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How To Write A Book Step By Step-Make the Time

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How many times a day do you say, “I don’t have time for that?” Maybe it seems impossible to make time to write or to even make time for anything outside of your normal schedule. The people I meet want to learn how to write a book step by step, but their lives are filled with so much: things they want to do, things they need to do. And a lot of things they don’t really want to do, but must. There’s always that race against the clock, which leaves them feeling scattered and torn, like a scarecrow with his stuffing pulled out. At the end of the day, there isn’t much left.

If that’s you, I understand.  But, I’m a firm believer that if something’s important to you, no matter how busy you are, you’ll make time to do it.

Learn How to Write A Book Step By Step

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely hate to waste time, and the biggest time waster for me is when I have to do something over. I hate doing things twice.

I like to follow a time-tested, straight path that gets me from where I am now to where I want to be while expending the least amount of energy possible to produce an excellent result.

The good news is that there’s a step-by-step process you can follow to become an author. You don’t have time for do-overs. And you certainly don’t have time for an inefficient methodology.

If the shortest path from one point to another is a straight line, you’d better be sure you know that the path you are on will take you where you want to go! The only thing you need to get started is an idea. That’s it. Just an idea. Then, week by week, step by step, you plan the contents of your book and adding to the writing until you have a rough draft, then a finished manuscript. Yes, it takes time, but it doesn’t take forever.

But you don’t want a manuscript, do you? Of course not. You want a book. You need to go beyond the writing and have a clear path to packaging, publishing, and promoting your book. Be sure that’s the path you’re on, a path that takes you all the way from your initial idea to the finished product.

When you write a book, you establish yourself as an expert in your field, increase your credibility, and can attract a followingwith one caveat. It better be a good book. Rushing through it can be catastrophic.

 


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Nonfiction Book Consultant Advice: It’s Not About You

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I recently came across an article in Forbes that discussed the rise of narcissism in our country—specifically social media narcissism. As a nonfiction book consultant who uses Facebook and Twitter, I had to read more. The author stated that people who are always taking selfies are the ones who want to gain the most admiration. They’re easy to spot on social media because they regularly change their profile pictures.

The same applies to posting regular photos. Narcissists are desperate for more admiration, and a new photo spikes the interest that gets them going (Source). I’ve seen this happen countless times on Facebook and have always wondered how people find the time to post multiple personal photos a day. Ha! I certainly don’t have that kind of time. In other words, these social media junkies are fixated on one thing—themselves.  

It’s interesting. All this talk about narcissism and self-absorption reminds me of what I’ve been saying for years to my writers and any prospective writers I meet.  As a nonfiction book consultant and someone who’s had enough life experience, please listen: It’s not about you! Your story and solutions are about providing hope and help to someone else.

Why Keep Your Story to Yourself?

Lots of things can deter us from telling our story, and as a nonfiction book consultant, I’ve found that fear is the main thing that holds people back. What will people think? What if they don’t like it? What if they don’t like me? What if I’m criticized? What if I’m ridiculed?

You don’t have to try to think of the “what ifs”; they attack you without effort. It’s scary to put yourself out there for all the world to see.

Maybe you can turn these fearful “what ifs” into something positive: What if you change someone’s life? What if you save someone’s life? What if you help someone who is without hope? What if your pain is the path to another person’s healing? What if writing your book and laying it all out there actually helps to heal yourself?

Here’s the thing I’ve learned as a nonfiction book consultant: most people who write nonfiction aren’t writers. They’re what I call “livers.” You’ve lived through something, been through something, learned something, discovered something, or developed something, and you’re busy living your life. You’re not a writer because you’re a doer. You’re out accomplishing things. You don’t need to learn the publishing industry. You simply need to get your message out of your head and out to the world.

You’re the only one who has your story. You’re the only one who can write it.  If you or someone you know is ready to make the decision and write, contact us today and we can help you with the next step!

 


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Make a Decision and Plan to Write a Nonfiction Book

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Some people are lifelong learners and love the process of going from not knowing anything in a subject area to becoming proficient, like learning to write a nonfiction book. That makes sense. We all want to be the best we can be. But along the way, we have to learn a lot of little things that can either make us the best at what we do or, if we choose not to learn them, will keep us in the pack of average Joes.

