Book Design Services
We offer phenomenal book cover and layout design.
The design of the book is its first impression on the readers. More often than not readers put off reading a book just because its cover was not designed properly. Pro Book Writing has the best book designers who have a keen eye for details and excel at building eye-catching book designs that catch the attention of readers at the first sight.
Sell More Copies With Our Professional Book Design Services
For your book to be the best-selling one, a good story and an eye-catching book design are extremely important. From book layout designs to captivating cover design we streamline book design services that encompass all aspects of book publishing. We guarantee the successful publishing of your book with our exceptional book cover designs.
Create Your Own Custom Book Design With Our Creative Book Designers
Pro Book Writing features a wide range of book designing styles and formats. You also have the opportunity to have a customized designed book. So, if you want to get started on your journey of literary success, hire book designers through our platform now. We promise high-end quality and outstanding designs for your book to make it stand out from the rest.
Pro Book Writing Offers Complete Book Design Solution
You want a book that readers have a hard time putting down. This means having a book cover design that hooks the reader into picking up that book, interior layout and formatting that makes the reader start reading, and illustrations that make the readers keep on reading.
Let Our Book Design Services Bring The Best Out Of Every Page Of Your Book
A book that stands out for its amazing design, compelling look, and feels is what you need for your book to be a winner. Pro Book Writing has an in-house team of top-of-the-line book designers who are experts in their field and go above and beyond in creating designs for your book that exceeds your expectations.
Our Book Design Services Include
Book layout design.
Pro Book Writing is an award-winning book designing company that has a passion for streamlining cutting-edge content marketing services and helping customers in enhancing their reach and revenue. Our professional web designers set out a consistent book layout design so that the readers can focus on the story and not on the uneven formatting of the book.
One of the worst things about a book can be an awfully designed cover page or inconsistent layout that puts off the readers from the story and divert their attention on the poor job of the formatting of the book. Our book design services show that your work stands out from the rest for its captivating cover page, interior design, formatting, and overall look and feel of the book.
To ensure the success of your book, our book layout design professionals strategize the publication process in a way that your book has a polished outlook and is perfectly ready to go into the market. We work diligently throughout the book writing process so that there are no complications in publishing your book.
We live in a digitally diffused world where almost every business has adopted the latest technologies in order to be the one leading the race. This is the reason why your business needs an optimized online presence. We at Pro Book Writing implement the best book design services to guarantee that your brand has amplified reach and outcomes.
By keenly editing and formatting your book, our team goes above and beyond in guaranteeing that your book gets approved by a well-known publisher without a hitch.
Our unparalleled passion to empower new authors and our iron-willed determination to excel at everything we do are the factors that set us apart from the competition. We are a leading book designing agency that streamlines phenomenal book design services guaranteed to skyrocket your brand reputation.
Combining our industry-wide knowledge with creativity, we provide a wide range of book design services. Each and every writer of Pro Book Writing has varying styles which enables us to house a diversified set of creative thinkers who know how to approach a topic to grab the attention of the audience in the most seamless way.
We have the magic formula that empowers us to cultivate deeply engrossing stories to make the readers absorbed into the story from the very first page. Our professional ebook writing services make the readers feel every single emotion and have them completely indulged in the story so much so that your book can have its own fan base. With our ghostwriting and ebook writing services, our book designs complement one another very well.
Custom Book & Ebook Cover Designs
A well-written ebook is part of brand collateral that helps your brand in driving traffic by addressing the most pressing issues of the customers. When your customers are browsing the internet for their issues or queries you have the opportunity to inform them about the solution and enable them to build their trust in you.
Through ebooks, you cannot only inform the customers about new technology, innovation, or solutions to their queries but also have the opportunity to generate quality leads. And if that is not your priority then you can just sell your ebooks on top-selling platforms to generate maximized revenues.
Ebooks also help in building long-lasting customer relationships. While you are streamlining the solutions for customer's queries, the customers are building their trust in you for your industry knowledge and quality service.
Ebooks indicate your inextensible market knowledge, credibility, and leadership through educating numerous people about a wide range of topics. When such valuable information is provided free of cost, your brand has more opportunity to maximize its recognition and reputation.
You'll seamlessly be augmenting your growth and clientele by wide-spreading valuable information about trending topics. So, if you want your business to reach new heights of success, hire a book layout designer from Pro Book Writing today.
Pro Book Writing has an in-house team of top-of-the-line book cover designers for hire who are experts in their field and go above and beyond in creating designs for your book that exceeds your expectations.
Our ebook cover design process starts off with you getting in touch with our team. We will conduct a consultation where you can discuss your ideas about your book, the type of design that you want, and if there is any guidance that you would like to provide.
After that, our designers will develop a concept for your book that will inculcate page layout, formatting, images, color palette, etc. Our designers will give you a number of design options for you to consider.
Once you have agreed upon a design, our designer will generate a concept which will then be sent to you for final proofing. After your approval, we will send you the final cover design.
Illustration Design For Books & Ebooks
We streamline book cover design that hooks the reader into picking up that book, interior layout and formatting that makes the reader start reading, and illustrations that make the readers keep on reading.
Inform your audience, build trust, credibility, brand reputation, and gain leads from our exceptional ebook writing services. From writing to editing and proofreading to designing, we will assist you at every stage. No matter the type or the size of business you have, our team of professional book cover designers for hire are adept at delivering excellent content writing services that are guaranteed to widen your brand's awareness.
Your online business needs all the attention it can to maximize its outreach. Our team goes above and beyond in streamlining ebook writing services that optimize your brand reputation and enable visitors to build their trust in your business. Hire professional book designers through our platform to get access to high-end ebook ghostwriting services bound to make your brand stand out from others. Besides great book designs, we also offer amazing book trailers to help your book launch. You can boost reader interest in your book with an amazing book trailer with a strong script.
Pro Book Writing houses a huge team of book cover designers for hire who excel at putting your ideas onto the text and portray them in the most compelling way. To shape your thoughts and ideas into a well-structured story our content professionals give it their all. Our book cover designers for hire provide a wide range of creative content writing services across all industry sectors. Pro Book Writing offers a broad range of technical and creative writing and book design services.
Our work is based on data-driven analysis and indepth research.
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Design Writing Books
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How to Design a Book: The Basics you Need to Know.
- By SreePoorna
- April 23, 2020
When you are a newbie writer waiting to publish your dream book, you need to print a book that stands out among the rest. Even if your content is compelling, it needs to be presented to appeal to the readers. The perfect way to make your book stand out is through book design.
Book design is an interesting and significant process to get your manuscript ready for printing. Various aspects go into book designing, including the page layout, fonts, spine, book cover, and more. However, the two vital parts of book designing are interior designing and cover design.
Designing the Interior
A print book has to be presented in a way that is appealing and readable for the readers. Often you would have noticed that certain books don’t hold your interest longer than a page or two. The main reason for this would be the unattractive book layout design.
The layout is crucial because it makes your print book look professional and not amateurish. There are important elements that go into designing the book’s interior, including typesetting, typography, the structure of the book, and trim size.
Typesetting is the process of laying out the text content on the pages of a book. It is a specialized part of book design, where professional typesetters pick up the size of margins, chooses the perfect font and size, selects the style of the chapters, and more.
Typesetting is one of the significant reasons why readers continue reading the book they are reading. It gives the book a proper layout which makes the process of reading easy and smooth. The typesetter makes sure a proper font is chosen for the book , paragraphs are justified, and makes sure there are no unwanted spaces or gaps between the paragraphs.
Structure of the Book
While designing the book, it is crucial to have the manuscript arranged in the same order you want the book to be printed. Therefore, before you start designing the book, make sure you have the whole manuscript ready.
You might have written the book, but make sure the whole structure is ready. For example, ensure that your manuscript has the beginning and the end parts of the book. There are three essential parts of a book :
- The Front Matter: it includes the title page, author name, publisher details, copyright page , dedication, prologue, etc.
- Body of the book: the main written content of the book. The body of the book, be it fiction or non-fiction, might be having different chapters. In addition, the length of each chapter and book might vary according to the genre.
- The Back Matter: it includes the information that might be helpful for the readers, like the glossary, appendix, references, epilogue, etc.
The trim size is the dimensions of a book. The term comes from the process of printing a book. You have to choose the size of a book before opting to print the book. There are different book sizes , and the size depends on the type of book you are publishing.
The trim size is important for both design and aesthetics of the book. The look and feel of the book are dependent on the trim size you choose. There are three fundamental formats for print books, namely, hardcover, paperback, and mass-market paperbacks. The format of the book decides the choice of trim size.
Designing the Cover
It is a fact that people do judge a book by its cover. The readers want the cover to give a sense of what is there inside the book and an idea about the genre of the book . So, the book cover becomes an important part of book design. The book cover is the first impression that a reader gets of the book, and the first impression needs to be the best.
Front Cover Design
Your front cover design is the book cover. It will consist of the book’s title and the author’s name. This is the first thing any reader will notice, so make it look intriguing for them.
Hands down, the title of your book is the first thing that will attract readers. Think of it as a reader and not the author. Therefore, choose a title that best describes your book in a few words. Furthermore, you also need to choose a font that fits with the theme of the book. Finally, the title of your book should be legible.
A subtitle is usually added only when you want to elaborate on your book’s topic. Although it plays a sidekick’s role to your main title, it should never defeat it. It usually consists of either one or two lines. Make it crisp enough for the reader to understand what your book is about.
If you’re going to use a photo on the front cover, try to use an attractive picture and yet give readers an idea about the genre and tone of your book. In addition, the photo should be of high- resolution so that it doesn’t pixelate when enlarged.
High-quality vector images
High-quality vector images can be used if you’re not going along with a standard photo. Make sure that the picture represents what your book is about. For example, if you are writing a book about cars, you can use various illustrations and car images. More creative, the better!
Author name placement
Other than the title and the subtitle, the font and placement of the author’s name are also essential on the book cover. It should be in sync with the rest of the book and placed so that it is noticeable but doesn’t distract the title.
The title page is the first page of your book after the cover. There are two title pages in every book. The full title page comes first and is the replica of your cover page, except for the artwork. The second title is called the half-title page. It consists of minimal information such as title, author’s name, or the publisher’s name.
It is also known as the prelims or front matter. The order for this is half-title, full-title, copyright with the ISBN and publisher details, dedication, table of contents, and your preface and prologue if you want one.
Front cover design is crucial since it helps sell more books. You can always hire a professional to do the cover design. They will be able to give you better suggestions and ideas.
If you are keen on doing it yourself, then here a few basic steps you need to take for designing a cover:
- Choose an idea or concept for your cover
- Decide the “look and feel” of your cover
- Choose a design software
- Find the images
- Find the cover dimensions
- Choose apt typography for your cover.
Back Cover Design
Every title has over a thousand competitors vying for the reader’s attention, which is why you need an impressive back cover. Apart from a good enough synopsis to sell the book to the reader, it would help if you also had the blurb (description of the book), author bio, barcode, ISBN, and book cost.
Once you are familiar with the elements of book design, printing and publishing become easier. It is beneficial to understand so that it becomes helpful when you do the designing independently, and even you hire professionals.
Related Blogs you Might be Interested in
- Steps to Write a Great Acknowledgment for a Book
- Steps to Successfully Self-publish your Book
- How to Publish your Book on Amazon: A 12 Step Guide.
- How to Design a Professional Cover for your Book in 11 Easy Steps
- Choosing the Right Dimensions for your Book Cover
- eBook Formatting Services
- Book Cover Design Service
- Print Book Formatting Services
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Writing templates are the right stuff for all your writing projects
Ready to work on that novel you’ve been thinking about since you were young? Or to finally commit to journaling every day? Microsoft has the writing templates you need to succeed at whatever project you’re passionate about. You’ll find both fiction and non-fiction templates for writing a book that help you plan and structure your stories. These templates for writing a book are editor-ready, so you can get your words out to the world. If film is your medium, get formatting help with scriptwriting templates. Using professional templates for screenplay ideas are essential for helping you break into the business. Refer to scriptwriting templates for tips on setting the scene, describing the action, and more. There are lots of writing templates for personal use, too. Look for journal templates for travel, fitness tracking, meal planning, personal growth and more. You’ll find goal logging and tracking is a lot easier when you use journal templates. You can even add your own colors and style to make them your own. Microsoft writing templates have you covered, whether your dream is to be published, premiered, or just more organized.
Kairos Book Design and Editing
affordable solutions for indie authors
We know that self-publishing can be a difficult, stressful, and expensive process – but it doesn’t have to be. Here at Kairos, our goal is to make your journey towards self-publication an enjoyable one. We offer affordable solutions for perfecting your written manuscript and creating a physical book design, working with you until you have a finished product that you love – and one that can stand proudly next to its traditionally-published counterparts.
Make your content pop with page designs that are on par with traditionally-published books. Paperback files are optimised for common self-publishing platforms, and ebook formatting is also available.
Custom Cover Design
Receive an eye-catching, unique cover design for your book as you work with us to reach a design that you love. Alternatively, if you’re in a hurry, check out our collection of premade ebook covers .
So you’ve finished a draft of your book – but is it any good? Structural editing will help take care of the larger elements of your story like plot and character development, as well as smoothing out your prose and improving your writing. As a bonus, our rates are extremely affordable compared to other companies!
Proofreading can make or break your book, and poor proofreading sounds the death knell for a self-published book. No spelling, grammar, word usage, punctuation, or consistency error will escape this thorough check! Whether you’ve written a short story or the next War and Peace , we’ll pick out every slip of your keyboard.
Complete Editing Package
This package offers you a structural edit first, complete with writing improvement tips and suggestions about how to strengthen plot, character development, structure, and more. This will be followed by a thorough proofread to catch all those pesky grammatical and mechanical errors. All at a discount!
Benita is a self-starter with a passion for beautiful books. She has self-published several of her own books and understands the intricacies of preparing a manuscript for publishing. Benita has been working in book design since 2016, has collaborated with authors on many different types of projects, has completed several courses in graphic design, and is a book design instructor for Fiat Self-Publishing Academy . Her favourite kind of day is cozily working on a design project during a storm. She also loves flowers, Dutch food, and chipping away at her novel-in-progress.
Rachel has a deep love for books, words, stories, and imagination. She has a BA in English Literature, three years of experience tutoring in her university’s Writing Centre, and spent three years in various editing roles for Ambrosia, the Ambrose University Literary Review. She has since completed a formal training course in copy editing. Apart from editing, Rachel works as a writing teacher and tutor. When not working, she can be found making music, admiring vintage aesthetics on Instagram, or hanging out with her husband and cat.
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Please note: Benita will be on maternity leave from February 18 to May 1, 2023. She’ll be checking her emails periodically, but responses may be somewhat delayed. Thank you for your patience and understanding!
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Order our newest title, Closing the Loop: Systems Thinking for Designers.
Writing Is Designing
Words and the User Experience
By Michael J. Metts & Andy Welfle
Without words, apps would be an unusable jumble of shapes and icons, while voice interfaces and chatbots wouldn’t even exist. Words make software human-centered, and require just as much thought as the branding and code. This book will show you how to give your users clarity, test your words, and collaborate with your team. You’ll see that writing is designing.
Who this book is for
- People who make their living writing and leading content strategy for software interfaces, or those who want to transition into this type of role from another writing background.
- Designers and design leaders.
- Product managers, engineers, and executives.
Paperback + Ebooks i All of our Paperbacks come with a FREE ebook in 4 common formats.
Ebooks only i All ebooks come in DRM-free Kindle (MOBI), PDF, ePub, and DAISY formats.
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About michael j. metts.
Michael J. Metts helps teams build great products and services by putting people first. With a background in journalism, he frequently finds himself talking about the role words play in designing useful, usable experiences. He has given talks and taught workshops on the topic at industry conferences around the world. He lives with his wife, two children, and a very small dog just outside Chicago.
