February 03, 2014

Tips for writing a book

tips for writing a book

Already in 2014, I've gotten close to 50 emails with questions or statements about writing and publishing my book as a college student. I always appreciate hearing from viewers and students/parents who've read my book or blog - so thank you! In this post, I'm sharing my personal method for writing a book. These are the steps I used to write my book for college students and a children's book I wrote that I'm working on illustrating and publishing. I'm working on my third book, which will be fiction and I'm on step 6 (writing!), which is why the blog posts have been every other day instead of every day.

Best of luck to everyone who wants to write their own book and tell a story in their mind - I support it!

How to write a book (& the time it takes for each step)

1. Do your research | Before starting on your brilliant book, make sure it hasn't already been written. If you're writing the book to sell to other people, it should be original. Google your proposed book title and story line to check and see if it's already out there. (A few hours to a few days)

2. Observe your book's topic | Once you have a great original topic, take some time to observe the people or places you plan to write about. Even if your book is fiction, you're most likely basing it upon something you've interacted with in real life. (A few days to a few weeks)

3. Brainstorm | Some people can skip this step, but I think brainstorming and translating my ideas onto paper is a crucial step. I start by just getting all of my ideas or necessary book elements on paper and then work on organizing them. (A few weeks - a few months)

4. Read other books |  Reading other books helps get the ideas flowing for your own book and show you how words can come to life. You can take the role of a reader as opposed to an author and better understand how your readers will interpret your writing. (A few months to a year)

5. Play it out in your mind | Whether you're writing a fiction or non-fiction book, it's a good idea to play out the story in your mind once you have an idea of what the story will be. Shift the story in your mind until it makes sense and accurately tells the story you are trying to share.

6. Start writing | Easier said than done. But seriously, get out a pen and paper or your computer and just start writing anything. Start in the beginning, middle, or end of the story - just start! The rest will come overtime. (Months to years)

7. Organize your writing | You can use an outline or a predesigned book format to organize your book. I organized my first book into chapters/sections with unique titles. The chapter titles were self-explanatory. In my non-fiction book, the chapter titles will be more vague and they will be longer chapters.

8. Get a first draft | Once you have a skeleton version of your book, fill in the missing pieces and prepare it to show to others. (Months to years)

9. Show it to a few of the right people | This doesn't mean post a link to your manuscript on Facebook or Twitter. You should find one person or a few people whose opinions you value and have them read your first draft. Ask them to be brutally honest and provide feedback.

10. Stay motivated | Appreciate the positive and negative feedback, and use it to improve your writing. Remember that great authors that we all know and love today had to write tons of drafts and make plenty of edits before publishing the final version of their work.

11. Revise & rewrite, keep having it edited | Do it as much as needed and find a good editor. (Months to years)

12. Be proud of your final version | It's easy to want to continue critiquing draft after draft of your writing, but eventually you'll have to be satisfied with a final version. Of course there are things I wish I had added to my book and some things I wish I had deleted, but I am ultimately proud of the final version.

There are tons of different publishers and publishing methods out there, so I'll leave that up to you. For my first book, I chose to self-publish using Lulu.

For this next book, I'm still deciding how I'll go about publishing.

You can order a copy of my first book here.


  1. This post was so helpful for me and an eye op er
    Keep in touch

  2. I have my book started, I just have to get serious and set aside time... what I have written needs to be changed up... I will be looking into your tips :)

  3. Great tips Vett! I applaud you with being such a go-getter with becoming an author. I am writing several books but I think they are the types of books that may take a while to marinade (years maybe) lol, it's a marriage I'm willing to commit to. I'll tango a little harder with #10 though ;)

  4. Great post! I've had three books (all different genres) in draft- once since high school. Might never finish/publish. But love reading tips just in case I actually complete one of them finally.

    KK @ www.preppypinkcrocodile.com

  5. amazing


  6. These are great tips!! Thank you for sharing!

    Thank you for your nice comment on my blog! Let's stay in touch! <3

    New Outfit Post: Denim, Plaid and Fur

  7. Love this post, writing a book is definitely on my list!!

  8. This is a great post with awesome tips. I would love to write a book one day (if I ever find the time, writing a blog each day is work enough).

  9. I plan to write many books one day, so I definitely find this list to be extremely helpful. It is amazing that you are now working on your 3rd book. Question: Does your communications firm do publishing for other authors as well, or have you not reached that point yet? I would love to possibly work with you in that sense.

    Thanks for sharing your tips!

    ♥ C.A.
    --->> www.chymereanais.blogspot.com
    --->> www.maybeimvegan.blogspot.com

  10. This list was so helpful! Thanks for being so generous as to share your tips with us :)

    XX, SS || seersuckersass.blogspot.com

  11. This is GREAT advice! I feel so silly that I did not know you were a published author - how wonderful!!!!!! You definitely have motivated me to do more work on my own xo

  12. AWESOME tips! Book marking this post now!

  13. Hi!!

    Im Nayara from Brazil (Rio de Janeiro), and I was looking for some Atlanta information when I found your blog. I would like to congratulate you for this super interesting posts! It is like I know you. Your life, your thinkings, your way to write is very impressed! I am a journalist here in Brazil, but Im moving to Atlanta in June of this year. I will keep following your posts. As soon as I arrive in Atlanta I will get in contact with you. Thanks for all the tips! Made all difference in my life!! Have a wonderful 2014 :))


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