I have been writing short stories, poetry, and novels for almost thirty years. Started off with paper and pen, and moved through a sequence of typewriters, computers, and laptops, and various incarnations of software along the way.

Now I write books and self-publish them on all digital formats effortlessly via my own company.

Among the new platforms some of the best give little rewards and take a major slice of the royalties.

You have to have a creative mind and be serious about writing regularly. Every day if possible. I’m in an enviable position of being able to devote 60% of my day to writing. Not every day, I do have a life.

Some of the process of writing can be time intensive. Research, drafting, structure, creating characters and profiles for them, mapping out the story – it all takes careful planning.

If time is a factor, you can take shortcuts once you have a manuscript.

Here are my top five tips which have helped me self-publish twelve books in 2013, and three more on the way before 2014 dawns on the world.

  1. Have a clear idea, and distil it down to one sentence to describe your book. For example, a dog finds a bone which is of human origin, and a Police investigation ensues.
  2. Go back to your sentence and begin to draw the idea out by asking yourself questions. For example, who does the bone come from, what was it doing in the park, when had it been discovered there, where was it discarded, and why was it discarded there.
  3. Once you have points one and two covered the creative aspects of your idea begin to come alive. This is the point where you will craft your character profiles until you can ‘see’ the character in your minds’ eye.
  4. Once you have points 1-3 covered, you will be tempted to start writing your book. This would be a mistake. At this point, you will need to do your research to build background to the characters, their setting, the time period your book is set in, the dialects spoken by your characters, the list goes on. If your book is set in the present it is easier, but books set in historical periods are trending.

What I do at point number 4 is draw up an outline of the story, or the synopsis, and then I know what happens in the story from start to finish. While you may prefer to write your book as is, this approach may work well for you. I can only share what has worked well for me.

  1. The most important time saving factor I recommend is offline storage space for your files, backup files, and sources of images for book covers. This has proven invaluable as several incarnations of a manuscript can lead to confusion when resuming the writing process.

Ruby Binns-Cagney is a successful Self-Published Author at Amazon for Kindle http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00BBD45R4

For more information or to ask Ruby about self-publishing, please use the links below.