As we approach the end of the year, it may have dawned on you by now that the book "you were going to write" isn't written yet. Not even close. Instead of writing, you sent a lot of emails, went to a lot of meetings, tried to figure out Twitter, and don't have a book in your hand.
When it comes to writing a book, often people simply can't figure out how to get started. A book is a big project, so here are a few hints for (really!) making your book happen in the coming year.
1. Start thinking about publishing. You need to focus your energy into the direction of your book. (Reading this article and signing up for the Publishize newsletter is a good start!) Go to the library and pick up books on writing and publishing. Make it a priority to learn more about the process.
2. Figure out what your book will be about. "I don't know what to write" seems to be a popular refrain. There's an old saw that says you should "write what you know" but I tend to disagree. I think you should write about something you love. Almost any book requires research, and you will be immersed in the topic for a long time. Make sure it's something you are passionate about. A topic that makes you sigh will make your readers sigh too.
3. Figure out who will read the book. You need to think about marketing before you write anything. If the target reader for your book is "everyone," you need to narrow down your topic. Don't kill yourself trying to write the Great Treatise on Widgets. Instead, write a book that is extremely specific and solves a problem Widget users have. Think about when your reader might buy a book. Probably it's when he or she is looking for a solution. (That's why weight loss books continue to be popular year after year!)
4. Look for existing materials you can reuse. Once you know what the book is about and who will read it, see what information you already have that you can reuse. If you are a business owner, you may have given presentations or written articles about your business. Scour your file cabinets and hard disk for information you can recycle into your book. It's a lot easier to edit existing material than to write from scratch.
5. Do an outline. Once you know what you already have, you have a better idea of what you still need to write. Create a rough outline, and note where you need to do more research or writing. I use our IdeaWeaver writing and creativity software and create blank "idea placeholders," which I drag to the outline so I can tell what I need to write.
6. Make a plan. Map out a completion plan for your book. Create writing "appointments" so you make time to do the writing required to finish the book.
7. Just do it. Writing is work. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Writing a good book is not easy. Eventually you will have to sit down and write something to make your book happen. Accept it and realize that it might not always be fun. Sometimes it will be hard. Sometime your writing will suck. That's part of the process.
And there you have it. You are just seven steps away from a manuscript. So what's stopping you?
Publishize (The Book) Helps with Step #1
My book Publishize: How to Quickly and Affordably Self-Publish a Book That Promotes Your Expertise gives you all the information you need to publish your own book. In it, I explain the steps I went through to self-publish 8 books in less than 18 months. (Now, we have 10 books to our credit.) Publishize is full of all our best secrets for writing, publishing, and promoting your book. Learn the smart way to self-publish a book without dealing with a subsidy press, or ending up with thousands of dollars caught up in inventory and a garage full of dusty books. With a focus on earning more profits and smart outsourcing, Publishize is a hands-on guidebook for entrepreneurs who want to add a new revenue stream to their business.
Visit the Publishize Web site
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