Like every century which promises to be unique, the 21st century can safely trademark its obsession with high aspirations and higher ambitions to be achieved swiftly. Quick publishing success and recognition have become essential parameters to analyze the rate of satisfaction an author realizes in publishing a book. It then becomes logical that to achieve our goal, we must arm ourselves with all the skills and information that will help us accomplish our aim in the shortest time possible to write a book that sells.
Writing a book that sells has always been dependent on its connection with the masses. With time what connects with the masses may change and this will colour the success we are likely to achieve from our book. Key points to keep in mind if one wishes to pen a book, worth our time and effort.
- Know what you want to express:
“The worst thing you write is better than the best thing you didn’t write.”
A writer before he sets out to write a book must be clear, as to the genre of the book. Every genre requires a distinct way of presentation. An autobiographical book demands the utmost attention to the facts mentioned in the manuscript, making it incumbent on the author to cross-check each detail included. In a fiction script, one may take creative liberty with facts and details can be drummed up as long as they sound plausible. The text should be lucid, gripping and should follow chronology. Other genres have their unique requirements too. Hence an author must make up his mind regarding the genre of the book and layout a brief outline of the story he wishes to narrate.
- Evolve your story through each page
“Don’t be a writer, be writing.”
Once you have a brief outline, research the topic if needed and draw a mind map of the story you wish to pen down, you are ready to begin writing. The story should reveal itself in layers as the reader moves through the book, much like peeling an onion layer by layer. Consider each coat of the onion to be a part of your story which the reader is eager to read to unearth facts/ what comes next. Reveal surely but steadily so the reader is hooked to your book, till the last. Not to add all that you know about a fascinating fact at once but as a part of the larger plot, reveal bits of data as the story moves ahead. Get them hooked to your idea and convert it into a learning experience. To effectively accomplish the daily writing goals, several points should be kept in mind.
- Write till you shine
“Every first draft is perfect because all it has to do is to exist.”
The old adage- “practice makes one perfect.” Your first writing may not be a true reflection of what and how you may have wanted your story to turn out, but it certainly has a way of showing the scope for improvement. Keep writing until you feel you have achieved what you aimed for. Attend writing workshops, read and read books in the genre in which you would like to write. Build your writing credentials through short stories and then move onto more prominent platforms like a short novel and then a full-fledged series.
- Explore new dimensions
“If you really want to know yourself, start with writing a book.”
While it’s great to keep in mind the kind of storylines that are popular among the masses, it is also essential to understand that incorporating new elements into your storyline is an excellent way to get noticed. Writing a book that sells by giving the masses something new to talk about and use in their hashtags. You don’t have to follow the conventional plotlines or twists. You can add a fresh touch to it, introduce new or lesser-known concepts to enthrall the audience. As Chetan Bhagat did, he started by writing fiction books that introduced college romance. Next, he experimented with adding Hindi in an English book.
- Learn the hacks
“Whatever the mind of a man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
The publishing industry is a tricky business and keeping a few tricks up your sleeve can help you navigate your way faster in a more convenient fashion. Get to know what publishing involves, the type of publishing options available, the publishers around you and how their work ethics are. Research, research, gather facts, contacts, find out the best way to reach out to them. Don’t underestimate your experience and journey, and try not to get too overwhelmed or baffled by the whole process of publishing in general.
- Utilize the digital platform
A digital platform is now a must for any author. Look around you and you will realize that no author worth his weight can survive without the digital media. Chetan Bhagat, Amish Tripathi, Novoneel Chakraborty, Devdutt Pattanaik, to name a few. They are on almost all digital platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, book teasers on YouTube and actively posting, maybe several times a day to reach out to their audience, remind them of their book and build an author brand.
- Get involved in the promotion:
“If you really want to know yourself, start by writing a book.”
Your participation in promoting your book is an absolute must. You best know your book and are the most passionate about it. The promotion of a book is as much about the story as it is about the author. Self-promotion/building an author brand is essential for the publicity of a book. Do not hesitate to make use of media channels like podcasts, social media, press releases, paid advertising etc. Look at Devdutt Pattanayak, perhaps you know his name as well as the books he writes. Enhance your marketing by asking recognized authors to aid you by giving a book review and rating. Even the most well-known author will have book reviews written on their cover by other famous authors. Convert your media engagements into opportunities to build an author brand.
- Create a book network
“All good writing is swimming underwater and holding your breath.”
The publishing of your book is the first step towards benefits, monetary, exposure and doors opening up for you, speaking opportunities etc. A unique way to start attracting the attention of the crowd is to offer discounts, gift vouchers, small stationery items. The writing industry is vast, and it provides the author with innumerable opportunities to network with fellow authors to explore and carve a space for yourself.
The key to surviving and leaving an imprint is to stick to what you know yet be flexible enough to understand that knowledge can only seep through a flexible mind.