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Introduction to Writing Your Book

Book Planning and Outlining

PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION

People always ask me the best way to write a book. The answer is the same for everyone.
Just start writing!

There should be a certain level of preparation before getting too deep into it but do not get paralyzed.

Checklist

WHAT IS YOUR GOAL?

Sell a bunch of books?

Make money: Most authors don’t get rich selling
Bestseller: Great for your ego but does it help business or add value?
Attract new clients: This is where the real benefit is
Demonstrate competence, build trust: People engage with you based on competence and trust, a book demonstrates both
Share the story inside you: Many soon to be authors come to us with a story that has been burning inside for over 10 years
Leave a legacy: Make your permanent footprint
Help Others: Share your knowledge to help other

They don’t have to be mutually exclusive!

WHO IS THE BOOK FOR?

Focus on psychographic profile of reader not demographic

  • Thoughts, values, and beliefs of your ideal reader (client)
  • Reader persona
  • Language of reader
  • Challenges that persona faces

What are they going to get from reading it?

  • How you will add value to their life

What makes you qualified to speak to them?

ACCESS TO AUDIENCE

  • Where are your ideal readers?
  • Do you have direct access to them?
  • Member of organizations or associations?
  • Who in your network knows you are writing a book?

THE HOOK

What is your 1 sentence description of what the book is about?

  • Short and sweet
  • What problem do you help them solve
  • Think elevator pitch
  • Include both facts and call to action
  • Equally informative as persuasive

CONTENT

  1. Make a list of everything you want to talk about
  2. Compile any resources (books, websites, etc) that will used for supporting content
  3. Ask others (clients or peers) what they find most valuable on the topic
  4. Do not censor yourself. You can decide to eliminate things later

CHAPTER STRUCTURE

There is no right or wrong way to layout the book.

Narrative: A very conversational flow with little to break up the flow of reading
Sections: Chapter is high level overview with granular sections
Workbook: Lots of exercises along the way
Parable: A story within a story (Think “The Go-Giver)

KEY POINTS

After you have compiled and organized, go back through the material.

  • Identify recurring themes
  • Decide if there is a logical flow between them Do you need to write chronologically or are the topics interchangeable
  • Is there something missing?

RESEARCH

When you compiled your content, did you include thoughts of others?

  • Books
  • Speeches
  • Websites
  • Podcasts
  • Blogs
  • Client interactions

If so, decide how you are going to present it:

  • Give credit where credit is due
  • Change names to protect sensitive information
  • Get permission to use personal stories

RETENTION

Have you made it easy for readers to remember the takeaways? Have you made it easy for the reader to put the material into action? Did you provide any resources to bring them into your world?

  • Website link
  • Branded collateral
  • Free consultation offer
  • Speaker one sheet

PLAN FOR COMPLETION

How will you get this done in the next 6 months?

The average business book is 35k – 75k words (150 – 225 pages)

  • 5k – 12k words per month
  • 1,200 – 3k words per week
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