But here’s the deal with me: I only want to know as much as I need to know to use a tool for my intended purpose. In fact, I detest the learning curve. I generally try to find every possible way around it, so I can get on to the using stage. Learning frustrates me; knowing satisfies me. But that’s, unfortunately, not the way the world works. So to know something, I must go through the pain of learning. And I have to follow a process, but I can’t even do that if I haven’t made the decision to do something new and follow through.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
—Lao-tzu

Make a Decision

You know what the hardest part about learning to write a nonfiction book is? It’s making the decision to do it. You’ve probably had the idea for your book for some time. I bet it’s been percolating in your head, begging to come out. At times, it probably drives you crazy. But books don’t write themselves, so the only way yours is going to get written is if you make the decision to do it. It’s your story. Only you can write it.

Whenever I travel, it seems I’m seated next to a chatty type, and it’s always fun to get acquainted. On one flight, I sat next to Don, and he and I discussed the usual getting-to-know-you topics. When he asked me what I do for work, I explained that I help people who aren’t writers become authors of high-impact nonfiction books.

“Really?” Don replied. “I’ve always wanted to write a book.”

“Then why don’t you?” I asked.

“I’ve never really looked into it,” he said.

Don’s answer spoke volumes. He’d flirted with the idea of writing a book but had never taken it further than just thatthe idea of writing a book. People tend to glamorize the writer’s life; they don’t realize that it’s a lot of hard work, and it takes a lot of time. Don never made the decision to write his book, so it’s unlikely that he ever will.

Create a Plan

If you don’t know how to write a nonfiction book, how could you know how to get started?

Some people just sit down and start writing. But they soon discover that all the ideas that have been rattling around in their head have no form, no shape. What comes out is like a spaghetti messa bunch of unconnected threads. They have a message, but they don’t know how to get it down on paper. The problem with the “write-first” approach is that it’s like trying to build a house without any plans. You have no blueprint to follow, no foundation poured; and you don’t know what the house will look like when it’s finished. 

I don’t know a lot about building, but I do know that you don’t put up the walls first. The walls have to be attached to something solid. So before you build anything, you pour the foundation. But even before that, you need a comprehensive plan—a blueprint that shows where each room will be and what features it will have. Before you pull out your hammer, you have to have a plan.

The same is true for your book. If you want to save time, energy, money, and frustration, you begin with the end in mind. You take the concept for your book and turn it into a concrete plan.

To do that, we start with the foundation. You may know the topic of your book, but do you know what you want your book to accomplish? If the book doesn’t have a purpose, why write it?

If you don’t know how to write a book, that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. After making a decision—a commitment to share your story—you just need a plan and a process.


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Book Coach Advice: Drop the Mic

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Have you ever heard the term “drop the mic” or “mic drop?” If you’re a professional coach or speaker or keep up with pop culture, chances are you have. If you haven’t, then maybe you remember seeing former President Barack Obama’s infamous “mic drop” at the end of his final correspondents dinner address. It caused quite the stir and cemented his place in history as the only President to purposely drop his mic after a speech.

Webster defines mic drop as the act of intentionally dropping one’s microphone at the end of a speech or performance; displaying a bold confidence that has been very impressive or cannot be topped. I love that definition and can relate. Remember the last time you gave a speech or presentation that took untold hours to write and prepare, and then after you presented, immediately knew you nailed it?  You owned the stage, felt prepared, and exuded confidence because you knew you were an expert on your subject? Most importantly, your audience knew you were an expert. I love that feeling.

As a book coach, I’ve given countless presentations in my life, but it’s the ones where I could have dropped the mic at the end that give me the most satisfaction. But you can only drop the mic if you’re prepared, have established credibility so your audience will believe you, and are an expert in your field. If you’re not the perceived expert in your field and don’t have credibility,  keep reading.

Write a Book and Finally Drop the Mic!

As a coach or public speaker, you’re a different kind of entrepreneur. You have the expertise and solutions that can help others. You know how to tell a story, and you have testimonials. You’re talented and what you have to say matters. But do other people know how credible you are? Do they know you’re an expert in your field? If not, you can increase your credibility and attract a following by writing your book, but without a book, you’re just another self-proclaimed expert.

Man giving presentationIf you want to know how to become an author, you’ll want to work with an Executive Book Coach. When you have a book, it establishes you as an expert, increases your credibility, and helps you attract a following. As a speaker or coach, you’ve already developed a lot of material that will be rich content for your book. The challenge is to organize that material to deliver it in book format, and wrap it in a sustainable story format that will keep your readers engaged.

