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10 Tips To Get Started Writing Your Book

by Judy Cullins

The hardest part of writing an e-book is starting. And there are 2 reasons most people don’t know how to begin and they don't know what to do.

You are far more likely to successfully write and publish your book if you follow these tips before you write a single chapter.

Write your book's working title. It helps you focus and answer the readers' questions about the topic. The title you choose can be the difference between a product that sells well and one that doesn't. A powerful title or headline should grab a person's ATTENTION, INTEREST, DESIRE and take ACTION. Titles that have an emotional appeal and solve a common problem tend to do extremely well. Examples are:

The Complete Guide to .............
Your Must Know Guide to ..........
........... and Grow Rich
Mastering the Art of.........
How to.......and.....
Make money ...............
101 Ways to ........
..... Tips for ...........
25 Secrets of Successful.............
7 Steps to.................
Discover the 7 Essential Elements that Guarantee .........
How to Make Your ................. Dreams Come True
How to Turn ....................... into .........
25 Tips for Mastering the Art of ...........
101 Ways to Get More from Your .......
25 No-Fail Strategies for ...........
What your .......... isn't telling you
25 Ways to Keep Your ........... Dreams Alive
25 Tips to Jump-Start Your .........
10 Ways to Jump-Start Your .......
25 Questions You Must Ask When You're ...........

Go to a bookstore or the library and look at what titles appeal to you, question why, then compile your own list of generic titles you can use to make choosing a title easy.

Write your book's thesis. The thesis should be a sentence or so stating the audience's main problem and how your book will solve it. A thesis is a formal document whose sole purpose is to prove that you have made an original contribution to knowledge, you have identified a worthwhile problem or question which has not been previously answered, you have solved the problem or answered the question. Your contribution to knowledge generally lies in your solution or answer.

Your thesis is a sentence or two stating exactly what problem you are addressing and how your book will solve that problem. All chapters spring forth from your thesis statement. Once you've got your thesis statement fine-tuned, you've built your foundation. From that foundation, your book will grow, chapter by chapter.

Your thesis will keep you focused while you write your ebook. Remember: all chapters must support your thesis statement. If they don't, they don't belong in your book. For example, your thesis statement could read: We've all experienced insomnia at times in our lives, but there are twenty proven techniques and methods to give you back a good night's sleep.

Most of us have knowledge we could put into an e-book. And yes, there really are people out there who want to know what YOU know (and yes, thousands of people have made good money by selling their knowledge in the form of e-books).

We just need to overcome our natural insecurity and find the right support to help us make it happen! Whenever we face a new challenge or task, it's good to get a helping hand from people who have been down the same road, overcome the obstacles and learned how to succeed.

Ask yourself, Is it relevant? Then write it! Does it present useful information? Does it have the potential to positively affect people's lives? Is it lively, humorous? Does it help answer important questions? Does it create a deeper understanding of human nature?

Who is your audience? How much can you reasonably expect them to know about the subject before picking up your book? Usually they are pretty knowledgeable about the general problem, but they haven't been intimately involved with the details over the last couple of years like you have: spell difficult new concepts out clearly. It sometimes helps to mentally picture a real person that you know who has the appropriate background, and to imagine that you are explaining your ideas directly to that person.

Don't make the readers work too hard! This is fundamentally important. You know what few questions the examiners need answers to. Choose section titles and wordings to clearly give them this information. The harder they have to work to discover out your problem, your defence of the problem, your answer to the problem, your conclusions and contributions, the worse mood they will be in, and the more likely that your book will need major revisions.

Spell things out carefully, highlight important parts by appropriate titles etc. There's a huge amount of information in a book: make sure you direct the readers to the answers to the important questions.

Define your reasons for writing this book. Your readers all want to know why you wrote this book. Be prepared up front, so you will shine when opportunities come your way. Once you have your thesis, before you start to write, make sure there is a good reason to write your book. Ask yourself some questions:

Does your book present useful information and is that information currently relevant?

Will you book positively affect the lives of your readers?

Is your book dynamic and will it keep the reader's attention?

Does you book answer questions that are meaningful and significant?

Write down your publishing goals for this book. Do you want to give it away to members of your family or a particular group? Do you want to sell it? Do you want to promote your business? Do you want to bring quality traffic to your website? Do you want to enhance your reputation? How many copies do you want to sell your first year? How much money do you want to make each month? What publishing format will you choose: self-publishing, traditional publishing, print on demand or e-book?

Also consider if you want to use the chapters to create an e-course, or use your e-book to attract affiliates around the world. The more you know upfront, the easier the actual writing will be.

Organize the parts of your book. In one file, keep your introduction; in another, your index or resource section. Include your bibliography and keep a file of all people you will quote in your book who may give you a testimonial later. Keep each chapter in its own file labeled correctly so you can find it within minutes. Twenty percent of your papers are important. Be sure to file them vertically and in order to save you time and frustration as your book projects grows. Keep computer files also.

Decide on your chapters' format. Readers expect a clear map to guide them. They like consistency. In non-fiction, each chapter should be approximately the same length and have the same sections. Decide on the format of your chapters. In non-fiction, keep the format from chapter to chapter fairly consistent. Perhaps you plan to use an introduction to your chapter topic, and then divide it into four subhead topics. Or you may plan to divide it into five parts, each one beginning with a relevant anecdote.

To make your chapters sparkle, use stories, anecdotes, headings, photos, maps, graphs, exercises, tips. Readers like easy-to-read side bars in boxes.

An outline is a general plan of the material that is to be presented in a speech or a paper. The outline shows the order of the various topics, the relative importance of each, and the relationship between the various parts.

All outlines should begin with a thesis statement of summarizing sentence. This thesis sentence presents the central idea of the book. It must always be a complete, grammatical sentence, specific and brief, which expresses the point of view you are taking towards the subject. There are many ways to arrange the different parts of a subject. Sometimes, a chronological arrangement works well. At other times, a spatial arrangement is best suited to the material. The most common order in outlines is to go from the general to the specific. This means you begin with a general idea and then support it with specific examples.

The outline helps give your book direction and helps you focus only on what's important to your thesis or theme. Your back cover has around 7 seconds to impress your prospective buyer. Include what sells: reader and famous people's testimonials, a benefit-driven headline to hook the reader to open the book and read the table of contents, and bulleted benefits. Your bio and picture can go on the inside of the back cover to leave more room for your sales message on the back cover.

Professional book cover design is essential because readers, retailers and reviewers glance at a book for only a few seconds before they make a choice. Make sure it's your book they're choosing.
Make up a front cover in your book's early stages. Keep it by your workstation to inspire you. To sell your books, your cover and title have around four seconds to hook your buyer. Covers are more important than what is inside. Browse the bookstore and copy a few ideas to get you started.

Writing a book is so much easier when you approach it in small bites. As soon as you get these ten parts written you will be able to start asking more specific questions that become your chapter headings.

Setting up your e-book from the idea conceptualization stage to the selling stage can’t be completed overnight but it is definitely something that can be done by anyone regardless of your technological background. If you can use a word processor then you can create and sell an e-book online.

Judy Cullins, 20-year Book and Internet Marketing Coach works with small business people who want to make a difference in people's lives, build their credibility and clients, and make a consistent life-long income. She authored 10 e-books including "Write Your E-Book Fast", "How To Market Your Business On The Internet," and "Create Your Website With Marketing Pizzazz" and now offers her book coaching service to clients who want to market their e-books painlessly and effectively.


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