So you want to write a book? You have a great story to tell, perhaps through lessons you’ve learned, experiences you’ve gained and/or education and expertise you have developed and honed. Now what? You want to share it in the form of a book. Here are 10 basic points to consider on “how to write a book”.
Start by asking yourself the following questions:
1) What is your overall message?
For example, in my second book, Working From Home & Making It Work, given all my years as a passionate and “successful on her own terms” entrepreneur, I wanted to let other budding and seasoned business owners know what was possible and how they could go about achieving their dreams too.
With my first book, an anthology, Hearts Linked by Courage, my intention was two-fold. One was to provide a vehicle for others to further heal through the sharing of their courageous journeys, and two, to inspire others that they are not alone and that we can become much more than our challenges and tragedies. Everyone has a story.
2) Who is your target audience?
Business (a particular field), corporate, holistic practitioners, entrepreneurs, parents, children, women, men, singles . . . ?
3) How do you want to help, serve and/or entertain your target audience?
4) Why do you want to write your book?
There is a big difference between wanting to write your life story as part of your legacy and family history, and that of writing a book that you would like to share via your business platform. Neither is more worthy or less. The differences will simply help you decide on each of your next steps and also how you plan, market and budget.
5) What are your needs and goals around the production and publishing of your book?
Think about where you need guidance and assistance. Do your homework. Ask questions and hire those who believe in your work as much as you do. Decide the level of involvement and control you wish to have with your project, including timing. Select a publishing route that supports your goals.
Now back to the basics. There is no right or perfect way to write a book, although in some cases such as with history books, memoirs and perhaps even poetry (versus a reflections type of writing), there is considerable value in starting with a specific structure.
Either way . . .
Let’s begin with writing something.
6) INTRODUCTIONS (PREFACE): I often recommend that my clients start with the preface. I like to refer to the preface as your personal message to the reader, sharing a little of your story, and most importantly, what you want them to gain from reading your book.
7) THE FRAMEWORK: What is your storyline, or method/process of teaching? The beginning, middle and end?
8) THE BONES (CHAPTERS): Another place to start or build on or from is creating the parts and chapter headings. Some writers find it helpful to draw out a map of their book. The more complex the story or teaching is, the more this can be advantageous, as it gives you a visual placement of the key points and highlights and where you want to share them.
9) THE MEAT (CHAPTERS/BOOK): Once you have the chapters outlined, and even loosely titled, then you can decide what information, stories, examples, etc., you want to expand on in each.
10) NEXT STEPS: Remember content is king; however, a well-edited, professionally designed book inside and out will help to capture the reader’s attention even more—especially when that reader is meeting you for the first time through the look and marketing of your book.
Be inspired and courageous. There are many who will be encouraged or enlightened by what you have to share, so seize the day! Commit to writing a certain number of words per day; my number is 500 to 1000 words per day every day, especially when I am working on a specific project and timeline. When you do this regularly, not only do you develop a great habit, you also keep your creative juices flowing . . . and before you know it, your book will be done.
I can’t wait to hear about your progress. Please share here, and don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog too if you have one, via the commentluv feature here on the site.
p.s. Be sure to follow us on social media where we regularly post helpful info, new releases and great events. You will find the links in the sidebar here on the site. Next is my next free webinar on “Let Your Creativity Out”, July 18th at 11am.