Monthly Archives: May 2012

Planning Your Book – The Outline

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Once you have that great idea for a book, it’s time to develop a plan. This is an important step and varies depending on your reasons for writing a book. If your objective when writing a book is to make a profit, then the first step in the plan should be to decide who will want to read your book. It’s called knowing your market. The only way to make certain your book will be purchased is to know who is going to purchase it before you write the first sentence.

Once you know who will buy the book you will know the information they want and need and then you are ready to beginning planning the actual writing of the book. The first step in this process is compiling all the information you have on the topic. I prefer to compile all my data in a word processor because once I am ready to organize it the task will be much easier. Don’t worry about organizing all the information initially because it will cause you to overlook important things. Just compile every piece of information that could potentially contribute to your book.

Once you have the information compiled begin organizing using an outline. I begin by creating the outline at the beginning of all my compiled information. I list the headings and cut and paste the information that fits in that heading. I don’t attempt to put it in order at this point but just organize the data under the appropriate headings. Usually during this process I come up with headings that I had not considered because of all the loose information I have gathered.

Once I have all the headings I copy and paste them to form a well organized outline of everything that I want to write. During this process I add even more information to each heading and I wind up with a well organized outline for my book and I can begin writing. In my next post I will cover how I use this outline to write my book.

Why Self Publish Your Book

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For years the main reason for self publishing was a response to rejection slips from traditional publishers. That may still be the case for some writers but I believe more and more are going straight to self publishing for several reasons including much more control over the finished product. Another important reason is that self publishing leaves the writer a much larger share of the profits from his or her book. While it is true that traditional publishers handle the editing, typesetting, and printing of a book, unless you are a famous person whose book is expected to sell millions, traditional publishers do little to help market your book. You are expected to provide a major marketing effort and this will take your time and your money. Since marketing is of critical importance to the success of a book and you will have to do it whether you go with a traditional publisher or self publish, why not try to publish your own book?

There are significant advantages to self publishing but it’s not easy to publish a quality book. It’s not inexpensive either unless you have considerable skills. Even if you have written a good book, you are facing the editing and typesetting for an acceptable print-ready file. Both can cost you if need experts to perform the work. Then you have the cover design which can also be costly. Unless you have the skills to handle all this yourself, there is a significant front end investment even if you choose a good POD printer for your book thereby¬† precluding the need for a large investment in books.

If you have or can learn the necessary skills, the cost to self publish a quality book can be quite small. I know it is viable and have done it many times. Based on years of first-hand experience writing and publishing books, my latest book covers the entire process of writing a book and self publishing it. This new book will be out during July and is entitled “Self Publishing: Writing A Book and Publishing Books and Ebooks For Yourself and Others.” I am looking for a few readers to read the book and send me comments. If you are interested in reading it please send your request to and I will send you a link to a pdf version. The first ten to read it and send me comments will receive a free copy of the new paperback when it is published. Thanks.

Reasons For Writing A Book

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Why do you want to write a book? There are probably as many answers as there are writers. For me there are three reasons, one is that I enjoy writing about the things I do. The second reason is because I enjoy teaching others how to do the things I have learned to do well. It feels good to pass along valuable knowledge to others. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I do it for the money. I enjoy selling my books and when people are willing to pay for the information I write about it seems to add value.

Would I continue to write even if my books didn’t sell? I have no doubt that I would. Perhaps it wouldn’t be as much fun but I would still do it. Sitting at a computer and putting down your thoughts and ideas for others to read is too much fun to stop just because the money doesn’t come. Anyway, that’s just me.

What about you? Why do you write? Is it about profit or do you just write for the enjoyment. Or, are you like me and both are important to you. I believe that just wanting to write is reason enough. There is no need to justify writing a book or anything else if it is what you want to do.

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