A statistic is often thrown around that over 80% of Americans say they have a book inside of them and should write it. Only two percent ever do, and of those, very few are published, and even fewer actually sell more than a couple of hundred copies.

Why is that? And what can you do to go from the eighty percent to the two percent of people who ever write a book? Here are some of the reasons, and the tips and tricks to overcome them.

Writing a Book is Hard

Writing a book is hard for a number of reasons, and they are the very excuses that those in the eighty-percent try to use all the time to explain why their book remains unwritten:

  • Time: Writing a book takes a lot of time, and if you are already a busy person, it may seem like an impossible task.
  • Knowing How: There is no other task like writing a book. Writing an email or social media post is easier because they are shorter. But how do you carry your ideas or your story over a much longer work?
  • Fear: People who want to write a book are often afraid of very similar things, from what other people will think to whether or not their idea or book will be any good or sell at all.

How do you overcome all these things? Here are some simple solutions:

  • Write every day: Write something, even if it is small, every single day. Don’t worry about if it is even good. Just write.
  • Learn as you go: There are all kinds of courses on writing, and you could take a lot of them. But there is no substitute for practice. So yes, take classes and learn about writing. But practice is the only thing that will make you better.
  • Make peace with yourself: No matter how careful you are, your writing will likely offend someone, maybe even tick them off. And what you write at first might not be the best. Hire professional editors and others to make it better before you publish, and make peace with what you have written.

One of the simpler ways to get your story out there is to hire a ghostwriter or a developmental editor to work with you on your first draft and even through the publication process. You’ll get one on one help from someone who has done this before, and you’ll know that your story is being professionally told.

But when you are done writing, are you done? Nope, not yet.

Publishing a Book is Even Harder

Can you self-publish your book and be successful? Yes, you can, but there are a lot of steps along the way. The process is both time consuming and can be expensive. Here are some of those steps:

  • You must have your book edited. Even if you work with a ghostwriter or editor, you will need someone to proof or edit your work once it is completed.
  • You need a good cover. Nope, you can’t just put a good picture of yourself on the cover and call it good. You need a real designer (and you’re going to have to find one who creates the style of cover you want).
  • You need to format the interior correctly. This is going to be tougher than you think especially for eBooks and books in print, especially if your book has tables or photos inside.
  • You need to put it all together in a package you can sell.

This may sound like a lot of steps, and it is. If you run a business or even have a demanding job, you may wonder how you will have time for it all. As with many things in publishing, you have choices.

  • You can do this all yourself and take the time and hours it will take to do so.
  • You can shop your manuscript around to agents and publishers the old-fashioned way, and hope it gets picked up by someone. This can be equally time consuming, and you’ll often need an editor before you send it out.
  • You can hire a professional, an author or publishing services company to do it for you, and pay them to manage your book project and all of the details.

What choice is right for you? That depends a lot on you, and the amount of time and money you have to devote to your book project. If you are a thought leader or a business professional, the likelihood is that you have a great story or some fantastic and unique principles to share.

The only question is how you will get them into the world and join the two percent who do write a book.

Selling a Book is Even Tougher

The book market is changing all the time, and it is evolving as we speak due to a variety of market disruptions that are making it even harder for authors to reach their audiences. Discoverability is the biggest obstacle for any writer, publisher, or book just like with any other product.

You’ll not only have to distribute your book to the right places, but you’ll also need to market it using word of mouth, paid ads, and other marketing methods, but you will also have to make sure you’re making more than you are spending and getting a good ROI.

This is another area where hiring a team of professionals is often the answer. They have marketed books before and know how to reach your unique audience in the best way. It takes years of experience to do this correctly, and while you may want to at least learn the basics yourself, often your time is better spent running your business or writing your next book.

Writing a Book is Priceless

If everything about writing a book is so hard, why go through all of this pain, expense, and trouble? Because writing a book is priceless. There is something incredibly valuable and validating about getting your story and your book into a format you can share with others. And there is nothing like holding your printed book in your hands for the very first time.

Because it’s hard, many of the eighty percent who want to write a book never do. That’s actually why we formed Unbound Publishing. We offer concierge author services from ghostwriting and developmental editing all the way to the PR and Marketing process. We want to help transform storytellers into authors and help you go from being a part of the eighty percent to one of the two percent who follow through and write a book.

Interested or just have questions? Feel free to email us at [email protected]. We’d love to start a conversation about how we can best work together. If not now, when? Contact us today!

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Troy Lambert
Troy is a Freelance writer, editor, and author who lives, works, and plays in Boise, Idaho where he hikes, cycles, skis, and basically enjoys the outdoor lifestyle of the Northwest. Troy writes about business, sports, GIS, Education, and more. He is most passionate about writing suspense thrillers, and his work can be found at https://www.amazon.com/Troy-Lambert/e/B005LL1QEC/