Writing a successful fiction book means creating a great story that fills the need for the unexpressed emotions, feelings and desires of the reader. The whole process of writing and publishing can be described in 7 steps:
1. Purpose. What is the purpose of your story? Generally, the purpose of a good story is to communicate directly with the subconscious mind of the readers bypassing their conscious mind. It should create a series of emotional reactions in every person who reads it. You have to write for your audience not for yourself.
So, before you start writing answer these questions:
– What kind of emotions do I want to influence in my audience?
-What do I want them to feel while they are reading? What lessons will it bring?
2. Choose the right topic and genre. This means that you should be familiar with this topic and genre. Also, there should be many others who are interested in it. It will be absolutely no good if your topic interests a few people only. Choose a crowded topic.
3. Write your book. This may surprise you, but you should begin writing with the end in mind. Identify the final climax scene of your story and go from there.
But this is not all. To write a great story you should also identify your premise and theme before you start.
A Premise is simply an idea or proposition that appears to be true. On the base of the premise people can argue, act and change their behaviours. This is the foundation of your story. For example, Harry Porter premise could be: “If you are given great powers you must work for the good of all people.”
Theme is the lesson your character must learn throughout your story. It is the underlying value of the story. For example, the theme of Chekov’s “Uncle Vanya” is destruction of beauty or the wasted life. “The Alchemist” main theme is will versus fate.
4. Create the covers (front and back). Good covers sell. The Front cover should contain a great title (and subtitle also), pictures and the name of the author. Back cover should have a blurb, testimonials, ISBN and bar code. Covers create the first impression of your book. A First impression is created in only 4 seconds. So, if in 4 seconds your cover didn’t grab the person’s attention he/she will just leave your book and continue to browse other books. If in 4 seconds the front cover grabs them – then they look at the back cover. Generally, people need 7 seconds to look at both covers and make the decision to buy.
You have to keep this statistic in mind when designing your covers. Make them interesting and understandable to what book is about.
5. Publish your book. You can do all processes of self-publishing the book yourself if you know where to outsource printing, editing, marketing etc. You can also use other companies which help you with publishing. Make sure that you still keep all the rights to your book. Be aware that many Internet base companies are not true self-publishing companies. Some are what are called Vanity publishers and do not care about your book. Check them out before you get involved with them and make sure you control your copyrights.
6. Create your marketing plan to generate publicity. You can create publicity using the media by sending press and media releases to relevant media outlets. You can do it yourself or get someone to do it for you. Anyway you go you should prepare a media kit which include:
– author biography related to the book
– PR (press release, one page only)
– professional photos of the author
– a few testimonials about the book
– stats about your topic if necessary
Look for opportunities to send your PR. Make sure that it is always relevant. This means the PR goes to the relevant media source, to the relevant journalist and at the right time.
7. Promote yourself on-line and off-line by creating a web-page, blog, participating in forums, writing relevant articles etc. Don’t forget to be present and active on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. Use these sites to create or join relevant groups and inform people about your book. Become a public speaker and educate people about your chosen topic. Sell books while you speak or at the very least collect people’s e-mail addresses to build your list.
You can also merchandise: create other products with the name of your book or your characters on them. Examples of merchandise would be book marks, cards, t-shirts, coffee cups, key rings etc.