How to Write a Book: A Definitive Guide for New Authors

Start your BookMap by writing your intended topic in the center. From there, answer the questions and add as many related ideas as you can think of. (Again, connect related ideas with a line.) The BookMap gives you the benefits of writing in free form and creating structure from all the connections you make.

Write a Good Story

Is it OK to publish a book as an undergraduate?

I am a CS student at 4th year in my university. I have done a lot of real-world projects, worked as a freelancer for many years, and have released a lot of software in use by thousands of people. I believe I have good experience about topics which I am interested in.

My question is about whether writing a book about those topics and publishing it in my name would be a good idea? I heard that whatever undergrads write in Academia is not considered reliable/trustworthy. And that even if the thing you write was actually very good, people would still not rely on it. Is this is true?

Is there a possible way to publish a book as an undergraduate student? I would like to write the book now because I feel it is so needed by my local community (non-English). We have a very limited number of books in this field. And I don’t think I’ll have the same amount of time as when I graduate.

Raffi Grinberg’s The Real Analysis Lifesaver, published in 2017 by Princeton University Press and which is essentially his 2012 undergraduate senior thesis at Princeton, seems relevant to what you’re asking about. I’m sure there are many other examples, but this came to my mind because I recently purchased the book.

Develop Your Book Writing Skills

Don’t worry if you get things wrong. Stephen King threw the draft of his first book in the bin. His wife fished the book, Carrie, out of the trash and encouraged him to finish and publish it.

You could put inspirational posters on the wall or look out onto your garden. Conversely, many successful authors prefer working while facing the wall because the outside is distracting.

Even if you don’t have space in your house or office, you could go to a library or coffee shop each day. Poet Raymond Carver wrote many of his early poems in his car.

You could also listen to some soft, soothing music in this space to get you in the groove. When working, I like listening to rainfall on repeat using noise-cancelling headphones. Remember, a perfect writing atmosphere varies from one author to another.

Tip: You could also go to a library or coffee shop each day. The poet Raymond Carver wrote many of his early poems in his car. As long as you can work without interruption, you’re good.

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So You Want to Write a Book? Here’s 10 Things You Need to Know to Get Published

book publishing, writing a book

Note from Mack: This post was written in 2012 while I was writing my book Think Like a Rock Star. The goal of this post was to provide helpful advice for others, especially my many friends in consulting that were curious about the entire process of writing their own book.

However, I am not in the publishing business, I am not in contact with literary agents, and I really can’t help you secure publication of your book other than what I’ve shared in this post. I work as a digital and content strategist to help companies with their content and digital marketing as well as helping them build programs that better connect my client with their customers. These can include blogger or influencer outreach or brand ambassador programs. Here’s where you can learn more about what I do and some of the results I’ve achieved for my clients. Thanks for reading and good luck with your writing!

1 – Figure out what you want to write about. This sounds very easy, but it’s not. You need to figure out what book YOU were meant to write. The book that no one else could write. Four years ago I was approached by an editor to write a book on marketing on YouTube. Remember this was 2008, and there were very few social media books at the time. I was really excited at the prospect of having my own book for about 5 mins, till I realized that I wasn’t really interested in writing a book about marketing on YouTube. And I also didn’t want to tour the country speaking on the topic. I was pitched on a couple of other book ideas over the next couple of years, but I finally decided that Think Like a Rock Star was the only book I wanted to write.

2 – Figure out why your book is unique and fills a market need. Once you figure out the topic of your book, you’re then going to realize that your book’s already been written several times. You need to figure out what you bring to the table that hasn’t been discussed before. For me, there’s plenty of books on why companies should connect with brand advocates and evangelists. The ‘Rockstar’ analogy helped me differentiate Think Like a Rock Star, but even that didn’t make the book completely unique, as there’s been a few other books written on what companies can learn about branding and marketing from the music industry. I had to go deeper, and when I release the full outline of the book in a few weeks, you’ll see why Think Like a Rock Star is different. But the point is, you’ll need to figure out what your ‘hook’ is. What are you going to bring to the table that’s unique, but that will still have value for your readers?

Turn Your BookMap Into an Outline

Once you’ve completely filled out your BookMap, the next step is to group all the related ideas into categories. There’s no hard and fast rule for how to do this; just combine your ideas in the way that makes the most sense to you.

One way to do this is to rewrite each idea on a fresh piece of paper, this time grouped together in related topics. Or, you could simply use different-colored highlighters to categorize your ideas with different colors.

Either way, the result is the same: when you’re done grouping your ideas, those categories will form the outline for your book—each category is a new chapter. So now you know exactly which topics to write about, and you know which points to cover in every chapter of your book.

Wanna know “how to write a book?” Start with a simple outline! Finish your book FASTER by downloading this FREE template that’s pre-formatted, easy to use, and you can fill-in-the-blank!