As Jews, we love books. Walk into any Jewish home, and you’ll be sure to see lots of books. So it only makes sense that many of us end up writing books as well.
Now, you may have an idea bouncing around in your head but you aren’t sure how to put words to paper. How exactly do you get started writing your own Jewish book?
As someone who has published a children’s book, is working on her memoir, and ghostwrites and promotes books for authors, I’ve learned a thing or two about the time, energy, and effort it takes to get a book out into the world.
Here’s where to begin.
Come Up With a Topic
First, determine what you’re going to write about in your Jewish book. You may want to write a memoir to talk about your life story. Or you might want to pick a Jewish topic and bring in a number of different sources. Decide what you want your topic to be, and then research what’s already available to see if such a book exists. If it does exist – let’s say you want to write a book on the weekly parsha, for example – then say to yourself, “How will my book be different?” and “What makes my perspective unique?” What makes your topic relatable, informative, and/or entertaining? You can look on Amazon and in Jewish bookstores to do your research.
2. Enroll in a Writing Class
You have a topic in mind. Now you have to figure out how best to communicate it. That’s where a writing class can come in handy. There are a number of classes available online or at local colleges in your area. Typically, published authors teach these classes. You can get feedback from your teacher and fellow students which will help you improve your writing. Expect to spend a few hundred dollars on a typical writing class.
3. Hire a Writing Coach or Ghostwriter
Once you start writing your book, you can hire a writing coach to look at your work and give you feedback. Or you could hire a ghostwriter to help you compose your book. It all depends on your schedule; if you’re very busy, you might just want to involve a ghostwriter. The prices for both vary depending on the coach’s or ghostwriter’s experience and background. You’ll have to decide how much your time is worth before deciding to hire one or the other.
4. Decide on Traditional Publishing,
Hybrid Publishing, or Self-Publishing
Today, the publishing industry looks way different than it did even 10 years ago. Usually, how it worked was you’d write a book and then pitch it to an agent, who would then try to sell your book to a publisher. You might have received an advance for your book if the publisher believed it was going to sell well. Or you could have pitched yourself directly to a publisher, who would handle all aspects of publishing the book. Once it was out, you’d receive royalties from the sales.
Now, that model is fading away as hybrid and self-publishing are becoming more popular. Hybrid combines elements of traditional and self-publishing; you pay a hybrid publisher to oversee the publishing of the book, and often, you receive higher royalties than you would with a traditional publisher (statistics say 50% on average). Authors usually pay around $15,000-$20,000-plus for this model.
Or you can do everything yourself with self-publishing, which used to get a bad rap. However, so many authors have been successful with self-publishing that the image of it has changed. Plus, you get to keep your royalties, minus fees from Amazon or wherever you’re selling your book. You just need to make sure that your cover design and other aspects of your book look professional; it’s crucial that you find a good editor and designer. Otherwise, people won’t be compelled to buy your book or take it seriously.
5. Promote Your Book (With Our Help!)
Once you’re finished with your book, it’s time to promote it. Send copies to journalists for Jewish websites to review it, take out ads in Jewish papers, go on podcasts, post about it on social media, and ask readers to leave Amazon reviews for you. You can also hire a publicist to help you get the word out there about your book and sell more copies.
If you need help with promoting your Jewish book, feel free to reach out to us at Kylie@KolDigitalMarketing.com.