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The Ten Commandments Of Writing A Book

10 Aug 2016 at 07:24hrs | Views
I have written the following article because of several questions I have received from aspiring authors pertaining to writing and publishing a book. I hope many aspiring writers will find it helpful.

Ten Commandments Of Writing And Publishing A Book

1. Thou Shall Not Write A Book For Fame
If you are seeking fame, stop writing books and start acting career in one of the Hollyhood movies, you may have some luck there. Now don't get this twisted, famous authors sell more books than unknown ones, but they never wrote books because they were seeking fame. Fame was never their primary goal.

2. Thou Shall Provide Something Of Great Value
Let me say something that will shock you; no one cares about your book! I'm not joking on that one, no one cares about the book you are writing. Most aspiring authors reading this article think that once their book is out, everyone will be scrambling to have a piece of it. They have got fantasies of how all these relatives, friends and co-workers will buy the first 100 copies of their book in one week. That doesn't happen 99% of the time. In my case I managed to sell close to 50 copies of my first book 'Against All Odds: It Can Still Be Done' within a week because I was a security guard at a certain large firm at the time of releasing my first book, thus a large number of those workers bought the book out of curiosity. They were stunned that a security guard could actually write a book, they wanted to see what on earth was in a security guard's book! I didn't mind whatever the motive was, as long as they were buying those copies. Under normal circumstances no one would really care about your book.

So what do people care about? They only care about the value that your book will provide. You will get a few 'sympathy buyers' who will just buy for the sake of supporting you, most people won't buy unless they are convinced what your book offers is worth the amount you charged. Why would you expect people to part with their hard earned cash for a 'book' which doesn't offer valuable information worth reading? Someone is getting cheated in this deal, one is benefitting some cash from buyers, the other one gets an ordinary (polite way of saying 'useless') book which he will put in his cardboard or dustbin. Don't produce a book which you will beg people to buy, produce a powerful book which people will beg to buy. Don't expect people to come running to buy your worthless book, do all you can to make sure your book is valuable or offers valuable information.

3. Thou Shall Distinguish Yourself From The Rest
Chances are that what you want to write about, has been covered by millions of other authors over the years. The topic you want to write about has been written by many more experienced and prominent authors before. It's therefore not enough to offer a book which presents valuable information. Why should people read your book instead of Gwizi's book? Why should they choose your book amongst several books with the same title? Have your own peculiar style of writing. Give us something we haven't read, choose a book title which is compelling, come from a different angle, unleash your creativity. Once you discover and build on what makes you different, you eliminate your competitors!

4. Thou Shall Set Your Writing Targets
Have a few tough people (not your friends) who will make a follow-up on the writing targets you have set, to put pressure on you to get the book done within the targets you have set for yourself. If you put your close friend as your monitor, you may not have much respect for his pressure when he/she starts monitoring or evaluating your progress. Set your writing targets, for example writing three pages a week; then get a respectable person who will bully you around and ensure you get your targets done within the stipulated period!

5. Thou Shall Have Uncommon Passion For Writing.
I am 100% sure that this world is full of half done books which have been pushed into the cardboard or thrown into the dustbin by the authors who did not have enough fire power to move forward and finish the race. You start off well with over-excitement, then somewhere along the line you run out of that fire power or inner flame to keep you going. Before you start writing your book, make sure you are loaded with enough fire power (passion) to push you until you until you cross the finish lane.

6. Thou Shall Write When You Don't Feel Like It
Schedule your writing times and start writing, even when you don't feel like doing so. Champions do what ought to be done even when they don't feel like it. If you rely on your feelings, you will never get the job done.

7. Thou Shall Write A Compelling Profile
The first thing that people read when they get hold of your book is your profile information. If the information you wrote about yourself at the back of your book is not that interesting, well…. they will put your book back into the bookshelf without even reading your introduction!   

8. Thou Shall Have Work On Your Book Cover
You are one of those who were told at school that 'people should not judge a book by its cover', well people will 99% of the time judge a book by its cover, case closed. Get a powerful title for your book. Work on your book cover design. Your book will be competing with millions of outstanding books, if you don't work on making it appealing on the outside, then it's only you and your uncle who will read it!

9. Thou Shall Expect Delays
Your book will be published much later than you thought. If you expect it to be out in January, it will be out in June, so don't get too frustrated, I have prepared you for this delay emotionally. The speed of your book delivery is not determined by your efficiency alone, the speed of publishers is beyond your control; and many factors will come into play. It's just like most weddings, 99% of the time the bride never arrives on time, 97% of the time the wedding program doesn't begin or end exactly on the stipulated time. It's nothing personal, there will be some unexpected delays.

10. Thou Shall Start Building Your Audience Much Earlier
Don't try to take your readers by surprise, otherwise you shall be surprised yourself. You start marketing yourself as an author long before your book has been published. By the time your book has been published, a good number of people should be aware already what a great author you are. You can't start telling us on social media that your great book is out when you have never won our hearts as a writer. You should convince us that you are a decent author several months or years before your book is out. Don't put us under pressure to buy your 'great book' urgently when we don't even know who you are.

Well, that's it for today. I intend to write Ten Commandments Of Marketing Your Book sometime in the future, I am not promising when I will do that, my schedule is not giving me any reasonable breathing space.

If you need help with refining your book for publication please e-mail If you want to join hundreds of people in my whatsaap motivational groups, whatsaap your NAME to The Motivator on this number +27719393146. Share and receive life changing motivational messages in one of these motivational whatsaap group. Please wait patiently after sending your name, the number of participants is quite high, it takes time to get added.

Mthokozisi Gwizi is an award winning motivational speaker and author. He has written a peculiar inspirational book; 'Duck-Tility: Strategies For Being Highly Effective' and the bible centered inspirational book 'Against All Odds: It Can Still Be Done.'  He has written countless life changing motivational articles for various magazines and newspapers and has been a guest speaker on different radio stations.  He has motivational whatsaap groups with a total of close to a thousand people in which he connects people of great minds together so that they can inspire and build up each other. For any enquiries about Gwizi's books contact 078 278 3789 (Bulawayo), 073 529 8813 (Harare), +27719393146 (S.A)

Source - Mthokozisi Gwizi
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