You can learn how to become an author. The first step is to prioritize your material. You must also know your audience and your market. Identifying your audience will help shape your book throughout the writing process and ensure better sales when it comes time to market and promote your nonfiction book. If you think your book is for everyone, you are setting yourself up for failure. No matter how great your message, it simply cannot appeal to every person! It’s no different when you’re giving a speech. What you have to say matters-but everyone is not your audience.

Are you tired of giving lackluster presentations that seem to fall on deaf ears because your audience doesn’t believe you? If you’re ready to establish yourself as an expert, increase your credibility, attract a following, and finally deliver that mic dropping performance that your audience can believe, reach out to us and we can help you take the next step!

 

 


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You’re the Only One Who Can Tell Your Story

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Many of my clients started by telling me that they “just weren’t ready at this time.” Just about all of their concerns were centered around that emotion that plagues so many of us: FEAR. To put it frankly, fear stinks. It robs us of everything if we allow it to control us. It robs us of opportunities because we’re too afraid to fail, relationships because we don’t want to get hurt, and it robs us of our destiny because we’re afraid of change. Yes, it’s an emotion and at times is a natural response to a circumstance, but we have to choose whether or not to allow it to dictate and limit our life. Fear of rejection (my book won’t be a success and people won’t read it), fear of failure (I don’t want to mess up), and fear of the unknown (how the heck am I going to do this) are all real fears that my writers had in the beginning.

But what if we looked at fear using this acronym:

FALSE

EVIDENCE

APPEARING

REAL

Years ago someone shared that acronym with me and it changed my perspective. How would your life change if you approached fear this way instead of allowing it to be the driving force in your life?

Who Are You to Keep Your Story to Yourself?

Lots of things can deter us from telling our story, but like I said earlier I believe the main one is fear. What will people think? What if they don’t like it? What if they don’t like me? What if I’m criticized? What if I’m ridiculed?

You don’t have to try to think of the “what ifs”; they attack you without effort. It’s scary to put yourself out there for all the world to see. Maybe you can turn these fearful “what ifs” into something positive: What if you change someone’s life? What if you save someone’s life? What if you help someone who is without hope? What if your pain is the path to another person’s healing? What if writing your book and laying it all out there actually helps to heal you?

You’re the only one who has your story. You’re the only one who can write it. And you can start now!  

If you or someone you know has always wanted to write a book, reach out to us, and we can help make it happen!

 


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Discoveries Along The Way

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When you look at your clock, have you ever wondered where it came?  I don’t mean where you bought it, but rather how did our world learn to quantify time and who discovered it? If you’re like me, you probably don’t give it much thought.  Or what about that glass of milk, wine, or beer that most of us consume on a regular basis without an afterthought.  You may have heard the term pasteurization, but have you ever thought about who created that process to make these beverages safe for us to drink in the first place?

Like you, I take these modern day conveniences for granted and expect them to be available when I need them. I am forever grateful that French scientist Louis Pasteur not only discovered his heat-treatment process that destroys pathogenic microorganisms in certain foods, but that he took the time to share it with the rest of us!  And we can’t forget Chinese monk and mathematician, I-Hsing, for creating our first clock so we can quantify time (Source). What if these scientists and countless others decided to keep their discoveries to themselves? Yikes! Talk about being selfish.

What about you? What discoveries have you made along the way that you’ve yet to share with the world? Is that fair? Would you consider yourself selfish for not sharing your discovery?

Your Discovery is the Solution Someone Else Needs

As a professional book coach and writer, I encourage people to share their passion and solutions with the world. We have so many problems in our world and the top-down approaches don’t seem to work. I believe the answers are trapped inside of people like you. My role is to connect the people who have solutions with the ones who need those answers, and I do it by coaching busy professionals to write a high-impact nonfiction book. I don’t care if your discovery is about a new business process that can save time and dollars, a memoir about overcoming pain and suffering, or if it’s about how to connect on a soul-level with your dog: if you have a passionate solution, someone else needs it. People don’t buy books, they buy solutions. Someone is looking for what’s trapped inside you.

  • Do you have an idea for a book, but don’t know how to get started?
  • Is your idea a passion that continues to grow? Could your discovery change the way we do things?
  • Is it something that’s been percolating for some time, and it’s time to release it?

If you’re not a writer, don’t worry. You don’t have to have one sentence written, and you do not have to be a professional writer to publish a powerful nonfiction book. You need to simply have an idea—and the commitment to see the process through. Someone needs your discovery. Think about that the next time you pour milk on your cereal or check the clock before heading out.  


