For any writer who aspires to be an author, knowing how to publish a book is essential. It’s a common scenario — you have an idea for a book but you have no way of knowing how to translate that idea from your computer screen into print or online.
Now, more than at any other time in history, there are more opportunities and possibilities to write, share, and publish a story — and interact with an audience. Whether you are after the traditional publishing experience, complete with an agent, editor, and publisher, or want to self publish your book, it’s completely within your grasp. You decide what works best for you and your work.
Writing is a medium of human communication that represents language and emotion through the inscription or recording of signs and symbols. In most languages, writing is a complement to speech or spoken language. Writing is not a language but a form of technology that developed as tools developed with human society.
Within a language system, writing relies on many of the same structures as speech, such as vocabulary, grammar and semantics, with the added dependency of a system of signs or symbols. The result of writing is generally called text, and the recipient of text is called a reader. Motivations for writing include publication, storytelling, correspondence and diary. Writing has been instrumental in keeping history, maintaining culture, dissemination of knowledge through the media and the formation of legal systems.
Below are the 5 best ultimate guide to writing and publishing better as a writer.
1. Dive into the data
The foundation of any good strategy should always be accurate data. It can tell you so much and enable you to take stock of your current performance and position before you decide on your next moves. You can drown in it though, so focus only on the data that will help your decision-making.
I always think of my strategy as telling the story of my list. Present the data clearly and allow it to help tell that story by analyzing and evaluating what it tells you. Ask yourself, what will you do with this data?
But understand data’s limitations; you must also apply insight and instinct to it, and this comes from knowledge of your customer and trends in the market.
2. Always consider your customer
Your customer should be at the heart of your publishing plan – so get out and talk to them! Who are they? What do they need and how can you help them more than a competitor can? Appraise your strengths and weaknesses and decide whether your strategy needs to segment your customers into different groups according to differing needs – creating customer profiles will help with this.
3. Put it all into context
What is happening in the market that might make your customers behave differently in the future? Monitor trends in the market and read around your list by signing up to relevant newsletters and following appropriate news channels or blogs.
Think carefully and honestly about your competitors – both traditional and new. Anticipate where they might move next by considering what you would do in their shoes.
The point of a strategy is to help you focus your thoughts and create a plan that will strengthen the position of your list. You can’t fight on all fronts so decide where to focus efforts for the biggest or quickest wins (be realistic about resourcing and investment).
4. Utilize strategic techniques
It’s all too easy to believe that you should be investing (or not investing) in a certain project when you look at it in isolation. Using strategic tools like SWOT analysis, a BCG grid or Ansoff’s matrix will help you to see how a project fits into your list as a whole and where you should take it.
This forces you to be objective and impose priorities on your publishing plan. You will see that some areas of your list require a defensive strategy, whilst others may need offensive tactics.
5. Put your strategy into action
Your strategy document should be ‘live’. Once it has the approval of the management team, refer to it frequently to keep your work on course. Every project proposal should be contributing towards you achieving specific strategic goals.
Trust in your plan; if you have analyzed the data, listened to your customers and considered your place and direction in the market, it will anchor your workload for the coming year.
When do you write your best? When do you come up with your best ideas?
I’d love a peek into your writing process and brainstorming sessions. Present them as comments below.