different from punctuation when writing a book.

There are essentially three ways to punctuate your poetry:

  1. Grammatically this means you use punctuation properly for every grammar rule; if you removed the lines and stanzas, it would work as a grammatically correct paragraph, and this even includes writing dialogue in your poem.
  2. Stylistically this means you use punctuation to serve the way you would like the poem to be read. A comma indicates a short pause, a period indicates a longer pause, a dash indicates a pause with a connection of thoughts. Using no punctuation at all would lend to a rushed feeling, which you may want. Your punctuation choices will depend on your goals when writing a poem.
  3. A combination. Maybe you want to mostly follow punctuation rules, but you have a certain line you want read a certain way. It’s totally fine to deviate from standard rules if it serves a purpose—you just need to do whatever you’re doing intentionally. Know the rules before you can break them.

“In poetry, punctuation serves as the conductor. It sets the beat of a line or a stanza, telling you where to pause for breath. Conversely, enjambment—running lines of poetry together by not ending them with punctuation—can be extremely powerful, when used correctly. It keeps the line flowing without a pause or a full stop.” Krystal Blaze Dean

Last words of a poem

The last word of a line, the last word of your poem, and the last line of your poem are very important—these are the bits that echo in your reader’s head and have the most emphasis.

Ending with punctuation (dash, period, comma) versus ending without punctuation will give you a dramatically different read, so consider the effect you’d like to have.

Tip for last words: read the poem out loud a few times to see where you’d like the inflection and emphasis to fall.

#2 – Imagery

Imagery is a literary device that’s a tangible description that appeals to one of the five senses.

The more imagery in a poem, the more the reader can connect with it.

Tip for imagery: focus on details. Instead of going for the obvious description, really put yourself in that moment or feeling—what details are the most impactful and real?

Here are some examples of imagery:

  • Pungent fumes lifted from the floor beneath her.
  • Burning light painted the insides of his eyelids red.
  • Hair from her ponytail bit at her face, swept into a frenzy by the furious winds.
  • Crackling popped in rhythm to the dancing flames.

#3 – Sound

While imagery is for the mind, sound is for the ear. How do your words and lines sound when read out loud?

The most basic sound style is a rhyme, however, you should never force a rhyme!

If you try for exact rhymes on every line, it becomes “sing songy,” and this is a big, red mark of an amateur. Sticking to a strict rhyme scheme can severely limit your word choice and creativity.

Instead of going for exact end rhymes, here are some options to achieve that appealing auditory effect of rhyming when writing poems:

  1. Assonance – the repetition of a vowel sound in non-rhyming, stressed syllables. Assonance gives you the fun sound effect of a rhyme without sounding campy. An example of assonance is: “Hear the mellow wedding bells” by Edgar Allen Poe.
  2. Alliteration the repetition of a consonant at the beginning of words. Specifically hard consonant sounds like T, ST, and CH have a hard, staccato effect that a lot of poets like to use.
  3. Internal rhymeswords inside of lines rhyme, rather than the end words. Like assonance, you get the effect of a rhyme without sound like a Dr. Seuss ripoff.

Tip for sound in poetry: Focus on beautiful, crisp imagery to carry your poem, rather than strictly relying on the sound and structure of it.

#4 – Meaning

Structure, imagery, and sound work together to make up the technical excellence of a poem. But if your words are empty of a deeper meaning, what’s the point in writing a poem at all?

“Poetry is a form of storytelling. The key to writing is making the audience feel. Give them something to remember and hold onto.” Brookes Washington

write a poem

Many new writers latch onto clichés and tired topics (peep that alliteration) for their poems, because they think that’s what they’re supposed to do.

But emulating something someone else has done, or some idea of what you should think a poem should be about, isn’t going to give you a genuine, emotional piece that other people can connect to.

So write the poem that only you can write.

Tips for how to write a poem with meaning:

  1. Brainstorm poetry topics by looking at your own experiences. What do you know? When is a time you felt very deeply about something? Can you put that feeling into words? Can you make that feeling an image other people can see through your words? That is the poem you write.
  2. You don’t need some grand, dramatic emotion to write about—think about the ordinary things that make us all human.

“Nothing ever ends poetically. It ends and we turn it into poetry. All that blood was never once beautiful. It was just red.” – Kait Rokowski

#5 – Have a goal

Have a goal with writing a poem—what do you want your audience to feel?

Are you just writing for fun or for yourself? Poetry is often a very personal form of writing, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about your audience at the same time.

If you want to publish your poetry eventually, there are a few things to think about in terms of your goals.

What emotion or moral do you want to convey? What are you trying to express?

These are important questions to answer in order to write an impactful and memorable poem.