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How long should your book be?

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This article courtesy of BookBaby.

There’s nothing quite like escaping to your favorite book. In just a matter of pages you’re transported to a new world, sympathizing with some characters, despising others. Yet sometimes, even when you have the best intentions, a book will sit on your table untouched because it’s long, difficult, or otherwise intimidating.

To motivate you to pick up that classic you’ve never read – or reread your favorite book – Personal Creations put together this infographic detailing how long it takes to read popular books, based on an average reading time of 300 words per minute. Though you may like to read at a more leisurely pace, reread difficult sections, or indulge in passages you adore, it’s still a useful comparison of how long various books and series – from To Kill A Mockingbirdto The Odyssey to the Harry Potter series – might take to read.

Take a couple of minutes to read it, then shut down your device and go read a book!

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About BookBaby

Based in the Philadelphia-area, BookBaby is a team of authors, poets, bloggers, and artists — so they know the thrills and challenges of bringing a book into this world.

Since 2011, BookBaby has helped thousands realize their publishing goals by offering the largest eBook distribution network, including Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and many other popular retailers in over 170 countries around the globe.

Learn more at www.BookBaby.com.


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How to write a nonfiction book in small steps

How to Write a Nonfiction Book in Small Steps

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By Nancy Erickson, Book Coach

Have you been thinking about how to write a book, how to get published, or how to write an autobiography? Whether you’re a writer or not, is it your dream to start writing a book and becoming an author? Your dreams on how to write a book, how to make a book, or even how to write an ebook aren’t out of your reach!

When you’re learning how to write a book, you have to understand that it’s a large project, and it’s not something you’re going to accomplish overnight. So what’s the key to large projects? You break them down into tiny little steps. You’ve heard people say how do you eat an elephant. The answer is one bite at a time.

Well it’s true; what you do is you break down the task of how to start writing a book into bite-size chunks. When we do that, we develop a Book Map, which is a visual representation of your entire book. I can contend that if you only have 15 minutes, you can actually develop your strategy on how to write a book in 15 minute increments because it’s broken down in such small pieces that you can take those pieces you can write and assemble them into a comprehensive manuscript.

Your experience is unique. In fact, no one else has your story or lived through what you’ve learned. You are the only one who can do this, but if you’ve never written a book before, you probably don’t know how to get started. And how would you know? If you want to know how to start a book, how to publish a book, or how to write an eBook, The Book Professor is here to help.


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The First Word from BookBaby

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completing a book

The First Word

Guest post by Steven Spatz
President, BookBaby

Every journey starts with the first step. Every story starts with the first word. Then it’s just a matter of completing a book.

When I wrote my first book, The End – Now What? – 6 Steps To Take Your Manuscript To The Market Place In Six Weeks, I didn’t have any kind of plan or blueprint to guide my journey to completing a book. I pretty much just relied on my home grown “ation” strategy.

What’s my “ation” strategy? I’m glad you asked.

  • It has to start with inspiration. Creating the content that interests me – and hopefully potential reader.
  • The job of writing takes perspiration. It’s work – damn hard work at times.
  • I recognize that I’ll have periods of exasperation when I’m just sick and tired of that whole damn thing and I take (brief) breaks from the process.
  • Ultimately it requires determination. Keep your eyes on the prize.

The result was a 50,000 word nonfiction book cranked out in fits and starts over an eight month period. I learned a lot about the book writing process during that experience. I’ve learned even more from talking to BookBaby authors about how they covered their own journeys. This time around I’ll be better equipped to do the job.

Here are some of the writing tips and ideas I’ve collected over the last year:

Location, location, location.
Find your writing place. Sure it’s possible to be creative anywhere – sitting on the subway or standing in a line – but for the long haul and more consistent creativity, your best work will come out in a space where you regularly write. That primes you to get into the right frame of mind as soon as you sit down. Or maybe it’s more than one place. I have three: a secluded corner in a local library and two different coffee houses. Set aside a particular place that you do nothing but write or create and you can jump start your creativity.

What time is good for you?
Even more important than “where” is “when.” For me it’s probably going to involve getting up 45 minutes earlier and writing a few paragraphs before work. Forcing yourself to write at 5 am isn’t the solution for everyone. It works for me because I have nothing else to divert my attention in those early dawn hours. There are all types of writers – after-hours writers, lunch break writers, mini-block writers, etc. Track your time and energy for a week or two to find what’s best for you – and then block out that time on your calendar as an appointment with yourself.