About Andy Welfle
When Andy was eight, he wanted to be a poet and a paleontologist. Twenty-seven years later, he is neither, but he uses those skills in his day job as a content strategist on Adobe’s product design team — writing under huge constraints, and uncovering artifacts from big, old software interfaces. When he’s not working, he’s creating podcasts and zines about one of his favorite topics: wooden pencils. Find him in San Francisco with his wife and two large cats, or online at andy.wtf.
More about Writing Is Designing
Often, the most difficult parts of an interface writer’s job are political. This is a guide to making good choices and getting other people in your organization to support a cohesive strategy. — Erika Hall, author of Conversational Design and Just Enough Research
People new to the industry will find out how to create great content. Experienced professionals will find evidence and examples to have constructive conversations. Buy the book. — Sarah Richards , author of Content Design
This book doesn’t just formalize the discipline of writing for the user experience; it empowers all digital product writers to stand up for their craft and take a permanent seat at the design table. — Kristina Halvorson, CEO, Brain Traffic and author, Content Strategy for the Web
At last! A book that treats writing for products as a design practice that has tangible, lasting impact on the user experience. Andy and Michael don’t just help you write better—they help you design better products. — Jonathon Colman, Senior Design Manager, Intercom
A delightful—and critical—guide for anyone who uses words to create a user experience. Andy and Michael’s commitment to usable, useful writing is inspiring, and this book goes beyond the basics to give insights that will help you build and maintain a career. No matter what your job title, you’ll find tons of important and relevant information here. — Andrea Drugay, UX Writing Manager at Dropbox and Editor of Dropbox.design
The inevitable question ‘What exactly do you do?’ comes up in conversation for product UX writers a lot. This book reads like a warm, friendly answer over a cup of coffee in a Midwestern diner. — Matt Shearon, Writing and Content Strategy Manager, Pinterest
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 – More than Button Labels: How Words Shape Experiences Chapter 2 – Strategy and Research: Beyond Best Practices Chapter 3 – Creating Clarity: Know What You’re Designing Chapter 4 – Errors and Stress Cases: When Things Go Wrong Chapter 5 – Inclusivity and Accessibility: Writing that Works for Everyone Chapter 6 – Voice: Discovering and Developing Identity Chapter 7 – Tone: Meeting People Where They Are Chapter 8 – Collaboration and Consistency: Building your Practice
I wrote my first website copy in 2006. My client was a luxury condo development with a faintly ridiculous name, and my only source content was a print ad full of corny wine metaphors. I didn’t care. I was 23 years old, and I was writing for a living. I even got benefits! So I sat down and clickety-clacked my way through: Drink in the bold flavor of Bordeaux Heights.
That’s not real, but you get the idea. It was terrible.
Over time, I learned to be useful. To be clear. To make it obvious how things worked and where things were. I like to think I even got pretty good at it. But back then, I didn’t have to think about how to make a complex onboarding flow feel intuitive, or which states we needed to consider in an app, or how to design content for a tiny screen. There were no iPhones—much less smartwatches or FitBits or an app to control your thermostat. A lot has changed. Interfaces now sit between us and all kinds of intimate moments and critical tasks. And each of those interfaces is full of words—words someone, somewhere has to write.
If you’re that someone, this book will be your new best friend. Because designing interface content takes writing skill, sure. But it also takes curiosity about how things work, and compassion for the people they need to work for. And you’ll find those things here, too.
Andy and Michael have a wealth of experience designing with words, and you’ll see it in the coming pages. But what I love best about this book is that they know great interface writing doesn’t come from lone geniuses with outsized egos. It comes from listening to as many perspectives as possible. In each chapter, they bring you fresh voices with essential knowledge on writing inclusive, accessible interfaces.
So dig in. Because this book is about more than words. It’s about doing work that matters.
—Sara Wachter-Boettcher, author of Technically Wrong, Design for Real Life , and Content Everywhere
Chapter 3, Excerpted in UXMatters—Creating Clarity: Know What You’re Designing
Human Centered Design Podcast
The Rosenfeld Review Podcast
These common questions and their short answers are taken from Michael J. Metts and Andy Welfle’s book Writing Is Designing: Words and the User Experience. You can find longer answers to each in your copy of the book, either printed or digital version.
- What do you mean by “writing is designing?” Just that. In many product teams, the words are an afterthought, and come after the “design,” or the visual and experiential system. It shouldn’t be like that: the writer should be creating words as the rest of the experience is developed. They should be iterative, validated with research, and highly collaborative. Writing is part of the design process, and writers are designers. That’s the main thesis of this book (which you’ll read in Chapter 1), and the point that we try to drive home in every chapter.
- Is this book written only for writers? No. Even if you only do this type of writing occasionally, you’ll learn from this book. If you’re a designer, product manager, developer, or anyone else who writes for your users, you’ll benefit from it. This book will also help people who manage or collaborate with writers, since you’ll get to see what goes into this type of writing, and how it fits into the product design and development process. However, if writing is your main responsibility and you’re looking for ways to collaborate with your team, you’ll find those ideas in Chapter 8.
- Will you teach me how to write error messages? Yes indeed! We cover error messages and stress cases in Chapter 4. This isn’t a how-to book, though—we talk about how to approach the work, how to think about it strategically, and how to set yourself up for success so you can jump in and do the writing.
- What’s the difference between voice and tone? They’re highly interrelated, but very different! “Voice” (Chapter 6) is the set of constant attributes in your writing that sets expectations, mood, and a relationship with your user. It’s your product’s personality. “Tone” (Chapter 7) shifts, depending on context: For example, you might write with a motivational tone if your users were new to your product, or with a supportive tone if they were frustrated. This book has strategies and approaches to developing those tone profiles and when to deploy them.
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How to Write a Book (with Tactics from Bestsellers)
What’s the secret formula to tapping into your creativity and writing a book? Some authors would tell you there is no single path to authorship , as every writer’s journey is unique. However, almost every bestselling author will have highly effective writing patterns and habits that help them reach their goals. In this post, we'll share some of their most commonly used tactics for starting and finishing a book.
How to write a book:
1. Start with an idea that you love
2. research by reading books by other writers, 3. outline the story, 4. plan the opening sentence of your book, 5. write the messy first draft, 6. set a schedule with achievable goals, 7. find a good writing space, 8. pick a "distraction-free" book-writing software, 9. give yourself incentives to finish your draft, 10. edit the manuscript once you've finished, 11. publish your book for readers to buy.
There's a long, exciting road ahead. So let's get started.
The one thing you absolutely need to write a book is, of course, an idea. If you don't have that, you'll never get past the first page of your draft.
You may already know what you want to write about, or you may be at a total loss. Either way, you can settle on a “big book idea” by asking yourself a few simple questions:
- What do I want to write about?
- What do I feel is important to write about?
- Who will want to read about this story/subject?
- Will I be able to carry out this idea effectively?
Your answers to these questions will help you narrow it down to your best options. For example, if you have several different ideas for a book, but only one that you're truly passionate about and feel you can pull off, then voilà — there's your premise!
On the other hand, if you lack ideas, these questions should steer you in a firmer direction. Think about the kinds of books you love to read, as well as books that have made a significant impact on you. In all likelihood, you'll want to write a book in a similar vein.
Tools to help you find an idea
If you're grasping at straws, consider using creative writing prompts or a plot generator to get the ball rolling! You might stumble upon an interesting concept or story element that sparks a “big idea” for your book. (And if you're still uninspired even after trying these tools, you may want to reconsider whether you really want to write a book after all.)
Which writing app is right for you?
Find out here! Takes 30 seconds
Once you've found your big idea, the next step is to research your genre. Again, if you're writing the book you like to read , you already have a leg up! Reading books in your genre is by far the best way to learn how to write in that genre yourself.
But if not, you'll want to select a couple of representative titles and analyze them. How long are they and how many chapters do they have ? What does the story structure look like? What are the major themes ? Perhaps most importantly, do you think you can produce a book with similar elements?
Find out what people are reading
You should also conduct market research on Amazon to determine the most popular books in your genre. If you want your book to succeed, you'll have to contend with these bestsellers. Go to the Amazon Best Sellers page and find your genre in the lefthand sidebar:
Then read those books' blurbs to figure out what really sells. What do they all have in common, and why might readers find them appealing? Does your book hold up to these standards?
Finally, think about how your book can offer something NEW. For example, if you're writing a psychological thriller, will there be a particularly sneaky unreliable narrator , or maybe a series of twists that the reader never sees coming? If you're writing a nonfiction book , do you have a unique take on the subject, or a particularly deep well of knowledge? And so on.
Going above and beyond is the only way to give your book a chance in today's hyper-competitive market. So don't skimp on the genre research, because this will tell you where the bar is and how you can surpass it.
If you want to write a great story , you need to outline it first. This is especially important if it's your first book, since you need a solid blueprint to rely on when you get stuck! (Because believe us, you will get stuck.)
Get our Book Development Template
Use this template to go from a vague idea to a solid plan for a first draft.
So how do you go about creating that outline for your book? We actually have a whole other post on the subject , but here are the essentials:
- Pick a format that works for you. There are so many different types of outlines: the free-flowing mind map, the rigorous chapter-and-scene outline, the character-based outline, and so on. If one approach doesn't work for you, try another! Any kind of plan is better than none.
- Have a beginning, middle, and end. Way too many authors go into writing a book with a strong notion of how their story should start... yet their middle is murky and their ending, nonexistent. Take this time to flesh them out and connect them to one another. Remember: the best books have endings that feel “earned,” so you should try to be building toward it from the start!
- Consider your conflict points. Conflict is at the heart of any good book — it draws in the reader, conjures tension and emotion, and ultimately reflects the themes and/or message you want to convey. You don't have to know exactly where your conflict will manifest, but you should have a pretty good grasp of how it works throughout your book.
- Get to know your characters. If you haven't done much character development yet, your outline is the perfect opportunity to do so. How will your characters interact in the story, and how will these interactions demonstrate who they are and what matters to them?
Reedsy’s Character Profile Template
A story is only as strong as its characters. Fill this out to develop yours.
Let's get into the actual writing and make a dent in your first draft. One of the most important parts of writing a book is starting the story ! It's no exaggeration to say your first few pages can make or break your book — if these pages aren't good enough, many readers will lose interest, possibly never returning to your book again.
First off, you need an opening hook that grabs the reader's attention and makes it impossible for them to look away. Take a look at the first lines of these hit bestsellers:
“Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.” — Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
“Renowned curator Jacques Saunière staggered through the vaulted archway of the museum's Grand Gallery.” — The Da Vinci Code
“If all the Saturdays of 1982 can be thought of as one day, I met Tracey at 10 a.m. on that Saturday, walking through the sandy gravel of a churchyard, each holding our mother's hand.” — Swing Time
All of these books fall into different genres, yet all their opening lines do the same thing: capture the reader's attention. You can imitate them by making a similarly strong, slightly furtive statement in your opener!
From there, your job is to maintain the reader's interest by heightening the stakes and inciting the plot . You should also make the reader care about the main characters by giving them distinct personalities and motivations . (Note that “main” is a key descriptor here; never introduce more than a couple of characters at a time!)
Of course, there are infinite ways to write your first chapter. You might have to experiment with lots of different opening lines, even opening scenes, to find the right balance — but it's worth the effort to set the stage perfectly.
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Many writers believe that the key to writing an amazing book is style: impressive vocabulary, elaborate sentences, figurative language that would make Shakespeare swoon.
We're here to dissuade you of that notion. While style is great (as long as your prose doesn't start to become purple ), substance is far more important when writing a book — hence why you should focus primarily on your plot, characters, conflict(s), and themes.
Make sure your book is all killer, no filler
Of course, that's easier said than done, especially once you've already started writing . When you get to a patchily outlined section, it's tempting to keep writing and fill out the page with literary gymnastics. But that's exactly what this content is: filler. And if you have too much of it, readers will become frustrated and start to think you're pretentious.
This is another reason why outlining is so important. You need to KNOW your story in order to stay on track with it! But besides outlining, here are a few more tips for making substance a priority:
- Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action. This advice comes straight from Kurt Vonnegut, and it's 100% true: if a sentence doesn't accomplish one or both of those things, try removing it. If the passage still makes sense, leave it out.
- Be conscious of your pacing. Slow pacing is a symptom of excess description. If the events of your book seem to move like molasses, you're probably using too much style and not enough substance.
- Use a writing tool to reduce flowery language. Speaking of great American novelists, Hemingway is a fantastic tool to help you write like the man himself! Simply paste your writing into the app and Hemingway will suggest ways to make your prose more concise and effective.
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Keep readers in mind while writing
Want to write a book that people will really enjoy (and buy)? Well, this is pretty much the cardinal rule: you should always be thinking about your audience and trying to write “reader-first.”
For example, sometimes you'll have to write scenes that aren't very exciting, but that serve the overall story arc . Don't rush through these scenes just to get them over with! Even if they don't seem interesting to you, they contribute to the reader's experience by building tension and preserving the pacing — and the reader deserves to relish those things.
Create 'fake' people who will want to read your book
When considering your readership, you should also keep a proto-persona in mind for marketing purposes. These are constructed personalities that marketers use to better understand their target customers. The more your book can cater to this hypothetical reader, the easier it will be to sell!
Maybe you're writing a true-crime account for zealous true crime readers . Such readers will have pored over countless criminal cases before, so you need to include unique details to make your case stand out, and craft an extra-compelling narrative to engage them.
Let's move on to practical ways that you can improve your writing habits. Word count goals play a huge part in creating an effective writing process, especially if you're trying to finish your book in a certain amount of time .
You should create word count goals for both your individual sessions and per week — or per month, if that's how you prefer to think about your writing output. For relatively novice writers, we'd recommend the following word count goals:
- 500-750 words per day
- 1,500-2,500 words per week
- 6,000-10,000 words per month
These goals are based on a pattern of 3-4 sessions per week, which is reasonable for a beginner, but still enough to make commendable progress. Even if you only follow our minimum recommendations — 500 words per session at 3 sessions per week — you can still easily finish your book in less than a year!
Speeding up the writing process
If you're looking for how to write a book as fast as possible , your word count goals should look a little more like this:
- 1,500-2,000 words per session
- 9,000-15,000 words per week
- 35,000-50,000 words per month
The figures above adhere roughly to NaNoWriMo , the event in which participants write an average of 1,667 words/day to complete a 50,000-word book in one month . It's hard work, but it's definitely possible to write a book that quickly; hundreds of thousands of people do so every year!
But as any author who's done NaNo can attest, it's also a pretty grueling experience. Most authors find it exhausting to write such great quantities for so many days in a row — and they still have to edit copiously once they're done.
If this is your first book, make sure you take your time, set manageable word goals, and gradually build to bigger goals.
Use writing sessions to establish a schedule
Having a healthy writing routine is the only way you'll actually hit those word count goals — not to mention it fosters a better relationship with writing overall! To establish a healthy routine, ask yourself these baseline questions first:
- When do I have the most free time in the day/week?
- What time of the day do I tend to be most productive?
- How can I space out my writing sessions effectively?
- Will I realistically be able to balance my writing goals with other responsibilities?
The best way to set up your routine is to take advantage of your pre-existing schedule and natural patterns. So for example, if you already go to the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays, perhaps the best time to write would be on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Or if you find yourself most creative late at night ( many of us do! ), you can plan late-night sessions over the weekend/before your day off, so you can sleep in the next day.
Ultimately, you just want a well-balanced writing routine that facilitates productivity, yet keeps you from burning out. If you find that writing for several days in a row is too much for you, space out your sessions more or try to shake things up by moving to a new writing space. If you can't keep up with your goals, it's okay to reduce them a little.
Yes, writing a lot is important, but it's not more important than your mental health! Remember that writing a book is a marathon, not a sprint, and that a consistent, healthy approach is absolutely vital. Here are some tips for making the most of your writing routine.
