Fearing that you are not writing a good book can make it difficult to commit to working on it. You’ll probably find yourself sitting down with determination to get started on your book then the fear that this whole idea is wrong or not going to deliver the result you want will begin to creep up and you’ll get stuck again.

Are you writing a good book?

January 5, 2017 |  by  |  Book Concept, Book topic, Research, Writing  |  Share

Fearing that you are not writing a good book can make it difficult to commit to working on it. You’ll probably find yourself sitting down with determination to get started on your book then the fear that this whole idea is wrong or not going to deliver the result you want will begin to creep up and you’ll get stuck again.

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How to choose an idea for your book

January 15, 2016 |  by  |  365 Day Blogging Challenge, Book Concept  |  Share

Whenever someone tells me they don't know where to start with their book, I ask them one question: do you have an idea for your book or not? You see, your first steps vary according to whether you have one idea, lots of ideas or no idea for your book. Below is an outline of the steps you need to take depending on whether you have an idea what you want to write about. Regardless of whether you have an idea for your book you need to make sure you provide at least one big benefit for your readers and that you can state clearly in your title. This is the root of a highly desirable book that will help your audience and grow your business.

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5 Secrets of Successful Authors

There are probably more than 5 secrets of successful authors, but these five secrets are critical and if you do everything listed here you will publish with far greater success. There are exceptions to every rule, but there are also patterns that recur. When it comes to success in publishing, there are always stories of authors being rejected time and again who go on to be multi-million bestsellers. J K Rowling and Agatha Christie are two names that spring to mind. Publishing isn’t always logical; there are often surprise successes – and failures. That’s what makes it exciting.

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Set your publishing intentions

If you have not set your publishing intentions you are missing step one of the book publishing process – and that could be a big missed opportunity for you, your business and your book.

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Diarise your way to a book

Sometimes, we have a story to tell; a story of an experience, an adventure or a key moment in our lives. This is when keeping a diary can work well and you can diarise your way to a book. This is a strategy that clearly works best if you know what you are going to do next. If you do it the other way around, you may use your diary or journal as a prompt.

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Discover what sort of book you want to write

Before you start writing your book, you need to discover what sort of book you want to write and the easiest way to do that is by looking closely at what you enjoy reading.

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Someone else has written your book

The fear that someone else has written your book is one that holds back many aspiring authors from writing their book. The only way to discover the answer to this question is to go and do some research (see my blog posts on online and bookshop research). Once you know the answer to this question, you can move forward. In the meantime, let’s look at some of the main triggers for that fear that someone else has written your book.

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How to allow ideas for your book to emerge

These days, we tend to go hunting for ideas by doing copious amounts of research, especially online. If you have done this and you are stuck, you may we need to turn off the computer and allow ideas for your book to emerge from another part of your brain.

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How to handle a major competing book title

Books on the same topic are being written all the time. It is nuances like the design of the cover, the content, style of writing, expertise of the author, length of the book – and a whole slew of other factors that makes one book more appealing than another to a particular set of readers.

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Five book-writing nightmares – and how to solve them

What do you do when you realise your book writing task has turned into a version of 'Nightmare on Elm Street' or 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre'? Every time you think about it, horror strikes. Oh no! It’s all gone horribly wrong, now what? Here’s what to do if your book writing work turns from heavenly to horrible in a few moments.

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Publishing a resources guide

Although a book is less dynamic than a website, it is more stable. Also, a book presents its content in a far more structured way the information has been researched, verified and comes with the benefit of being recommended.

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Publish a book based on articles

If you’re not keen on doing a lot of writing and have a great network publishing a book based on articles written by a range of contributors is a great publishing strategy for you. The most you will need to write is a short introduction to the book introducing the authors and explaining your reasons for publishing this selection of articles.

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Using the hints and tips book structure

The hints and tips structure is similar to the quotations format, except that all the words are your own. You don’t need to go hunting for material as you will create it. You will need a number of hints and tips and a bold offer in your title to make this kind of book work: i.e. 21 Killer Tips on Optimizing SEO so You Get More Traffic Fast! That is a tempting proposition for a reader. It suggests they will get some fast fixes (tips are by necessity short and easy to do) for a complex problem that can be overwhelming and difficult to understand.

