More than once, I’ve read a powerful story in a book from an author who is not really well known. That’s never mattered to me because the story in the book left a huge impression. The story quite possibly changed my life. If you want to know how to change someone’s life, I’ll show you. Here’s how to write a book.
By knowing the value of the truth in the words you write about your story and experiences, you will greatly influence and shape other people’s lives. By following these steps, you will see how exactly to do it.
At the end of this article, I will also give you some more self-publishing resources and tools so that you spend less time getting started on your self-publishing journey.
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Your personal story of life struggles, adventures, and overcoming challenges is way more powerful than you think. When that story is published in a book, you have the potential to be the next big influencer shaping another person’s life for the better. You simply can’t predict how a person will relate to your words, your message, and the vibration of the information you are giving them.
I am writing this article because it fits within my teachings of Self Mastery—the concept my coaching and mentor programs are wrapped around. I love showing the outsiders of society’s norms, those who are sick of limited educational systems and meaningless jobs, that there are other methods of creating success and earning an income.
Make sure you read this whole article, as I don‘t want to lose you early on in step one or two. You need to read all of what I have to say here.
My own story didn’t seem so bad until the newspaper printed it
A few years ago, my sister went to Oslo in Norway to try and locate my brother among a crowd of other drug addicts. Not because she necessarily wanted to but because a big newspaper in the south of Norway wanted to tell our story.
My siblings and I come from a more or less shitty background. I didn’t really fully understand that until I read about my own story in the newspaper. For the first time in my life, I had an emotional reaction to what I was reading and came to understand about us.
If you think you don’t have a story, an experience, or some skills that others would like to know more about, you’re wrong. Even if you consider your life to have been meaningless up until now and the only experiences you have are sitting on your couch, there must be a reason for that. And it doesn’t mean you’re an earthling without emotions.
Or maybe your book wouldn’t be about your life but an imagined, fictional story loosely based on true life events.
My point here is that I’m going to show you how to change someone’s life by showing you how to write a book. Even if you’re not a “writer.” What does it mean to be a writer anyway?
All you need is a keyboard or a tape recorder. Read on.
1. Change your mindset about writing a book NOW
Yes, today. Peel away any lurking and stupid doubts about how you can’t write a book. If what I have been telling you so far or just the title of this article triggers you, you need to write a book. You simply don’t see how it could come about. So, back to mindset.
It’s all about your programming in your brain. What you THINK is true will be true for you. Whether you feel like a nobody or you’re a pretty confident person, you can write, publish, and sell a book. The world’s most famous writers were “nobodies” at first.
So start thinking differently. That will make you a writer. Your mindset from today on will determine the outcome of this book. But hang on, I have more for you to know about how to write a book.
2. Pick your story or topic and write out a title for your book
Transcend into fantasy land for a moment, or simply pick a story from your life or some experiences that have impacted you. You might even decide to teach some of your best (even hidden) skills to other people.
The beauty of self-publishing a book is that you are in control of your own content. So be creative. The title, for now, will be the overall guiding phrase that keeps you focused on your book’s topic. You may need to do this to come up with the book idea in the first place.
The title you write out now will be a working title unless you connect with a divine spark and get a brilliant idea that becomes the final title of your book.
3. Write down your outline and table of contents
I like to simplify things. Your brain may already be trying to convince you that writing a book is a complex and slow process that will only age you. It’s not. So let’s take that necessary first step.
What’s the beginning of your book—what happens? How did it all begin? Write a seven- to ten-point bullet list covering the main structure or chapters of the book. This is very effective, and I actually do it for my articles, like the one you are reading now. I start out with the headings because then I can simply fill in the words below each heading or chapter.
Make a note of this today, and start playing with a book outline. You only need a pen and paper to do this or your mobile device’s note-taking app. Write the outline now. If you manage to complete an outline for your book today, you’ll already be on your way to completing a finished book.
When can I go buy it?
4. By the power of your new mindset create a set of sacred writing times
With our list of chapters as your new book outline, brew a cup of fresh coffee, and enter writing mode. And, unless you have nothing else to do in life, you should decide on some holy-hour writing sessions a few times per week. Most of us are damn busy, and there’s too much shit stealing our attention in life. Work, school, entertainment, new gadgets, and social media.
None of that is going to get your book out, and it’s not going to change anyone’s life. If you want to stand out, be different, and get noticed in the world, I think you would enjoy the rest of this article. Learn how to change someone’s life by getting your book out into the world.
So, maybe you don’t write every day but at least every other day. You should decide to write for thirty minutes, an hour, or four hours. Whatever. There’s a magical formula that MAKES BOOKS COME ALIVE, and that’s to not fuck around with pretending and procrastinating. I really want you to LOVE the process because that’s when you make time to write.
Next, make sure the place you sit down to write empowers your desire and motivation to tell your story. If you live with your family, have kids, a girlfriend, or hang around with friends while you write, they’re going to steal your magical power to get shit done. Don’t do that. If you’re fine with spending time at home, at least create a space to sit down and make sure the room or your writing desk is inspiring. Demand your writing time.
I love cafés. (As long as I’m not interrupted.) I think I’m famous at most of the cafés in my area for spending hours working. So I change around a lot. The thing with coffee shops is that I have people around me and a nice atmosphere to work in. This improves my writing. And I also have good coffee to enjoy.
4. Simplify the process of writing by picking effective writing tools
There are just no excuses for not writing a book anymore if that is what you desire. The tools are so simple and cheap. I will share some tips for apps and services you will need to write. Here are some of the most effective writing tools that I use.
You don’t need much. You need a computer or an iPad. For iPads and other tablets, get a wireless keyboard. I’m actually writing this article on my iPad Pro with a Bluetooth Mac keyboard. The benefit is that it’s not that easy to multitask and jump around and do other stuff.