#6 – Avoid cliche phrases when writing poetry

There are many clichés you want to avoid when writing poetry.

Nothing really marks an amateur poet like clichés (and forced rhymes, like we mentioned before).

Despite the temptation, avoid cliché phrases. Go line by line and make your language as crisp and original as you can.

If there are pieces in your poem that seem like you’ve read or heard them before, try to reword it in order to make it more original.

#7 – Opt for minimalism

Err on the side of minimalism. Once you have a draft, cut it back to the bare, raw necessaries.

Every word should be heavy with emotion and meaning, and every word should be absolutely essential.

If your poem seems long-winded to you, imagine what that would be like for your reader. Be ready to edit your poem to get it down to its best form.

“Poetry is just word math. Every piece has mean something, and there can’t be any extraneous bits otherwise it gets confusing. It just becomes a puzzle made out of all the words that make you feel something.” – Abigail Giroir

#8 – Refine your poem

The real magic of poetry happens in the revising and refining.

Revise the ever-living heck out of it. To paraphrase an old professor of mine: Don’t be afraid to sit with it. For weeks, months, yearsas long as the poem needs.

It’s great to have writing goals and timelines, but don’t rush a poem before you know it’s ready.

Avoid abstractions. An abstraction is a word that can only refer to a concept or feeling—it’s not a concrete, tangible thing. Some examples of this are liberty, love, bondage, aggression.

Abstractions make every person picture something different, so they are weak words, and they will weaken your poem.

Instead of using an abstraction, think of what imagery you can use to convey that emotion or concept. Liberty can become chains breaking or birds flying. Love can be bringing your spouse coffee in bed, petting a dog, cleaning a gravestone.

Think of the best images to convey your idea of that abstraction, so every reader can be on the same page with you.

Don’t pigeonhole yourself into a form that will stifle your creativity, utilize imagery and sound, have a meaning and a purpose for every poem, and revise until your fingers bleed.


Ready to start now?

Don’t forget about our free training we put together for you.

If you’re ready to learn what it really takes to write and publish a book—yes, including works of poetry—this will help you make it happen.

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

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Start Writing a Book: 7 Best Practices to Become an Author Fast

Writing a book is intimidating.

When you’re not sure how to start writing a book, it can paralyze you. But we have the best top steps to start writing a book today so you can become an author!

Beginning the process of writing a book and presenting it to a worldwide audience is very exciting but also a little scary – espeically if you mess it up and end up making a fool of yourself.

It’s a fear we all have, trust me.

how to start writing a book

You have amazing book ideas that you want to share with the world, and you’re more motivated than ever to educate your readers about them!

Here are the steps for how to start writing a book we’ll cover:

  1. Set up your writing environment
  2. Develop a writing habit
  3. Create a book outline to start writing
  4. Focus on writing your book ONLY
  5. Maintain your focus
  6. Schedule book writing time
  7. Deal with writing distractions
  8. Start writing your book!

Once you begin, you may realize that writing a book is hard work. There are many obstacles that can prevent you from writing and can create stress leading to anxiety.

For example, you may find yourself in front of a blank page unable to type and thinking of stressful questions like:

  • “How do I even start writing a book?”
  • “Do I need to blog first?”
  • “Should I start without an outline”?

Writing a book shouldn’t be this hard!

But many get overwhelmed because they lack a writing process.

Start Writing a Book for Success with FREE Training

If you want to skip right ahead to what will really help you start writing, then you’ll want to check out this free training we put together for you.

With your FREE training, we can help you understand HOW to start a book and self-publish it so the maximum number of people can enjoy it.

Just click the button below to TAKE ACTION on your dream –and let’s do this together.

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How to Start Writing a Book Step-by-Step

If you’re feeling demotivated when it comes to starting your book, you’re not alone. Writing can still be one of the hardest parts for most authors even if they have been writing for a long time!

Fortunately, there are some extremely effective techniques for how to start writing a book and overcoming these hurdles.

We’ll cover what you can put into action to assure you show up with a game plan to get your thoughts out of your head, down on paper, and into the minds of your readers.

Ready to start your journey to becoming a bestselling author? Let’s go!

How to Start Writing a Book for Beginners

Believe it or not, writing a book isn’t as difficult as it’s made to seem. At least, getting started isn’t.

We have a complete guide that will cover best practices to start writing a book asap – even today if you sit down and put your pen to paper, so to speak.

#1 – Set Up Your Book Writing Environment

One of the most important things to remember if you want to start writing a book is designing an environment that allows your creativity to flourish unhindered.

Create an environment that is designed to help you stay focused.

