Interrogating your purpose as a writer can stop you wasting time and money later on in the process. Having a firm goal to drive your writing will help keep you motivated and aware of what you need to do to finish.
When you are planning your book it is important to consider why you are writing:
- To try and earn some money?
- For fun?
- To demonstrate your expertise to business contacts?
- Because you want friends and family to read your book?
- Because you want your book to be reviewed in national newspapers and appear in bookshops like Waterstones?
These questions will inform the writing process and how you publish your book. If you want a book that family and friends can read – such as a memoir or a short collection of secret family recipes, then your journey to publication will be different to someone wanting to appear in bookshops.
Look at this table for some examples of how your purpose will affect the journey to publication:
|Purpose||To earn money from writing||To have the book reviewed in national newspapers and appear in bookstores like Waterstones||To create a book just for family and friends|
|The editing process||Editing will be required to make sure the book gets good reviews||The book will go through several rounds of editing before the final version is publishable||Less need to pay for editing because the audience may be sympathetic and willing to overlook errors.|
|The submission process||Self-publishing or submitting to publishers are both options||Prepare a synopsis of the book and satisfy submission criteria to send to literary agents and publishers||Pay for typesetting and production and printing, or do-it-yourself|
There are many decisions to be made in the writing, publishing and marketing process. All will be affected by your goals. If you are unsure of your goals you might waste time and money; if the writer who wanted to make money from their writing didn’t pay for editing they would run the risk of poor reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, which would hamper the book from succeeding.
Authors who are unsure about what your purpose is you might be interested in our one-to-one coaching services, which helps writers define what they want to achieve from their project.