There’s a well-known saying that everyone has at least one book in them.  If you’re running your own business or a specialist in a particular area, you’ve definitely got the information in your head to create a book.

Then the challenge of getting the book from being an idea to a manuscript.  If you’re comfortable writing, that’s not such a big leap.  Even if you’re more familiar with writing a few hundred words as a blog, you already have the ability to actually write it – all you need is a plan.

If you find writing a mind-bending mountain to climb, you’ll need to find a way to get the information out of your head and into written form.  If this sounds like you might need brain surgery, don’t worry – there are plenty of ways to turn your knowledge into pages people can read!

The plan

Hannibal from the A-Team used to say “I love it when a plan comes together!”  But for that to happen, you need to HAVE a plan.

The outline of a book is a plan and you’ll need to think about:

  • The main subject the book is about
  • The purpose of the book – who will it help and how will it help them?
  • What will make your book different from other books on the subject (HINT: the answer to this is usually YOU. You’ll have your own opinions and experience to share that will make it stand out from others)
  • What subjects will the book cover?
  • What order will these subjects be arranged?
  • What will each chapter focus on?
  • What elements do you want to include in every chapter? g. quotes, case studies, practical things to do, models or diagrams, statistics, data, examples, an introduction either written or in bullets, a summary or conclusion, etc.

To maximise reader engagement, every chapter should have a similar format, so, if you start with a quotation, every chapter should do that.  This develops familiarity for the reader and encourages them to continue reading.

If you create a mind map or a list of items for each chapter you will already have the skeleton plan for your book – and this will make writing much easier.

DON’T write your book

If you’re still thinking that, a list is one thing, but a WHOLE BOOK …!  There are other options.

Record it

When your clients ask you questions, you are able to explain things to them easily – and you’ve probably covered the same ground many times.  So instead of writing your book, pick up the list and talk through each chapter – recording it as you go.  Most people have a mobile phone that will record – and you can save the MP3 files for transcribing later then all you have to do is get it typed up.

Dictate it

I’ve written books for clients where they’ve literally talked through a training programme and we’ve transformed that into a book.  So that’s another way of getting your book written – talk to a professional writer/editor and they’ll knock it into shape as you go.

Get it ghost-written

Another alternative is to get a ghost writer to ask you questions and they’ll then develop this into a book.

It’s never impossible to get your book out of your head and into written form – it just takes a little ingenuity!  If you need help, give me a shout.

Alternatively, you could follow Rick McMunns programme, which not only covers writing, but also publishing and marketing.