Five Ways Self Publishing Authors Can Prepare for NanoWriMo

There is a little less than a month until the official start of National Novel Writing Month (NanoWriMo), but you can begin preparing now. While you can’t officially start writing the manuscript until November 1st, there is plenty of work you can do ahead of time to make the most of the month ahead. Here are five ways self publishing authors can prepare for NanoWriMo.

1) Brainstorm! It is never too early to start thinking of ideas. Carry around a notebook and jot down ideas whenever they come to you. Listen to people’s conversations to pick up fun quote ideas. Observe strangers to help you create interesting characters. Read books and watch movies to generate unique plot ideas. The more ideas you come with now, the easier it will be to write your novel in a month.

2) Get organized. Once you have a good sense of your plot, characters, setting, and conflict, you can begin outlining your story. The more detailed your outline is the more helpful it may be when you sit down to write your manuscript. This is especially important for self publishing authors participating in NanoWriMo because they are on a tight deadline. You will want to focus on writing rather organizing once you begin the challenge.

3) Prepare your writing area. This task will also save you time in the future. Gear up for the big challenge by cleaning out the clutter, purchasing any supplies, and designating a space that will be your official writing area. Don’t worry if you don’t have an entire office to dedicate to the task. All you need is paper, pens, a computer, a flash drive, and possibly a few reference materials such as a dictionary.

4) Set your goals. The keys to succeeding in the NanoWriMo challenge are goal setting and time management. If you want to write a 50,000 word book in a month, you need to figure out how many pages you will write each day or week and when you will write those pages. Choose a schedule that is realistic and achievable.

5) Enlist some help. Tell your friends and family about your goals so they can help you achieve them. Writing a novel in a month will be time-consuming, so you may need your spouse to cook dinners or ask your in-laws to watch the children. Just because writing is often an independent craft doesn’t mean you have to tackle this challenge alone.

I’d love to know, what are you doing to prepare for NanoWriMo?

ABOUT WENDY STETINA: Wendy Stetina is a sales and marketing professional with over 30 years experience in the printing and publishing industry. Wendy works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; and together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction, or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Wendy Stetina can put you on the right path.

Join National Novel Writing Month: The Perfect Challenge for Self Publishing Authors

Earlier this week, Wendy introduced you to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), which takes place between November 1 and November 30. In case you missed the post, let me catch you up: NaNoWriMo is a program that challenges you write a 50,000 word novel in one month. Yes, one month! This challenge is perfect for self publishing authors who need an extra push to help bring their book idea to life. Here is how you can become a part of this exciting writing challenge.

1) Visit to sign up. The site features easy to follow directions, so you should have no trouble setting up your account.

2) Once you are signed up, login to your account and share some information about yourself and your novel.

3) Take advantage of all the resources available. There are some great articles and forums featuring information and stories about writing a novel.

4) On November 1, start writing your novel.  Think about it – 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s under 2,000 words per day (roughly 3-4 pages per day).  You can do that, right?

5) Once you complete the novel, upload it to the website for verification. By doing so, you will be added to the Winner’s Page and receive a handsome winner’s certificate and web badge.

6) Enjoy that feeling of accomplishment and pride. You did it!

So, what are you waiting for?  Sign up for NaNoWriMo today!  Then come back and post comments below to let us know how it’s going.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at