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3 Questions All Authors Should Ask Before Beginning to Write

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Before starting on a journey, most of us determine our desired route ahead of time to avoid getting lost. This same principle applies to writing. Many first-time authors think sitting down and hammering out the story is all they need to do. Few take the time to ask three simple questions that can help give their book direction and reach the most readers.


  1. Who is the target audience?

Decide what genre you are writing for, and stick to it. By focusing on a specific group of readers and understanding what they are looking for, you can fine-tune your writing. Add details and plot twists that they will find interesting. Savvy readers will instantly see holes in your story. Learn to look at your work from their highly critical perspective, and adjust your direction accordingly. Trying to write for a wide audience only waters down your chances of finding your core readers.


  1. What is the main theme of your book?

Do not confuse this with plot. The theme or underlying message weaves throughout the plot. A book without a clear message leaves readers lost and confused. A clearly defined theme serves as your North Star to keep your storyline on target. For example, if the importance of family is the central theme of your book, your main character’s actions and beliefs should reflect that. Defining your message improves the continuity of your work.


  1. How Will You Engage the Reader?

When agents and publishers evaluate a book, they tend to judge it based on the first five pages. Readers also critique the entirety of your work based on the beginning pages and your book summary. Those key pages must involve your readers emotionally and intellectually. You have a limited window to capture their attention and draw them in, so be sure to engage your readers. Make them care about what you are writing. Show, don’t tell.

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Ask for an Editor’s Help

plan will energize your writing momentum by clearing any fog you may have been laboring under. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. A professional editor can coach you on constructing the framework of your book as well as editing and proofing later. The ultimate goal is a polished, professional sample of your work as an author, ready for eager readers.


Why Dog Ear?

Learning the ins and outs of the self-publishing business can be confusing and intimidating, which is why having a company like Dog Ear Publishing, with over fifty years of traditional publishing experience, gives you a competitive edge. The friendly, knowledgeable staff at Dog Ear Publishing will guide you through the publishing process and help you achieve superior production results. If you want your book to be a quality reflection of who you are as an author, visit our website at www.dogearpublishing.net today and take control of your publishing destiny.

Ray Robinson
Ray Robinson

When Ray first entered the publishing industry, authors relied on “vanity presses” to produce their work – many of whom would charge $15,000 or more and leave the author’s garage filled with hundreds of books. Ray, along with coworker Alan Harris, joined forces with Miles Nelson to create Dog Ear Publishing to provide the author community a self-publisher with a heart. The group’s application of new technologies and publishing on demand reduced the cost of publishing a book to a fraction of what it had been for previous generations; authors now have the ability to publish a book in as little as six weeks and print as few as a single copy.