With self-publishing now becoming more and more popular, anyone can write the novel they have always wanted to without fear that nobody will ever read it if they can’t get a deal with a traditional publisher. In fact, many writers now choose self-publishing books over going with publishers simply because it gives them more control over their book. They also get a bigger share of the royalties, so it is no longer the preserve of people who have tried to get an agent and publisher and had no success with it.

If you have decided you want to try becoming an author, and the genre you have chosen for you first book is horror, then congratulations! There is a big market for horror books on platforms like Amazon Kindle, and you are in for an interesting and rewarding experience creating your first book.

Before you sit down and start writing, however, there are some other decisions you should make which will make getting through the work of writing and editing your novel easier:

What Technology Will You Use?

If your plan is to self-publish, you can create your manuscript in just about any word processor, because you can save or export files suitable for upload to platforms like Amazon KDP as .docx, .html, .epub and .mobi with all of the major word processor products like Word, LibreOffice Writer and Google Docs. Some authors use specific book production tools like Scrivener, but these can be expensive, so for your first book it can be easiest just to go with what you know. However, you’ll also need to decide which tool you want to use to make your cover (for example Photoshop or GIMP), and how you are going to deal with the need to back up. Backing up is an essential when you are working on a long document like a novel, as you can imagine how catastrophic it would be to lose all of your work! Check out Secure Data Recovery for advice on this.

What Type of Approach Will You Use?

There are lots of ways to write a novel. Some people are what are known in the industry as ‘pantsers’, who make the story up as they go along, whereas others write very detailed outlines of what will happen in each chapter before expanding this into their book. There are also all kinds of other techniques in between. You should read up on ways of writing and choose an approach before you begin.

What Are Your Goals for Completion?

A lot of people start novels and never finish them. You’ll be far more likely to stay the course and actually complete your book if you have a plan in terms of how long your finished horror book will be, and when you want to finish it. A lot of people do well by using the ‘NaNoWriMo’ approach of aiming to finish a 50,000 word first draft in 30 days.

Once you’ve made these choices, you should be in a good position to actually start putting down the words that will form your own horror novel!