Sunday, October 20, 2013

So You Wanna Write a Book

Many consultants, entrepreneurs, speakers, business professionals, inventors, teachers, salespeople, professors, trainers, coaches, and others have a secret (or not-so-secret) yearning to write a book. They each have a story to tell, a process to share, or a successful strategy they feel can benefit others. Authorship helps people to be known as thought leaders... be seen as experts in their fields... generate additional income... and to grow their businesses.
So what are your chances of getting a book published in this highly competitive industry? The truth is, today anyone can publish a book. If you don't go the traditional publishing route, you can go the self-publishing route. The following are three essential steps to plan, write, and publish a book.


Planning is crucial before you actually delve into writing the contents of your book. Yet it's the step most people skip. Instead, they sit at their computers and struggle over where to start, what to include, how to get through writer's block, and so forth. Strategic planning will eliminate all that angst. It's during the planning process that you unfold the following, which will lay the groundwork for writing your text:
    Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies
  • Developing a schedule and timeline.
  • Getting to know the marketplace and what's already out there.
  • Generating a working title.
  • Creating a detailed table of contents and back cover text.
  • Planning the submission process with a query letter and strong proposal.
  • Outlining a robust public relations and marketing campaign.


Once you've gone through the planning process step by step, writing the draft will be somewhat like filling in the blanks. As you write the draft, keep in mind the following:
  • Focus on writing, not proofreading or editing. Initially you must to get your thoughts out of your head and onto your computer. Save the proofreading and editing for later.
  • Keep paragraphs to about 8 lines of text. That's a manageable, readable chunk of information.
  • Harness the power of headlines that will draw your readers into your text and give valuable information at a glance - much like newspapers and magazines do.
  • Be succinct and conversational.
  • Use bulleted and numbered lists to highlight key information. (Words tell information.)
  • Incorporate visuals to illustrate key information. (Visuals show information.)
  • Use positive words and the active voice.
  • Proofread, edit, and revise.



As previously mentioned, today anyone can publish a book. Options include traditional publishers, vanity/subsidiary presses, self-publishers, print on demand (PoD), electronic books (eBooks), audio books, series of podcasts, or vooks. Here are a few things you should know:
  • Get a detailed contract and make sure you understand it. Get help from an attorney or publishing agent if you need to. This is especially true for contracts from publishers which can be difficult to understand.
  • Don't sign on with an agent or publisher you see advertised online or in a publication. Reputable agents and publishers are inundated with requests; they don't advertise.
  • Don't sign on with an agent if you intend to self-publish. No self-publisher will refuse you, so you don't need to pay an agent to represent you.

Remember that all authors started with a first book. Get started with yours. If you truly believe in yourself and your abilities, you owe it to yourself to do everything possible to get your book published. You don't want to look back many years from now and say, I woulda, coulda, shoulda.

These are excerpts from HOW TO WRITE A NON-FICTION BOOK: PLAN - WRITE - PUBLISH, an eBook by Sheryl Lindsell-Roberts, 25-time published author, which is available on
Article Source: