How do you define good writing

Success factors in writing - in 10 easy steps to your own book

Image: How do I write my first book? There's a lot to consider as a writer on your first book project.

Have you always wanted to write a book but are not sure how to start? We provide you with easy-to-implement instructions for your own book that will quickly show you which success factors are important when writing. We guide you step by step from the brainstorming to the actual writing process. Learn what to keep in mind when planning, writing and what to avoid in order to complete a promising manuscript.

Success factors in writing:

  1. Before writing the book: read, get inspiration and ideas
  2. Build your writing routine
  3. Find the topic and genre - identify trends
  4. Learn creative writing
  5. Design and structure book content
  6. Set work goals and define steps
  7. Think of the reader as you write
  8. Don't forget about marketing: your marketing plan guarantees book success
  9. The finishing touches - editing and format
  10. Obtaining criticism - and implementing it

For many it is an unattainable dream: to hold their own book in their hands at some point. But does this wish really always have to remain a dream? Perhaps you have even thought of a book idea or two. But you are unsure whether you have any talent for writing and you do not know how to properly approach your own book project. What you are missing is certainly not the motivation, but the right strategy for tackling your book idea and putting it into practice. Because: Writing is a craft that you can learn like any other. tredition offers authors the most important tips and success factors in detailed instructions on how to write, so that they can turn their dream “how to write a book” into reality. Here you can find out how you can quickly and easily publish your book as paperback, hardcover and e-book.

1 Before writing the book: Read, get inspiration and ideas

Image: If you want to become a writer: Inspirations are waiting for you everywhere. Always have your notebook with you.

Many famous authors were true bookworms and spent days hanging around libraries to browse the favorite books of their great role models. Even the most famous works are full of inspiration and ideas from previously written texts and previous authors. James Joyce works on Homer's “Odyssey” in his more than 1000-page well-known work “Ulysses”, Mary Shelley's “Frankenstein” refers to the ancient Prometheus saga, and Shakespeare's “Hamlet” served not only Johann Wolfgang von Goethe as a model for the "Faust". This list could go on indefinitely.

Of course, you will remain the sole maker of your book fortune, but do not forget that a good writer is first and foremost a hardworking and passionate reader. So read as much as you can. As you read it, be vigilant and get inspiration from your favorite authors. Take a critical look at your bookshelf, pick up your favorite books again and judge them from the perspective of the reader - and the prospective author. And which topics and genres are you most fascinated by? Dedicate yourself to your favorite authors and write down what you particularly like about them. Is it the interesting characters, the innovative implementation or the rousing and emotional narrative tone? When reading a non-fiction or specialist book, you should pay attention to how it comes about that your favorite author writes so understandably, clearly and interestingly, without the slightest boredom. Check the bookshelves in your libraries and browse the bookstores. Inspirations are waiting everywhere. A wide range of reading experiences inspires the imagination and can inspire you to come up with ideas for your book before and while you are writing.

2 Build your writing routine

Image: A daily writing routine is fundamental for successful and regular writing.

Thomas Mann was already famous for exhibiting iron-hard discipline with his almost official writing times. In order to stay in rhythm every day and to master larger amounts of text fluently, it is important to introduce fixed rituals when writing. Developing a daily writing routine will help avoid the unproductive and frustrating staring at the blank sheet of paper. Thomas Edison summed this up wonderfully in his well-known saying "Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration" from 1932. Talent is certainly an asset when it comes to writing your own book. The most important challenge to be faced when writing, however, is that good results can only be achieved through a disciplined writing routine and hard work and commitment. To avoid writer's block, it also helps to set fixed times for writing and stick to them. A quiet space for writing and a relaxed and creative atmosphere do their part so that you can concentrate fully on your text and on the development of your book project.

3 Identify topic and genre - identify trends

Image: Tip for writing: Don't run after the trends, recognize them early on.

Be creative when it comes to finding a topic. Do you ask yourself what you or your friends and acquaintances would like to read? Put yourself in your reader's shoes. It doesn't always have to be the 100th crime novel or a new Harry Potter novel. Trust your readers with something and give them new food for thought and reading. Doing it better than the originals is not possible in most cases anyway. Then why not make the effort to come up with something completely new?

In general, you should take enough time to research the topic - this is sometimes even more extensive than “copying” the actual text. Analyze the competition very carefully in the same step. Who can you learn something from here in advance? Ask yourself and make a note of which books you like in the targeted genre or subject area, what other authors do well or better than you and what you can "learn" in a positive way. With which genre classifications and topics is the reading public more than saturated?

Fiction or non-fiction?

Every time has its own special topics and brings about corresponding book successes. The futurologist Horst Opaschowski speaks above all of the "3K", wars, crises and catastrophes, which are currently the epicenter of the social discussion. No wonder that non-fiction is clearly in vogue and that non-fiction books sell particularly well. It doesn't always have to be a novel. Fiction is still popular with authors, but continues to be confronted with lost sales in the book trade. Read here which developments and trends are currently determining the book market and how this affects the particularly popular subject groups.

Choice of subject

And how do you approach the topic in the chosen genre? Think ahead. Check out the latest news and flip through magazines for future trends. There are many blogs, magazines, portals or trade fairs that follow current trends but also future developments. Be informed and vigilant. Go on a search for traces of the topics of the future that have not yet been translated into literature or non-fiction books. Readers want to engage with creative new ideas and learn something. When researching, it simply means switching on brain cells and seismographically capturing current trends in advance. Perhaps you come across one or the other topic that interests you and for which there is no publication yet. Some magazines that could help with topic research to get started: Das Handelsblatt, The Guardian, Financial Times, Time, Economist, New York Times. The Zukunftsinstitut, for example, is a good address if you want to be informed about tomorrow's trends through the work of think tanks. Here you can get information online or register for the newsletter. Take part in future fairs, go to Cebit, the Future Day in Frankfurt and other trend and future fairs. In addition, don't miss any post in our tredition blog, where we regularly report on trending topics in the book market. You will quickly notice that the topic research can be very exciting, it is not that difficult to find exciting topics.

4 Learn creative writing

Image: You can learn creative writing!

Not everyone can write! Writing is a craft that requires certain armaments. Before you start writing your book, you should take care of learning these tools. Take writing classes, take creative writing classes, or get your own standard works to study yourself. Take away from there how to convert ideas into texts, structure books and much more and apply this knowledge in your everyday writing. In the best case scenario, you will learn to recognize your own strengths while writing and to stimulate your own creativity. Use methods such as idea clustering or brainstorming, in which you first let your ideas run free and then group them and develop them into a text. Find out beforehand how you can avoid or encounter writer's block, how you implement feelings and emotions and ideas, how they approach different types of text. Before and while writing, you should always remind yourself that the main thing is to translate an idea into a story or, in a non-fiction or specialist book, into core topics that grasp the reader immediately and never let go. Regardless of whether it is a novel or a non-fiction book, the reader should not be bored under any circumstances, but should be entertained and informed. Learn to tell stories and to express your own ideas in stories. You will then also inspire publishers - and readers for yourself.

5 Design and structure book content

Image: A well thought-out concept or a storyboard in advance makes the paperwork easier.

Plot, plot, topic structure. At first, it all sounds very complicated and like a lot of work. When it comes to actually translating ideas into texts, many authors fail. Not due to a lack of talent, but often because they proceed in an unstructured manner or have not taken care of a detailed and well-thought-out structure of their text in advance. So before you start writing, come up with a concept in which you plan exactly how your book should be structured. Define a kind of framework for the text of the book that you always have in the back of your mind when writing when it comes to the implementation of individual steps. In this way, you can organize your story and your individual work tasks step by step, plan contexts and build the text based on this structure. You can make do with an exposé for your book or a storyboard that shows you at what point you are while you are writing the book. It is advisable to check again and again as your text progresses, whether the causal relationships are correct, there are no logical breaks and the overall structure makes sense as a whole.

6 Set work goals and define steps

Once you have found a good structure, it is important to define the individual work steps and create a plan that defines the implementation of your text work. Nothing is worse than just getting started and failing in the middle of the project because the project was not created in individual feasible steps - or you, as the author, postpone the implementation of the book forever due to a lack of previous organization. You should therefore define your goals in writing in advance and give them a deadline. A little pressure can never hurt to avoid finishing your own book from slipping back and forth. Getting through all of the work is much easier if you define sub-goals and then break them down into smaller goals. Make a time plan and also make a checklist with all the points that you need to consider during implementation. If you have successfully achieved goals, you can also reward yourself once.