Don't skip more than one session in a row
Life happens, and sometimes you won't be able to make a planned writing session. However, unless it's a serious emergency, you should try to get back in the saddle for your next session. Otherwise, you'll lose too much progress and feel discouraged, which typically leads to skipping even more writing sessions, and eventually giving up.
Track your progress
With our free writing app, the Reedsy Book Editor , you'll see the numbers update automatically depending on your activity: you'll see how many words you added and deleted on any given day. Depending on the overall goal you set for your manuscript, you'll also see your daily targets adjust depending on how much you've written so far.
Use a site blocker to stay focused
Distraction is the enemy of routine, and the biggest distraction in our modern world is the Internet. To that end, download a site-and-app blocker to use during your writing sessions so you won't be enticed by social media or adorable cat memes. We'd recommend Freedom , as you can schedule block sessions in advance and even keep track of your productivity within the app.
How to Build a Solid Writing Routine
In 10 days, learn to change your habits to support your writing.
Another major component of how to write a book is where you write, hence why it gets a separate section. If you want to complete an entire book, you absolutely must find a calm, focused space for your writing.
This may be in your house, a coffee shop, a library, a co-working space — wherever you can work productively and without interruptions. It should also be a place that you can access easily and go often. Working from home is the most convenient option in this sense, but it may be difficult if you have family around, or if you don't have a designated “room of one's own” (i.e. an actual office, or at least a desk).
What does a good writing space look like?
Try out different locations to see what works for you. Indeed, you may find that you like to rotate writing spaces because it keeps you energetic and your writing fresh! But wherever you go, do your best to make the space:
- Quiet (noise-canceling headphones can be very helpful)
- Clean (no clutter, especially if you do chores to procrastinate)
- Non-distracting (nothing too fun around to tempt you away from writing; turn off your phone so other people won't bother you)
- Your own (cultivate a nice atmosphere in your home office with posters and plants, or simply take the same seat at your local café every time — truly carve out a “dedicated writing space”)
We've already talked about a few different pieces of software to help you with writing a book. But if you haven't found the right app or program yet, never fear — there's plenty more where those came from!
Book writing software is a topic we've actually written an entire post about , but it's worth touching on a few of our favorite writing tools here:
Scrivener is the downloadable writing software of choice for many writers, and for good reason: it has an exceptional interface and tons of useful features. You can outline chapters with its drag-and-drop system, create labels for elements you want to track, and use various templates to plan AND format your book. If you want to feel like a true professional, you can't go wrong with Scrivener — and it's even free to try for 30 days.
Or if you're not much for outlines because your thoughts are all over the place, Milanote can help. The super-flexible interface allows you to “mind map” just as you would longhand, and rearrange different sections as you please. When writing, you can see all your notes at once, so you don't have to stress about forgetting things. It's a very refreshing, intuitive way approach that's worth a try for all disorganized authors.
Speaking of intuitive, what's more intuitive than simply writing on a piece of paper, no distractions — just like the old days? Meet FocusWriter, which allows you to do exactly that. The full-screen default interface is a sheet of paper on a wooden desk: no bells, no whistles, no distractions whatsoever. Seriously, this one will get you in the zone.
The Reedsy Book Editor 📖
We couldn't leave out one of the coolest word processing, editing, and formatting tools on the market! All jokes aside, the RBE lets you cleanly format your book as you go, so you can watch it take shape in real-time. You can also add sections for front matter and back matter and invite collaborators to edit your text. Plus you can toggle on goal reminders to make sure that you're on track with your writing schedule. Once you finish writing, you can export the files of your book. But don't take our word for it: you can try the RBE for free right here .
Reedsy's #1 Writing Software
We designed a writing app for authors and it’s free to use. Sign up now and start writing your book.
Learn how Reedsy can help you craft a beautiful book.
Getting into the groove of writing a book can be difficult. When there are a million different things to distract and discourage you, how can you keep going with your writing routine and finish your book?
Based on ours and other writers' experience, here are a few motivational strategies for you to try:
- Make a list of reasons why you want to write a book. Having a tangible reminder of your true purpose is one of the best ways to motivate yourself, so think hard: Do you want to send an important message? Reach a certain group of people? Or do you simply yearn to tell this particular story? Write down all your reasons and keep them as an ace in the hole for when your motivation dwindles.
- Find someone else to write with you. Getting a writing buddy is another great way to stay motivated! For one thing, you get some camaraderie during this process; for another, it means you can't slack off too much. So ask your writer friends if they'd like to meet up regularly, or join an online writing community . With the latter, just make sure you exchange progress updates and proof that you're actually writing!
- Reward yourself at important milestones. Sometimes the best motivation is the prospect of treating yourself. If you respond well to this kind of motivation, set a goal, a deadline, and a reward for meeting it: “If I can write 10,000 more words by the end of the month, I'll go out for an amazing, fancy dinner with all my friends.” This kind of goal is also helpful because you can tell your friends about it, and that very act will hold you accountable.
For even more advice on how to staying motivated through the writing process, check out this Reedsy Live from author and writing coach Kevin Johns!
Don't give up
Remember how we said you'd inevitably get stuck? Well, that's what this step is all about: what to do when you hit a wall. Whether it's a tricky plot hole, an onslaught of insecurity, or a simple lack of desire to write, all writers experience setbacks from time to time.
There are countless ways to overcome writer's block , from freewriting to working on your characters to taking a shower (yes, that's a legitimate tip!). However, here are some of the most effective techniques we've found:
- Revisit your outline. This will jog your memory as to planned story elements you've forgotten — which may help you find the missing piece.
- Try writing exercises. It's possible you just need to get the words flowing, and then you can jump get right back into your book. Luckily for you, we have a whole host of great writing exercises right here!
- Share your experience with friends. This is another great role for your writing buddy to fill, but you can easily talk about writer's block with your non-writing friends, too. If you're struggling, it always helps to vent and bounce ideas off other people.
- Take a short break to do something else. Yes, sometimes you need to step away from the keyboard and clear your head. But don't take more than a day or so, or else you'll lose momentum and motivation.
Most of all, remember to take setbacks in stride and not let them get you down. As platitudinous as that might sound, it's true: the only thing that can stop you from writing a book is if you, well, stop writing . So keep calm and carry on — every day brings new opportunities and you'll get through this.
Your aim at this point is not to emerge with an instant masterpiece. The quality almost always emerges in the edit.
You can write all day, all night, to your heart's content... but if no one else likes what you've written, you might end up heart broken instead. That's why it's crucial to request feedback on your book, starting early and from as many sources as possible.
Begin by asking your friends and fellow writers to read just a few chapters at a time. However, apply their suggestions not only to those chapters, but wherever relevant. For example, if one of your friends says, “[Character A] is acting weird in this scene,” pay extra attention to that character to ensure you haven't misrepresented them anywhere else.
Once your book is finished, you're ready for some more intensive feedback. Consider getting a beta reader to review your entire book and provide their thoughts. You may want to hire an editor to give you professional feedback as well. (Find out about the different types of editing, and which type your book might need, in this post .)
Finally, it might sound obvious, but we'll say it anyway for all you stubborn writers out there: feedback is useless if you don't actually listen to it. Separate yourself from your ego and don't take anything personally, because no one wants to offend you — they're just trying to help.
You’ve persevered to the end at last: brainstormed, outlined, and written a first draft that you've edited extensively (based on feedback, of course). Your book has taken its final form, and you couldn’t be prouder. So what comes next?
Well, if you’ve taken our advice about catering to your target readers, you may as well give publishing a shot! We have a full guide to publishing right here — and if you’re thinking about traditional publishing, read this article to decide which is right for you.
Get help from publishing professionals
Publishing is another rigorous process, of course. But if you’ve come this far to find out how to write a book, you can pretty much do anything! Invest in stellar cover design , study up on marketing , or start writing an irresistible query letter that will get you an offer.
Whichever route you take, one thing will remain true: you’ve written a book, and that’s an incredible achievement. Welcome to the 0.1% — and may the next book you write be even greater than the first. 📖
13/12/2019 – 15:33
thank you for helping me find a new way to write my book
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- Technical Writer Career Path
- How to Become a Technical Writer
- Technical Writer Education Requirements
- English Teacher to Technical Writer
- Software Engineer to Technical Writer
- Technical Writer Salary
- Technical Writer Interview Questions
- Google Technical Writer Interview Questions
- Technical Writer Resume
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- Good Documentation Practices
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Best Technical Writing Books 2023
Become a Certified Technical Writer
Table of contents.
Whether you are an aspiring technical writer, a technical writer who is new to the field, or an experienced technical writer, books on technical writing written by experts can help you learn new skills and grow in your career.
There are other avenues for learning about technical and professional communication such as technical writing courses and training. However, books offer the following advantages not found in other avenues of learning:
- Books are inexpensive compared to courses and training, and therefore are accessible to anyone who wants to learn.
- In most cases when you are looking for in-depth details of a particular subject, books are a better source of information.
- With books, you can learn what you want, when you want, and where you want.
- A book is a resource you can refer to whenever you need to.
In this article, we reviewed beginner-level books that provide an overview of technical writing, books that cover the essentials of good writing skills, modern approaches to product and documentation design, and books that cover the management of documentation projects and documentation teams.
If you’re interested in learning about them via video, then watch here:
Best Technical Writing Books
Let’s dive right in and learn about the best books on technical writing.
Technical Writing 101
Technical Writing 101 is a good introduction to technical writing. The book is written in plain language and does not feel like a textbook. The content covers everything aspiring technical writers need to know.
The first chapters describe the day-to-day of the technical writing job. Subsequent chapters cover the technical writing process, tools for technical writers, research, visual communication, and the importance of being edited.
The book covers the importance of following templates and how structured authoring environments based on Extensible Markup Language (XML) streamline the content development process.
This third edition of the book features updated information on the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) standard for structured authoring. The book also explains the impact of Web 2.0 technologies-blogs, wikis, and forums-on technical communication.
An appendix in the book is dedicated to advice about applying for and landing a job as a technical writer.
About the Authors
Sarah O’Keefe is the founder of Scriptorium Publishing and a content strategy consultant. Sarah’s focus is on how to use technical content to solve business problems; she is especially interested in how new technologies can streamline publishing workflows to achieve strategic goals.
Sarah O’Keefe and Alan S. Pringle are also co-authors of Content Strategy 101 and The State of Structured Authoring.
To purchase, check out Technical Writing 101 .
The Elements of Technical Writing
The Elements of Technical Writing is an essential guide for technical writing skills. It provides guidelines for writing clear, concise proposals, reports, manuals, letters, memos, and other documents in every technical field.
The first chapter identifies the ten principles that make technical writing good technical writing. The next four chapters focus on the rules of English language grammar and punctuation, principles of communication, as well as commonly misused words and phrases.
Chapters six through nine break away from the English language rules and get down to the specifics of writing proposals, technical articles and reports, letters and memos, and manuals.
The authors practice what they preach: their writing is clear and interesting. The Elements of Technical Writing is written for technical writers but is also a valuable reference guide for other writers. This concise guide is an indispensable part of any technical writer’s library.
For thirty years, Gary Blake has written books and has been the director of The Communication Workshop, which offers writing webinars and seminars across the US.
Robert Bly is a freelance direct-response copywriter with almost four decades of experience in multichannel marketing. Before becoming an independent direct response copywriter, Bob was an advertising manager for Koch Engineering, a process equipment manufacturer. Robert Bly is the author of more than 100 books.
To purchase, check out The Elements of Technical Writing .
The Insider’s Guide to Technical Writing
The Insider’s Guide to Technical Writing is a comprehensive guide to the field of technical writing. It is considered by many readers a classic in the field. The book contains many insights, tips, and advice for beginning technical writers or those who have been on the job for years.
The first edition was released in 2012. A new 2022 edition is updated for the technical writer of today.
The book covers both the profession and technical writing. It is divided into six parts:
- Is This Job for Me? What does it take to become a technical writer and how do you get started?
- Building the Foundation: What skills and tools do you need to get started? How do you get to know your audience and write in a way that works for them?
- The Best Laid Plans: How do you create a schedule that won’t make you go crazy? How do you learn about the technology you will be writing about, handle the tools you need for the job, and manage the development process, including Agile methodologies?
- On the Job: What does it take to walk into a job and be productive right away?
- The Tech Writer Toolkit: How do you create style guides, indexes, templates, and layouts? How do you manage localization, translation, and all the other non-writing parts of the job?
- I Love My Job: How do you handle the ups and downs of being a technical writer?
The author draws on her own experience and writes in a conversational style that is enjoyable to read. She does not sugarcoat anything but rather lays out the realities regarding the challenges involved: the technical writing path is full of deadlines, changes, and stress. The author also emphasizes that the benefits outweigh the challenges in the field.
About the Author
Krista Van Laan has several years of experience writing and managing writers in software, telecommunications, hardware, and Internet service companies. She has written or co-written two books on technical writing.
To purchase, check out The Insider’s Guide to Technical Writing .
Handbook of Technical Writing
Handbook of Technical Writing, now in its 12th edition, is a comprehensive resource for technical writing students and professionals. The book is alphabetically organized and easy to use. The explanations are simple and understandable.
The book contains almost 400 entries that provide guidance for the most common professional technical documents and correspondence, including reports, proposals, manuals, memos, and white papers.
The book also contains several sample documents. In addition, visuals demonstrate effective technical communication, reflecting current practices for formatting documents.
Gerald J. Alred is a Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles and several standard bibliographies on business and technical communication and is co-author of The Business Writer’s Handbook and Handbook of Technical Writing.
Walter E. Oliu served as chief of the Publishing Services Branch at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He has taught at Miami University of Ohio, Slippery Rock State University, and as an adjunct faculty member at Montgomery College and George Mason University.
Charles T. Brusaw was a faculty member at NCR Corporation’s Management College, where he developed and taught courses in professional writing, editing, and presentation skills for the corporation worldwide. Previously, he worked in advertising, technical writing, public relations, and curriculum development.
To purchase, check out Handbook of Technical Writing .
Technical Writing Process
The Technical Writing Process outlines a five-step process that any technical writer can use to create technical documentation such as a user guide, manual, or procedure. These five steps are Plan, Structure, Write, Review and Publish.
The book is aimed at a broad spectrum of technical writers: aspiring technical writers and students of technical writing, non-writers assigned with the task of creating technical documentation, established writers who want to bring more structure to their work, and anyone managing a documentation project.
Compared to earlier texts that cover the management of documentation projects, The Technical Writing Process contains information that is more relevant to the modern workplace that relies on Agile methodologies.
Kieran Morgan has worked in technical writing, program management, and senior management roles for some of Australia’s highest-profile companies.
To purchase, check out Technical Writing Process .
The Product is Docs: Writing Technical Documentation in a Product Development Group
The Product is Docs is a collection of essays that cover essential aspects of creating technical documentation in today’s product development world. It is a useful guide for people new to a career in technical writing, experienced writers who want to update their skills, and managers looking for guidance.
The author and his team present down-to-earth strategies for establishing constructive and collaborative relationships in often tight timeline environments.
This book describes several ways in which strengthening the relationships between documentation and other functional teams is instrumental in delivering a high-quality product, maintaining customer trust, and staying competitive in the modern world.
Christopher Gales is the Senior Director of Documentation at Splunk. He is an experienced technical communications and software program management leader. Christopher has 25+ years of experience in technical communications, program management, and design.
To purchase, check out The Product is Docs .
Managing Your Documentation Projects
Managing Your Documentation Projects is a classic resource for professional technical writers. It is a book devoted exclusively to technical publication project management. Despite being 20 years old, it is still relevant for planning and managing technical communication and documentation projects.
