It is now around six years since I began writing books although it is a pastime I have always enjoyed. Creative writing is a great way to express yourself and it can be fascinating researching the subject matter and you can learn so much more about that subject but how do you go about putting all this work together to create a book? Well I don't claim to be an expert but here I will offer a few tips and words of wisdom to all the budding authors out there which I hope will be put into practice.
My first tip for you before you start a writing project and begin researching is to choose a subject matter very close to your heart. Your passion for the subject is sure to take you through the researching stages far easier and with a great degree of enjoyment as your interest and enthusiasm will never wane.
My second tip for you is that when researching facts use various sources such as first-hand accounts, books, websites and public records. Always try to verify information by cross-referencing from different sources. One source may be in error so always double-check to make sure.
My third tip for you is that if you are writing a reference book similar to those I have written then try to get a number of contacts with the subject matter such as actors, actresses, writers or producers. The information garnered from such sources is invaluable.
My fourth tip for you is that if you struggle creatively with words when writing/typing them out then try another method. If you have a dictaphone speak clearly about what you want to write and then later transfer it down onto paper or a word document. You will be surprised how creative you really are.
My fifth tip for you is that if you seriously intend contacting publishers after completion of your manuscript you will be expected to have it stored on a Microsoft Word document. I have yet to come across a publisher who will accept a manuscript that hasn't been stored on Microsoft Word.
My sixth tip is that once you begin using Microsoft Word document remember (before starting) to copyright the document to protect from anyone 'stealing your work'. You can never be too careful.
My seventh tip is that before your manuscript is fully ready to be sent off to publishers ask one or two people to proof-read the manuscript. They will be able to spot errors that you will miss. Publishers frown upon error-strewn and poorly laid out manuscripts.
My eighth tip is for when choosing a publisher to approach - thoroughly research the publisher first. Check that they publish books in your genre and that they accept unsolicited manuscripts. Unsolicited manuscripts are those coming from an author without a literary agent in place.
My ninth tip is to be prepared for the marketing of the book if you get as far as publication. Your publisher may very well organise a number of radio interviews and book signings for you to attend and it is important you represent your book and publisher very well at these important events.
My tenth tip is to take every opportunity to take the initiative to promote your book in various ways even if your publishing is involved in fully marketing the book for you. Remember you will be able to reach potential buyers in areas untouched by publishers such as the online social network sites Facebook, Twitter, Google + etc. Also create flyers and visit local bookstores in an effort to get them to stock your book.
My eleventh tip is before approaching publisher decide which avenue of publishing you wish to go down as there are so many. If you are happy promoting the book yourself and handling all sales issues then I'd recommend you consider self-publishing but if that seems too daunting seek out an independent publisher who are not afraid to take on first time authors.
My twelfth tip is not to be afraid to approach local media outlets to promote your book - be that local newspapers or local radio stations. There is a fair chance it will get you some publicity and it may even get you some air-time in the form of a radio interview.
My thirteenth tip is do not be put off by rejection. If a publisher turns down your manuscript don't let that put you off and try again with another publisher. Remember that even JK Rowling's famous first Harry Potter book was rejected by numerous publishers before being accepted.
My fourteenth tip, well not exactly a tip but more like advice, is that I wouldn't advise sourcing information from rival books in your field. I have never done this and never will as I like to source all the information by my own means rather than through a rival book.
More tips to follow.....