Saturday, May 3, 2014

How to Write A Book

Once you understand your Purpose in Life, you can use that to fuel your passion and your drive to write your first book and help your family, your church and your community.

One of the best ways to achieve your Purpose in Life (or start/grow your business) is to write a book. If you are a good writer who loves to write, this may be just what the doctor ordered.

The self-help book industry has boomed in recent years, due to the increased pace of our lives and due to the increase in diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. People are constantly searching for ways to improve their lives, including topics such as diabetes, nutrition, health coaching, lifestyle changes, spiritual enlightenment, website design, and how to use computer technology, just to name a few.

Becoming an author is a great way to gain credibility and build your following (and make a lot of money!) -- as long as you write a book that talks to your target audience. And, because there are so many free tools and technologies, writing a book and getting published is a lot easier today and a lot less expensive.

But, you may be wondering that if that's true, then, why don't more people write a book? Well, there are 5 major reasons (or excuses) why most people don't write a book:

  1. Time: Most people believe that they don't have the time to write a book.
  2. Motivation: Most people aren't really driven or motivated to write a book.
  3. Writing Skills: Some people don't know how to write.
  4. Publishing Skills: Most people don't know how to get a book published.
  5. Finances: Most people think that it costs a lot of money to write a book.
The key is that you have to get started now and overcome these 5 excuses:

Time: Find the time! Take 15 to 20 minutes each day to write down some ideas and thoughts. Within 6 months, you'll have most of your ideas and content for your first book.

Motivation: If you truly want to help people, that should motivate you to get started! Reach insider your inner spirit to drive you and motivate yourself to write a book.

Writing Skills: If you don't know how to write, then, use an audio recorder to record your ideas and thoughts. Then, get someone to transfer your words to paper.

Publishing Skills: If you don't know how to get a book published, contact a local author or our office after you have put your words down on paper.

Finances: If you do most of the work yourself, you can minimize your costs.
Bottom-line: If you know how to write and if you're truly driven and motivated, you'll find the time to put together a manuscript. Then, once you written the manuscript, you can find a publisher that will publish your book for a few hundred to several hundred dollars.

Book Writing Tips
Here are some tips to help you get started  if you're really serious about writing a book:

Collecting Information
Use your own life and work experiences to write about a topic that you are most knowledgeable, skilled and comfortable to talk about.

Use a notepad or journal or get a portable audio recorder to capture your thoughts and ideas about the major events of your life; also, write down your thoughts, your dreams, and your ideas.

Audio record or video record when you talk, especially when you're talking to a group of people. The more ways you capture your words, thoughts and ideas, the more information you'll have for a future book.

Write a several-page autobiography about your upbringing and your life. Think about the key events in your life and write them down. Don't try to write your bio in order of when the events occurred. Instead, just think of the key events in your life and write about each of those events. You can put the key events in their proper order later on.

Now, use your autobiography to write a 1-page bio for your book. Then, edit your 1-page bio and reduce your bio to 3 to 4 key paragraphs. Also, use your bio to create an elevator speech about your life centered around the key topic of your book.

Use the Internet and Google to conduct in-depth research for the key topic area of your book. Find out what experts in that topic area have to say. Figure out what you have to offer about that topic that would be beneficial to your potential readers. For example, if you've figured out a way to defeat your congestive heart failure or if you figured out a way to lose weight, people in your community will want to know how you did it.

But, make sure that you do your homework! Don't offer advice about a topic without doing in depth research first! If you don't do the research, you may lose credibility with your potential readers!

Here's another key tip from the author: Don't try to write your book all at once. In fact, don't focus on writing your book. Initially, just focus on capturing your thoughts, ideas, and expand on those thoughts and ideas by writing and audio recording.

If you capture your thoughts and ideas at least a couple times a week, within 6 months you'll have a lot of things to write about and expand upon! The key is to get started with collecting your thoughts and ideas and documenting them either on a bunch of notepads and/or on an audio recorder.

When you get a chance, visit your local library and take a look at all the many self-help books written about an array of various topics. This may give you some more ideas about the content of your book.

Begin thinking about the key sub-topics of your book and create an outline of your book.  For example, if your book's major topic is about a specific ailment such as congestive heart failure, think about some of the sub-topics for that disease such as a description of the disease, the statistics about the disease, the drugs used for treatment, various diets used, different forms of exercise, and your support system. Then, do some research about each of those sub-topics. Eventually, each of those sub-topics will probably become a chapter in your book!

Lots of people say they're going to write a book. Lots of people are even told by their friends and others to write a book. But, very few people actually follow through to write a book. It takes a special person to write a book. As long as you believe that you're special and have something to share, then, you'll start your journey today. That's right -- today -- not tomorrow, not next week -- right now.

If you don't start now, a week will go by, then a month will go by, and 6 months from today, you'll still be where you are today -- nowhere -- waiting to get started ...

Note 1: The business of writing self-help books is about establishing credibility as an expert in your subject area. If you expect readers to seek your book for advice, you need to prove you aren’t just an amateur. So, it’s important to complete extensive research. The use of statistics can help you make points, show how certain techniques work, or let your readers know they’re not alone.
Note 2: Part of your research should include getting to know your target audience. Examine the type of person that you’ll be writing for, so you can develop a positive rapport and gain their trust by understanding who they are. It’s okay to address your reader as “you” and refer to yourself as “I.” This develops a warm and supportive tone that is imperative in a self-help book.

Book Outline
Organize your sub-topics, ideas, and thoughts and develop an outline. Build your book around a framework of headings and subheads to help your reader easily follow along. If you're good with pictures, then, develop a flow chart or diagram that represents the structure of your book. Use a step-by-step method to explain your "program" and to avoid confusion.
Focus on just one skill or theory in each chapter, helping the reader know what they should be taking away from the material. Then, expand on each chapter to build the manuscript for your book. Use shorter paragraphs to limit each paragraph to a single idea.

Remember to stay focused on the practical – inspirational sentences and theories can be helpful, but overuse may overwhelm the reader. 

Have your manuscript properly edited by a professional. You want to ensure that people don't find misspellings, typos and grammar being utilized incorrectly. 

Select a great title to reach your target audience.

Come up with design for your book cover and find a reputable professional designer to design your cover as a high res JPEG and a PDF.

Make sure you tell your story as part of the book. Why? Because stories sell. Your story will create a connection with your reader and target audience.

Provide a fresh point of view that is different from other books in your genre.

For a self-help book, provide a simple solution that is easy for your readers to understand and implement. Make it as easy as possible for your readers to see how they can implement your instructions.

Speak their language, that is the language of your target audience. Speak in your voice or the voice of the reader to "connect" with your readers.

Tip: Figure out if you're a left-brain (i.e. analytical) thinker or a right-brain (i..e. creative) thinker -- that will help you decide the best way to develop your first manuscript. For example, if you're a left-brain dominant (like most engineers), then, using structure, outlines and models will help you develop your manuscript. If you're right-brain dominant then, using brainstorming, meditation, art, photography, video, audio, and notepads will help you develop your manuscript.

These are just a few ideas to help you get started. For more details about writing your first book, set up a business consultation or get the author's How to Start a Business With Little Money ebook.

By the way, did you know that you can set up your own website or your own blog for free? Did you know that you can get Internet platforms such as Google and YouTube to pay you every month? The business ebook will help you get started going in the right direction while saving you a lot of time and money trying to figure out what to do.

Key Point from the Author: Lots of people say that they're going to write a book. Then, a a couple months goes by, and another few months go by ... The next thing you know is that a year has gone by and you still haven't written your book!