7 Think of the reader as you write

What do you expect from a good book? Is it supposed to entertain you, teach you something, surprise you? Remember, you are not just writing your book for yourself, but for your readers. It is advisable to develop a so-called reading avator, i.e. an imaginary persona that represents your ideal reader. You can always refine this avator as you write, or you can create an entire avator group. So always keep this reader in mind when you are writing. It is best to get a concrete picture of your ideal reader, paint it on or put it into words so that you can always see the picture of your reading audience in front of you as you write and edit your text accordingly. Think about their reading preferences, what expectations they might have from your book. Implement these expectations as you write. Think carefully about how you will write your book and meet the reader's expectation in the process. Don't bore your readers, but surprise them with unprecedented content. Be creative and sometimes provoke the reader with unexpected twists and turns or by breaking the reader's expectations completely.

8 Don't Forget Marketing: Your Marketing Plan Will Ensure Book Success

Image: Start marketing in good time and have a marketing plan in place while you are writing it.

Writing and publishing a book is the real work for a writer. Marketing is the freestyle. In times of social media and bloggers and successful self-publishers, marketing, promoting your own book, is becoming more and more important. For an indie author or an author who does not yet have a big name, it is even more advisable to deal with the topic of marketing at an early stage and to make an individual plan of which marketing measures are suitable for their own book. The art of a successful book project is not to think about marketing after publication, but to plan it in advance before or during the writing. While you are tinkering with the text structure, the storyboard, etc., you can also create a marketing plan for your book. As an author, you know your own book best. You should consider beforehand which measures make sense for your genre and title. The measures and possibilities for this are almost infinite. Creativity is required. From the announcement to the local press or a trade magazine to your own blog tour or a reading in a bookstore. Every book requires individual and constant marketing work. So when designing and writing, you should already establish contacts with the press, bloggers and your readers - and exchange ideas with other authors. Ideally, by the time of publication you have already built up a network of journalists, bloggers and readers who are just waiting for your work to finally hit the market. Read more about tredition's extensive book marketing here, which ensures that your book is easy to find and that your book stands out from the crowd.

9 The finishing touches - editing and format

When the text is there, the book and author have not yet quite reached the home stretch. Anyone who believes that the text can go straight to the press has never been annoyed about errors in a book, spelling errors, leaps in logic, stylistic or content-related errors when reading a book. After writing a book, the final spurt, which should not be underestimated, comes towards the author. And this is almost as important as writing the book itself. It is important to make the book pretty and, above all, error-free: with professional proofreading and editing. If you don't have a German teacher at hand, you should use a professional lecturer. They know exactly what to look out for and eliminate errors in your text, check stylistic breaks, errors in the argumentation, etc.

Remember, your book competes with a huge number of regular new publications that hit the book market every year. Chances are you won't be as well known as Joanne K. Rowling or Dan Brown by the time you publish your book to protect you against mistakes. Readers are critical and want an exciting and, above all, error-free text. Do your readers a favor by showing them a book that has gone through professional proofreading. Your readers will thank you for it and may access it again in the next book. In addition, you save yourself the time-consuming reprint of your book soon.

10 Obtaining criticism - and implementing it

It is finished.Your work is finished, the book has been planned, written, checked for errors and can now actually be released into the world. Stop! Before you put your book on the book market, you should put it through its paces once more. Hire test readers - from your own circle of acquaintances, families and friends - who will read your book and from whom you can rely on receiving an honest opinion on the book. However, if you cannot expect an honest opinion there, you should also use external test readers. This is the only way you can test whether your book has what it takes to inspire a large number of readers.


We hope our guide to writing has helped you with the implementation of your book. If you have made it, we would like to congratulate you warmly. Good luck and many loyal readers!


Further reading tips

Do you need additional reading material and suggestions? In the following we still have some reading tips for you on the subject of "How do I write a book":

In her publication, tredition author Stefanie Fischer-Fernandez presents extensive instructions that show how you can write and publish your own guide in just 5 steps.

The author, Ulrike Dietmann, has been working as a writing lecturer and writing coach for many years and runs the Pegasus writing school she founded, where authors learn the craft of writing novels. In her work she explains the craft of inspiration.

Through her work as a teacher for English language and literature as well as teaching university courses for creative writing, but also her work as an author, Elizabeth George knows what she is talking about. Your book has plenty of useful writing advice to offer.

Roy Peter Clark is Vice President of the Poynter Institute, St. Petersburg, Florida, one of the most prestigious journalism schools in the world. He has edited and written 14 books on writing and journalism. In his book he summarizes the most important tools for good writing.