Want to Write a Book? Let’s Talk

To write a book

To write a book, you’ll need to ask yourself a few questions. You’ll need to know what type of book you want to write--fiction or nonfiction. Also, ask yourself why you want to embark on this journey.

Writing a book involves many steps. If you’re not highly motivated, chances are you probably won’t finish it. Will your book be for your eyes only or will it be for publication? More about publication later. Following the steps involved in learning to write a book will put you on the path to success.

Thinking to Write a Book That's Nonfiction?

Woman at chalkboard

You’ll need to choose a subject that you’re passionate about and that you know a lot about. You don’t need to be an expert, but it would definitely help if you’ve had lots of experience in your chosen field. You’ll learn even more when you do your extensive research.

How are your research skills, by the way? By the time you finish learning to write a book that's great, they should be impressive. Many authors use Google as one of their main search engines.

I’ve written two nonfiction books. One, FrogScratch, Handwriting Analysis: A Dating Tool for the Millennium, is—as the title states—on analyzing handwriting. I studied handwriting for many years, and I still needed to consult the Graphoanalysis Society often to double-check the accuracy of what I was writing.

Handwriting analysis takes into account the strokes a person makes in forming their letters. These strokes expose one's personality. Here are only a handful of traits a person’s handwriting can reveal:

  • Vanity
  • Jealousy
  • Anger
  • Rage
  • Talkativeness
  • Diplomacy
  • Depression
  • Optimism
  • Pessimism
  • Secretiveness
FrogScratch cover

My second book is about body language. It’s titled: Oh, Body! The Things You Do: The Drama of Body Language. One avenue of research for this book involved people-watching.

People reveal their true feelings through their body movements. The tongue may lie, but the body does not. The language of the body is subconscious.

When a handsome hunk walks by a woman, and she starts twirling her hair and fluttering her eyelashes, her gesture lets you know what’s on her mind. She may be totally oblivious to her actions.

Oh, Body book cover

Nonfiction books are extremely popular. Self-help books, autobiographies, memoirs, and more line store bookshelves. It's been said that everyone has a book in them. I believe that's true. If you plan to write a book, consider the nonfiction category.

You can find FrogScratch, Handwriting Analysis: A Dating Tool for the Millennium, and Oh, Body! The Things You Do: The Drama of Body Language on Amazon and Xlibris.

Do You Want to Write a Book of Poems?

Girl, book, butterflies

Many people are poets at heart and want to memorialize their aesthetic verses. Does this describe you? If so, you can join other successful poets whose books grace bookshelves. If you write a book of poems just for yourself or loved ones, you can still have it printed professionally.

What exactly is poetry?

Here are a few interpretations:

“Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.” —T.S. Eliot

“Poetry is eternal graffiti written in the heart of everyone.” —Lawrence Ferlinghetti

“Poetry is like a bird, it ignores all frontiers.” —Yevgeny Yevtushenko

“Poetry is the lifeblood of rebellion, revolution, and the raising of consciousness.” —Alice Walker

“Poetry might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings.” —W.H. Auden 

“If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry.” —Emily Dickinson

“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” —Robert Frost

What is your interpretation of poetry? Let us know when you write a book filled with them.

If You Plan to Write a Book of Fiction,
Here are Some Tips

A man who has a story to tell.

My favorite type of book is fiction. You can let your imagination loose. You can write about aliens that come from another dimension in their tricked-out spaceships. You’re also free to write about the monstrous badass T. rex. If you’re the romantic type, you can write about boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl again. The sky’s the limit. (Please excuse the cliché.)

I wrote two fiction books, unpublished to date. Many of my short stories have been published in anthology books. My latest short story, "Mellie’s Mountain," appears in the anthology, The Stories of She.

You may also find the book The Stories of She--by Davis,  Meyer, et al--on Amazon. 

The Stories of She

Writing nonfiction and fiction takes discipline. Sometimes the words just won’t come, and you’re left with writer’s block. It’s frustrating because only a few minutes ago or a few hours ago or a few days ago, you could hardly wait until you got your butt in the chair to start your fantastic book.

This is often where the dividing line comes in that separates the successful authors from the not-so-successful ones. Many quit when they encounter obstacles.

If you have an acute case of writer’s block, get up from your chair and do something more productive with your time. Walk the dog. Have a snack or meditate. Above all, if you've given yourself a deadline, don’t wait until the last minute to write a book. This encourages writer’s block.

In order to write a book, you need to read a book. Read lots of them to get a feel for how high the bar is set. If you feel your writing is not up to par:

  • Take writing courses
  • Take grammar classes
  • Get professional feedback on your writing
  • Practice writing more
  • Build your vocabulary
  • Join a writing group
  • Develop great research skills

Do You Plan to Write a Book for Publication?

Get published

If you want to sell your work, you’ll need to know what your audience wants. One thing they want is an easy to follow book. That means it needs to be organize. If you’re planning to write a volume of poems, think of organizing them by subject. For instance, you can have a selection on birds, one on love, one on dreams, and so forth.

Your audience will also want a book free from errors, and books not filled with big words will relieve her from constantly scrambling to look up their definitions. Redundancy, presenting the same information over and over, is also a big turnoff.

Whatever subject you choose, make your cover appealing. Yes, you’ve heard that you can’t judge a book by its cover; yet many people do. There’s a lot of competition for the reader’s attention. Encourage her to pick up your book by having an appealing title and cover. Choosing an appropriate title for your book and having an appealing cover is a study in itself.  

If you plan to publish your work, will you self-publish or look for a traditional book publisher? CreateSpace and Xlibris are two self-publishing platforms that you may want to explore. There are many others. Google will let to know where to find them. Likewise, Google and other sources will let you know where and how to find traditional book publishers.

If you plan to write a book, congratulations! This is a worthy goal. Take it seriously, follow the necessary steps, and know that you can do it.

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