The book provides the following:
- Clear-cut, rational guidelines for managing every phase of the project from planning and development, through production, distribution, and project evaluation
- Scores of usable templates, checklists, summaries, and forms
- Dozens of real-life case studies and scenarios taken from the author’s extensive experience at top corporations
- Techniques applicable to all fields of documentation
JoAnn T. Hackos is a lecturer, consultant, and author of several books about technical communication. Now retired, Dr. Hackos is the founder of the Center for Information-Development Management and the president emeritus of Comtech Services in Denver, Colorado.
To purchase, check out Managing Your Documentation Projects .
Managing Writers: A Real World Guide To Managing Technical Documentation
Managing Writers is a practical guide to managing documentation projects and is focused on the people side of documentation projects. It is a great resource for technical writers and managers who lead technical writing teams.
The book is concise, well-written, thoughtful, and practical. It presents a useful framework for managing technical writing projects that consider the following three dimensions: time, content, and resources.
The book has three major parts:
- People: Covers concrete strategies and tactics for hiring, motivating, managing change, evaluating performance, outsourcing, and off-shoring.
- Projects: Outlines techniques to help you increase your team’s influence, manage schedules, balance multiple projects, and collaborate with the rest of the product development team.
- Technology: Help you decide what technology you need, what you don’t need, how to acquire what you need, how to avoid common pitfalls, and how to stay ahead of the technology curve. It goes into depth concerning XML, content management, and modular documentation.
Richard L. Hamilton began his career at Bell Laboratories developing computer software and has worked at AT&T, Unix System Laboratories, Novell, and Hewlett-Packard in jobs ranging from software development to product management to documentation management. In 2008 he founded XML Press, which is dedicated to producing high-quality, practical publications for technical communicators, managers, and marketers.
To purchase, check out Managing Writers: A Real World Guide To Managing Technical Documentation .
All the books reviewed in this article are written by experts with many years of experience. The biggest benefit of learning from those with experience is that you can learn from their shared insights without having to spend years or decades on the job.
Whether it is learning about technical writing skills, the technical writing profession, managing documentation projects, managing teams of writers, or the best advice regarding the technical writer career path, books provide one of the most credible sources of insight and information.
So select a good book on technical writing, learn from it, and apply what you learn. Then select another good book on technical writing.
Keep reading. Keep learning. Keep growing.
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15 Best Book Writing Software Tools (2023 Guide)
BY Charity Jerop | Sep 10, 2020 | Writing , Reviews
On the hunt for the best book writing software for you?
Writing software can be hard to come by, especially since what might work best for you, doesn't necessarily work for someone else and vice versa.
Some might argue that the medium is not the issue – they'll tell you don't worry about fancy writing software, just start writing.
And while that may be true for some, in our experience with helping thousands of authors write and self-publish a book, we've found that every author has a tool that helps them organize their writing, and increase their productivity.
Software specifically designed to write a book can make your writing process more organized, efficient, and focused, ultimately allowing you to write your book faster .
We've compiled the best free writing software for beginners, but there are some paid tools included here that require some learning, too.
In this article, we’ll not only take a detailed look at the free writing software tools available to authors, but we’ll cover some paid tools, as well.
Here is the best book writing software:
- Zoho Writer
- Google Docs
- Hemmingway App
- Microsoft Word
What is Book Writing Software?
Book writing software is a program designed to streamline the book writing process using technology on a computer or other device. It is mainly a word processor with added benefits specifically for authors and novelists, such as book organization tools, story development features, and more.
There are many options for free book writing software, as well as paid writing software for all budgets and price points. Depending on your own needs as an author and writer, there are many book writing software to choose from.
Maybe you’re a writer that’s just getting started on how to write a book . Or maybe you’re a seasoned writer that’s researching how to become an author and you’re ready to commit to your practice with the best book writing software available.
No matter what type of writer you are, there is software designed to streamline your writing process. It’s just a matter of finding the perfect one to fit your needs!
Do You Really Need Software to Write a Book?
We know what you’re thinking. All that’s needed to write is pen and paper.
In simple terms, yes – you don’t need a fancy writing tool to actually write. In fact, humans have been expressing their creativity and ideas through writing using the most basic tools available for centuries.
But every writer needs a medium, which is the tool that you use to write on or with. The efficiency and ease-of-use of the medium can affect the writer’s productivity.
Think about how easy a typewriter or keyboard makes it to type a 50,000 word novel; now, imagine having to write that many words by carving it on stone. See how the medium can affect your productivity as a writer?
Technology has made the writing process easier – there’s no doubt about that. But is writing software necessary?
I posed this exact question to a group of writers to see if they really use software. Based on their feedback, it’s clear that writers like you value these programs. Every writer has their preferred book writing software, and some use multiple writing software programs.
Take a look at some of the responses:
That's just a quick look at how many real-life writers actually use book writing software to improve their efficiency and organization.
So, the next time you're in need of gifts for writers , consider buying them a subscription to their favorite book writing software!
The Pros to Using Book Writing Software
Of course you can write using whatever tools are available to you, but there are some important reasons to consider using special software for writing a book.
Writing is already hard – why make it even more difficult by not utilizing the tools that were designed to make the process easier?
When you make technology work for you and not against you, great things can come out of it – like that book you’ve been meaning to write!
Here are the main reasons to use book writing software:
1. Your book files are organized in one place. No need to have each book chapter file saved in various places throughout your desktop. Keep it clean and organized with book writing software. With most tools, you can even access files from anywhere, making it easy to pick up where you left off no matter where you are, or what time of day it is.
2. Special built-in features designed to make your writing life easier . The best writing software programs have built-in features that can prevent a ton of issues. For example, you can check for spelling and grammar mistakes on-the-go, which cuts down your editing time. Or use features like a plagiarism checker , which automatically highlights sections in your text that need citation.
3. The auto save feature will automatically save your work as you type. Losing your unsaved work due to unavoidable circumstances (like your power going out) is a thing of the past! Auto-save is a lifesaver when it comes to ensuring your book progress is continuously updated.
4. Prevent distractions so you can focus on writing. Some book writing tools have features to block you from unnecessary distractions. This ultimately helps you get done with your book in the shortest time possible, and helps you create a productive writing space .
5. Create a productive writing process. Once you learn the ins and outs of your book writing software, you’ll feel comfortable making it part of your writing process . Chances are, you won’t want to write without it!
Now that you know why it’s important to give book writing software a shot, let’s dive start with the free book writing software available. Then, we’ll move on to book writing software tools that offer paid versions.
As we go through the list, it is important for you to consider certain factors when choosing which writing tool is best for you.
There isn’t a one size fits all when it comes to writing. What works for one author, might not work for another author.
How to decide which book writing software is best for you:
- Cost of the software. Think of your budget. Can you afford to invest in writing software, or do you need to rely on the free versions for now?
- Accessibility. Think of where you write. Do you need to be able to access your book manuscript from multiple devices (like a phone or tablet), or do you only write on one specific machine?
- Features. What features are important to you? Do you need spell checker, plagiarism checker, and productivity-improving features?
- User-friendliness. Are you tech-savvy, tech-challenged, or somewhere in the middle? There are some book writing software programs that require a steep learning curve for more advanced writers, and others that are great for beginners.
- The simplicity of the writing software. Do you need all the nuts and bolts, or do you work better with less?
- Size of the book writing software. Will the program take up a lot of space on your hard drive?
Free Book Writing Software For Beginners
Before we dive in to the best paid book writing software, let’s take a look at some of the free options available to beginner writers.
We always recommend taking advantage of some of the free tools out there, so that you can get a feel for what you want to invest in. There are plenty of free book writing software for beginners to choose from, so try a few (or all!).
These free book writing tools have the basic essentials to provide you with the features you need, so that you can have more time for writing .
#1 – Zoho Writer
Writer by Zoho , also known as Zoho Writer, is an online word processor that comes with special features to help you write from anywhere and at any time you want to. It is a cloud software, which means you can access it on all of your devices, no matter where you are.
Even better, Zoho has different templates for you to choose from, depending on what it is you need to write.
Benefits to using Zoho Writer as a free book writing software for beginners:
#1 – It’s readily available . You do not need to sign up or log in to be able to use it. And to add, Zoho Writer is user-friendly and if you are part of a team of writers, you can work together and share the documents with each other using the share button at the top right corner.
#2 – You can write offline, without internet access. To add, despite this software being on online writing tool, you can still write your way offline and have you're work synced to your account.
#3 – You can use it across all devices. You can also use this book writing software across all the devices be it your phone, Tablet, or a PC. No need to worry about accessing your manuscript from the wrong device
This book writing software is free.
#2 – LibreOffice
Developed by the Document Foundation, LibreOffice is open source software that prides itself on being a free office suite. While it boasts other programs for spreadsheets and charts, Write is the name of its free word processor.
Benefits to using LibreOffice Writer as a free book writing software for beginners:
#1 – It’s a robust one-stop-shop for writers. And it’s similar to Microsoft Word (which we’ll cover in our paid writing software section).
#2 – It’s an effective word processing tool with helpful features for authors. It wasn’t only created for writers, but can be used by anyone who needs a word processor. At its core, it can be used as a powerful book writing software for authors. The autocorrect and spell checker tools allows you to catch grammar and spelling mistakes in the fly. It also supports other languages no need to worry if you want to write your book in your native language.
#3 – It provides useful templates. LibreOffice includes readily available templates to choose from, that are properly formatted to meet your needs. All you need to do is add your text! Whether you want to write your resume, brochures, letters or your book, these templates can save you time and come in handy for clean, crisp formatting.
#3 – Google Docs
Google Docs is by far the most common and widely used writing software, and this list of free book writing software tools wouldn’t be complete without mentioning it.
Google Docs is a word processing tool that comes with your Google account. If you have a Gmail account then you already have access to Google Docs.
Benefits to using Google Docs as a free book writing software for beginners:
#1 – You can write and access it from anywhere. Like Zoho Writer, it’s a cloud platform, which means you can write anytime inspiration strikes. You can also use this book writing software when you’re offline and don’t have access to WiFi or internet.
#2 – Your work is autosaved. Each time you key a letter, your Google Doc will save your progress. No need to worry about clicking the “save” button every time you add a new page in your book! You can also view revision history, in case you accidentally delete or change something that you want to restore.
#3 – It’s easy to collaborate with a team, another writer, or an editor . Additional features streamline the collaboration process, such as sharing your work with others. Be it your co-author , editor, you are a click away. You can also use the track changes feature for the editing process, so you can see exactly what your editor has changed.
Note: A major downside to using Google Docs as your book writing software is that it does not support heavy formatting and outlining . Therefore, writing an entire book on this platform can be a bit challenging, but you can still use it for short stories , articles and note-keeping.
#4 – FocusWriter
FocusWriter is a “simple, distraction-free writing environment.” If you struggle to stay focused and on task during your writing sessions, FocusWriter may be the solution for you.
Benefits to using FocusWriter as your free book writing software:
#1 – Designed to be distraction-free. Like its name suggests, FocusWriter helps you zero in on your project by eliminating anything that could produce a distraction within the program with its hide-away interface.
#2 – Timers and alarms. This is for my writers who love to write in sprints. Structure your writing sessions by planning and timing how long you'll write.
#3 – Auto-save function. If you're a writer who struggles to remember saving your own work, FocusWriter has you covered with their auto-saves.
#5 – Evernote
Evernote has both a free, and paid version. You can use the free version as a word processor and note-taking software, or pay for the premium version if you want extra perks.
While Evernote isn't designed specifically for books, the tool's organization makes it a feasible option as a book writing software.
Benefits to using Evernote as your free book writing software:
#1 – Streamlines note-taking process. At it's core, Evernote is a writing software that's designed to make note-taking easy and efficient. This makes it a useful book writing software because the same note-taking organization principles can be integrated into the process of writing a book .
#2 – Versatility makes for easy customization. While Evernote isn't designed for just authors and novelists, the versatility it brings to users with multiple uses for the program come in handy, especially for those writing a book. The ability to create notebooks, tags, and sort information, as well as robust AI-suggested content means that this book writing software is a power-house for personalization. With enough tweaks and adaptability, Evernote is a super versatile program that you can adjust to fit your needs best.
#3 – A hub for your book research and inspiration. Anyone who is in the process of writing a book knows how often a random surge of inspiration, or piece of research , hits us as we write. Evernote is perfect for housing all of our inspirational quotes or research, without derailing our book writing efforts altogether.
Related: Inspirational Writing Quotes
Best Paid Book Writing Software
Now that we’ve covered the top free book writing software tools available, let’s move on to the paid book writing software.
If you're concerned about investing in a paid book writing software, then do as much research as you can on the product before you buy it. Also, consider the costs of your initial investment – will it pay for itself when you start earning book profits ?
#6 – NovelPad
NovelPad is a novel-writing software developed for the way writers write.
Unlike other book writing software on the market that requires you to download a program to your computer, NovelPad can be accessed on any device with web access. If you want to try it out before committing, take advantage of the 14-day free trial (no credit card required) .
This book writing software is $8 per month
Benefits to using NovelPad as your book writing software:
#1 – Use it on any device, online or off . NovelPad is browser-based, so you can open your projects on any device. They also have offline mode, if you'd like to limit distractions by disabling web connection, or if you're writing on the go.
#2 – Minimal, distraction-free design. The layout is simplistic and minimal, with limited distractions. The NovelPad team has stated that they only include features when and where writers require them, which leads to an incredibly intuitive, easy-to-use system.
#3 – Chapters page . A popular NovelPad feature is the ability to have a bird's eye view of your entire project. You can use scene descriptions, color labels, and other organizational tools to know at a glance what's happening in each scene, then simply click and drag to reorder them. This is a big time save for longer projects!
#4 – Customizable word count goal and tracker . Trying to hit a specific writing goal ? NovelPad has you covered. Instead of tracking your word count goal externally through a spreadsheet or other means, NovelPad allows you to set goals and tracks them for you. Set vacations and sprints, customize which days you'd like to write more or less, and let NovelPad do the math for you.
# 5 – ProWritingAid is included. That's right! Get a streamlined drafting software and stellar grammar check with one subscription.
#7 – Ulysses
Ulysses is also another full-fledged book writing software specifically designed for Mac users. Whether you are a Sci-Fi writer or learning how to publish an eBook writer, Ulysses is an all in one software that allows you to focus on your main business – writing.
This book writing software starts at $5.99 per month
Benefits to using Ulysses Writer as your book writing software:
#1 – Minimalist interface. Getting distracted while writing can hurt the flow of your creative juices pretty bad. Ulysses comes with a minimalistic interface to help you stay focused and productive.
#2 – The customizable editor comes with special perks. You can choose to switch to typewriter mode. You can attach additional information from images, pdf, keywords, notes, and anything in between.
#3 – You can publish directly to WordPress and Medium. Instead of having to copy and paste all of your text from your writing software into a website, you can simply publish directly to the site. This is especially helpful for authors that blog.
#4 – You can share your writing in any file format you want. No more complicated conversion processes to be done outside of the book writing software!
Note : Ulysses is only available on Apple products at the time of writing.
Price: You have to pay for a subscription for you to enjoy its awesomeness.
#8 – Hemingway App
Have you heard of Hemingway App yet? If you have, then chances are you know either love it or hate it. As the name suggests, Hemingway is a word processing app that is simple and easy to use, but is very visual.
This book writing software starts at $19.99
Related: Hemingway App Review
Benefits to using Hemingway App as your book writing software:
#1 – It comes with advanced editing and revising tools like the spell and grammar checker to help you come up with the finest writing piece. It uses different colors to highlight sentences/words that need restructuring.
#2 – There is a helpful sidebar display that shows things like the readability level of your writing, as well as your overall word count.
#3 – It has a free editor. Even if you don’t want to pay for the subscription, you can still use the free editing tool!
Note: We’ve all been advised to not edit as we write, especially when during the book writing process. Since Hemingway draws a lot of visual attention to errors, this could slow your writing down if you’re one to get distracted easily!