Add interval training to your writing
Some writers I know incorporate these short sprints into their writing routine. Here’s how: Use a simple kitchen timer to force yourself to just flat out write. Set it for five minutes to write as much as you can. You’ll likely censor yourself less if you can just write whatever comes naturally and edit later. It’s not about quality during this brief burst of keystrokes. Give yourself permission to write a few lousy paragraphs or pages. You’ll have plenty of time to go back and edit later.

Read if you’re not writing
Like many writers, I feel inspired when I’m playing the part of reader. Instead of turning on the TV when you’re on a break from writing, spend your time reading the work of others. The more “I wish I had written that” pieces you come across, the better your work will be and the more motivated you may be to produce something worthwhile. Some authors find other arts to be inspiring – paintings, movies, photography, and so on. Soak up all the creativity you can when you’re not actively writing.

Don’t break the chain
His television show was “about nothing,” yet legendary comic Jerry Seinfeld’s method for success is very much something – and visual. Each January, he hangs a large year-at-a-glance calendar on his wall and, for every day he wrote new material, he earned the right to draw a big red “X” over that day. Drawing those Xs got to be pretty fun and rewarding, so he kept doing it. Eventually, he began to create a chain of red Xs. The idea was to never break that chain. This simple pleasure can turn into a surprisingly powerful motivator.

Never miss twice
If you don’t have the luxury of Seinfeld’s free time, you can give yourself a very small cushion and still be successful. Let’s say you have your new routines and habits in place, your alarm set to signal your writing time… But one day you wake up and simply don’t feel like writing.

So don’t. We all slip up now and again. Don’t beat yourself up, but also don’t slip twice in a row. It’s inevitable you’re going to miss a writing session, but use the “never miss twice” mindset to get back on track.

Be flexible
Your writing schedule might change – often. Life events will throw wrenches in your plans, but you can plan a new schedule. And then stick to that.

Write or die
If all else fails, you can always resort to using the app WriteOrDie, With a tagline of “Putting the prod into productivity,” this program is absolutely diabolical!

Here’s how it works: First, you configure your writing period, word goal, and your preferred punishment should your fingers stop typing. Once the setup is complete, you’ll need to type continuously; otherwise there will be consequences, in varying levels.

  • The gentle mode is quite forgiving. When you pause your writing for a set period of time, a box will pop up, gently reminding you to continue writing.
  • In normal mode, if you pause, you will be played a very unpleasant sound. The sound will stop if and only if you continue to write.
  • For the true author-masochist, there’s Kamikaze Mode: You must keep writing or your work will un-write itself. Simply disappear from the beginning of the passage! Talk about writing with a gun to your head!

As for my own system, I have one more of my “ation” strategies to think about: The exhilaration of finally finishing that book!


Steven Spatz, President of BookBaby

Steven Spatz is an author, marketer, and the President of BookBaby.


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5 Reasons to Consider Self-Publishing

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If you want to write or have already written a book and are worried about landing a book deal, you should really consider self-publishing. Times have changed, and signing on with a big publisher is no longer the only way to get your book into the hands (or onto the screens) of readers. Here’s why you should give self-publishing a chance.

1. One in three E-books sold on Amazon is self-published.

If you think readers will shy away from self-published books, think again. Sales show that readers are more and more interested in purchasing books from independent authors. If you can get a good fan base and work on a solid marketing campaign, your self-published book can absolutely compete with books published in the traditional manner.

2. Independent authors make up 25% of Amazon’s best E-book sellers list.

Not only are independent authors selling books, they are topping the charts. The books published by the “Big Five” publishers only represent 16% of the bestsellers. Self-publishing has allowed readers to discover new authors, and it’s clear that they are enjoying what they are reading. It just goes to show that if you can write a quality book and market it properly, you have a good chance of not only selling books, but also becoming a well-known author.

3. You are in control of your timeline.

If you go the traditional route, you will have to first spend several months searching for an agent, who will then spend even more time hunting down a publisher. Even if your book is accepted, the timeline for your book hitting the press could be 1-3 years, and remember, that’s if and only if you actually land a book deal. Not to mention the 15% you have to pay your agent for landing the deal.

