Last April while merely just a junior at Morehouse, I published my first book entitled, “Dealing With This Thing Called Life”. The love and support I have received from writing the book has been amazing. I’ve sold tons of copies received fantastic reviews and inspired a lot of people. When people see the success that I’ve experienced as an author they often ask me how I managed to do it all. Every week I get a text message, e-mail or tweet with someone asking for advice on how to get started.There are countless resources online of everyone giving their best tips on how to get your book written or published.
There are countless resources online of everyone giving their best tips on how to get your book written or published.
Here are my five tips to help anyone get their journey as an author started.
1. Know Your Intention
The best advice I have ever heard in my life came from Oprah when she stated, “The energy of your intention causes the effect or outcome in every single situation.” I honestly believe this to be true. Before you even start coming up with titles, book covers or even start your manuscript ask yourself, “What Is It I am truly trying to do with this book?” When you know exactly what your intention is it makes it easier to execute what it is you are trying to do. If someone came up to you and asked why are you writing a book, you should be able to articulate your vision of your book in one sentence. For “Dealing With This Thing Called Life” my intention was to inspire millennials to read and become their best selves. My intention was not to make money, to become famous or to exploit anyone. I only wanted people who were young to read my book and be inspired.
2. Make An Outline
When people express to me that they want to write a book they usually have no idea what they want to write about. They have a plethora of ideas and no sense of direction of where to start. If you want to write a book, get an outline. Know your story through and through. Approach the book in the same way like you would an academic paper. Outline your thoughts all the way to the end of the book very thoroughly and clearly. When you have the bones of your book, it makes it easier to add the meat and make it come to life.
3. Get It Out.
Write, Write, Write! I wrote my entire manuscript on a Google Docs document that I could access anywhere. I would write on my phone in lines when I was in the cafeteria, on any computer I could find whenever I had some time, and I chugged it out. The original raw manuscript that I wrote, I wrote in one month. That manuscript was trash, but it was a great start and lead to a pretty decent book. Don’t worry about writing for perfection just get it out of your head. I’m not advocating that you rush and just be careless and sloppy. All of that rushing is only going to delay your editing process so take it seriously but yes, get it out.
4. Invest In Your Book
I can tell a cheap book a mile away. Last school year I was obsessed with going to the Morehouse bookstore and checking out all the different books on the shelves, pricing them next to each other and comparing them all. I could always tell the books that were poorly self-published and just simply a mess. Don’t be that person. Invest in your book. Once a book is published that’s it there’s no editing once it’s done. I spent thousands on my book, between editors, book cover photography and publishing it was very expensive. Although it was expensive, my book is not bad. It’s free of typos; the cover looks great, and it just feels good simply because I was willing to spend the money to make sure it was the best. Don’t be afraid of spending the big bucks on copy editors, photography and such you deserve the best. Don’t play yourself.
5. Make Friends
I could not have published my book without the help of my network and friends. The reason I did not self-publish was that I had a publishing partnership with a man who was a former neighbor of mine. He reached out to help me after seeing a Facebook post of mine. When I needed a photographer for my book cover, I called on my friend Jaylen Poland who is a stellar photographer. Your network is everything. Make genuine friendships with others and be vocal about your goal to write a book, you’d be surprised who could assist in your author journey so go out there and make friends.
I wish you the best in your book writing journey. I hope these tips helped you just a tad. If you ever have specific questions or want more advice, please don’t hesitate to utilize the support page on my website and send me a message.
Also, be sure to purchase a copy of my new book, “Dealing With This Thing Called Life” available now on Amazon for only $9.99.