Whether you prefer noisy environments or absolute solitude, it’s up to you to determine which will get you into the writer’s flow.

What you want to avoid is a super messy environment, even if you think you work well in those types of spaces (like the one featured below).

start writing a book environment

If anything can distract you from writing, it’s not worth it.

Here are a few ideas to create your ideal space for writing:

  • Have collections of inspiration. Decorate your work area with inspiring quotes or pictures that house references to deep work.
  • Unclutter your space. Create an uncluttered open space to help organize not only what you need, but also your thoughts.
  • Be Flexible. Your creative space doesn’t need to be one spot, it can be anywhere. Even your favorite authors have discovered their best ideas in the most unexpected places.
  • Buy a calendar: Your book will get written faster if you have set goals for the week/day. The best way to manage this is by scheduling your time on a calendar. Schedule every hour that you commit to your author business. What gets scheduled, gets done.
  • Create a music playlist for inspiration: Many authors can write to the sound of their favorite tunes. Is there anything that gets you working faster? Do you write better with deeper focus when listening to rock music or classical? Set up several playlists that you can use to get into the flow of writing.
  • Try Multiple Locations. You won’t know how creative you can be if you don’t try different spots to write. Maybe writing from your bed is your ideal creative space. What about working in a noisy cafe? Change up your location frequently particularly if you feel creatively spent.

Here are some more tips for starting your book and putting together your writing environment:

How to Start Writing TipExecution
Minimize Distractions
- isolate yourself from family/friends/even the family dog
- remind everyone it's YOUR time
- Turn your phone off
- Close ALL web browsers
- Close your email
Get Comfortable- invest in a GOOD chair
- or resort to using a stand-up desk for more energy
- fill the area with motivational quotes
- make sure you're physically comfortable for the next 30 minutes or an hour
Choose Beneficial Background Noise- turn off all sounds if it distracts you
- turn on lyric-less music to help you concentrate
- choose energizing music to help you focus

#2 – Develop a Writing Habit

The number one reason authors fail to publish a book is because they never finish the book they intend to publish. Why?

Because they didn’t form a good writing habit.

Feeling overwhelmed when writing a book is natural, but you must remember that this journey always begins with the first page. And in order to write your first page, you must take action.

For example, schedule your writing time daily so that you can stick to a solid writing routine that will allow you to make real progress.

how to start writing a book

This is why having a writing habit will develop your writer’s flow.

Your writing habit can start small. Don’t overwhelm yourself thinking that you must write your every thought on the page. You can start with a few paragraphs, a sentence, or even just a word.

The purpose of this exercise is to commit to your writing session every day until it has become second nature.

#3 – Create an Outline

A clear book outline provides clarity and direction to your story. It is also the roadmap for your book that keeps you on track and ensures you have all your ideas organized in a natural flow. And that’s not even to mention that it helps you write a lot faster, too.

There are many types of outlines you can use here.

We highly recommend starting with the mindmap outline and then moving to the sticky note method, as our students find it the most helpful.

When you get stuck or suffer writer’s block, you can always go back to your outline to find what comes next regardless of whether the book is 100 pages or 300 pages long. It will help you see the overall picture.

If you’re not sure how to outline a book, we’ve got a handy video right here for you to learn:

Before you write, spend some time creating your outline with these steps:

  1. Brainstorm: List every thought and story idea you want in your book by creating a mind map.
  2. Organize: Combine all related ideas together.
  3. Order: Arrange ideas into subsections from general to specific.
  4. Label: Create main and subheadings that will eventually be your chapters.

Action Step:
Spend a good portion of your time constructing an outline. If you want more on creating it, be sure to check out our guide.

#4 – Work on ONLY Writing

One challenge many authors experience is taking on multiple new projects when they should be focused on one because their minds are full of amazing book ideas.

Although enticing, the division of attention can spread your energy thin producing bad writing or worse, failure to complete your book.

But don’t worry. We’ve all experienced shiny new book idea syndrome before!

There’s only one clear solution to this problem: Cut the clutter and focus on one project until it’s finished.

Be fully committed to starting your book by doing the following:

  • Create an action plan that breaks down the entire project into realistic portions to complete.
  • Set hard deadlines for each and every phase of your book.
  • Learn to say “NO” to any additional projects no matter how intriguing they appear.

Action Step:

Create an action plan and commit to it. Learn to be selfish and practice saying “NO” often. It’s better to complete one book and get it right than to write two books with poor results.

#5 – Maintain Your Focus

Once you get into the flow of starting your book, you want to remain focused through the duration of your writing session. Any break to your concentration can set you back 20-30 minutes and disrupt your flow.

We become less efficient when we are distracted, and it can end up taking twice as long to complete our writing.