If you self-publish, you can get your book out as soon as you are confident in your final draft. Obviously, it’s best to go through several edits and not begin the publishing process at 2am while you’re wired on your 4th cup of coffee. The point is that once your book is finished, you can publish it in a matter of months instead of years.

4. You set the price.

If you go the traditional route, your publisher will set the price for hardcover, paperback, and E-books, and you have no say in whatever price they choose. If you self-publish, you can set a price point that works for you. Smashword’s 2014 survey showed that E-books priced between $2.99 and $3.99 tend to sell best. If you think that seems low, keep in mind that you won’t have to turn over 85% of your profit to your publisher, like you would if you went the traditional route.

It’s free to publish through Amazon’s CreateSpace print on demand service, which allows you to print physical books only when they are needed. Print-on-Demand services also help you avoid excess inventory. Traditional publishing involves ordering press runs of books that could end up leaving you with a stack of books you have paid for but haven’t sold. Self-publishing through a POD service saves you money on inventory, as well as on the cost of shipping and storing the books.

5. You are in charge of marketing & sales.

Many authors believe that traditional publishers will go above and beyond to market their book, but that’s not true. The reality is, even if you go through a traditional publisher, you will most likely have to come to them with some sort of marketing plan, which they will then decide whether or not they want to implement. Not only will you be at the mercy of the publisher’s marketing tactics, you’ll also be tied to whatever budget they allot to you.

Self-publishing means you are completely in charge of your marketing. Even if you decide to hire a marketing consultant, you will have the final say on any marketing decision. No one believes in your book more than you do, so why not put your passion into your marketing strategy?

These days, readers are less concerned with who published a book and a lot more concerned about the quality of the writing. Self-publishing is an excellent option for any author that is ready to tell their story.


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Creating the best story structure for your non-fiction book

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Creating-a-story-nonfiction-book-writing-book-coach-how-to-write-a-bookWhen it comes to crafting your personal exceptional story, it can be difficult to know where and how to begin. I’m here to help you design your story so you can start writing and get your story out into the world. As a book coach, my life is spent working with individuals who have a story to tell, and helping them share that story in a way that moves people to action. 

What is your story?

All of us have our own story, and people are truly interested in hearing it. Every day, each of us are asked questions such as:

  • What do you do?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • Where did you go to school?
  • Do you have kids?

You see, even if people are not directly asking about your story, these types of questions are all indirect ways to try to learn more about you and the story you have to tell.  

Physiologically, humans are wired to enjoy and relate to stories. Stories have been a part of the human fabric since the beginning of time. People like to listen to stories, relate to them, and remember them. Find your story and give people what they crave!

It’s important to understand the difference between telling your story and presenting your resume. You cannot tell your exceptional story by reciting a list of your accomplishments or delivering an elevator pitch. You need to dig deeper. Your story will communicate who you are, so you need to figure out exactly who that is and how to showcase that person.

Start with the foundation of your story

Before you start writing your story, you need to answer two questions:

  1. What is the purpose of your story?
  2. Who is the audience?

Stories can help you cross racial, social-economical, political, and religious, boundaries; they are that powerful. I believe there are two key things all people need: hope and help. Your story has the power to offer hope and help to others. Your story can change lives and have an impact on society, but you need to decide just what kind of impact you want to make. What do you want your story to communicate? What change do you want to invoke in the reader? How will your story help people?

Knowing your audience is essential. Your target audience will determine what you tell them and why. Cater your story to grab the interest of your audience, so that you can deliver a helpful and memorable story. Take a look at my blog post, How to Define an Audience for Your Book, for a more in-depth explanation of how to tackle this important task.

Outline the three parts of your story to lay the plan for your nonfiction book

Obviously, all stories have a beginning, middle, and end, but the three parts I suggest you consider are these:

  1. What it used to be like
  2. What happened
  3. What it’s like now

Start with what life was like before the change happened.  Were you happy? Overworked? Unfulfilled? Paint a picture of your “before” and set your audience up for the change.

The “what happened” section is the turning point in your story. It’s your pivotal moment, the bridge that connects the before and after. Something happened that caused a change in your life, and that’s what you’ll share with your audience. Some changes are internal, such as an “aha!” moment that directed you to take action or make a change, but some people need more of a push. External changes are things that force us into change, such as the death of a family member, birth of a child, a divorce, loss of a job, or some other life-altering occurrence. What happened to you? How did it force you to change and why?

Create closure in your story

Next, tell your audience what it’s like now. Where are you in your life? How are things different?

