Writing a book is an excellent way to share your knowledge with the world. Unfortunately, not knowing what steps to take to write a book prevents many would-be authors from writing one.
Here are 6 simple steps to writing your first book:
1. Choose a topic for your book
There are 2 methods you can use to pick a topic for your book. The first is to consider your interests, experiences, and expertise and then write a book to share what you know. The second is to do some market research to find out what topics people are actively searching for information on. If you choose the second option, you can write the book yourself after doing a considerable amount of research on that topic, or you can hire someone to write the book for you (a ghostwriter).
2. Create the title and subtitle
The title of your book (combined with the cover design) will have a major impact your book’s sales. A great book with a vague title probably won’t sell very many copies. Your title needs to be compelling. It needs to clearly articulate the subject matter of the book, and the benefit to the reader (the result it will help them get). When a potential buyer reads your book title you want them to think: “this is exactly what I am looking for.”
Here are some examples of highly successful non-fiction book titles:
- How To Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie)
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (Stephen R. Covey)
- Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action (Simon Sinek)
- MONEY Master The Game: 7 Simple Steps To Financial Freedom (Tony Robbins)
3. Create an outline
An effective way to come up with an outline for your book is to make a list of the most common questions your target market has about the specific topic. It is best to actually speak with potential buyers of your book instead of assuming what they want to know. For example, if you collect 10 questions from people who are interested in a topic, the answers to each of those questions can form the basis for 10 chapters in your book. Add an introduction and a conclusion, and voila, you have an outline.
4. Write the book
Once you have your outline complete, it is time to start writing the content for the book. Again, you can write it yourself, or hire a ghost writer to do it for you after providing them with the outline. If you want the book to contain your own words, but writing is not something you are particularly good at, a third option is to record your voice as you share your thoughts for each chapter, and then have that recording transcribed.
5. Edit and format the book
This is a somewhat tedious process, but it is very important. Once all of the content for your book is ready, it needs to be editing and formatted before it can be published. You can do this yourself or hire someone to help you. The purpose of this step is to fix grammatical errors and ensure consistent font types and sizes for all headings, subheading, and paragraphs. Even if your book has great content, skipping this step will make your book seem very unprofessional and most likely frustrate the reader.
6. Get a cover designed
The final step is to get a cover designed. Unless you have considerable experience with graphic design, you probably shouldn’t do this yourself. There are many websites including Fiverr and 99Designs that you can utilize to find a designer. Provide the designer with the title of your book, some background information on your target audience, and samples of other book covers that you like. This will help the designer create something that will be appealing to your target audience.