How to Write and Publish a Book: 14 Steps

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How to Write and Publish a Book: 14 Steps
How to Write and Publish a Book: 14 Steps

Writing and publishing a book is not an easy task. However, if you put enough dedication into it, you get some people who can help you (like agents and editors) and with your creative mind, you can do this task. Start by setting daily goals that you can achieve. Once you finally have a book, look at your publishing options. Be realistic about your expectations. The perspective should be fun and not a tedious task. Getting published isn't all there is to the realm of writing. Enjoy what you do!


Part 1 of 3: Write your book

Write Alliteration Poems Step 6
Write Alliteration Poems Step 6

Step 1. Start brainstorming

Write down some of these ideas. Then select the ones you want.

  • Some people can start writing out of inspiration with just one sentence. Other people spend months or years thinking about a story before writing a word.
  • There is no problem regardless of the type of writer you are. The trick is to follow an idea when you fall for the proverbial fantasy.
  • Stephen King, a famous author, points out that he does not write ideas in a notebook. For him, "a writer's notebook is the best way in the world to immortalize bad ideas." This does not mean that you should not write ideas in a notebook that you have. If that works for you, take a notebook and write down your ideas. However, be careful what ideas you write. Ask yourself: if I don't write this idea down, will I be good enough to remember it tomorrow?
  • Once you find inspiration for an idea you want to pursue, start writing.
Write and Publish a Book Step 2
Write and Publish a Book Step 2

Step 2. Don't worry about mistakes; then you can correct your text

You will get the best ideas if you go ahead and don't look at the screen, obsessing over every little mistake. If you keep staring at the screen, you probably want to change everything right away rather than go through with the story.

  • When you write a book and hope to publish it, you will write many drafts before it is ready to ship. Some of these drafts will likely include major changes to your story. However, at first you will only try to build a world and put your ideas on paper or screen.
  • Focus on building your characters. Some books have a heavy plot and that's fine. However, a book that people normally want to read is actually about the characters and the importance of the situation you put in them.
  • As the plot progresses through the story, it will be the moments between the characters that will sell a book. This will be the case regardless of whether you write a fantasy book, like Harry Potter, or a strict novel, like Freedom by Jonathan Franzen.
  • Focus on "who" you write about. The "when", "what", "where", "why" and "how" will come more naturally.
Write and Publish a Book Step 3
Write and Publish a Book Step 3

Step 3. Set daily writing goals

There should be no limit to how much you can write in a day; however, set yourself a minimum. This will help you focus on the story.

  • Whether you set a goal of 300 words a day or a goal of 1 hour, meeting it will help you stay on track. Writing 300 words a day is not a lot; however, it can be a good starting point. If you're very busy or new to writing, set a smaller goal that you can easily accomplish.
  • Big goals are much more difficult to meet and often cause you not to write anything down. If you take one step at a time, you will later reach your final and main goal.
  • You can increase your daily goal as you continue or if you have more time to write. Just make sure you stick to it. Even if you feel stuck writing, persevere and reach your goal. You will never know when you will have some inspiration.
  • Work in a quiet place without people. Finding a quiet place where you can focus and that you can make your own is invaluable when writing. Even if you write in a coffee shop, find a corner where you won't be too distracted.
Write and Publish a Book Step 4
Write and Publish a Book Step 4

Step 4. Be diligent

Many writers start out strong but are quickly distracted, bored, or frustrated with the slow process. One of the best and easiest ways to avoid this is by simply putting yourself in the chair.

  • Following and reaching your daily goal will help you stay on track. The acts of sitting in your chair and working carefully will help you make that goal a reality.
  • Try to have a set time to write each day in order to achieve your daily goal. John Grisham has published many successful books and began his writing career when he was a lawyer. He wakes up very early every morning and writes a page.
  • Make writing a habit you can't quit. Find a unique place to write and do it every day at the same time.
Write and Publish a Book Step 5
Write and Publish a Book Step 5

Step 5. Get an early opinion

Even though you can be protective of your work and want to keep it hidden until it's "done," don't do it. Get frequent and early feedback on your text from people you trust will be honest with you.