If you’re struggling with how to wrap up the impact of your life or a specific chapter in your story, consider these six areas of your life and how they have been impacted by the events you shared in your memoir or business book:

  • Spiritual
  • Health
  • Relationships
  • Emotional
  • Professional, 
  • Financial

How have these areas of your life been affected?

If you take these three aspects–What it Used to be Like, What Happened and What It’s Like Now–put them together, and seal them with a solid purpose statement that clearly communicates the purpose of your story, you will have a solid design in place.  

You have a story to tell, and people are ready to hear it, but whether or not they will relate to it and remember it depends on how well you tell it. How you tell your story is just as important as the story itself. I can help you craft your story and work with you when you have trouble writing. Don’t let fear of writing keep you from sharing your story with the world!

If you need help to write your book, consider working with me as you write your first book. Details below!


 

nancy erickson book coach book coaches How to Become an Author: Module One 1About Nonfiction Book Writing & Publishing Expert Nancy Erickson

Nancy Erickson is better known as “The Book Professor,” a writing and publishing consultant who specializes in helping aspiring nonfiction authors bring their book ideas to market. Nancy works as a book coach assisting authors that write self-help books, biographies, business books, and other nonfiction books through online courses and book coaching. Contact Nancy with questions or to have her speak at your upcoming event by clicking here.

 


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How to Define an Audience for Your Book

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When it comes to book marketing, knowing your audience is essential. You need to figure out who your book is for—and there may be multiple audiences—but please know that your book is not for everyone. Not everyone will benefit from or even enjoy your book, so don’t try to appeal to the masses. Hone in on your intended audience and get your book on their radar.

So how do you define that audience of book readers?

how to define an audience for your book book writing classes online book coach

Do your research before writing your book.

All too many authors write their book without defining the target audience, and defining your audience is particularly important when writing nonfiction. And yet, if you narrow in on something too niche, you might discover that your audience is simply too small. For example, you might write a riveting book about how to maintain antique farm equipment, but will enough people be interested in that topic?  It’s possible, but you want to be confident that you have solid book marketing plans before you start to write. You must think about your target audience when planning your book, as well as throughout the writing process.

Here are some questions to ask yourself regarding your target audience:

  • How old are they?
  • What is their gender?
  • What’s their education level?
  • What concerns/problems do they have?
  • Do they live in one specific geographic area?
  • What shared interests will they have?

Self-published authors, especially those who write memoirs or biographies, may think that their target audience are people like themselves, when in reality, your audience may be quite different from you. It’s important to identify what your audience actually wants and needs, not what you think they do.

Book Audience vs. Market

For example, if you are writing a book for children, children are your audience, but they’re not your market. Your market is the person with the pocketbook – the parents.

Be specific when defining your primary market. Picture the person who will buy your book. Is it a woman between the ages of 30 and 50 who is unhappy with the signs of aging? A target audience of all women between the ages of 30 and 50 is too broad, so it’s important to consider what subset of that group you want to attract. Ask yourself what will draw them in. How do you hope to influence and/or interest these women?

It’s also important to consider secondary markets. Secondary markets are those are the people/organizations/institutions who will also purchase your book, like educators who might be writing or teaching about your topic, or mental health practitioners if you are writing about a mental health topic like depression. Think hard about all the different groups that might benefit from your book. Try to come up with at least six markets for your book – a primary market and five secondary markets. You’re going to use this information when you start reaching out to customers, so be thorough. 

What is the goal of your book?

It’s important to know what you hope to accomplish with your book. You should know what message you are trying to send, and whom that message is supposed to reach. Book marketing is about knowing who will benefit from your book, and then focusing your marketing efforts on that audience.

When it comes to marketing your book, choosing your target market and audience is essential to your book’s success. Consider all the possibilities to ensure that a proper audience and market exist for your book, and then create your plan to grab their attention.


Get the help you need to get your book published.

If you need help to write your book, consider one of my nonfiction book coaching programs:


author-coaching-book-coach-online-writing-class-get-my-book-outAbout Nonfiction Book Writing & Publishing Expert Nancy Erickson

Nancy Erickson is better known as “The Book Professor,” a writing and publishing consultant who specializes in helping aspiring nonfiction authors bring their book ideas to market. Nancy works as a book coach assisting authors that write self-help books, biographies, business books, and other nonfiction books through online courses and book coaching. Contact Nancy with questions or to have her speak at your upcoming event by clicking here.

 


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