13 Best Ways to Prepare for Publishing Your First Book

13 Best Ways to Prepare for Publishing Your First Book

Writing a book gives authors a chance to share stories of challenges overcome, talk about skills they’ve developed or offer guidance on how to handle a complex subject. Considering online options such as Smashwords or Amazon’s CreateSpace, publishing a book (in both dead tree and electronic formats) has never been easier. That’s why we asked 13 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following:

What is one piece of advice for entrepreneurs interested in publishing their first book?

How to Prepare for Publishing Your First Book

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. Understand Your Goals and Audience

“Before starting, it’s important to deeply understand your goals and your audience. Ask yourself, “What do I need to accomplish for this to be worthwhile?” and “Who do I need to reach to accomplish those goals?” Answering these questions, you’ll be able to discover what that audience needs, and ensure your book is properly positioned to reach them and solve their problems.” ~ Zach Obront, Book in a Box

2. Start Writing Today

“Just start writing. Set aside time, even if it’s just 15 minutes a day, and write down your thoughts and stories regarding the topic of your book. Before long, you’ll have a lot of great content that you, or a copywriter or editor, can start organizing into book form. It’s easier than ever to publish a book these days, but good content will always be the driver of success!” ~ Jeremy BrandtWeBuyHouses.com

3. Create Quality Content

“Some entrepreneurs get into publishing a book just for the sake of publishing it. While a book will boost your authority, and open you up to new opportunities like speaking engagements, if the book doesn’t contain quality content, it might do more harm than good. After all, people will be paying for your book to read it, and if it sucks, why should they care?” ~ Ismael Wrixen, FE International

4. Focus on the Story and the Marketing Plan

“Focus on creating a great and inspiring story, and come up with an equally great way to market it. With so many aspiring authors and businessmen out there, we are all competing in a very crowded and saturated market, in which you can only stand out if you have a truly inspiring, moving and motivating story, and a plan to communicate it.” ~ David TomasCyberclick

5. Research Self Publishing and Crowdsourcing

“Sites like Publishizer are great for raising money and getting awareness for your book in order to either work with a publisher or raise funds for self-publishing. Understand how the process works, and research what might work best for your genre and budget.” ~ Angela RuthDue

6. Define Your Objective Clearly

“One thing I learned early on while publishing my first book and having spoken to several published authors and agents is to have your objective clearly defined. Whether it is to help generate leads, project yourself as a thought leader, getting more speaking engagements or generate income; defining this will at the beginning will help you achieve your goals faster.” ~ Rahul VarshneyaArkenea

7. Hire a Strong Editor

“Find the best editor available to help you polish your manuscript into the best possible shape. An editor can help you find gaping holes that need filled and ways to get your message across succinctly and persuasively. To help you save money, make sure that you’ve performed your own self-edits before you send it to your editor so she doesn’t have to correct punctuation and grammar.” ~ Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

8. Hire a Literary Agent

“Most large publishers will only work with agents. If you are writing your first book, you want to work with an expert that will help you clearly outline your objectives and already has the connections and knowledge within the industry. Be the master of the subject you are writing about and hire an expert that will have the best chance at putting in the hands of your future readers.” ~ Hillary HobsonHighest Cash Offer

9. Consider Partnering With an Established Author

“Most entrepreneurs are busy running businesses, and, let’s face it, writing a book takes a lot of time. Also, drafting pithy, easily consumable and conversational content does not come naturally to many people. It may be worth the investment to partner with an established author who can shepherd your book through the often daunting process from idea to outline to finished manuscript.” ~ Alexandra Levit, PeopleResults

10. Don’t Do It to Make Money

“I wrote my first book out of passion for the topic (financial literacy education for kids). I was told over and over again by authors that few books make money (the margins are just so small). Go into it knowing that it should be something you either simply must do and has nothing to do with the money, or do it because it builds your brand and meshes well with your existing platform.” ~ Darrah BrusteinNetwork Under 40

11. Lower Your Expectations

“Don’t assume you will be the next bestseller out there. With so many places to get content nowadays, you may start to get traction after your first book. Be patient and keep going. Publish it anyways and make sure to share it as much as possible. Just don’t start with the assumption you will be rich doing it.” ~ Zach Binder, Ranklab

12. Packaging Is Everything

“While the contents of the book are important, the most important part of publishing a book is making it look professional and polished. Spend money to get a great cover design, get influencers to comment on the book, and promote it heavily. You are not going to make money from your book. Publishing a book establishes credibility for yourself that you can then leverage in the future.” ~ Ryan Shank, PhoneWagon

13. Think of Your Book as a Brand-Building Tool

“As an entrepreneur, one of the most important things to keep in mind is building your reputation and brand. Your first thought should be providing information your customers need. Answer some of their most pressing problems and use the book to establish your expertise. Then you can sell it or even give it away as a lead generating machine.” ~ Shawn PoratScorely

Typewriter Photo via Shutterstock

The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.