When do you put a book down?

How to plan, write, and publish your book

Today's guest article comes from Tom Oberbichler from be wonderful !.You can find out more about Tom in the author's box at the end of this article.

There are many good reasons to write a book, Katharina has already presented many in her article. This “why?” Is also step one in the six steps to your book, with which I successfully make books - as an author and book mentor.

Finding your personal reasons is so important in book writing because it gives you the motivation to stick with it.

Because, I say that very clearly: A book project needs your commitment to be successful.

As different as the motivations for writing may be, almost all aspiring authors have one thing in common: the book should become a bestseller.

My experience is: With appropriate planning and consistent implementation, this can be achieved.

How to find your topic

I know that there are recommendations floating around on the Internet that suggest that you should only use the market as your guide when choosing a topic for your book.

In my world this is wrong. After you know your goals with your book, you have two pillars that will help you through the whole process and already with the topic finding:

  1. Your competence
  2. Your ideal reader

Your competence is the most important requirement for your success: Write about what lies in the heart of your business, with which you deal every day, where you have gained knowledge and experience. This is how you lay the foundation for your sustainable success.

Your ideal reader is your most important contact person - in planning, writing, publishing and marketing. I work with the avatar system for myself and for my customers, so I am very precise when creating or finding this person. This is step 2 to your book.

As soon as you have an open question during your book project, you will find the solution in an exchange with her.

The good thing is: You already know your ideal reader, your ideal reader: They are your desired customers.

In the process of writing a book, you focus even more and become more and more precise.

When choosing a topic, it is simply a matter of you considering the questions, problems, challenges your reader avatar has and considering which answers and solutions you can offer with your competence.

You will find your topic in this intersection.

This is how you plan your book

With the third step to your book, you start with the initial situation of your ideal reader, your dream reader.

  • Where does this person stand?
  • What problems does he have?
  • What has she tried in vain?

This is the starting point of your book.

Then you ask yourself:

  • Where do people stand when they have read my book?
  • What has changed for you?
  • What are you doing differently than before?

This is the end point of your book.

As soon as you set the milestones on the way from the starting point to the end point, you already have the first chapter structure, your provisional table of contents.

Now you can use all creativity techniques that you know and that work for you personally: mind maps, brainstorming, ABC lists and more. This is how you collect ideas and content for your book.

This is how you write your book

Writing - step 4 on the way to your book - does not begin with writing, but with ascertaining what you have already written.

Regardless of the topic you are working on, you are constantly producing content - as a blog article, podcast episode, YouTube video, on notes, in text files, or just in your head. You sift through this material and evaluate it for your book.

You now have a plan and you know where you want to lead the reader from where.

Many people are surprised at how much work they have already done (otherwise than consciously) for their book and what they can use.

When writing myself, I find it essential that you find the way that is best for you, I call it your ideal writing setting.

  • When, where and how do you find it easiest to write?
  • At what time of day, where, with what technical aids are you most productive?

There are no general recipes for this. The only way to find the best solution for you is through testing. I recommend trying different scenarios for two weeks. This is how you find out what is best for you.

Yes, your environment is also an important factor in this. You can also present your book project to your family, partners and colleagues.

Perhaps the most important tip I give you for writing is: completely separate the writing process from revising. When you sit down to write, write! Revising is a separate work step that I never do in the same session as writing.

There are no perfect texts! You improve yourself by continuing to write - and then, as an independent work step, revise and optimize your texts.

In order to achieve really high quality, you definitely need professional editing before publication, which will help you to fully use the potential of your text in terms of content, didactic and linguistic. The last step is proofreading, which will help you make your book error-free.

This is how you publish your book

In step 5 you bring your book to the public. Now it's time for a powerful title, a search engine optimized subtitle, a sensational cover and a blurb, a booklet that sells.

These are short texts that have a long effect. It is worth investing time and / or money here. I recommend professional support, especially for the cover, unless you are really good at graphic design yourself. Expertise in these areas is also very helpful for titles and blurbs.

As always when it comes to books, the range of your options is wide - on fiverr.com you will find numerous cheap offers, some of them are also good, the costs are higher for a graphic designer in Germany or Austria. How you decide depends heavily on the goals that you set for yourself in the first step, the “why?”.

Now is the time for the Buchsat - as an eBook and paperback. You can do all of this yourself, or you can get support. Your quality requirements are the decisive factor and of course your decision:

  • Do you self-publish your book as an independent project under your leadership and control?
  • Or do you find a publisher as a partner?

Book typesetting, for example, is a classic area in which publishers make advance payments. The advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing and working with publishers fill an entire book in themselves. Here are the crucial differences from my point of view

Publishing company:

  • You give up parts of the control over some areas, such as cover, title, price, form and date of publication (different sizes).
  • The publisher pays the costs for editing, proofreading, book typesetting, ISBN and supports you in marketing.
  • You get a share of the royalties between 5% (traditional publishers) and 30% (digital publishers).
  • In some cases, publishers also intervene in the design of the content and determine marketing concepts.

Self-publishing

  • You can invest your time and / or your money.
  • You have full control over your product.
  • You keep all the royalties.
  • Updates are possible at any time.
  • You are free to use your book as a marketing tool (for example the links in the book and the bonus material you offer).

One thing must be clear to you: the main responsibility for marketing your book always rests with you as the author!

Amazon as a cooperation partner in self-publishing

If you decide to self-publish, the easiest way is to go straight to Amazon. Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) for eBooks and CreateSpace for paperbacks in print on demand are the most promising sales portals for you. The dashboards are simple and the processes run reliably - including the billing.

The CreateSpace dashboard is in English - external German-language instructions are available to you. Print on Demand means that you upload a print-ready file and the book will not be printed until it is ordered on Amazon. You don't have to worry about anything, Amazon takes care of the entire process for you.

Which path you choose depends on your goals with your book, your business. Personally, I think both are good. I started self-publishing and then started my own publishing house :)

Test - Operate - Test - Success is the motto here too. Self-publishing is definitely open to you - a publisher can also be found and a lot has to fit in order for a cooperation to take place. And once you are successful with self-publishing, publishers will also approach you.

Before I wish you all the best for step 6, marketing your book, I'll tell you that there is a 7th step on the way to your book: your real bestseller mindset. You can believe in your success, start resolutely and stick with it.

I wish you every success with your book, also and especially with the marketing and selling of your book. Just one tip from me: Marketing your book begins on the day you start to implement your decision to write a book.

I have put together the 6 steps to your book in an eBook that you can download for free here.

Do you have a question about books and eBooks? Put it to me as a comment on this article.

The best time to start your book was a long time ago.

The second best moment is now.

Be wonderful!

Tom