Thankfully, there are very effective techniques that can help you remain centered and in the moment.

Leave the distractions behind by doing the following:

  • Create a writing schedule.  Schedule your writing for the same time each day. This conditioning will develop your writing habit until it becomes as natural as knowing when to brush your teeth.
  • Use the Pomodoro Technique. This is a time management strategy that breaks down work into intervals separated by short breaks. With a clock ticking, you will less likely be distracted by email or social media.
  • Turn off your phone. Your phone is the most addicting device that steals your precious attention. Don’t let it take that from you, turn it off. If you don’t want to turn it off, then download a writing software or app that limits distractions.
  • Have a Task Management app. Task Manager apps, like Todoist, helps you organize your tasks by their time and priority, so you know exactly what to do in what order the next day.
  • Disconnect from the Internet. Want to ensure you don’t get distracted by email notifications, Facebook notifications, etc.? Disconnect your computer from the Internet and enjoy distraction-free writing time.

Action Step:

Experiment with each of these productivity techniques and optimize your writer’s flow. By becoming a productivity expert, you will easily double your output and complete your book in no time.

#6 – Schedule Your Writing Time

Jerry Seinfeld is one of the most popular comedians of all time, and he attributes his success to his unbelievably strong writing habits. In the early days of his career, Seinfeld was asked how he managed to have such great content.

He said, “The way to be a better comic is to create better jokes, and the way to create better jokes was to write every day.”

start writing a book

Seinfeld used the “Calendar Method”, otherwise known as the “Don’t Break the Chain” method, and it worked like this:

  1. Get yourself a calendar, and hang it on the wall.
  2. For each day you write, draw an X on the calendar for that day. By the end of the week, you should have a row of Xs at the end.
  3. If you miss a day, start over and see how long you can go before breaking the chain.

If you can keep this chain going, you will write your book faster than you can imagine.

Action Step:

Buy yourself a calendar and get started on the “Calendar Method!” Being held accountable will keep you motivated and not “Break the Chain.”

#7 – Deal With Writing Distractions

Distractions can hinder you and your deisre to start writing a book.

Resistance is a common obstacle that has the ability to distract us for too long. It’s a form of fear that intimidates you from writing and can throw you off your writer’s flow.

Not only do you have the distractions of everyday life, but if someone in your life has qualms with you spending time to write, it can be extra difficult to concentrate and just write.

Everyone has encountered this awful feeling, but it doesn’t have to defeat you.

Here are a few ways to deal with resistance:

  • Read morning affirmations. Affirmations are powerful snippets of positive words that set the tone and atmosphere for writing. An affirmation could be a quote from a writer, a motivational speech from a public figure, or an inspirational video.
  • Free Flow for 10 Minutes. Julia Cameron, the bestselling author of The Artist’s Way, called these morning pages, and its purpose is to clear your mind of all the anxiety and junk rolling around in your head onto a piece of paper. Write anything. You don’t have to edit, publish, or have a word count, it’s simply a 10-minute exercise to clear out heavy thoughts and prepare you for a more productive day. This is best done with pen and paper instead of typing into a document with your digital device.
  • Exercise. Exercising is not only good for your health but will help keep you mentally sharp. Working out will increase the blood flow to the brain which will sharpen your awareness and give you the energy you need to tackle your book.

Action Step:

Create a resistance plan! Figure out which methods best filter out the negative noise and get you to prepared to write.

Start Writing a Book TODAY!

If you want to become a published author, you must take ownership of your writing habits. By following these seven strategies, you can have a completed book within months and be on your way to becoming a successful writer.

But what can you do right now to ensure the success of the book you’re going to start writing? We’ve got them for you.

#1 – Join your free training!

That’s right! We have free training that’s just for you! Chandler Bolt will walk you through everything you need to go from blank page to published author in as little as 90 days.

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

Spots are limited!

Click Here to Save Your Spot

#2 – Schedule your writing days

Once you’re registered for your video training, you’ll want to go ahead and schedule your writing days from the get-go. This will not only help you know when to carve out time in your schedule going forward but having a visual representation of when you get to start writing will do wonder to motivate and inspire you!

We typically advise our students to start with 30 minutes per day. Whether that’s before or after work is totally up to you. You can even write during your lunch! So long as you commit to your scheduled times, writing a book will be a breeze!

#3 – Put together some motivational aids

Writing a book is fun but it can also be a lot of work. That means having some motivational and inspirational materials to help you envision your future as a self-published author will help you overcome and slumps you may find yourself in.

Remember to keep those aids handy so they’re always there to keep pushing you forward!

Are you ready to start writing a book? Let us know what it’s about and when you want to publish below!