©2015 Wendy Scheuring
Have you already sabotaged your project before you’ve even started?
Here are nine self-checks to consider!
1. Not really having a story. Have you told yourself you ought to write a book someday? Have your friends and family suggested the same? How do you know you have enough of a story to write a full-fledged book? Is there depth to your story? Is there a universality with which readers will connect? Seek out others that you trust early in the process to see if there is interest in your story and listen to their feedback.
2. Are you skilled enough to write a book yourself? Renowned author Ray Bradbury suggests writing small before writing big. Write short stories, blogs, or articles before delving into that bigger project. If you need further help, talk with a professional ghostwriter or writing coach who will often offer a free consultation, or consider hiring one to help you throughout the process.
3. Not having a deadline. When do you want to finish your book? Do you want to self-publish? Traditionally publish? Do you want to find an agent? To make it all happen, you’ll need to establish a deadline, a reachable goal, so that you can develop a manageable timeline.
4. Not sticking to your schedule. Schedule? What schedule? Sure, you might think of yourself as a free spirit, but to get a book done, you need to be disciplined. Draft a plan, including a weekly or monthly schedule, including goals.
5. Not valuing the importance of building a readership and relationships with other authors. Are you offering excerpts of your book to others via social media and your website? How about friendly advice? Research how other authors reach their audiences and build relationships with authors whose work you admire. Other authors may offer to do a beta read of your manuscript or a book review. You, in turn, can reciprocate, or be the first to offer.
6.Thinking the competition out there is tough. Each book is unique, and readers often like to read like books on the same subject. The writing has to be good, though. Remember, for avid readers, there’s no such thing as having too many good books to read.
7. Not having a platform. What is your vision? Why are you writing this book? Is it only for book sales? Is it to help people better understand a problem or to find a solution? Is it to help others, offer advice, tell a story no one has ever heard? Is it to build your reputation or expertise? Think of your book as part of a movement, not the be-all-that-ends-all.
8. Thinking you can do everything by yourself: editing, cover art, publishing, marketing, etc. Are you at least willing to get a professional opinion?
9. Asking the advice of too many people, like family and friends, who don’t know the business. Get advice from people who have shown their professionalism and expertise, and/or have a substantial following.
If you can avoid these nine pitfalls, then you are well on your way to making your book dream a reality!