I can't count on both hands and feet how many times I've heard that in the past month. I'm certainly no expert, but apparently once you've published a book...even a self-pubbed book, people want the magic answer HOW.
Truth is, I spent ample time...months upon months...studying, googling, inquiring that very same question before I was anywhere close to finishing my first book. I'm here to tell you, expert or not, STOP! It burdens the mind with a process that until you have all of your thoughts down on paper, are rather useless. It's not that informing yourself isn't necessary...it is, but the manuscript must exist before you need to know the in's and out's of publishing.
I was once told by one of my English Professors to take off my editors hat and just get it on paper. I found that to be extremely difficult! So difficult, in fact, that I wrote and rewrote the first seven chapters of my book more times than I care to remember. I would open up the files and re-read them every time I sat down to write, inevitably finding mistakes or wanting to re-word. I'm still not completely over my addiction to "get it right" the first time around.
Trust me when I tell you, you will not get it right the first time around or the twentieth time around and taking a break from any particular chapter breaths new life into it when you open it later...much later! Get it out of your brain and onto paper, THEN worry about the periods and paragraphs. I don't mean to preach to the choir, I know it's difficult...just buckle down and do it!
As far as proofreading, editing, formatting, typesetting, cover, publishing, marketing. Leave it at the door until you have your first rough draft complete, then you can start to gear up to google the answers. You'll be much further ahead if you do this, although if you're anything like me...a.d.d. when it comes to writing...you'll veer off every once in a while and look anyway, just try not to stay too long.
If you've always wanted to write a book...write it! There's nothing stopping us now with easy access to self-publishing. Whether it's for posterity, self-satisfaction or you're shooting for the NYT Bestseller List...the only way to get it done is to start writing...so stop reading this and other articles about how to write a book and get to work!