So…you’re ready to write your book! Becoming a published author will launch your credibility to new heights and (hopefully) will bring more opportunities for media interviews and reaching beyond your current circles of influence. My first book was published in the summer of 2010 and my life and business changed forever as a result, So much so that I have continued to write and publish a couple of books each year since then.
**Scroll to the bottom to download a checklist on How to Choose Your Book’s Category**
But you have to actually get that book written first and for many people, that thought brings cold shivers down their spines because they aren’t sure where to begin.
Have no fear! This article will take away most of that fear because we’re not approaching the publishing process as sitting in front of the computer and waiting for inspiration. With the guidance I am including here, you can actually have a plan of action within the next seventy-two hours. And no, I am not kidding.
At the very least, you will have a working outline for your book so you can get started on the first draft. In the best case scenario, you’ll have enough content to fill in each chapter and will only need minor edits to make the content flow smoothly. Either way, you’ll be much further along in the process because of using your already-published content.
Why recreate the wheel – in this case, rewriting years’ worth of content – when you already have many dozens if not hundreds of blog posts, videos, audio interviews, webinars, infographics, etc. to salvage your content from? This is your content so there’s no plagiarism involved. You are simply taking that content and publishing it in a different format in the hopes of reaching more people.
You will also have the final steps to complete the publishing process after your draft is written so you won’t be left hanging; you’ll know what has to happen next so you can publish and launch your book. Take notice of the marketing ideas I share on my two main sites (here and at ConnieRagenGreen.com) to help you create momentum for your big launch.
Just remember…you won’t have your final draft ready to print in just a few days. Even using curated and repurposed content, there’s still an editorial process to go through. So don’t rush through it just to say you beat the clock and got something published. You would rather take your time and publish stellar content than publish material that doesn’t make sense or looks sloppy. Image is everything when you’re trying to grow your audience.
Let’s get started.
You’ve spent years following your passion, studying your chosen field, working with clients, and showcasing your genius. One impressive way to expand your circle of influence even more is to become a published author.
A word of advice, however…do not try to cram your years of experience into a single book! You will certainly overwhelm your audience and your expertise will become muddled because you’re trying to teach everything you know all at once.
Rather, hone in on a subset of knowledge to focus on. Ease your readers into your subject matter slowly. Not so slowly that they’ll get bored and wonder when you will get to the heart of the subject but slowly enough that you’re tackling one aspect of your subject at a time. This will make your book feel more cohesive and will be easier for your audience to digest the information and take action.
“But I know too much and don’t know where to begin writing!”
I’m guessing that’s your response right about now because you’re not the only one who wonders how to go about taking your vast knowledge and putting it into a book. Instead of sitting down to a blank computer screen, do some old-fashioned outlining first. Creating an outline will help you organize the flow of your book and will prevent you from going off on irrelevant tangents that are so easy to miss when you just start writing without a plan. I have clients whom I have helped to write and publish their first book who rave about the way I teach them to create their outline before and during the time they are writing. It works!
Start off by brainstorming some ideas that come to mind immediately. Empty your brain onto paper without editing your ideas. Writing down these ideas will free up your creativity and you’ll feel more focused on this planning stage.
Now that your brainstorming is done, go through all your previously published content and make a list of possible subjects. Remember to scan your blog posts, social media posts, and email newsletters for ideas. If you want to get super organized, ask your VA (virtual assistant) to create a spreadsheet with these topic ideas, including the links to where they can be found.
Research each subject to see which has the most potential to be both popular and profitable. We’re entering the analytical phase, where you’ll want to rank subjects that got more positive feedback high on your list. Also ask yourself these important questions to narrow down your choices:
- Are you a true expert on this subject?
- Is this subject something that’s been written about by other authors successfully?
- Has this subject been “done to death” by other authors?
- Has this topic spurred engagement, such as views, likes, and shares on social media?
Let’s clarify numbers 2 and 3. An easy way to discover if there’s a buying market for a book on a particular subject is to research if anyone else has published on a similar topic. If you find no one else has ever published on your chosen topic, this could mean one of two things: Either there’s no audience who will buy a book on that subject; or you are truly a visionary who is willing to be the first to publish and test the waters.
However, if you find dozens of authors who have published similar books, the market could be oversaturated and you’ll have to work extra hard to find a unique perspective or to find an audience. It’s really a fine line between the two choices and only you can make the decision whether or not to publish in these circumstances.
Your ultimate goal always is to create a book that your tribe will want and buy. After you’ve done some research, narrow down your choices to the topic that is the clear winner.
Download a checklist on How to Choose Your Book’s Category here…
I’m bestselling author, marketing strategist, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and I would love to connect further with you to help you to achieve your goals. If you are interested in learning how to optimize the syndication of your content, please take a look at my popular Syndication Optimization training course and consider coming aboard to increase your visibility, credibility, and profitability.