Here is another recent question I received and is actually something I get a lot. The process on how to write a book is not complex but there are many steps that you need to follow. Follow these steps and you will have a good working draft of your book.
– From Andrew F. –
I actually do have a question. Several things have inspired me but I’ve never really thought about it, until reading your website and blog, and sort of had an epiphany and said to myself, maybe I can write a book too! So I was wondering if you can provide me with some of the resources you used to write your book such as, what software did you use to write your book (Microsoft Word), how did you transfer that to a book format. I’m going to write a book and would need some direction after I have all the content done.
I’m extremely appreciative of all your help!
How to Write A Book and Create Passive Income
As I have been increasing my passive income streams, book writing has been a joy for me to learn and build a business around. I really never thought I would ever write a book but now, I actually have 3 books and have plans for at least 8 more in the future.
If you went to high school and learned how to write a report, you basically have already learned the process to create a book. There are some key areas of book writing AND book publishing. Just because you wrote a book doesn’t mean that people will buy it or even find it to buy.
Here are the main steps to a book business
- Post Launch
I’ll focus on the plan and production since it is where you must start to create your book business. If you are like me, then you need a to-do list that will help you walk through the processes step by step.
Plan Your Book For Your Audience
Find the premise of the book and what you want your audience to learn.
Each book needs a focus or a main theme. What is it that you want to share with the world? I find that it is easier to write about the things you are passionate about and enjoy sharing with others. The theme of your book is important as it will determine the way it is to finish.
Do you love to talk about how to raise your puppies to be healthy, mature, obedient, and protective? Then a possible non-fiction book on the subject could be a winner for you. Another example could be that you love to rock climb and enjoy encouraging others to start in the sport. Then a book on “Getting Started with Rock Climbing” could be your first book.
Make Your Theme Very Specific
There is a saying, “The Riches are in the Niches”. This means that the more specialized your book is, the more likely you will attract your target audience. Try to make your theme to be very specific. Actually, the more specific the theme of your book is the better.
For example, the niche that I am going after with www.masterpassiveincome.com is helping people to quit their job with passive income. That is it. Plain and simple. It is not fancy, catchy, or creative, just straight to the point. People know what I’m about and those who are interested will know what to expect from me.
Don’t worry about trying to reach EVERYONE with your book. There are enough people in the world that will be interested in your niche to buy your book.
Determine the End Result the Book Should Convey
Now that you have your specific theme for your book, figure out what is the ultimate outcome you want your reader to walk away with.
In my book “How to Quit Your Job with Passive Income” my goal is to teach people that passive income will allow you to quit your job. Since I had the end in mind, I was able to work my way back from their.
To go back to our example of the rock climbing book, the end goal could be to have the reader to just start climbing. You may want them to experience the adrenaline, fun, and excitement of rock climbing so your goal is to get them on the mountain.
Work Your Way Backwards to the Beginning
With that end result in mind, you can work your way backwards. Obviously there are many steps to getting to the end. Here are some examples of possible chapters from key points in the process.
Equipment, Training, Don’t Be A Newbie, Mindset, Focus, Mentors, Bouldering, Indoor, Outdoor, Knots, Skills, Hand holds, Terminology
This is just a list that I came up with on the top of my head. I have never rock climbed so I bet there are many other things an actual rock climber could add or take away from this list. As you can see though, there are many things that a reader could learn as you walk them through the process.
The bottom line is that you know your theme and what you want the reader to learn, and can fill in the sections in between. With the main points covered, you have the main structure of your book already lined out!
A good tip is that these key sections can be your chapters for your book. This allows you to flesh out the book and gives you the ability to see the flow of the book as a reader will see it.
Don’t worry about content right now. We will cover that in a little bit.
Create an Outline of the Major Ideas of Your Book (these will become your chapters)
Now that you have your theme, end goal, and main points for your reader to learn, it is now time to put it all into an outline. You remember doing an outline in high school right? For me, it was something that I was pretty good at because that is how my mind works. Anyways, take what you have and create an outline with it.
- How not to Act and Climb Like A Newbie
- Technical Gear
- Advanced Gear
- Safety and Protection
Create Sub Points and Further Sub Points In Your Book that Explain the Major Ideas
Next create sub points for each one of your main points. These will help develop your chapters better for the reader to truly understand. Inside each of your main points, there has to be sub-points that the reader needs to know.
Let’s take the first one on the list: Equipment
Here is some things that I found from a quick internet search on the subject of rock climbing equipment:
Clothing, Personal Gear, Technical Gear, Advanced Gear, First Aid, Long Multi-Pitch Climbs, Before the Climb, After the Climb
This is how an outline for this book could look with the points and sub-points:
- How not to Act and Climb Like A Newbie
- Before the Climb
- After the Climb
- Personal Gear
- Climbing Pack
- Technical Gear
- Hiking shoes to get you to the climb
- Climbing shoes
- Climbing Harness
- Advanced Gear
- Safety and Protection
- First Aid
- Safety communication devices
I did not fill this outline in fully but you can see the how to create the outline of the book. As you fill in the outline, don’t worry about what you are going to say at that moment. Just get all your thoughts down on paper.
This will help you not forget some points as well as allow you to make sure your chapters and sub points flow well together.
