When I first talk with someone who is considering writing a book, their first response is, “I don’t know where to start.” Confusion about the book writing process is often what stops people from writing their book. Here are 8 things you need to know to write your book.
1. Who’s your target audience or niche? You need to know who you want to read the book. This allows you to customize the content of the book as well as little details about the book that would make it more appealing to your target audience.
2. What do you want the reader to get out of the book? Every great book has some sort of “takeaway” or several key points that you want the reader to remember. You need to think about those before the writing begins.
3. What action do you want your readers to take? Again, you need to know this before you start writing so that you can steer your reader this direction all the way through the book.
4. Create an outline. This may seem trivial and you may be tempted to just start writing, but I’ve found that the best way to write a book is to sit down with the answers to my first three points and create an outline. An outline keeps you on track and ensures you cover everything you want to cover and that you cover it in a logical and systematic approach.
5. Cover design. At some point, you will need a cover design. You can do this on your own, use a template, or hire a designer. Either way, you need to consider what you want on the cover. I prefer a simple front cover with one or two images and the author’s bio on the back.
6. Publishing platform. There are many ways to get your book out there. You can hire an agency or self-publish. Either way, you need to decide and do some research on this well in advance of your publishing date. If you are sel-publishing, you can work on just about any timeline you wish. If you are using an agency, it may be several months before you can get in their schedule to publish.
7. Editing.Every book needs editing. I don’t suggest you try to do this while writing. In fact, I suggest that once you start writing that you should just write all the way through and then come back and edit. This allows your brain to focus on the content and then come back and make corrections. I typically do three to five rounds of edits when publishing my books. This includes one round of printing a “proof” copy so that I can see an exact size and look of my book to get a better feel for it.
If you are great at editing, you can do this yourself. Just be ready to do multiple rounds of editing and take several days or even a week off in between edits. If you want to hire an editor, interview multiple people and choose someone with a personality that is going to be easy to take suggestions from. This is your baby and it’s hard to take criticism if it’s not from the right person.
8. Title. Last but not least, your book needs a title. A lot of authors start out with a working title and then adjust along the way. Feel free to do that. It helps you incorporate phrases from your title in the book while you are writing. Just be prepared to change any key phrases if you drastically change the title.
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About Michael LeJeune
Michael is a dedicated father, husband, business coach, consultant, and author. His new books, “The Rapid Growth System” and “The Coaches Playbook” are set release in Fall of 2012.
Michael primarily works with business owners from $1M in annual revenues up to $5 Million helping them double or even triple their company in 18 to 24 months.
He is a master of strategy development, sales, marketing, and human development.
Michael specializes in the following industries:
1. Business 2 Business (B2B) – Primarily professional services companies (examples are CPA’s, Software Sales, Consulting, Management Training) 2. Technology (Primarily Software) 3. Business Coaches