How to Write and Publish Your First Book

July 23, 2020  •  Product Development

When we told you that you should write a book, we weren’t kidding! Nothing else helps position your authority in your field quite like having a book with your name on it.

Only, you may be wondering…

Even if I do the hard part and write the book, who will publish it for me?

Yes, You Can Write a Book

We’ll be direct with you: writing a book isn’t easy. But it’s also not as hard as you think. You’ve possibly done a big chunk of the work already without realizing it. Think about everything you’ve written for your platform. Blog posts, presentations, even tweets or Facebook posts. This existing content is prime fuel for your new book.

For example, let’s say you’ve written a number of blog posts on a single topic (which you probably have). These posts can form the outline, or even chapters, of your book. That’s exactly what Michael Hyatt did to create his e-book, “Creating Your Personal Life Plan” (a precursor to “Living Forward”). You will need to write some additional content like anecdotes or additional points. You’ll also want to write nice transitions between the repurposed content so the book flows smoothly. It’s a simple but effective approach.

You Can Publish That Book, Too

This used to be the hard part. Not that many years ago, if you didn’t have the backing of a publishing company, your options were very limited. Either you had to write a home-run book proposal, mail a copy of your manuscript to a publisher and hope that publisher is in a great mood, or print your own copies at home and sell them at book festivals or out of the trunk of your car (hey, we’ve seen it).

The publishing world has changed, and authors now have more control than ever before. You don’t need a publisher to get your book out there. You are the publisher. All you need to do is self-publish your book. The quickest and simplest way to do this is to create an e-book for online distribution. But if you’ve ever dreamed of seeing your book in print, even that is within reach—without having to run off copies on your home printer.

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7 Steps to Write and Publish Your E-Book

You have what it takes to write and publish your own book. These are the seven steps we suggest to get you from start to finish:

  1. Write Your Book. This is the scary part, but as we said above, you’ve probably done a big chunk of the work already.
  2. Write Your Book in a Word Processor. To self-publish your book, you must first write the book in a format that’s friendly to online publishing. If you’re a Mac person, Pages includes a template for creating e-books in an e-pub format. If you’re a PC person, Microsoft Word is the perennial staple. Writer-focused options also exist in Scrivener and Nisus Writer.
  3. Hire a Professional Editor. Quality matters. You need to write the best book you can, and you need an editor to ensure that book is the best version it can be. A quick Google search will reveal dozens of options. Or ask a friend who has written a book for a recommendation.
  4. Choose a Cover. Like it or not, people do judge a book by its cover. But it doesn’t take much. Simply choose a relevant image from iStock and add your title, or hire a graphic designer to do it for you.
  5. Choose Your Format. How do you want people to experience your book? If a simple download on your website, a PDF will do fine. If on an e-reader, you need to convert your book to an e-pub file. On a Mac, Pages will do this for you. Or convert it for free on Convertio.
  6. Upload Your Book. Add your new book as a download on your website, upload to the iBooks store with iBooks Author, or use Kindle Direct Publishing to add it to the Kindle Store and even print your own physical copies!
  7. Tell People About Your Book! This is the fun part. Now you get to announce on your platform that you’ve written a book, and that your audience can get a copy today.

The process of writing and publishing your first book is well within your reach. What are you waiting for?

About John Meese

John leads a team focused on simplifying online marketing for professionals as the Dean of Platform University and lives in Columbia, Tennessee, with his wife and three beautiful children. You won't find him on social media, but you can connect to him personally on his blog: