Jul 7, 2023 • 7 min read

How To Start Writing a Book: Mixam’s Beginner’s Guide To Inspire

Lay the groundwork for book writing success with these helpful pointers.

How To Start Writing a Book: Mixam’s Beginner’s Guide To Inspire

Writing a book is one of the most meaningful ways to help others improve their lives with your knowledge and stories. There's no wrong reason for wanting to start book writing - you just first need to believe your ideas are worthy and shareable. 

And while there are pros and cons to self-publishing and traditional publishing, the development of self-publishing platforms, in particular, allows people from all walks of life to realise their dreams of becoming an author. Ultimately, planning your book’s structure will streamline your writing process. A framework will give you the momentum to keep writing, and Mixam's self-publishing service PrintLink has already helped many people turn their manuscripts into professionally printed books.


First, you need goals that are specific and targeted:

  • Identify your aims: Ask yourself why you want to write in the first place and what you hope to achieve with your publication. Typical objectives include increasing readership, raising awareness, building a reputation or improving your business communications. Print can help you achieve all those goals and more, but pinpointing exactly what you want to do will help you take the necessary steps to simplify your writing strategy.


  • Thoroughly research your topic: Gaining an in-depth understanding of your topic before writing is critical. And during the research stage, try to rely on something other than online research - there are so many resources offline in libraries, archives and museums that could be a gateway to a great idea. Let's imagine you're writing a Cookbook about Italian cuisine. You should find all the necessary information, including the history, traditions, and culture surrounding this topic. Your book should teach readers how to make authentic Italian meals and demonstrate what makes your version and interpretation unlike anyone else's. 


  • Make a schedule and completion deadline: Setting deadlines is an excellent way to stay accountable. Writing, reviewing, editing - make time for all. Do you have a time limit by which you want to create your publication? Decide what you'll do each day, week and month to ensure you stay on track. And plan realistically - how much time can you dedicate to writing? Your goal, for instance, could be to write 250 words a day. But whatever you decide, be disciplined, take breaks and give yourself some leeway, as some tasks may take longer than expected. Writer's block, hesitation and low motivation are all natural experiences, too, so revisit your plan as often as you like to refocus and set short-term goals. 


Next, a marketing plan will help you build anticipation and spread the word about your publication:

  • Track your progress: Documenting your book's progress is a great way to ensure you keep up with your goals. It will also help you keep motivated - seeing how far you've come and what you're yet to accomplish should compel you to keep going. 


  • Set up email marketing campaigns: The main reasons for email marketing are to raise awareness and persuade your customers to buy your book. Create event invites, teaser emails, exclusive offers and newsletters - they all help to drum up excitement and let readers know what's in store for them when they get their hands on your publication. And always end your email with a call to action (CTA), stating what you want them to do next: keep an eye out on your Instagram stories, sign up for alerts, get a reminder for their online calendar - do whatever you think that will keep you and your publication front of mind.


  • Promote your book on social media: Like it or not, social media is a powerful and influential book marketing component. Hashtags like #booktok#bookstagram and BookTube are racking millions of posts and views created by fast-growing sub-communities. It can be challenging to carve out time for this activity when you'll mostly be in 'author mode', but you don't have to constantly post on social media - quality over quantity pays off here. And, even though you're promoting your publication, your audience should always be your focus. Remind potential readers that they're getting the most value from what you offer and that you're a worthwhile investment time and money-wise.


  • Network, network, network: Events, fairs, conventions, meet-ups, writing groups, book writing retreats and competitions - there are so many ways to get your work out there, get feedback and increase your visibility. The whole process starts and ends with you - so when you demonstrate a positive and confident attitude towards your writing, others will likely respond similarly. And as much as people can discover and learn about you on social media, networking is a tangible way to promote and interact with people who could provide valuable insight - you never know who you might meet!


Finally, even when you get close to the end of your writing journey, there are a few things to consider beforehand:

  • Always get a second opinion on your manuscript: You don't have to act on every piece of feedback you receive, but getting another perspective can strengthen your work even more and improve your editing. Your work will undergo many revisions, from bullet points to more intensive detailed notes. Spell checks are also vital - and can be costly if you need to edit your files again and order reprints of your work. Consider AI Writing Assistants like Grammarly to help you pinpoint spelling, phrasing and tonal issues. And reading your work aloud can do wonders and encourage you to think about your sentence's rhythm and speed. What might sound great to you could be difficult for another reader to grasp. 


  • Consider your cover design: Book cover reveals are one of the most hotly anticipated aspects of a book release, and their primary purpose is to sell. Book covers give a story a 'face' and hint at the reading experience you've created. Your text and imagery should capture a mood, time, surprise, or even subvert the reader's expectations. You can design your own cover or collaborate with a book artist or illustrator so they can help you translate your story visually. And you could even incorporate a cover reveal into your social media and email marketing. Adding a Dust Jacket is another effective tool for Hardcover Book authors. Primarily their function is to protect the book from general wear and tear. But the layout means you can add information about the author, highlight reviews, display publisher information and include promotional material. 


Printing a book is a massive creative achievement that can instil an undeniable sense of pride and accomplishment. When you're ready to transform your digital files into your own printed books, head to our website for your free quote or visit our this Support Page to learn how to get started with Mixam. And to launch your self-publishing journey with our print-on-demand service PrintLink, log in to your account and see if your previous orders are eligible. Alternatively, you can get your quote for your publications here. For more news and inspiration, check out the array of posts on Mixam's Blog and visit our Support section for helpful guidance and advice on all things print.


Image Credit: Freepik

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