  • If you are not yet part of a local writers workshop, consider joining one. These groups will help you develop your ideas, give you feedback, and hold you accountable.
  • Use the Internet. If you're nervous about showing your work to someone you know, find an online forum where you can get feedback and share ideas. There are pages like / r / Writing on that give you options so you can get help with your work.

Part 2 of 3: Edit the book and prepare to publish it

Write and Publish a Book Step 6
Write and Publish a Book Step 6

Step 1. Classify your book

Once you finish your story, make sure you follow the rules that the publisher Allen & Unwin proposes.

  • If it is fiction for minors:

    • for beginning readers (ages 5 to 8), 5,000 to 10,000 words;
    • for confident readers (7 to 10 years old), 10,000 to 30,000 words;
    • for intermediate readers (11 to 14 years old), 30,000 to 55,000 words.
  • If they are novels for young people and adults:

    • for adolescent readers (13 to 16 years old), 40,000 to 60,000 words;
    • for mature and older readers (over 15 years old), 40,000 to 100,000 words.
  • For a complete list and more information on writing and publishing, go to the “Submission Guidelines” on the Allen & Unwin website. [1]
Write and Publish a Book Step 7
Write and Publish a Book Step 7

Step 2. Check again and edit your story one more time

Don't feel like you have to stop watching your story at a certain point. Edit it as many times as necessary.

  • You should also take a break as you will need to edit and pay as much attention to this process as possible (or more than the actual writing process itself). You've been living in this story that you created and now it's time for a vacation. Giving yourself time will help you get into the editor mindset as, as an editor, you will have to look at your work objectively, ready to break it down and make changes.
  • When you start editing, edit everything you need to do; however, do not continue editing if you do not know what the problem is. If you do not have a concrete solution, you will tear your story apart and you will not know how to put everything back together.
  • Editing too much is possibly dangerous, so find other people to review your work. Other eyes will be able to detect details that you have ignored because you will be closely linked to your work.
  • Find someone you trust for notes and comments. Until now, you have been working in a vacuum. There will be parts that you will have to work on and that will be difficult for you to fix on your own.
  • Read others' notes and then put them aside. You probably won't like what other people's notes say. So, read the notes, shred them, and after a while, go back and incorporate the ones that are useful. Forget the ones that aren't.
Write and Publish a Book Step 8
Write and Publish a Book Step 8

Step 3. Find a publisher who takes a look at your book

After your book has one or more approvals, it's time to get a real publisher to look at your book. Editing is not the same as writing. You will need someone who knows how to take a book apart, find the problems, and give you advice on how to put everything back together.

  • A professional editor is especially valuable if you are publishing yourself. The last thing you want is that after all your hard work your book has an obvious and even silly spelling mistake.
  • The right editor will be able to bring clarity and fluidity to your narrative without changing your voice.
  • Your editor will give you a much-needed objective look at your work and help you not only correct those little mistakes, but also help you find the real story underneath all the extra material you don't need.
  • At the end of the day, an editor will also make your book look professional.
Write and Publish a Book Step 9
Write and Publish a Book Step 9

Step 4. Give the book a final review to make sure you are ready to publish it

Once you and your editor have reviewed the final version of your book, make sure everything is in order.

  • Make sure you have a good title ready to put on it.
  • Start advertising on social media. Create a Facebook page and a Twitter profile for your book. Frequently post updates on what's going on, next steps, and other interesting information.

Part 3 of 3: Publish the book

Write and Publish a Book Step 10
Write and Publish a Book Step 10

Step 1. Consider getting an agent

Agents are the people who will work for you and help you get your book published and sold. These people have industry contacts to help you. Agents are also hard to find, and if you are new, it will also be difficult for you to stay with one.

  • You won't always need an agent. If you plan to publish yourself, you may consider that you can do without an agent.
  • Look for agents on websites like Here you can search many profiles and see what types of jobs are posted.
  • Be sure to read the agent's submission guidelines before submitting your materials. Commonly you will need:

    • inquiry letter (a one-page promotion letter describing your work);
    • book synopsis (a brief summary of your story);
    • sample chapters or your entire manuscript;
    • non-fiction proposal (if you write a non-fiction text). This is a very detailed document, usually 20-30 pages long, that summarizes your argument for why your book deserves to be published.
Write and Publish a Book Step 11
Write and Publish a Book Step 11

Step 2. Research different publishers

You may choose to post yourself; however, it is best to publish with a well-known publisher in order to reach a larger audience.

  • Some publishers only choose to publish or even read the material they requested. The same is true of manuscripts that have passed through an agent.
  • Agents and publishers also like materials that come from well-known writers or authors. However, this does not mean that you will not be able to attract the attention of some people. They will want to see that you have a following and that you promote yourself on social media.
  • Some publishers, such as Penguin or Allen & Unwin, will also see your manuscript if an agent does not represent you.
  • Check the options you have to publish yourself. Posting yourself may sound like a way to prevent many people from simply saying "no" to you. However, it is difficult work; And the reason there are so many people who publish books is because they know how to do it better. If you are publishing yourself, you will have to find a good distributor in case you publish hard copies. You can also publish your story yourself as if it were an electronic book through pages like Amazon.
Write and Publish a Book Step 12
Write and Publish a Book Step 12

Step 3. Narrow down your posting options

Once you've settled on a few publishers (the more the merrier), start digging deeper into them.

  • Some publishers choose to publish only to adults and in select genres, while others may have a wider range of books that they accept.
  • All information must be available on the publisher's website. Some will have different rules and word limits or will indicate if they have to request your book or not.
  • Almost all publishers request a paper (printed) copy of your story manuscript. Also, keep the specifications in mind. Some publishers prefer that the text have double line space, with a certain type of font in a certain size, etc.
  • Stick to what they specify. Don't send copies by email or on disk, unless they say you can.
  • Never send your original, just a copy of something. Your materials will not be returned to you.
Write and Publish a Book Step 13
Write and Publish a Book Step 13

Step 4. Consider posting yourself online

Publishing a book online is a viable and popular option. The greatest opportunity to do so using this method is with Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing program. You can simply upload your manuscript to the program and start selling copies.

  • The KDP service is free to use; however, Amazon will keep up to 70% of your profits.
  • If you're publishing yourself online, make sure you've gotten your book professionally edited and have a professional graphic designer designed the cover.
  • All the work of promoting your book will also fall on you when you use this method.
  • Keep it real. Chances are, your book won't be the next big hit. You won't gain fame overnight. In many cases it takes several years and many books to gain a solid reputation.
Write and Publish a Book Step 14
Write and Publish a Book Step 14

Step 5. Wait and be patient

Send your copies to as many publishers available as you can.

  • It could take up to four months or more to get your book reviewed.
  • If you get a "yes" from a publisher, well done! You will have the opportunity to see your book in stores! However, the publisher may not advertise it for you. That task will fall to an agent. The good news is, it's easier to get an agent after you have a book publishing deal. However, in most cases the advertising will normally fall on you.


  • Remember: regardless of your age, most publishers will publish your book if the story is good. Be prepared to accept criticism and use it wisely.
  • Always edit your own work before submitting it. No publisher will accept your work if it is full of inconsistencies or spelling and grammatical errors. Also consider having a professional editor help you.
  • Keep writing! While each person has a different editing style, most people find it helpful to write as much as possible when ideas are fresh and review the story later.
  • Remember the agent and publisher tag. Always follow the submission rules. Patience is the key. After a month or two with no response, maybe you can try other publishers. Remember: unsolicited work is usually left for later and can take months to be seen.
  • Publishers won't always advertise your book. That is up to you, the author. A publisher will market it, but not advertise it, except perhaps on the website. Tell your friends and family and distribute flyers in your town or city. Create social media pages to advertise the book. Sometimes you may even get a local bookstore to advertise it.
  • Try multiple publishers. Some will be interested in you and some will not.
  • If you have an idea, just start writing and don't stop if you feel discouraged. Actually sitting down to write can be the hardest part.
  • Stick to the story you are currently writing. If you have another idea, write it down and try to see where it can fit without taking the story in a completely different direction.
  • Don't think about whether or not people will like your book. Not all people love every genre and type of story.
  • Plan your story first: this will make you less likely to go off track. This will also help you remember some details.

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