#9 – Scrivener
Almost every modern book writer out there (regardless of the genre) swears by this powerful book writing software.
It's jam packed with features and tools to help you organize and write your book, but there is a learning curve to be aware of.
If you want to try Scrivener out, plan to take some tutorials before investing in this program to determine if it's really right for you.
And this is likely because Scrivener was specifically designed for writers.
This book writing software starts at $49
Benefits to using Scrivener as your book writing software:
#1 – Scrivener boasts a user-friendly drag and drops features available on its user interface. The outliner tool helps you work on your book while having an overview of what your chapter, a page or even the whole book would look like.
#2 – Includes research tools for easy reference. The snapshot tool allows you to take snapshots that you want to view and reference later, without losing your train of thought.
#3 – You can set writing targets. Setting targets can really boost your productivity game as a book writer. Scrivener has a target setting tool to help you set your own targets and work towards achieving them.
#4 – Customizable organization with the binder tool. If you are the type of writer who likes working on an organized and well-planned piece, then Scrivener is your perfect match. The binder tool allows organizing your manuscript in files, sub-files, sub-sub- files and so on.
Note: While Scrivener is a super robust software for writing a book, you’ll most likely have to watch a few tutorials to learn how to master it.
Price: The cost to purchase Scrivener varies depending on your device.
#10 – FastPencil
This is also another writing software that can take your writing game a notch higher. With FastPencil , you can draft, edit, publish, and even sell your book through some of the best booksellers in the industry.
Benefits to using FastPencil as your book writing software:
#1 – It’s an all in one software. Just like we mentioned above, you can use this writing software to not only write your book, but it also can include editing, publishing, and marketing services – depending on your needs and budget.
#2 – It’s fairly easy to learn how to use. The software is pretty user-friendly, and there isn’t a high learning curve when you’re figuring out how it works.
#3 – You can use it to write your book in an organized manner. Because it is designed specifically for book writers, there are tools to help you section off chapters.
#4 – A variety of special features are included, such as being able to preview how your book will look live. Another handy tool is the chat tool, which makes collaboration with other writers and/or editors easy.
Price: FastPencil is available for free if you only want to use it as a word processing tool, but you can pay for access to more advanced features.
This book writing software cost depends on service
#11 – Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word is one of the most common, and widely used word processors out there, because it’s pretty much the oldest one.
But even today, it remains a top contender as the book writing software preference for many authors.
This book writing software starts at $159.99, but might be included with your device
Benefits to using Microsoft Word as your book writing software:
# 1 – It’s very user-friendly and many writers already have experience using it, whether they learned it in school or at work. While it’s an older program and has been updated numerous times, its function remains the same overall.
#2 – The simple visual interface can create a distraction-free writing space. Other than the top toolbar, the rest of the window is reserved as your page, with ample room for your text.
#3 – You can create and use templates. Because it’s so versatile, Word has many options for customizing the functions to meet your needs as you write your book. For example, you can use headers to create chapters or sections of your book.
Price: If your device doesn’t already include access to Microsoft Word, you can buy it; the price will vary depending on your needs and which package you want.
Bonus Writing Software Tools To Help You Write Your Book
We’ve covered eleven of the best free and paid writing softwares available for aspiring authors. But wait – there’s more!
While the last two writing tools we mention aren’t exactly word processing software programs, they are tools many authors find helpful to use in their writing practice.
#12 – Grammarly
Grammarly is not just a writing tool but also an AI-powered program to help you write a clean, crisp book that’s free from common errors, such as grammar and spelling.
There is a free version available, but the paid version offers more advanced features like the plagiarism checker tool.
You can even add Grammarly as a Chrome Extension, so it can edit and revise any writing you do – from emails, to social media posts, and more!
#13 – Freedom
When you’re writing from a computer or laptop, it’s easy to get distracted with the internet just one tab away – distracting you from your work , and preventing your book from actually getting written. This is where Freedom comes in.
Freedom helps you stay focused by blocking sites on the internet that might shift your attention.
#14 – ProWritingAid
We cover all the nuts and bolts of this writing tool in our complete ProWritingAid review .
But for a quick summary, ProWritingAid is a tool that can be used with many book writing software programs, and is a robust tool that checks grammar, spelling, edits style, and offers a number of writing improvement insights based on AI-powered reports.
If you're looking for a tool to pair with your book writing software of choice, and are dedicated to improving your writing quality and style, then ProWritingAid will offer more than any standard spellchecker can.
Get ProWritingAid here .
#15 – FocusWriter
A word processor that touts “distraction-free” features, this simple book writing software is designed to keep writer's focus on their writing.
Although it's not as high-tech as some of the other writing programs available, it's not meant to be. FocusWriter uses a hide-away interface with a customizable environment and autosave. It's not fancy, but it is useful! And really, the fancy programs are usually the ones that we get sidetracked with due to shiny object syndrome.
Download FocusWriter here.
So there you have it! The best writing software programs you can choose from to streamline your writing process, improve productivity, and get your book written faster.
Researching the different writing software and tools can be overwhelming, but remember: it’s important to pick programs that work for you.
What works for one writer, may not work for you! If you start using one software, then discover that it’s not right for you – that’s okay. You don’t have to commit to one writing tool if it’s hindering your productivity.
Once you find the perfect book writing software for YOU, the rest will fall in line.
What's your favorite book writing software?
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11 Outstanding Books for UX Writers
If you’re a UX writer or your work day (or your ideal work day) has you tinkering with words—particularly the words that end up on any kind of digital interface—here’s a reading list for you!
Poorly written copy can cause users to feel confused or frustrated with the experience. The best copy builds rapport and helps guide users through their journey—whether they’re completing a purchase, looking for an answer to a question, or working to meet any other need or goal.
Whether you’re interested in becoming a UX writer, already working in the field, or you’re a designer who wants to get better at words—here’s the most important thing you need to know:
Your words matter. And sometimes, how you write those words needs a refresh.
What better way to freshen up your writing practice than to learn some new things and gather inspiration? So here are some of our favorite books—essential additions to the library of anyone who designs with words, especially in tech:
- Microcopy: The Complete Guide
- Strategic Writing for UX
- Writing is Designing
- The Content Design Book
- Everybody Writes
- Storytelling in Design
- Nicely Said
- How to Make Sense of Any Mess
- Conversational Design
- Content Everywhere
- Writing for Designers
1. Microcopy: The Complete Guide
This book is the quintessential text for the world of UX writing. If you work in UX, digital marketing, sales, product management, UI design, or even personal blogging—bump this book to the top of your list. Kinneret Yifrah, founder and manager of the microcopy studio Nemala , takes a deep and comprehensive dive into the world of microcopy.
This book covers everything from basic UX writing principles, to how to design voice and tone from scratch; from how to use copy to alleviate users’ concerns to writing in ways that are accessible to everyone. It’s loaded with practical tips and tricks for writing any kind of microcopy in a digital interface, from 404 screens to forms, and beyond.
2. Strategic Writing for UX
Content strategist and UX pro Torrey Podmajersky has packed a lot into this thin volume. If you want a clear framework for writing copy that’s engaging and conversational—and aligned with the goals of both the user and the business—this is the book for you.
You’ll learn how to create and use voice charts for decision-making, the definition and importance of content-first design, as well as text patterns, editing practices, and how to evaluate the effectiveness of your copy—and more.
3. Writing is Designing
If you’re a writer in tech, you’ve more than likely experienced the all too common divide between copy and design. Which comes first? What’s the best way to collaborate? How do you write effectively for the visual context where the words will land?
In this book, Michael J. Metts and Andy Welfle build a bridge between the often separate worlds or writing and design—a useful read whether you’re a writer, a designer, a product manager, or an executive.
Covering everything from the basics of “how words shape experiences” to the nuances of voice, tone, accessibility, and collaboration, this book is rooted in the idea that writing is an integral part of the design process.
4. The Content Design Book
Content Design London describes this as “short, lively, and practical”—and we couldn’t agree more. Based on the experiences of Sarah Richards and her team at Content Design London , a widely respected content design consultancy that offers training and coaching, this book will give you a practical look at how to apply new techniques and design content for products and experiences.
You’ll learn techniques for producing content in an agile setting, how to work with “tricky” stakeholders, how to speed up production with pair writing, and even the science of reading. An interesting and practical read all around!
5. Everybody Writes
Imposter syndrome is real, especially for people in tech who may not have really considered themselves to be “writers” in the traditional sense of the word (imagine someone hunched over at a desk all day, churning out brilliant content that publishers want to sell).
Here, Ann Handley tackles the basics in a way that’s approachable, downright witty, and immediately applicable to any kind of writing. She demystifies the writing process and covers everything from unlearning what high school taught you about writing, to ugly first drafts, to how to work with a writing buddy—and so much more.
This one’s a great choice whether you’re a UX writer or a copywriter as the concepts apply across writing disciplines.
6. Storytelling in Design
If you’re curious to learn more about the power of storytelling in UX , this is the book for you. UX designer and speaker Anna Dahlström will walk you through traditional storytelling methods and tools, and demonstrate the powerful effect these can have on user experiences.
This book explores the what, why, and how of storytelling in product design, drawing connections between elements in traditional storytelling (such as plot points) and locating or translating them into the world of product design. It will prompt you to ask questions like:
- What’s the beginning, middle, and end of the product or user experience story?
- Who are the characters at play?
- What emotions does this story (product, experience, user flow ) bring up for people?
An enlightening and engaging read—especially useful to UX writers, UX designers, and product owners.
7. Nicely Said
If you’re looking to focus purely on the art and craft of writing for the web, Nicely Said is an excellent choice. Nicole Fenton (product writer, researcher and senior content strategist) and Kate Kiefer Lee (head of Communications and Corporate Affairs at Mailchimp) offer an approachable and elegant guide to writing all sorts of web copy. Whether you’re writing a product page or copy for a 404 screen (or anything in between), this book will show you how to do that effectively—while you master voice and tone, build a rapport with your readers/users, and develop project briefs and content style guides.
It’s an excellent read, particularly if you’ve found yourself in a writerly role within the marketing or product design world. But even seasoned writers will find plenty to learn!
8. How to Make Sense of Any Mess
If you’ve ever been handed a request for copy that seemed like a hopeless tangle of stakeholders and competing goals, loads of information to be communicated and limited space in which to do that— Abby Covert ’s How to Make Sense of Any Mess is the book for you. But we also recommend it for people who want to better understand information architecture (IA).
This book will give you a straightforward guide through seven steps to making sense of an informational mess. It includes practical lessons and exercises that will help you work through IA problems and design content that’s structured in ways that work for your readers.
9. Conversational Design
In a world that’s increasingly digitalized and remote, it’s important to keep interactions with our users as real and, in a sense, personal as possible.
Put simply, conversation is something that humans know how to do. In this book, design strategist and consultant Erika Hall tackles the idea of conversation as a model for human-centered design.
Here, you’ll learn how to look at product and experience design through the lens of conversation and ask what kind of conversation you’re carrying on with your users. It’s an approachable guide (even for those new to design) that covers the principles of conversational design and what they look like in practice.
10. Content Everywhere
While we’re talking about the proliferation of digital experiences, we have to think about the proliferation of copy within those experiences. If you’ve ever found yourself repeatedly re-working the same bit of copy to make it fit another form, check out Sara Wachter-Boettcher ’s Content Everywhere .
This book explores how we might create what the author calls “future-ready” content—copy that, rather than being single-use (written for this one spot on this one screen in this one user flow), is flexible, reusable, and manageable in a variety of contexts. Where many of the books we’ve presented so far focus on methods, this one introduces a mindset that you can cultivate as you create content.
11. Writing for Designers
Whether you’re a designer who wants to get better at managing the content side of things, or you’ve just found yourself managing writing processes and you’re uncertain how to navigate the practicalities, Scott Kubie ’s Writing for Designers is a fantastic (and quick) read.
Rather than focusing on how to write, this book focuses on how to make the writing happen. You’ll get practical guidance and insights on how to organize and navigate the operational side of the writing process—from building writing assignments or copy briefs to developing workflows and managing more productive processes for editing, feedback, and collaboration.
That’s a wrap!
There you have it. Eleven books for people who work with words—particularly at the intersection of design and tech. If you’re serious about getting into UX writing or content design, these will give you an excellent foundation, as well as a means of growing your knowledge base as you work to amp up your UX writing skills .
If you’d like to learn more about UX writing and how to build your microcopy writing skills, check out these articles:
- The best UX writing courses (and how to pick one)
- How to become a UX writer
- An honest review of UX Writing Hub’s course
- How to build an amazing UX writing portfolio
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What Is BookBildr?
BookBildr is your one-stop service for creating beautiful picture books for children. You no longer need a designer, an illustrator, special software or a publisher because you can make your children’s book yourself with the help of our ready-made illustrations and the power of Google fonts! Best of all, you can illustrate your book online for free and save as many book projects as you want. When you finish writing your book, we’ll professionally print it and deliver it to practically any address in the world.
With BookBildr you can make your own picture book for kids online without wasting time and resources on buying illustrations and working with a designer. Using BookBildr is free – there are no subscription fees or any premium content whatsoever: you only pay if you download your book as an eBook or order printed copies.
BookBildr is for everyone who loves reading and wants to write unique picture books for children and adults. It’s for parents and grandparents who want to turn their precious stories into beautiful books for their children. It’s also for kids who want to try their hand at writing, independent children’s book authors, educators, non-profits and more.
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How to Make a Book
Last Updated: January 23, 2023 References
This article was co-authored by Zachary Green . Zachary Green is an Entrepreneurship Coach, Author, and U.S. Marine Corp Veteran. With over 10 years of experience as an entrepreneur, he specializes in helping people transform their businesses, relationships, and lives. Zachary’s book, Warrior Entrepreneur, focuses on how warrior traits can help entrepreneurs, leaders, and others battle through adversity and accomplish their missions. Zachary was featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, on the front page of Yahoo.com, MSN.com, and in USA Today, along with numerous other local and national media outlets, and was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Governor John Kasich. Zachary was also selected by the Obama White House as one of 10 entrepreneurs to represent the United States at the Global Entrepreneur Summit. He was also featured in the US Playing Cards Frontline Leaders playing card series as one of 52 veteran entrepreneurs. Zachary earned a BA in Marketing and Sports Management from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He won the Ohio Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013, the SBA Ohio Small Business Exporter of the Year in 2016, a Spartan Distinguished Alumni Award in 2017, and a President’s E Award in 2019. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 60,100 times.
Planning, writing, and assembling a book is an exciting and challenging process! There are several ways to achieve or complete the act of writing a book. Take control of the entire creative process—from outlining to binding—and push the boundaries of your artistic limits.
Things You Should Know
- Choose a topic for your book that excites you so you're motivated to work on it.
- Set a word count goal to keep yourself accountable. For example, aim to write 1500 to 2500 words per day.
- When your book is finished, print and bind it and create your own cover.
- To determine if your idea has legs, write an elevator pitch, a short, to-the-point speech about your topic. If it sounds innovative, thrilling, and or interesting as an elevator pitch, it should make an excellent story!  X Research source
- If you are struggling to come up with a topic or narrow the list down to one topic, step away. Take your mind off of the book by exercising, shopping, or completing household chores. When you feel ready to tackle the task, return to the list refreshed, refocused, and re-energized!
- You could also make a flowchart, use bullet points, write on note cards, create a concept map.
- Sometimes it is helpful to create multiple forms of an outline. Each type of outline forces you to think through your story in a slightly different way. Storyboarding requires you to visualize the plot and your characters; flowcharts force you to consider how one subplot flows into the next subplot.
- Don’t aim for perfection. Outlines are meant to be rough sketches of your story!
- If you are struggling to identify your book’s individuality, don’t panic. Revision is a natural part of the writing process! Return to your outline and be willing to make changes to your plot and characters. Your work will be stronger as a result of these alterations!
