Getting Your Self Published Book Written
Any Way You Can
Writing a book is monstrous! We start with what we think is a great idea and begin writing. Soon we realize this new thing is out of control. Or maybe youíre better at organizing than I am. Hereís how I solve the problem.
What's The Purpose of Your Book
First I make sure Iím really clear on the purpose of the book.
Often my initial cut at writing a purpose will need to change sometime during the first writing, but it gives me something to chew against. Iíve been known to put a copy of the purpose at the top of every page.
The Working Table of Contents
When Iím working on a non-fiction book, I dope out what I call Working Table of Contents. Initially, itís simply a list of what I think the major topics of the book will be. These arenít necessarily chapters, just areas I know I want to cover.
Next, I'll take a stab at writing at least a few sentences under each entry. Sometimes the writing will begin to flow and I just go for a draft chapter, but usually I have to work on Chapter Titles first.
Create Great Chapter Titles
After pacing around with those ideas for awhile, which might be an hour or a month, I take a stab at creating actual chapter titles.
I try to write great chapter titles because I know they really help in marketing, but if I canít think of anything pithy or interesting, I settle for the mundane and keep on writing.
Then, under each Chapter Title, I write phrases, sentences, etc. that help me know what each chapter will contain. Hereís an example, using my ebook, You Can Make Money Writing eBooks as an example:
Etc., etc., etc.
This all sounds more organized than it actually is. Sometimes Iíll get most of a chapter drafted before I do much with a Working Table of Contents. Often, particularly in the beginning, what I think will be a single chapter will turn out to be two or even three. Reordering chapters seems to go on constantly, again, particularly in the beginning.
So why do I use a Working Table of Contents at all? Because itís the only way I can keep on track and not feel hopelessly lost in pages of manuscript.
By the way, I use Wordís ability to generate Contents by using Headings 1, 2, 3, etc. Then I can compare where I actually am to where I thought I would be. (See also Handling Long Manuscripts.)
Sure, some folks are really good at thinking a book through before they start. I have a coaching client who has the most detailed outlines I think he will almost be able just to recast each entry into a sentence or two, provide transitions and heíll be done.
Like so much in the freelance writing game, thereís more than one, two, or a dozen ways to get something done.
Write well, and often.