Your manuscript is done, edited and you’re ready to get it out to the world! This is the point where many authors make an epic mistake. They decide that they will just create a PDF document to download off their website or do a digital version through Kindle. Of course, eBooks are a great thing to have in addition to printed copies. Nonetheless, you must have a paperback book; it is your golden ticket.
I was lucky enough to learn this lesson the easy way. I’m not a fan of eBooks; I don’t even own a Kindle. I love having a real, physical book in my hand to touch it, flip through the pages and carry with me. So the first thing I did was print an actual book. I didn’t even think about uploading to Kindle until almost a year later. This was beneficial to me because I carried my book with me everywhere, and I still do to this day. It’s getting a little cumbersome now that I have three books (four, if you count this one). However, the point is that the physical book is what will open doors for you.
I took part in a joint book signing with CNN’s Senior Copy Editor, John Dedakis, from “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.” A lady who was a former anchor on CNN was holding a writer’s seminar in Sarasota, Florida with John as the speaker. She had him signed up for multiple TV interviews, book signings, and a four day event with another local author. The local author backed out at the last minute for one reason or another. Frantically she looked around for another writer. She knew the man who ran a writer’s meet-up in Tampa that I was a part of. I had just launched my first book at my own fabulous book singing party which he attended. So he gave her my contact information. She called me up and the first thing she asked me was, “Do you have a book?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“No,” she said. “I mean do you have a physical book you can set up for display and autograph?”
“Yes,” I replied again.
If I only had a Kindle version or a PDF, I would have not been able to take advantage of that opportunity.
You must have a physical book. If you go on TV interviews they want to hold it and show the audience. They will take still shots of it to display while you are talking. Radio stations may request that you send them a copy so they can read it prior to your interview. To do your book launch you want stacks of them at your table to autograph. I have been on ABC, Daytime TV, FOX, Channel 10 News and SSN; I wouldn’t have gotten those interviews without a book. Furthermore, no one will ask you who published it. Self-published or big publisher, they don’t care! As long as you have a book in your hands no one cares how it got there. I’ve been interviewed over 100 times and not one person asked me where I published it. They only ask me where they can buy it. I reply, “On Amazon.”
by Tara Richter
You need to take advantage of every spare moment you have to finish your book and write when you feel inspired. Once you get your thoughts spinning in your head you need to stop what you’re doing and write them down, even if its chicken scratch notes. If you don’t you may forget them or the thoughts will not be as intense as they were feeling at the moment. I composed my 2nd and 3rd books writing in small 5 to 10 minutes chunks in grocery stores, on the treadmill, and on airplanes. I use the notepad app on my iPhone. I bought a blue tooth key board for $50 and carry it around with me so when I’m inspired I sit down and easily write it out. Once I’m done with my thoughts I email it to myself so when I get home, it’s sitting in my email box waiting for me so I don’t forget. Then I copy and paste it into my word document and clean it up.
Anytime you have an extra five minutes in your day, you need to write. Waiting in line to pick up the kids from school? Write on your smart phone or tablet. Walking on the treadmill? Jot some ideas down. Working out always gets ideas rolling in my head. Probably because of all the blood pumping through my veins and those feel-good endorphins flooding my body. I come up with some of my best material while working out. However , I don’t want to lose those racing thoughts!
Traveling soon? Airports is another great time to write. Just think about how many minutes you waste standing in line to be groped by security, flights that are delayed, sitting on the plane waiting for them to fuel up and damn where is that truck to push back the plane! I was on a flight heading from Tampa to Nebraska one summer and I had my cool little portable Bluetooth keyboard with me. I was typing away on my iPhone, listening to music and having a grand ‘ol time. The couple next to me just kept staring out of the corner of their eyes. Trying to be sly, but not pulling it off. Finally I took my earbuds out so they could ask me that dying question, “Are you really writing on your iPhone?” I told them I’m an author and I how I compose most of my books with this method, they were amazed.
I have tried using the voice dictation option on my iPhone and my experience is that it does not work well. It doesn’t seem to understand what I’m saying and it makes more errors than it’s worth. Even though it would record my speaking quickly, editing all the errors out wasted way more time. Also I realized that when I’m writing and thinking of what I want to say and how to say it, I pause and re-organize the thoughts in my head a lot. When I do this verbally it makes for a messy transcription to clean up. When I’m typing, I have more time to adjust my information while it goes from my brain to my fingertips to the laptop. So typing versus speaking works better for me. There may be better voice to text software out there and that may be an easier option for you. It doesn’t really matter how you do it, just finding your sweet spot is the key.
by Tara Richter
*This is an excerpt from her next book, “How to Write & Publish a Book for FREE” it will be available for purchase soon! Subscribe to the blog for updates on the process of the book.*