- Don’t get disappointed when you discover a book with a similar plot. There is nothing new under the sun!
- If you feel too close to your work, ask a friend to look it over for you. They may be able to identify any plot holes or tangential sections.
Writing and Revising
- Some weeks or months you will have more time. Be flexible. If you see an opportunity to write for an hour, grab it!
- Don’t stress over failing to reach your goal in the allotted time. Instead, remain positive and try to meet the goal during your next session.
- If you are feeling stuck or having a hard time getting started, join a writing workshop. Talk over your problems with other experienced writers; get feedback on your work.  X Research source
- Use one word file instead of multiple word files. Keeping your work together in one place will generate a sense of continuity. Plus, if you make a change to your plot that impacts an earlier chapter, all you have to do is scroll up to make the alteration.  X Research source
- A work is never completely finished, but at some point you must stop striving to perfect it.
- If you struggle to edit your work with a critical eye, ask a colleague, friend, or family member to serve as your editor.
Designing the Book
Printing the Book
- Always start printing at page 2. Page 1 is your cover page and must be printed separately.
Binding the Book
- Pizza boxes work great!
Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.
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Thanks for reading our article! If you'd like to learn more about publishing a book, check out our in-depth interview with Zachary Green .
- ↑ http://www.writersworkshop.co.uk/how-to-write-a-book.html
- ↑ http://www.forbes.com/sites/brettarends/2014/06/02/five-essential-tips-for-anyone-trying-to-write-a-book/
- ↑ http://mackcollier.com/so-you-want-to-write-a-book-heres-10-things-you-need-to-know-to-get-published/
- ↑ http://blog.janicehardy.com/2010/01/re-write-wednesday-clarifying-thoughts.html
- ↑ http://fmwriters.com/Visionback/issue7/adwrigoals.htm
- ↑ http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/7-tips-for-revising-a-novel
- ↑ https://janefriedman.com/book-design-joel-friedlander-2/
- ↑ https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/kb/print-booklets-acrobat-reader.html
- ↑ http://tuxgraphics.org/npa/book-binding/
About This Article
To make a book, choose a topic and genre, then create detailed profiles for your characters. Organize a written outline to help you structure the plot, or create storyboards to help you arrange the narrative. Next, set a realistic writing schedule for yourself, then get busy writing the book's content! Focus on getting the words down on the page—you can edit later. Revise, edit, and rewrite the content until you're happy with the story. Then, you can print out the pages and even create your own cover and binding for the book. If you want to learn how to design the layout of your book, keep reading the article! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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Disclosure:Hi all! I use Jasper to write all my content and I am an independent Jasper Affiliate, not an employee. I receive referral payments from Jasper without any additional cost to you. The opinions expressed here are my own and are not official statements of Jasper or its parent company, Conversion AI LLC. Thank you for your support!
Ai Book Writer: You can create a best-selling book with the help of ai
If you have ever wanted to write a best-selling book, but didn’t know where to start, Or do you have a story to share, but don’t know how to write a book? Or maybe you’ve written a book, but it’s not selling well.
Whatever your writing needs may be, now is your chance! With the help of ai, anyone can create a masterpiece that will be read by millions.
Why you should write a book ?
Writing is a great way to express yourself and your thoughts. You can create something that will inspire the world or just make someone smile.
Writing is also an enjoyable hobby, but it can be difficult if you don’t know how to write well.
There are many ways that people learn how to write, and some of them include taking classes at school or attending workshops.
Others may prefer reading books on writing techniques, which can help them improve their skills as well as give them ideas for new stories
What’s keeping you from writing a book?
If you’ve been wondering why people don’t write more books, there are several factors that might be holding them back. Some of these include:
Fear of failure – Many people think they won’t succeed if they try to write a book because it’s too hard or takes too long.
Lack of self-confidence – People who have low self-esteem often worry that their writing isn’t good enough for publication ; this can prevent them from even starting the process! Others may feel intimidated by other writers’ success stories and thus never start at all.
It requires work, time, resources and money on your part as well (not just telling someone else about their life). In order to get published in today’s competitive world, you need to have a thick skin and be prepared for rejection.
Lack of knowledge – If you don’t know how to write a book, it can be difficult to start the process. There are many different ways to write a book, and it’s important that you find the right method for you.
Not knowing what to write about – This is probably one of the most common reasons why people don’t write books: they simply don’t know where to start! If this sounds like you, don’t worry – we’ll help get your creative juices flowing in just a bit.
So now that we’ve covered some of the main reasons why people don’t write books, let’s talk about how you can use ai to write books.
What is AI Book Writing softwares?
AI book writing softwares are computer programs that can help you write a book. They come with a range of features, such as templates for different genres of books, character builders, and scene planners.
Some AI book writing software even has the ability to create entire books on its own, based on your ideas and input. This can be a great help if you find yourself struggling to get started on your project or stuck in the middle of it.
There are many different AI book writing software options available, so be sure to do your research before deciding which one is right for you.
The Most popular ai book writer is jasper.
Jasper is a revolutionary ai book writer that can help you write, edit, and publish your masterpiece.
What are you waiting for? Start writing with Jasper today!
Get started – Write Your Book 5x Faster With Jasper Recipes
How it works
AI book writing software works by taking your ideas and turning them into sentences.
It uses a series of algorithms that look at things like word length, sentence structure, and grammar to determine which words will best convey what you’re trying to say.
The AI then turns those words into text on the page, so all you have to do is type in your thoughts as they come out of your mouth! The final result is an original work with minimal effort from yourself needed at any point during this process.
Why use AI to write Books
AI has many advantages over humans when it comes to writing. Perhaps the most obvious is that AI can write 24 hours a day, 365 days per year without ever getting tired or bored of what they’re doing! This means you won’t have any writer’s block because your computer will always be working on something new and interesting for you.
Another benefit is that machines don’t make mistakes like people do – so there’ll never be any typos in your manuscript either!
And finally, AI book writers are able to understand how readers think and feel about certain topics; this allows them to produce works that resonate deeply with their intended audience every time.
These benefits combined mean that while human authors may take years before one novel (if any) is published, an AI book writer can churn out several novels in that same time frame – and all with a high level of quality.
Authors can easily create complex characters and storylines with the help of advanced tools. It takes advantage of AI’s understanding of human emotions to produce powerful stories that touch hearts everywhere
Stop procrastinating and start writing now
Benefits of using AI for writing books
Some of the benefits of using AI for writing books are:
- The ability to churn out books quickly and easily.
- No mistakes, since AI is not prone to human error.
- Great understanding of human emotions, which allows for powerful storytelling.
- Can work around the clock without getting tired or bored
- It’s more efficient than hiring ghostwriters or editors.
- Can produce several novels in one year, whereas humans would take years before even completing a single manuscript.
- The biggest benefit is that AI book writers don’t need sleep so they can write 24 hours per day without getting tired!
The cost to use the Ai book writer and how long it takes to get an outline for your book
The cost of using AI book writing software can vary depending on the program you choose. However, most of them offer a free trial so you can try before you buy.
Most programs also have various levels of service, ranging from basic to all-inclusive. This means that no matter what your budget is or how much help you need, there’s likely an AI book writer that will fit your needs.
You can easily write a book under 7 days with ai book writer. All you need is to give is an outline for your book that you can then flesh out with more detail.
Overall, using AI for writing books is a great way to get your work done quickly and easily – without any of the mistakes or fatigue that come with traditional writing methods. So what are you waiting for? Start writing today!
Examples of books written by jasper ai book writer
The following books were written by authors using Jasper AI Book Writer:
– “Amazon Copywritng secrets” by darby rollins
– “Subcription secrets’ by austin distel
– “The linkedin high ticket handbook” by Nate Morse
– “Leads for lemonade Stands” by Emory hobel
Stop procrastinating and start writing now!
Writing a book is not easy, but with Jasper AI Book Writer you will be able to reduce the time it takes to write and publish your book. Jasper ai book writer is the future of writing books and content creation.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do AI book writers exist?
Yes, there are a number of AI book writers that can help you write your book.
- What do I need to get started?
In order to get started with an AI book writer, you will need a computer and an internet connection.
- How much does it cost?
Most AI book writers are free or have a trial period where you can use the software for free. After the trial period is over, you may be required to pay a monthly fee in order to continue using the software.
- Can I use AI book writers for other projects, such as writing papers for school?
Yes, many AI book writers allow you to use their software for other writing projects as well.
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You only get one shot at a first impression. Even if you've penned the next New York Times bestseller, readers won't even touch it unless your book cover design grabs their attention. So when you're lined up on the bookshelf, alongside other titles in your genre, the most important thing you need is a book cover that compels readers to choose your book. Let BookBaby design a book for you that stands out on the shelves – including the virtual ones.
Beautiful covers and interior printing. Best support ‘I've ever had Ronnie, BookBaby Author
How your book cover design can make or break your book
BookBaby designers Becky Rodriguez Smith and Amy Epright critique covers submitted by attendees of the BookLife: Indie Author Forum by Publishers Weekly and point out the pitfalls to avoid while providing tips to help your book stand out!
I am dazzled by BookBaby's expertise and the quality of its work. The staff was extremely helpful and the artwork on the cover of my book is simply superb. The book quality is outstanding. I couldn't have asked for a better result. Alan, BookBaby Author
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From book dimensions to paper selection, we’ve got you covered
Frequently asked questions, 1. are there book design options for both books and ebooks.
Yes, BookBaby offers book design options for both books and eBooks. In fact, that's what's included in our cover design services — your printed book and eBook! When you opt for design services with our talented and experienced design team, you'll get a unique, eye-popping book cover for your book that's in both physical and digital formats.
Plus, we offer cover designs for every genre . From a colorful photograph to make your cookbook stand out, to a beautiful illustration for your book of poetry, your book cover will convey your story before readers turn the first page.
When you work with the design team at BookBaby, you'll be working with your designer to co-create your cover just as you envisioned — or maybe even better! To get started, save a quote today and one of our Publishing Specialists will be in touch.
2. What is the importance of a strong book design?
Having a strong book design is vital to getting your readers to pick up your book in the first place. Think about it: When you browse bookstore shelves, do you pick up a cover that's dull, or maybe uninteresting? Or, do you go for the cover that catches your eye, something that's unique and starts to tell a story right away?
The answer is likely the latter. And that's just the beginning of why a strong book cover design is so important. Creatively, you want the book cover to speak for your story. Then there's the aspect of actually selling your book . The cover is the first thing that your readers will see, whether they're buying your book in person or ordering it online.
3. Does BookBaby offer help for both exterior and interior book design?
Yes! BookBaby provides both exterior and interior book design services. While your exterior design works as your first impression, the interior design can help to keep your readers engaged. Our exterior design includes your actual book cover design and trim size, as well as whether you're looking for a hardcover or paperback book.
Your interior book design , or manuscript formatting, includes either black text or color text design. Black text design is usually ideal for novels, poetry books, or memoirs. Color text design is great for art, photography, and children's books (think: books with more images).
Additionally, BookBaby also offers interior formatting for eBooks , too. Just how you'd expect your printed books to be formatted in a way that makes sense to the reader, your eBooks should do the same. Your digital manuscript will be formatted so that readers can enjoy it on devices like the Amazon Kindle, Apple iPad, Barnes & Noble Nook, and other eBook readers.
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A Multi-sensory, Reusable Handwriting Book for Kids
Kickstart your child’s handwriting development
Is your child clenching their pencil, scribbling and still not writing words? Are you watching your little one resist number or letter writing because it’s just not fun? Unsure about how to practice handwriting for kids ? Want to help your child gain the skills to tackle a learn to write cursive book in the future?
Meet Clever Eli – the fun and engaging handwriting book for kids to kickstart their fine motor skills and strength.
English handwriting for kids is made easy with the Clever Eli workbook which is full of exciting activities. Your child won’t be able to put down!
Grooved Writing Book comes with FREE Pen Set
Clever Eli’s children’s handwriting workbook is perfect for little ones aged 3 years and upwards to help them learn to hold and control a pen. It’s suitable for slightly older students too, with fun exercises to encourage handwriting practice for kids who are more advanced. This reusable writing book is a kid-friendly design that is made to last, and comes with a FREE gift that includes:
- 1 x Eli Pen with ink that you don’t have to wipe clean – it disappears in less than 20 minutes!
- x1 Colorful pen grip to help little hand and finger muscles to move freely
- x3 ink refills , made from plant extracts so it’s safe
The BEST reusable handwriting practice book
This handwriting workbook is designed and developed by us, in conjunction with, and endorsed by occupational therapists and school teachers.
Kids of all ages love Clever Eli! So who better to tell you what makes it one of the most popular handwriting practice exercise books ? Click the video below to hear Vera share what she loves about her Clever Eli numbers, letters and handwriting workbook and why she’s used it over and over again.
Who is this indented writing book for?
Our reusable Clever Eli kids handwriting book is perfect for:
Clever Eli is designed for young ones who are just starting to hold a pen. Get a head start on their education with a handwriting workbook for kindergarten kids that teaches how to write letters and numbers and the basics of writing words.
With Clever Eli’s handwriting workbook for kids , they can practice their handwriting without always needing full focus from their parents. From letter strokes and shapes to strengthening their pencil grip, homeschoolers will have everything they need to improve their handwriting skills.
Children who are struggling with fine motor skills.
Kids of all ages can get in extra writing practice with these grooved letter tracing books. The grooved design makes it easy for children to practice writing with guidance. Since the ink disappears, they are able to continue their progress as they complete the page multiple times.
Many Occupational Therapists are using our book for their clients.
Using a print and cursive handwriting notebook helps children gain writing confidence. Handwriting also helps kids to strengthen and develop control over their hand muscles. Clever Eli’s grooved reusable tracing book is a great way to practice fine motor skills. Occupational therapists name Clever Eli as one of the best children’s handwriting practice books .
Over 100 Schools are using Clever Eli books both in Australia and America.
Clever Eli preschool writing books are popular in the education system. Parents of elementary school-aged children can also use Clever Eli to give their kids extra writing practice at home.
A New Way to Practice Handwriting For Kids
Our grooved design improves upon dot to dot tracing books and even some of the best cursive handwriting books as it guides the child’s pen along the lines and shapes. That makes tracing easier for children and should boost their confidence when practicing their handwriting skills.
Don’t wait until your child goes to school before they learn how to write numbers and letters. The advances in your child’s fine motor control and functional pen grip after only a short time using Clever Eli’s fun handwriting practice books for kids will be obvious. Our design allows children to succeed even when tackling a harder learning cursive workbook due to the motor skills we foster.
Here is an example of the incredible difference in how a young child just starting to learn handwriting skills will write letters compared to their perfect shapes and lines after practicing with Clever Eli’s reusable writing books for kids .
Why Handwriting Matters for Kids
Engage their Brains
Handwriting improves memory and a child's attention span and also helps to develop their ability to focus. Children’s handwriting books are an important tool to develop these skills that are necessary throughout their education journey .
Nurture their Creativity
When children are writing by hand, their creative ideas will flow. Practicing lines and drawing shapes, numbers and pictures helps to build up a child's mind and hand muscles. You’ll be amazed at what they can do!
Excel in the Classroom
Most schools are still using written communication to educate their students. Students who can write neatly and quickly are shown to complete assignments faster and with more accuracy. As students progress to note-taking, a learn to write cursive book will help the speed at which they can write.
Clever Eli is designed to be ‘kid proof’ with many great features that set it apart from other children’s handwriting books and dot to dot activity books .
Light Yellow Paper
Steel Ring Binders
Best handwriting book highly recommended by OTs
Enhance fine motor skills.
Reusable and non-messy.
Boost children's confidence.