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How to use quotations to structure your book

One of the key pitfalls of creating books of quotations is to keep researching and researching to find one more great quote. To avoid this, decide on key topic areas you want to focus on and decide to get a specific number of quotes for each one.

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Using the interview structure as the foundation of your book

Interviews are a great way to create a high-value book quickly. You have two options: You can ask someone to interview you about how you help your clients and get it transcribed into a book. You can interview someone who has a well-established business, process or reputation who has information of value that you can share with your readers.

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7 simple structures that make great business books

When book ideas for your business are difficult to nail down, you need to take a different approach. If you focus on the way in which you are going to deliver material, you will find that ideas start to flow because the topic will emerge from your research and preparation.

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7 key reasons why you haven’t written your book

If you don’t think your book topic idea is good enough, do more research. Look at other books, do a keyword search to find a better topic and ask your contacts for feedback. Work on your title, too. Getting that right can make a huge difference.

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What to do when you have too much content

It is very easy to write a book that has too much content. This happens because the title is too general, the topic is too broad and the book that lacks any clear argument, angle or focus. What happens is that you literally write everything you know about a topic. As a result, the book you create is often boring to read and very difficult to finish because you keep thinking of something else to add. All is not lost, though, because cutting back the ‘everything’ book is surprisingly easy. All you have to do is make one key decision.

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Check your book topic is right

Rescue Your Unfinished Book Top Tip 4: Check your book topic is right Previously, I listed 10 top tips to help you get back on track with your book. Whether you are grappling with your structure, your topic or your content, these tips will give you some insight into how to solve the problem. Here are the top tips again: Top Tip 1: Get feedback, preferably from a professional editor Top Tip 2: Create a book plan so you know whether you have the right content Top Tip 3: Check the structure works by looking at the contents list Top Tip 4: Check your subject is right for your business and for you as an author Top Tip 5: Work out where this book fits in your business Top Tip 6: Make sure you are clear on your key points Top Tip 7: Create a new writing schedule so you can begin writing regularly again Top Tip 8: Finish writing before you start revising and editing Top Tip 9: Focus your book if you have too much content Top Tip 10: Add more detail if you have too little content Below are the details of the fourth tip on what you can do to get back on track with your book. If you are struggling with your book, it’s possible you need to look at what you are writing about to check your book topic is right. When I say 'right' I mean right for you as the author (it is a subject you are qualified to write about and that you want to write about) and right for your business (for example, that the topic is not a red herring or an inappropriate topic given the current focus of your business). There is more to your book topic than a subject to write about, though. You need to be saying something as well –...

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10 Top Tips to Rescue Your Unfinished Book

Anyone who has ever tried to write a book has one. Even prolific writers have them – they are unfinished books, abandoned brain-children that stare silently at us from our shelves and computer screens. Half-done, our unfinished books linger in our minds, prodding us with reminders of our inability to finish what we started. Some of our unfinished books have fulfilled their purpose. They have been precursors to something better. Letting them go is all part of the process. But some are crying for our attention. Pulling on our consciousness, these are the books that ask us to complete them, and in doing so, complete something in ourselves. But, every time we get that unfinished book up on screen of off our bookshelf, we quickly lose heart again. We step from the open, sunny clearing of intention to the forest of confusion within minutes and, faltering, we put away our work once more, our hopes dashed. And so we are held in an uncomfortable limbo, unable to finish but unable to let go. We never make any progress because what happens every time we think of our unfinished book is that our mind turns away and shuts the door on the disappointment, confusion and grief over our unfulfilled dreams and hopes. So, how do we go about rescuing our unfinished book? How do we begin to release our potential onto the page, make sense of the apparent mess of ideas and draw our book back to life? It’s a question and an activity that many writers grapple with incessantly. How do I rescue my unfinished book? Because it takes more than effort to take your book from unfinished to published; it takes courage, persistence and knowledge to understand how to approach and succeed with this challenging task. What can we do to reconnect with our...

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