How to write a book


Chantal

Last Friday morning I took myself out of the office and away from its distractions, so I could spend some time working on my book. Unless I set aside specific time and go somewhere peaceful – like my kitchen table – I just don’t seem to find the time to write. My poor book isn’t getting the time and attention that it deserves, so I’ve decided to treat it like a client and allocate time and space to it each week.

Last week’s task was to finish the proposal for my book. I want to find a publisher who will take it on, to handle all the setting, printing, promotion and distribution of the book, so I need to write a good proposal – a sales pitch – for it. My proposal talks about who should buy the book, what they will get from it and why any publisher would be mad not to take it on, because it’s going to sell so many copies! It talks about how I’m going to promote the book – through this blog, my newsletter, twitter and through running workshops on topics I’m covering in my book.

I’ve put together a table of contents for my book and this was a really good exercise to go through. It got me thinking about the main issues I want to write about – the chapters – and the topics within those chapters – the sections. Now each of the ten chapters (one for each year of my business) has four sections. I’ve written a summary of each chapter, explaining briefly what each chapter and section is about.

Now that I have that structure, writing the book is going to be much easier. Any time I have an idea of something to write about, I look for where it fits into the structure and write it into that chapter and section. If I’m stuck for inspiration, I can just pick a section and work on it. And all the time I’m writing, I remind myself that this book is about how to survive the first ten years in business; and that I want to inspire and motivate others to do the same. With that focus, I’m less likely to go off track and forget what I’m writing about and why!

Have you thought about sharing your experience and expertise through a book?

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