All-in-One School Aged & Preschool Kids Handwriting Book
Clever Eli is one of the best handwriting books for kids on the market with so many fun activities for all ages in the one reusable handwriting practice book . It’s a multi-sensory number and letter print and cursive writing notebook that starts with the basics of pen strokes and how to write letters. Our handwriting books for kindergarten students then progresses to neater, more controlled cursive writing and Sight Words as children advance in their education.
Making neat lines that are straight, curved and of a consistent size is essential for good handwriting. Our writing book for kindergarten and school aged children lets them practice these pen strokes, again and again, to help ensure their success at writing letters and numbers.
Shapes and Drawings
Not all handwriting books for toddlers to school-aged children contain pages dedicated to line tracing shapes and drawings. This keeps handwriting practice for kids fun and engaging. It is also important because until they learn all the letters, and how to spell, children typically draw to express their creativity.
Alphabet and Numbers
Naturally, a handwriting workbook contains number and letter tracing practice . However, Clever Eli includes manuscript letters as well so that kids who aren't quite ready to tackle a harder handwriting cursive workbook can practice printing before learning to write.
The Sight Words page is unique to this beginning handwriting workbook and useful for kids as they begin learning to spell English words. Because of this, Clever Eli is one of the best handwriting books for 1st grade students.
Print and Cursive Fonts
Special grooves embossed on good quality cardboard paper make both print cursive handwriting practice feel much easier. Unlike dot to dot tracing books , our indented writing book guides the child's hand. Through our print and cursive practice book children will improve their fine motor skills, writing skills , and develop more confidence in their writing ability.
What Parents Say
A Happy Child Makes Happy Parents.
I was searching for something better than the typical 'dotted line' tracing for learning to write. When I watched the video of the book, I knew it is exactly what I was looking for.
My daughter is ASD and ADHA and struggles severely with handwriting. She loves her Clever Eli book so much that she pleads with me to do her 'special Eli homework'. Fantastic product!
My 4 years old can sit still and write quietly by herself for 20 mins. Definitely the longest coffee break I have ever had for a long time. Highly recommend the book if you have a little one. It works!!
I have never seen anything like this before. Totally different from ' the write and wipe book' I bought before. The ink just disappears by itself. WOW!
Best ages to learn handwriting for kids.
Clever Eli has combined your child’s full growth experience into one fun book! Our reusable handwriting book for kids is perfect for toddlers and loads of fun for older children as well!
Many schools introduce handwriting books for 3rd grade students who are usually between 7 and 9 years old. By this stage, most young ones have practiced pen control, line tracing and developed the motor skills for writing letters with loops and strokes to make each letter flow. Cursive handwriting books can help children this age develop their skills even further.
Many parents and a growing number of early education facilities are seeing the benefits of using a handwriting practice workbook to help kindergarten and 1st grade students learn to trace letters and numbers, and improve pen control .
Writing books for toddlers and the slightly more advanced handwriting books for preschoolers are just as important to help early learners practice letter formation by tracing letters , learning to trace numbers and build confidence at this young age.
It’s important for your child to have fun with simple support to strengthen and develop control over their hand muscles in readiness of learning to write. That’s what makes Clever Eli the best handwriting book for kids of all ages!
Make Handwriting Fun
A unique reusable handwriting book made exclusively for the usa, our photo gallery.
Give the gift of writing with Clever Eli
Many of our top customers are teachers, OTs and parents who value doing the best for their children by helping them to learn cursive and more basic handwriting with a Clever Eli handwriting and cursive writing practice book .
However, the Clever Eli handwriting book is a great gift for anyone with a toddler through to a younger school-aged child. This wonderfully packaged handwriting practice book and FREE pen set will keep the little ones busy for hours while developing their skills at the same time!
Clever Eli also gets orders from family members, including grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings and friends. Often a few family or friends will pool their gift-giving to organize Clever Eli letters and numbers workbooks for all the young children in the family so they each have their own to play and learn.
Our Latest News
World Book Day Competition: Design a National Book Token
- 2 March 2023
Competition deadline: 2nd April 2023
It wouldn’t be World Book Day without National Book Tokens’ Design a National Book Token competition, the annual nationwide contest that encourages children of all ages to share their creativity – and their love for books and reading – by designing their own fabulous gift cards!
The winning entrants can bag HUNDREDS of pounds worth of National Book Tokens for their school or early years setting – including, for the overall winner, a £10/€10 National Book Token in their winning design for every child in their class, and the opportunity for their class to visit a bookshop, virtually or in person, to spend their National Book Tokens.
To take part, download the gift card template and get your child to design a brand new National Book Tokens gift card – something that would really jump out at booklovers from the till point of their favourite bookshop. A panel of judges will select a winner and runner-up in each of three age categories: up to 8 years, 9-12 years and 13-16 years.
This year the theme of the competition is ‘Choosing to read’. Children can interpret this any way they like to celebrate and communicate the joy that comes from choosing to read, as well as choosing which books to read.
To enter, children should design a National Book Tokens gift card with this theme in mind – and thinking about what might make their gift card appeal to customers if it was on display in a real shop.
Tips for creating your design:
- Discuss what it’s like when the children make the choice to read – use what, where, who with, when questions to gather ideas about what a good reading experience looks and feels like. Where do you choose to read? Who do you most like to read stories with?
- Discuss what it’s like to choose a book to read. How do you choose a book? How do you feel when you read a book that you’ve chosen yourself? What books do people think you like, and what books do you actually like?
- Discuss why someone might give a gift card as a present – would you choose this design to give to a friend?
- Remember not to confuse it with your £1/€1.50 World Book Day book token!
FIRST PRIZE in each age range wins:
- £350/€380 National Book Tokens for the school
- £100/€110 National Book Tokens for the pupil
All the National Book Tokens prizes will feature the winning designs!
SECOND PRIZE in each age range wins:
- £200/€220 National Book Tokens for the school
- £50 /€60 National Book Tokens for the pupil
ONE OVERALL WINNER (chosen from the three first prize winners) will get a £10/€10 gift card in their design for every child in their class*, and the opportunity for their class to visit a real bookshop, virtually or in person, to spend their National Book Tokens.
(*Up to 35 gift cards; see terms and conditions for home-schooled students)
How to enter:
Just download the entry form and get your child to create their National Book Tokens gift card design using the template provided.
Please send entries to:
World Book Day Design a National Book Token Competition, Book Tokens Ltd., 6 Bell Yard, London WC2A 2JR
If you’re unable to post your entry to us, please complete the online form for the relevant age range:
- Submit an entry for the UP TO 8 YEARS category
- Submit an entry for the 9-12 YEARS category
- Submitting an entry for the 13-16 YEARS category
As well as teachers, the competition is open to home-schooled children and, if you’re a parent or guardian, you’re welcome to submit your child’s entry individually. Take a look at our terms and conditions to find out more.
The closing date for entries is Sunday 2nd April 2023. Winners will be announced in May 2023.
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Book Review – SQL Query Design Patterns and Best Practices
Disclaimer : The publisher – Packt – sent me a free copy of the book for the intended purpose of a review. At the time of writing, the book is yet to be released (the date is set at the 22nd of March 2023).
The book SQL Query Design Patterns and Best Practices: A practical guide to writing readable and maintainable SQL queries using its design patterns (that just rolls of the tongue, doesn’t it) is about a topic that’s quite dear to me: writing decent SQL. I’m not saying anything about performance, but I’m rather talking about “well-written” SQL; scripts that are written in such a way they are easy to understand by other people.
There are a whole bunch of authors for this book – six to be exact and they all seem to work for the same company – but fortunately the quality of the book doesn’t suffer from this large fellowship. Some books have so many different authors, it’s hard to find consistency (in writing and style) between the various chapters, but in this book I hardly noticed any difference between the chapters. So a job well done in that regard by the authors and their editors. Most of the authors seem to be working in the field of data analytics and business intelligence (so the same background as myself), which is really interesting as this book is written from a different viewpoint that most other SQL books. It’s not about hardcore performance tuning, indexing or writing very complex SQL stuff, but rather about how to write a query that satisfies the requirements of the business users.
The book itself consists of 13 chapters but most of them are quite short; the total length is about 270 pages, but pages with actual content are about 240. Which I guess is my main criticism: the book often doesn’t provide enough depth. The problem is that if the book would’ve provide more detail, it probably would’ve been over a 1,000 pages since many important topics are tackled.
The first part of the book – Refining Your Queries to Get the Results You Need – consists of 4 chapters who talk about how to write a SELECT statement, how to use a WHERE clause, how to aggregate data, how to format data and how to use certain functions like CASE, COALESCE and ISNULL. This part is really aimed at beginners; people who are just starting to write SQL. If you’re a more seasoned SQL developer, you can most likely skip those chapters.
The second part gets more interesting and talks about common table expressions, window functions, (UN)PIVOT and how security can influence the results of your query. For a book with “best practices” in the title, I was a bit ticked off that none of the SQL statements ends with the semicolon, but they do start each CTE with a semicolon. I know, this is one of those religious wars in SQL, like tabs vs spaces (and don’t get me started on aliases), but it’s called a statement terminator for a reason. The chapter on window functions was nice, albeit short, but it has some great examples. Like most topics in this book, each chapter can easily be a book on its own (like Itzik did with window functions ). The security chapter was a bit weird in my opinion. It talks about how row-level-security can be the reason why you don’t get some data returned when you run your query, but it doesn’t really explain what RLS is and how it is set up.
Part 3 has only two chapters: one about execution plans and one about indexing. As with the rest of the book, they merely touch upon those topics. It would’ve been nice if more references for further learning was included (aside from the official Microsoft documentation).
The final part was the most interesting to me (as I was already familiar with all other topics). It talks about how to handle JSON data in SQL Server, the OPENROWSET function (for example to read Parquet data in Azure Synapse Serverless SQL Pools) and Jypiter notebooks in Azure Data Studio. I actually learned some stuff from those chapters.
The book starts with content for beginners, and gradually becomes “more complex” as it goes on, but there’s no real expert content in there. I would recommend this book to everyone starting out with SQL. I believe a book like this could have been beneficial to me at the start of my career 🙂
Koen Verbeeck is a Microsoft Business Intelligence consultant at AE, helping clients to get insight in their data. Koen has a comprehensive knowledge of the SQL Server BI stack, with a particular love for Integration Services. He's also a speaker at various conferences.
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- A Fun, Lucrative Way to Get Paid Writing Books Earn top dollar for your writing skills when you help busy executives, thought leaders, and celebrities tell their stories. Here’s how to get into ghostwriting and set yourself up for lucrative paydays.
- The Billion-Dollar-a-Year Market for Writers Get started in this shockingly huge niche of the writing world!
- Limited Access: 8-Step Process for Turning Writing Skills into a Thriving Business For a limited time, build your writing business with help from seven marketing experts. Follow their eight-step process and discover how to set up all the pillars of a solid foundation for your business so you can market yourself with confidence.
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- Monday Morning Jumpstart: Are You Being Helpful or Are You Trying to be Right? In today’s Monday Morning Jumpstart, AWAI Chief Success Officer, Ted Capshaw, and Director of Training, Jade Trueblood, talk about navigating when you need to be right and when you should be helpful. They offer a key piece of advice that will help you determine what to do. This technique will not only help with client relationships but also with personal ones.
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A Fun, Lucrative Way to Get Paid Writing Books By Jen Adams
Some of the highest-paid authors in the world don’t have a single book out under their own name …
They’re not using a pen name, either — they’re ghostwriters.
Ghostwriters, in a nutshell, help busy executives, business owners, and celebrities publish books by doing a series of interviews with them, transcribing those interviews, and assembling the interviews into a powerful, polished story.
For example, Prince Harry’s book, Spare, was assembled by ghostwriter J.R. Moehringer.
Will Smith’s memoir, Will , was assembled by Mark Manson.
And ghostwriter David Fisher has “collaborated” on more than 70 books, working with famous personalities like quarterback Terry Bradshaw, lawyer Johnnie Cochran, and actor Leslie Nielson.
As you might imagine, writing books for celebrities is highly lucrative work — as much as $75,000 to $100,000 a pop.
And for every highly publicized “headline” project, there are thousands more under the surface.
Paid for — handsomely — by business owners and experts who want the prestige, market power, and respect that comes from having a published book.
This is a market that’s open to you as a writer. Wide open, in fact.
You see, although business owners and other busy leaders (or celebrities) want to have a book, they typically don’t have the time or talent to write a decent book themselves.
Which is why out of the 67,000 business books published each year, experts estimate that some 50% to 70% are written by ghostwriters.
That’s between 33,000 and 47,000 ghostwriting projects up for grabs, EACH AND EVERY YEAR.
And even if you’ve never written a book before … as a talented and willing writer, you’re miles ahead of the typical businessperson.
As a perfect example, take my last ghostwriting client.
She was a busy executive who wanted a book to help her raise her profile in the industry and do more consulting work.
And she had a book contract from John Wiley & Sons.
What she didn’t have was time to write the actual book.
So she paid me — handsomely — to do it for her.
That let her do what she does best (run her business) while I did what I do best (write).
She was thrilled with the finished project — and I was thrilled with the payday.
I want you to have a chance at that same experience.
Whether you’ve been doing your own fiction or other book projects … or a client’s book would be your first … there’s just so much opportunity here for you to let your writing skills shine while earning top dollar for your time.
Plus, in a brand-new partnership, AWAI has teamed up with an internationally renowned ghostwriter, Laura Gale, to walk you through everything you’d need to succeed as a ghostwriter these days.
Check out Laura’s new ghostwriting program right here.
Now, full disclosure … I’ve worked with Laura before — in fact, Marcella Allison and I hired Laura to help us get our Titanides book ready for publication.
I wholeheartedly endorse her.
She’s incredibly knowledgeable about the industry, writing, and what it takes to pull a ghostwriting project together with minimal hiccups.
Learning from her will set you up for success, right from your very first project.
And given the size of the fees involved in ghostwriting … even if you’re not writing for the biggest names … it’s definitely worth knowing how to do this well ASAP.
Plus … because this is a new program … AWAI is offering How to Become a Sought-After, High-Income Ghostwriter at a ridiculously low introductory price.
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- ‘Resilience is more important than talent to make good art’: Simon Lamouret
Designer of France’s pavilion at the Book Fair, graphic novelist and illustrator Simon Lamouret on his inspirations and influences
As France’s delegation of 16 authors, including Nobel Laureate Annie Ernaux , concludes its visit to the New Delhi World Book Fair 2023 and begins a tour of 15 other cities around India, we spoke to the designer of the French pavilion at the book fair, Simon Lamouret . Lamouret is a popular graphic novelist and illustrator who moved to Bengaluru in 2013 and taught design in the city for five years, leading to acclaimed comics The Alcazar (2021) and Bangalore (2017), based on the everyday hustle and bustle of the city. Currently, he’s engaged in artwork for the comic magazine La Revue dessinée .
What went into designing the French pavilion at the Book Fair? How does modern France — inside and outside the literati — see the 20th century culture of cafés being the meeting point of intellectuals and artists?
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The French Institute approached me with an interesting challenge of designing a life-sized typical east Parisian bookstore. Just like French cafés, bookstores are a strong part of the urban landscape. These places hold a special part in the lives of French people; even the smallest town will have its own café and bookstore.
What motivated your move to Bengaluru in 2013? Tell us a bit about your experience of teaching design in the city.
My arrival in Bengaluru was pure chance and not at all a planned thing. However, as the city was a playground for my architectural drawing classes, I mapped it with the desire to narrate it visually.
You’ve said you’re neither a journalist nor an artist. How many of the stories in your previous graphic novels were imagined? How were they inspired by what you saw?
There is a delicate and complex relation between fiction and non-fiction. It is hard to link my work to a specific genre. Regardless, my work is deeply rooted in what I see around me and I, sometimes, have to twist the material to turn it into stories.
How do you unite the writing and drawing process of a graphic novel like The Alcazar or Bangalore ?
