Here on the blog, we get tons of questions every day. It turns out nobody has more questions than a writer who is trying to write a book, so read these before you send us any more emails. Seriously.

  1. I have a great idea, but how do I get started?

Just start writing. Sit your butt down in your chair and just make it work. Write 250 words, write 2,000. Write for 10 minutes, write for an hour. We don’t care, just start writing. It’s that simple. Once you make this a habit – congratulations – you can call yourself a writer.

  1. What do I do when I finish my book?

First, tell us what that feels like because we’re all totally never going to know what that feels like. Then, you have to decide if you ever want it to see the light of day. You can either show it to everyone, let your mom and your dog read it, or you can keep it under lock and key and let it be seen when you’re dead and nobody can hear you say “No” again. Or you can find an agent after sending your manuscript to dozens of them and see if anyone wants to represent you. From there, the agent will take your manuscript and see any of the publishing houses want it. If not, you can try self publishing, or you can lock it up and never let anyone see it. It’s up to you.

  1. Why do I need an agent to get published?

Most publishing houses require you to have representation when applying for publication, probably because that’s how the economy stays afloat. It’s also so they know the agent has vetted the quality of your material and believes that it’s going to make the publishing house money. If you don’t want to go that route, you can self publish and not have anyone telling you your manuscript isn’t good enough!

  1. How do I self publish?

First off, you need to decide if you want to print your books, format them for e-books, or both. Then, format your book properly so that you can make sure it will translate well on e-readers like Nooks and Kindles. Then, you need to create a cover, copyright pages, acknowledgements, etc. – everything that goes into a traditional print book. Find different platforms like Create Space and Amazing Direct Publishing that will let you upload your book and start selling it. Keep in mind that you will need to probably buy an ISBN for print and an ISBN for e-books unless you only sell on Amazon. From there, you can start selling on multiple platforms. Keep in mind that self publishing is never a guarantee, and you may eat the money you’ve invested (as well as the time, pride, and effort). Nobody ever said writing was easy, but self publishing definitely is. Market yourself and your book once you’ve self published to make sure people see it.