Things You Didn’t Know to Ask

This article contains a few pieces of information that you probably didn’t know to ask.

You can read the first article in this series, How to Write a Book Prep Guide, here. Which is an important first step to How to Write a Book and also the second article in this series. You can find that gem here.

How long should my book be?

There is no longer a standard length required for a book.

If you want a paperback (you should definitely want a paperback), the minimum page count for Amazon is 24 pages. That’s approximately 7,000 words. To give you a frame of reference, this article is 898 words.

When a book rambles and belabors a point, it’s because they haven’t been concise to get the point across. No reader wants a rambling book. Communicate and get your point across. You can do that in 7,000 words or 77,000 words.

Should I be editing while writing?

It is difficult to shut your inner editor up and write during the writing process. Even while writing this post, I found myself wanting to go back, read, fix, re-organize, read it again, and then move it back to the way I had it before.

Here’s the deal: The most important thing is to get the book out. Write like you’re talking to me and just get it out. After the first DRAFT (called draft for a reason), then you can go back. Refuse to go back and read what you already have. I found the flow to be easier when I could do that.

What if I get writer’s block?

Is this even a thing? I think not.

Let’s talk about ‘writers block’ for what it really is. It’s a preoccupation with something else. It’s stress, squirrel syndrome, or something else going on that does not allow you to focus on the task at hand. And that is real life stuff that happens all the time, not just when we write.

We just like to call it writer’s block as if it should be listed in the most current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. We don’t talk about our house cleaning block. Or our bookkeeping block. And it would be equally ridiculous to tell our friends: I’m sorry I didn’t call. I was experiencing phone block.

So what do you need to do? Maybe you just need to go through the emails or make the call that your mind is preoccupied with. Maybe you just heard the washer ding and you need to switch out clothes. So do it. More coffee? Go grab it.

Earthing is a great way to recenter—barefoot in the grass, dig your toes in, feel the sunshine on your skin, and breathe deep. I personally love a good shower. I get my best ideas when I am uninterrupted, hot water running over me, and relaxing.

What expectations should I have for success?

Want to be a NYT best seller? I know people who have sold more books year over year than books that have found themselves on that list.

Yes, there is clout to saying you made the list. It’s a marketing tactic that is outdated. I could start a Rebel Queen bestseller list using the exact method they are using. But RQ is not the NYT and no one would care.

Want the method to get on the list? Here it is: 

  • Curate a list of new releases.
  • Send list to bookstores.
  • Bookstores track the sales of the books on that list for the week and add in notable mentions in the blank space.
  • Send list back to NYT.
  • NYT takes all submissions and tallies the sales for the week. 
  • Which book sold the most? NYT best seller status. 
  • Send out new list for following week.

When should I include citations?

If you’re using someone else’s information to support the material in your book, cite, cite, cite. Give credit where it is due. If you write digitally, there is no excuse to not do a copy-paste.

If you’re on a website, copy the link and paste it in the document in the section you have used the information. If you are using a book, snap a pic of the copyright page with your phone so you (or your editor) have all the information needed to properly cite. Type the book title and page number in parentheses in the section where you have used the information. If you are using information from an ebook, notate the chapter number and paragraph number.

What should I know about front and back matter?

After your book is written, you’ll want to consider what goes in the front before the text begins and in the back after your book is finished. I have a resource here to help you determine which pieces to include.

Writing a book is easy once you have your writing system down. Mindset, time, motivation… those are different stories that have not been addressed here. If you need more help, reach out to me! I have a host of ways to help you above and beyond giving you a system.

Are you ready to get shit done and want on my waitlist for the next writers retreat?

Is your book done and you’re looking for help getting it published?

Ready to move forward with your book but unsure of what’s next?