You’re not good at writing, you say? Listen to this.
I’m in a Mastermind group in the US, and one of my buddies there teaches people how to write and publish books. There’s only one catch in his workflow. He can’t write. Seriously. I remember in 2017 when I interviewed him for one of my events, he told me that he has problems with his vision, so he struggles to see what he is writing.
The solution? He uses an audio recorder and has a virtual assistant transcribe his words for him! Amen to that hack! So what do you need for this? Your mobile phone. You can simply send the audio file to the service or individual who transcribes for you.
You can also try transcribing your voice directly by using text to speech functions. I recommend you use Google Docs for this. It’s free, and it’s considered one of the best methods out there. So while editing in Google Docs, you go to tools and then voice typing.
Software and Apps (with links)
With the device of your choice, you will need a program or app to write in. Your writing app should be very simple. I never recommend writing in Word and any heavy text editing software. That’s because you’re not supposed to be editing. This time is all about pure writing! Editing is another process, and you may even want to have someone else handle that for you.
And please—please—don’t even start with the fancy colouring and sexy fonts. Let all that be for now.
One of the more famous apps for writing all kinds of content, from blog posts to books and film scripts, is Scrivener. You could say this is a text editing software, but it’s better suited for comprehensive writing projects. At least, I don’t edit using Scrivener anyway.
I can recommend Mac apps like Ulysses and Byword which can export to Docx format for editing later. I do like and recommend using a writing app that will sync to iCloud, Dropbox, or Google Drive so that you can access the same content on your iPhone. And yes, I do write my blog posts on my iPhone.
If you are working on a Mac, I seriously recommend going for this low price Setapp subscription. This will give you access to a huge list of useful writing apps and other tools worth thousands of dollars. Why pay full price when you can pay $10 a month? I use Setapp myself and love it.
Backup, collaboration, and syncing
When you get started on such an important project like writing your book, you should also make sure that you have backups in place. Let’s not get fancy about that. If you’re on Mac, like I am, you have iCloud to sync with. But since I’m doing all my writing in Scrivener, I have decided to upload my files to Dropbox. When I’m out writing, everything syncs and updates in Scrivener when I get home.
Another important note about Dropbox is that when the day comes and you want some help with editing or any other work related to your book, it’s so much easier to collaborate with another person when all your work files are already there in a shared Dropbox folder.
Your book cover and graphics
Creating a powerful and eye-catching book cover is very important. So, before your limbic brain triggers you to freak out because you’re not a designer, fear not! There’s an app for that!
I would go to Canva.com and sign up for a free account and start playing with different book cover ideas. You will also find a load of ready-made design templates that you can use and modify to craft your book cover.
Or you could also get someone else to do it for you. And this is not as expensive as you may expect. Consider places like Fiverr.com (be picky) or UpWork.com to get someone who connects with your book and message to design a quality book cover with you. Make it with love and care.
Your book cover is the first signal to the world when readers see it on Amazon and other retailers.
5. How to publish a book through self-publishing online and on Amazon
Did you already have troubling thoughts about how this book would actually be published? Well, we are now in 2018, and your reality is shifting. Those who used to be in power are not so powerful anymore. So the first step is for you to give the finger to any publishing house.
Now, there are two main methods for you to self-publish worth considering. You can sell your eBooks yourself online from your own blog, or you can use services like Gumroad and sell your book there.
The next and most lucrative one when done right is publishing your book through Amazon. For printing your book, that’s also a lot easier than before. You can have your book on Amazon and do print-on-demand through CreateSpace. Those days when you had to order a shit-load of books are over.
Self-publishing is what most entrepreneurs are doing, and this is what I recommend for you also. I won’t go into details on how publishing on Amazon works and how to set this up technically because there are other resources I would like to point you to that will give you a much better step-by-step process.
But if you want to know how to publish a book1 on Amazon, here are the first steps:
- Create your Amazon KDP account (Kindle Direct Publishing).
- Next, sign up for your CreateSpace account. This is where you format your book and make it ready for print on demand.
- Create your Amazon Author Page account.
This is of course later in the process after you have done a good amount of writing and you’re getting closer to publishing your book.
At the end of this article, I share some links to very good resources you can look into that will help you further and more in-depth help on getting your book written, formatted, and published. A lot of people have done it before you and will continue to do so.
Self-publishing resources and tools for indie authors
To give you some more tips for self-publishing a book, I wanted to add in some links, resources, and tools for indie authors such as yourself.
I want to help you and show you how to write a book, then get it wrapped and published on Amazon. Amazon is where you will (of course) get the biggest exposure and leverage to become a published author.
Book marketing for self-published authors is also a topic in itself. And you’ll get help on that also by checking out one of the links below.
You can come far without spending a lot of money on courses. If you follow the links below and put in the work, you’ll have a finished book to publish.
Launch your book to be a bestseller
This is like a self-publishing school, and it’s free. Check out what Tom Morkes offers in his training via well-written emails and clear insights to help you with self-publishing.
Jonathan Green – Serve No Master
Jonathan helps people escape the nine to five so they can pursue a more passionate life by writing and publishing books on Amazon. And he is good at it. Check out his resources here.
Chandler Bold’s Self Publishing School
Chandler is a cool guy. He dropped out of school because he got tired of it. His parents didn’t really approve of this, but he found that starting his own self-publishing school was more lucrative. His business helps indie authors self-publish their books and offers a program to teach you how to write a book and publish it in 90 days.
Be inspired to write and self-publish
I will end this article with that. I hope this has you inspired to see that you can without a doubt brainstorm, write, package, and publish your own book and sell it on Amazon. Or even just write and publish a PDF eBook to have people download on your blog!
Go forth, and may the force be with you.