Make sure the book flows well and leads the reader to the end result you want them to reach
The last thing you want is for the reader to get confused and discouraged from reading the rest of your book AND future books you write. Walk through your outline with someone you trust. Allow them to pick a part your outline to see if there are any holes, gaps, or miss-aligned parts to it.
If someone reading your outline (which will be your table of contents) can completely understand it, you are on the right track. Make sure he or she can understand the following well:
- Your Theme
- End goal of the book
- The steps it takes to get there
- That the end goal is possible
- They will achieve success at the end of the book
Imagine your readers right now. The first thing they will do after they see your cover is look at your table of contents. If your table of contents is clear and answers the above list, then your reader will absolutely know if they want to buy the book or not.
You don’t want to leave your reader confused and decide not to purchase your book because it doesn’t make sense to them.
Get creative with your content to help your reader engage with your book
Add stories, examples, fun quotes, etc. to make your book enjoyable as well as insightful. In doing this, you will help the reader to desire to read more. Here is an example:
In the equipment section, imagine you want people to understand the importance of wearing a helmet. You had the experience of banging your head when you fell on a climb. Start the section on the importance of a helmet by telling your story of the time you were thankful you had a helmet.
I personally like to add quotes into each chapter that help point to where the chapter is going. Again, if it is for equipment, maybe find a quote where someone said how important equipment is.
Here is an example I found with a quick internet search:
Fill in the Outline With Your Content As If You Were Talking To A Friend
Now that your outline is the way you want it, now it is time to fill in the rest of the book. This is the time to create the guts of the book. A good book will have content that explains each chapter, point, and sub point well.
A good tip is to actually write the content it as if you are talking to someone. Because you ARE talking to someone through your book. Think of it as a one-on-one conversation that you are having sharing the thing you are passionate about.
Another tip is to take each section at a time. Try not to jump back and forth between sections and focus on one point at a time. This will also help you achieve little goals throughout the creation of the book.
Writing a book takes a long time. If your goal is to complete a book, it may be too large of a goal for you. To break it down in smaller goals, tackle one chapter at a time. If that is still too big, go after one point or sub point at a time. This will really help you get many “Wins” under your belt as you go through the book.
If you complete one point in a chapter a day, after one month, you will most likely have a finished draft of your book!
Plan Your Next Book in Your Niche
Yes, that’s correct. In a book writing business, the key is to continually write. The more books you write on a subject, the more chances your niche will be seen by others.
For example, I have two books for my passive income niche. The first book I wrote was “How to Quit Your Job with Rental Properties” My second book is called “How to Quit Your Job with Passive Income”. My next book will be “How to Quit Your Job Writing Books”.
My brand of Master Passive Income will have many other “How to Quit Your Job with…” books that will point to each other. The more books I have, the more readers will have the ability to find my business.
You know your niche much better than I do so let your mind go.
A good tip is to not pack too much into your book. You want to keep your book “To the point” and no more. Don’t add extra sections to you book because you feel it “Needs” more to make it a good book. Write enough to get your end result for the book accomplished.
I wrote a marriage book called “Lasting Marriage – Discovering God’s Meaning and Purpose for Your Relationship” I had so many ideas of what I could put into the book that it was going to be 120,000 words long! That is 5 times the size of my first book “How to Quit Your Job with Rental Properties”.
I decided to cut the book into 3 smaller books. Not that I made it into a series of books but rather, made two other completely separate books with the content. This will mean that I have 3 books on marriage rather than one.
If you think about it, most people will spend less than $12 for a book. It really doesn’t matter how big it is. If I wrote the 120,000 word book and sold it, the most I could effectively charge for it is $12.99. But, if I were to break it into 3 books, I can sell all three for $12.99 each and hopefully make three sales instead of one.
Yep, don’t count how many pages your book is. There are so many different page sizes, margins, font size, etc. that page count doesn’t really matter. Your goal should be to make your book hit in the middle of rage of 18,000 words to 28,000 words.
I have found books over 18,000 words does two things: 1. Is an adequate amount of words to properly convey your thoughts to the reader well. 2. Is enough words that your reader will not feel like they wasted their money on your book.
Both of these things are very important for your book writing business. If you don’t accomplish both of these, your readers may be unhappy and leave your terrible reviews.
If your book goes over 28,000 consider breaking the book up into multiple books. I only broke this rule once with my “Lasting Marriage” book. In order to properly explain the premise of the book, 63,000 words was necessary. Even though the book is 63,000 words, I still have enough content for 3-4 more books.
Programs to Use to Write Your Book
There are two programs I use in writing my book.
Microsoft Word is, as always, a good reliable word processing program. I use it for my main writing. I won’t go into too much detail on this because most people already know much about this program.
The second program I use for writing is called Scrivener. It is a great program that is designed for writers. The program works very well to organize your thoughts into a full book. I use it to organize the book in a logical flow.
Here is what I do.
- Outline the book in Scrivener
- Write the content for each section, point, and sub-point, in Word
- Copy and paste it back into Scrivener
Now, I admit I am not a guru on the program and it does have way more functionality than I use it for but this is the way I use it. So, rather than explaining about the program, here is a video that will show you what it can do.
This is just scratching the surface of a book writing business and how to write a book. There is so much to learn, as there is with any business. I’ll continue to share what I am learning with you and help you to NOT make the mistakes I have made.
Now that I have walked you through how I write my books, what are you passionate about enough to write a book about it?
Leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear about it.