- By Earma Brown
- Published 08/24/2009
Have you started your book yet? No. Don’t beat yourself up any longer. Keep reading this article; it was written especially for you. With the right focus and knowledge, you can successfully start and complete YOUR book within weeks this year. Remember the old adage, Q: How do you eat an elephant? A: One bite at a time. The same applies to writing your book. How do you eat the book writing elephant? You eat him one bite (one step) at a time. More and more people are successfully completing their books in less time. Even your competitors are getting it done. Why not join them. Here’s some tips to kick start writing your book: 1. Write a significant book. Many hopeful authors tremble in their tracks wondering if their book will sell. That’s a good question. Who wants to invest time or money into a sinking ship? Don’t be afraid; here’s how to test your book’s significance. You can know your book is significant if it presents useful information, answers important reader questions, and impacts people for the good. If it’s entertaining or funny it could go further than you imagined. It’s significant, if it creates a deeper understanding of animals, humanity or this world. With one to three of these elements your book is worth writing. More than three, it has potential of making great sales, even to best seller status. Now, get started; write your book and make the world a better place. 2. Know who will buy your book. When you give your book a target audience, it will hit the mark of good sales. Top selling books focus on one main topic per book. When you target one audience at a time, each tip, each story or how-to will be more effective. Aim your message and you gain a competitive edge on many book writers. Create an audience profile. Are your potential readers male or female? How old are they? Are they interested in self-help, mystery, romance, how-to books? What problems do they face? Are they business people or professionals? Are they techies or non-techies? Are they willing to spend $12-25 on a book like yours? 3. Write your book’s thesis. Did you cringe at the word thesis? For some, it brought back memories of English class and writing essays. No worries, a thesis simply reflects the main central thought of the book. Make sure the main central thought includes the greatest benefit of your book and you’re done. In other words, it should answer your audiences’ question, “How will this book help, encourage or solve my problem for me?” Writing the thesis before you write the book will keep you on the path of focused, powerful yet easy to read content. All chapters support your book’s main concept. For “Win with the Writer Inside,” the thesis is “How to write, complete, and publish your best book fast.” The best titles often include the thesis statement in some form. 4. Create your book’s Working title. In the literary world it’s called a working title because everyone knows it could and probably will change. You may decide to change it or your publisher. Even so, working titles help direct and focus your writing. Some non-fiction writing does better with subtitles. If needed, it clarifies the title. Confusing titles will miss the mark and sales. Which titles grab you and stir a desire to read what the author has to say: Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money – That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! or How to Teach Others About Money; How to Win Friends and Influence People! or How to Make Friends. 5. Make an inspiration cover early.
Keep it by your desk to inspire you. Book covers are the number one selling point of a book. Of course, in the begin
ning this is only a working cover. Nevertheless it will help crystallize your thoughts and propel you toward the fulfillment of your dream. Remember, you have about 4-10 seconds to impress your audience to buy. Browse the bookstores and the internet to get a few ideas. Study the covers best suited for your audience. Choose colors that attract them. Consider blue and red for business books; aqua, yellow, and shades of red work for personal growth books. Avoid using too much red; it makes many feel suspicious. 6. Write the back cover as sales message before you write your book. This benefit driven outline helps give your book direction and helps you focus on what’s really important to your readers. Most books will only allow for 50-75 words. That gives you about 8-20 seconds to impress your prospective buyer. Make this message passionate. Include only what sells: reader and famous testimonials, a benefit driven headline to hook the reader to open the book and read the table of contents, and bulleted benefits. 7. Compose your book’s 60 second “commercial” before you begin writing. Have you heard a 60 second radio commercial recently? The information is distilled into sound bytes to be effective. Make your 2-3 sentence book blurbs into a sound byte. Like a radio commercial where you only have a few seconds to get your message across, condense your sound byte into a 60 second tell and sell. Use your mini commercial at networking meetings, in the elevator, in the grocery line, anywhere you only have a few seconds to tell about your book. Composing your commercial should include your title and 3 top benefits. 8. Create and organize your book files. Researchers say we waste over 150 hours a year looking for misplaced information. Create an organization method that fits you. For example, to save time and get organized you can create a master folder with your book’s title. Inside, keep a separate file for each chapter. Assign each chapter a short title that will make sense later. If you don’t have a title then assign names by topic. Put research notes or resources in each chapter named folder. Make a how-to folder as well, such as short-key notes, style or formatting notes. With this system you can manage multiple projects easily. Stop wasting time with disorganized, unfinished projects that don’t produce and help you get your message out in excellence. 9. Create your chapter’s format. Readers enjoy easy-to-read maps to guide them through your book. They love consistency. It is disconcerting and unprofessional if you change formats throughout the book. In non-fiction books, except chapter one each chapter should be similar length and have same sections or categories. To make your chapters come alive, use engagement tools such as anecdotes, your stories, sizzling headings, photos, maps, graphs, exercises, short tips. Readers enjoy easy-to-read side bars in boxes. 10. Write your publishing goals down for your book. Will you self-publish or shop for a traditional publish? There are serious pros and cons for either method. Find out the differences so you can make an educated choice that suits you. If you are self-publishing, consider the POD technology for your book. There are lots of good choices that will publish your book for you at an affordable price. If you are opting for a traditional publisher, get an agent and a contract before writing the book. Then shop agents and publishers with 2 chapters and a knock-out book proposal. Invest in one of the current market guides and research the best fit for your work. It raises your chances considerably if you know what kind of manuscripts a particular company is looking for.
I admit it; getting started writing a book can become a huge elephant in the way of your book’s success. Even so, it doesn’t have to stay that way. You can do like the author did; eat the book writing elephant one bite at a time. Start today; complete and release your significant message to the world. Bon Appetit!