A comic book has a language of its own and one can’t really separate the visual from the textual. From a creator’s point of view, there is a constant back-and-forth. These two projects engaged me on the field as well as in the studio. The dialogue I built between text and images was highly determined by the comics I read, the films I saw, and the discussions I had at the time.
A lot of your panels on everyday Bengaluru resemble still life. When you see something interesting, do you whip out a pencil on the spot or store visuals in your head for later use?
It is a little bit of both. I spend hours sketching on location, trying to compose a rough draft. I then finish the image later on in my studio from visual memory.
Which artistic traditions influence your work?
I am inspired by comics from France, Japan , USA mostly, both mainstream as well as independent. Also, I’m widely influenced by cinema, which happens to be the closest language to a comic book, in my opinion. My references differ and vary depending on my obsessions.
Are there any Indian comic artists or graphic novelists that have caught your eye?
Munnu by Malik Sajad was a very moving read. I am also keenly interested in most authors curated by Bharat Murthy in his anthology series Vérité . Besides specific actors of the comic scene, I am fascinated by the ability of contemporary Indian graphic novels to address political, social and intimate matters.
How do the sights and sounds of India differ from France?
(Laughs) They do not compare!
How did your journey as an artist begin?
Like most artists, with odd jobs, pasta and awkward family discussions. On a serious note, it has been a marathon and I’ve tried to stay focused on my will to tell stories even when everything around me was telling me to give up. Eventually, the more resilient, rather than the more talented, are those who manage to produce such laborious work as comic books.
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Home / Book Writing / Funny Writing Prompts: 50+ Ideas to Get Your Started
Funny Writing Prompts: 50+ Ideas to Get Your Started
Books, novellas, and short stories that can make readers laugh are always in high demand. After all, who doesn't like laughing? Some say it's the best medicine. But, as any stand-up comedian will tell you, comedy is hard.
Luckily, with the right premise, you can craft a funny story that will make readers hungry for more. And that's just what these funny writing prompts will help you do.
- Tips on using comedy in your writing.
- Some humorous books to read for inspiration.
- Funny creative writing prompts.
Table of contents
- Know Your Genre
- Humor Through Character
- Keep Things Natural
- Make it Relatable
- Read Humorous Books
- Funny Writing Prompts
- Test Your Funny Book Idea
Tips for Funny Story Writing
Humor is subjective, so a funny story that gets one group of people laughing may not elicit so much as a smile from another group. That's okay. As a writer, it's important to know that not everyone will like your work. But with the tips below, you can position your comedic story (or scene) for the ultimate effect .
Humor shouldn't be relegated to only comedies. In fact, authors in all different genres use humor to enhance their stories. But before you start shoving jokes into your work in progress, consider the norms of your genre. What do other authors do? Do you even need comedy in your book? If so, how much?
Even works that are considered comedies aren't all jokes. There need to be peaks and valleys in your story. Because if you're trying to make the reader laugh all the time, they won't be able to catch their breath and settle in for another laughing fit.
One of the best ways to convey humor is through one of your point of view (POV) characters . Maybe your normally stoic main character has a funny habit of breaking the tension with an offhand remark or a silly phrase that he says at the most inopportune moments.
Likewise, you may create a whole character whose main purpose is comedic relief. This doesn't have to be a POV character, but it can be. An inside joke between two characters can also work well, provided the reader is in on the joke!
Readers know when they're being played to. So if you're being funny just for the sake of it, they'll be able to tell. The humor in your novel or story should have something to do with plot, character development , or story. In other words, comedy should arise naturally from the aspects of your story.
There's nothing wrong with wanting to make readers laugh, but forcing it will often backfire.
Most successful stand-up comedians make the mundane hilarious. They take the doldrums of everyday life and provide a new perspective or spin on them. This also works well in storytelling. Sometimes the funniest thing is the one that makes people go, “Oh yeah, it is like that!”
Whether it be observations about social media, a popular book or TV show, or a twist on the daily grind, it's possible to find comedy all around us.
You can't expect to sharpen your comedy writing skills without first seeing how other authors do it. The books below are just a few to consider when studying the craft of comedic writing.
- Anything by Christopher Moore (fiction).
- Anything by David Sedaris (memoir).
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
- Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
- Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
- Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
- Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
- My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Formatting Has Never Been Easier
Write and format professional books with ease. Never before has creating formatted books been easier.
Pick a funny writing prompt from the list below to get the creative juices flowing. Since there's a wide range of uses for comedy across all genres, not every prompt below will be suitable for an entire novel. Some are designed to start off a scene or a short story. Others you can use to break through writer's block by writing a poem or a funny anecdote. Do with them whatever you will. They're yours to use freely!
1. Write a scene in which a man is arguing with some unseen character. At the end, it turns out it's his dog. What is the conversation like? Why is it happening?
2. Think about your favorite thing to do on vacation. Now write about a character who's stuck doing that thing over and over again in a time loop.
3. Start a story about two hitmen haggling over who gets to assassinate the known crime lord.
4. What would happen if animals could talk to humans? If this was normal, what would the world be like?
5. Explore the implications of a modern high school student who finds him or herself alive before the internet was invented.
6. Start a story in the middle of a bank robbery in progress. But the robbers are elderly men who can't stop bickering.
7. What would happen if a demon invaded the body of a highly neurotic and eccentric person? Turns out, the demon inside the person allows them to live how they always wanted, but the demon wants to leave.
8. Write a romance about two people who connect over their shared love of extreme ironing.
9. Explore the world of a stunt woman. She continues to put her body on the line for the work, but inside she thinks she's the biggest wimp in the world.
10. In a world of superheroes, the villains have their own support groups where you get to see a very different side of them. Turns out, the villains may not be the real villains of this story. . .
11. A new drug hits the market that makes everyone happy. Unfortunately, your protagonist is happiest when she's miserable. What does this new “happy” world look like through his eyes?
12. A young man suddenly becomes a viral sensation for his comedy routine. But the sudden fame is more than he can handle. Much more.
13. Write about a local neighborhood watch group filled with zany characters who must solve the mystery of the missing garden gnomes.
14. Write about a supervillain's parents. What are they like? Are they proud of their son or daughter?
15. Write about a high school student who learns she can disappear whenever something really embarrassing happens to her. Does she use this newfound power for good or bad?
16. Your protagonist stumbles upon proof that we live in a simulation. How does this change his outlook and actions? Does he try to tell the world?
17. Explore two best friends who are participating in an ongoing prank war that's getting way out of hand.
18. Start your story with an argument between two rival business owners who eventually become fast friends.
19. Follow a protagonist who goes outside one day to find that everyone is naked—and looking at her like she's the crazy one.
20. Start your story with a character successfully outwitting Death to stay alive for just a bit longer.
21. Write about a doomsday prepper who prepares for every eventuality . . . but this one.
22. Write about a character who thinks their television is talking to them by name.
23. Write about a wedding in which everything goes comically wrong—and how the wedding party rallies to make things okay in the end.
24. Write about a utility worker who stumbles on an underground society of mutants in the city sewers.
25. Write about a group of friends who get together once a year to fight each other. Why do they do it? What do they get out of this strange fight club?
26. Start a story in which a character is trying to reenact something they've seen on YouTube – with hilarious consequences.
27. A bumbling father takes it upon himself to deal with the petty crime in his neighborhood. But he stumbles upon a hilarious conspiracy enacted by the homeowners association.
28. A professional athlete starts having terrible luck, both on and off the field. He does everything he can think of to break the bad streak.
29. A billionaire CEO decides after a near-death experience to give all his money away. But there are a whole bunch of people who do whatever they can to convince him otherwise.
30. A woman who's about to be married to an “okay” guy finds a love letter in the mailbox. It has been mailed to her by mistake, and she takes it upon herself to deliver it to the real recipient.
31. Write about a group of scammers getting into a con war with another group of scammers.
32. A group of vampires goes on vacation only to find that their arch-enemies the werewolves have laid claim to their favorite spot.
33. Artificial Intelligence robots are rolled out, but a software glitch makes them act like bumbling idiots who inadvertently threaten the collapse of society.
34. There's something wrong with the world. Something's just a little off. But your character can't quite figure out what it is.
35. Explore what it's like at a national liars convention.
36. A girl realizes she's in a horror movie. But she also knows that she's not the final girl—she's one who dies in the first half!
37. A group of cowboys on a cattle drive in the 1800s wind up getting attacked by bumbling aliens.
38. Write about a wildlife television show host who's constantly getting attacked by animals.
39. Write a time travel story in which the character keeps trying to fix her love life only to keep getting thwarted—by herself.
40. Write about a 4th-grade teacher who wins the lottery and decides to retire. But then her class shows up and begs her to come back to teach them.
41. Explore a character who can't help but dance every time her favorite song comes on. She lives in perpetual fear of hearing the song while in public.
42. An irresponsible man ends up having to take care of his five nephews and nieces after tragedy strikes. He learns to be responsible very quickly.
43. A woman obsessed with American 1970s culture gets the chance to travel back in time.
44. A man gets a hilarious text message from a random number. Thinking it a clever salesperson, he goes along with the messages. But things soon get way out of control.
45. After being told, rather rudely, that he tells the same stories over and over again, a man drops everything and goes on an adventure to get some new stories to tell his friends and family.
46. The utterance of a random word makes a brainwashed secret agent go into assassin mode. Only she turns out to be the worst assassin ever.
47. A woman who thinks she has the best idea for a new product quits her job in spectacular fashion, only to learn that someone else has already had the idea.
48. Write an embarrassing poem from one of your characters’ point of view. Why did they write the poem? What did they write it about? What would happen if someone happened upon it?
49. Write a spoof of The War of the Worlds in which the aliens all develop terrible allergies, which only makes things worse for the humans.
50. Write a few diary or journal prompts for your main character from when they were a teenager. (If they are a teenager, all the better). Make sure to add some cringe to the entries!
Hopefully, the creative writing ideas above have given you some inspiration to use for your next book or short story. You can even take inspiration from a funny joke, your favorite book, or a funny thing you saw on YouTube. Professional writers will tell you that ideas are a dime a dozen. It's the execution that really makes something shine. So pick a fun writing prompt and get to work!
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Living the writing life means living with failure
Not all missteps in an author’s life are part of a longer road to triumph.
Writing is a hard way to make a living, which is why a whole ecosystem exists to help you feel like you’re succeeding at it. Hashtags like #amwriting provide steady pep talks for people wading through the muck of a first draft. Dubious-seeming ads on Facebook peddle frictionless methods for selling thousands of copies of your book, practically without your even writing it. Perhaps less dubious but certainly more expensive, writing retreats offer chances to workshop your novel with professional guidance beneath the Tuscan sun or some equivalent. You can do it!
Except sometimes — often — most of the time? — you can’t. And when you fail, the ecosystem generally prefers you keep that to yourself. Social media thrives on self-deprecating riffs about rejection, but writers tend to reserve their most despairing fits of self-pity for their diaries. One of my favorite examples of the form is by Bernard Malamud, who, upon learning that his contemporary Saul Bellow won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1976, sourly jotted: “Bellow gets Nobel Prize. I win $24.25 in poker.”
To confess failure messes with the narrative that writers have collectively built around success. That narrative fittingly resembles Freytag’s Pyramid, a classic shape for dramatic structure: rising action with some complications along the way, building to a triumphant climax and gently returning back to earth. For a writer, that means long solitary hours toiling away, then collecting rejections, until that magic moment when you can share your Publishers Lunch deal announcement on Twitter. (At which point you might safely joke about those past rejections.)
But like everything else in life, literary trajectories aren’t usually so straightforward and triumphant. Writers’ moods certainly don’t work that way; after all, Malamud wrote at least a half-dozen deathless short stories and a couple of classic novels … and still felt sunk. The literary life is less like Freytag’s Pyramid and more like a sine wave — peaks and valleys, small victories alternating with strings of failures. If you’re lucky.
As the Canadian author Stephen Marche puts it, gloomily, in a slender new book titled “ On Writing and Failure ”: “There is no promised land. There is only exile.”
In this regard, if nothing else, Malamud and I (and Marche) have a little in common. For much of 2021 and 2022, I labored on a nonfiction book proposal I was confident would score me a deal-blurb tweet of my own. After years of struggling to find a book-length subject that would be worth the time and energy of both me and a publisher, I was confident I’d finally sorted it out. It was a book about a cultural figure whose name you’d almost certainly recognize, with an (I thought) interesting angle that hadn’t yet been written about at length. I had an enthusiastic agent with a track record, access to the relevant archives, a proposal honed to a blinding gleam. I’ve written three books — a photo history, a ghostwritten humor book and a brief work of literary criticism. But now, finally, I’d be able to scale the pyramid and write what in my head I called my big-boy book. All that was left to do was ship out the queries and wait for a yes. I imagined a chiming, resonant ping.
Instead, I spent a good chunk of 2022 collecting rejections and getting reacquainted with the words “narrow” and “broad.” The pings were replaced with tuba blats: My project offered “too narrow a slice” of the subject’s life, one editor said; the “audience for a book with this framing and argument could be on the narrow side,” another said. “I didn’t feel as if the writing opened this up for a broader audience,” said one more. There were market concerns: “I worry we may face headwinds with it in our market”; the project had only “a comparatively modest market.” Kind words were tempered: “Well done, but I am afraid it’s just too small.”
Forget peaks and valleys. I had arrived in a deep underwater trench, one of those otherworldly ones where the fish are creepily bioluminescent and snaggletoothed.
It’s not a rare story. But it’s worth occasionally throwing some cold water on the heroic narrative of the author who fields dozens of rejections and eventually triumphs. Sometimes ideas aren’t as good as we think they are. Sometimes failures are simply failures. The ecosystem wants us to take valuable lessons from those rejections, understand them as valuable guidance. But what can I possibly spark with this dump of wet twigs moldering in my inbox?
In “On Writing and Failure,” Marche attempts to reset the way we talk about such struggles. He stomps Freytag’s Pyramid flat. “Rejection never ends,” he writes. “Success is no cure. Success only alters to whom, or what, you may submit. Rejection is the river in which we swim.” Samuel Beckett’s directive to “fail again, fail better,” is misunderstood as inspirational, Marche asserts: “To fail better, to fail gracefully and with composure, is so essential because there’s no such thing as success. It’s failure all the way down.”
Marche has plenty of examples of writers who have faced rejection and failure — and anxiety — in spite of success. James Joyce couldn’t get a lousy teaching gig; George Orwell despaired of how his work was misunderstood; you know how things ended for Ernest Hemingway. Marche relates a funny story about how Margaret Atwood, the last writer who ought to feel competitive with anybody, hastened to tell a gaggle at a literary party that she, too, had written for the New York Times.
“If it was like that for Orwell, why would it be any different for you?” Marche writes. Indeed. I felt like a failure for the book I couldn’t write. But the three books that crossed the finish line never entirely felt like successes either; when I reflect on them, I think primarily about their flaws and the stress of writing them. Talking with other writers, I know it’s a common feeling. Writing something new is often a prayer that you might escape the pangs of disappointment over the last thing you wrote.
Marche’s book isn’t a pep talk, but it’s not intended to cut you off at the knees. His sole prescription is stubbornness. “You have to write. You have to submit. You have to persevere. You have to throw yourself against the door. That’s it.”
I haven’t given up on the possibility of writing another book. But I’ve abandoned the fantasy of trajectories — the idea that if I did write that book, it would represent the culmination of something. In fact, it would only be evidence of itself. One thing in an array of other things. A blip in the face of the failures of the past. And no guarantee against the failures that are sure to follow.
Mark Athitakis is a critic in Phoenix and the author of “ The New Midwest .”
On Writing and Failure
Or, on the peculiar perseverance required to endure the life of a writer.
By Stephen Marche
Biblioasis. 128 pp. $12.99
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