Monday, February 20, 2012

How to write and publish your own non fiction book

Do you dream of writing your own non fiction book?
Well stop dreaming and start doing. It’s not anywhere as hard as you think.

One year and one month it took me from the time I started writing my book to the day I published it on I followed these easy steps, and you can too:

1. Come up with your book topic. Make it something you know very well. I dug in deep for mine: Software Architecture. When I wanted to become an architect no one could tell me how to do it. I had to blaze my own trail. After I became one, several developers at my office asked me how I did it. I decided to give a speech on it and it was very well received. That’s when I knew I had a good topic for a book.

2. Write an outline. This can be sections and chapter headings. Brain storm on this for a while and ask people what they think. Don't worry too much about the order of the chapters at first.

3. Make a schedule. For the first 9 months I only wrote on air planes. This was not a good option. In September 2011, I realized I needed to get serious. I started making a schedule where I had to write every weekday morning. I forced myself to write 700 words a day. If you want to finish a book you need to be disciplined. Check your word count and don't stop until you've meet your scheduled word count. An eBook should be between 35 and 50k words. Many printed books author's fill up their books with repetitions and filler because people don't want to buy a paper book unless its 300 pages. But with online books it doesn't really matter how long they are.

4. Write. Don't worry about how good it is. Just write your work count everyday.

5. Reread and fix any issues.

6. Send it to your trusted friends. I send it to about 30 of my trusted friends to review and give me advice. Some I took, some I didn't. But the encouragement they'll give you will get you through the hard part. That’s right, you are about to get into the hard part now that you've finished your first draft.

7. Find an editor. Ask around and you'll be able to find one. Thankfully I found one who is friends with my family. He was just fantastic! He just published his third book, Chuck Van Soye.

8. Review one more time. Make any changes you need to.

9. Hire a professional designer to design your cover. People buy books based on their covers. Make sure its professional and catchy. Put your cover as the first page on your book.

10. Make sure your illustrations look passable. They should at least be somewhat professional looking. Remember that older Kindle's don't do color, so use gray scale.

11. Use all the standard Word formatting for Headers and bold, paragraphs. These transfer directly into Kindle. You might need to remove extra spaces between paragraphs as they make your pages look empty.

12. Create an account. It only took me a few minutes to fill out the information. You don't need an ISDN number to publish your book. It doesn't cost you anything to set up your account. You don't need to pay anyone to set it up for you. You can do it yourself very quickly.

13. Create new Title. Fill in all the Meta data about your book including you as the author under Contributors. Upload your word document with the front cover as the first page in the book. Leave this as color because it will show up on's search pages.

14. Select your royalties model. They have two. 35% is for books priced between $.99 and $200. Then they have a 70% based on 2.99 to 9.99.

15. Click Publish. It takes 12 hours for them to process your book, but then it will be available for download. If you find any issues you can update the document or any of the meta data after the 12 hours. Until that 12 hour window is over, the links for editing your book are grayed out.

Now you can write and publish your own book in 15 simple steps. Good luck!!
You can read my newly published book on software architecture at

1 comment:

  1. Seth Godin one of my favorite authors shares his own launch of an ebook