Writing a non-fiction book. You may have had the idea for months or even years. Especially as an entrepreneur it is a perfect opportunity to grow. Firstly, it is a wonderful thing to inspire others with the valuable knowledge you possess. Secondly, it can bring a lot to yourself and your company. People will see you as an expert in your field, you create a fan base of ideal customers and a new source of income. So a smart move to finish that book as soon as possible. But of course you want to get it right away. With this clear 7-step plan you will succeed and it will be fun too.
Writing a non-fiction book is a long process. That means that you quickly lose your focus or overview. It is therefore important to adhere to a certain work sequence for yourself. During the entire writing process, it is clear what you have to do and you work towards a powerful end result step by step.
Step 1: Determine the topic
You probably already have an idea you want to write about. However, do not start until you have sufficiently framed this topic. What exactly is this book about, what is the core message? If you have the core message in mind from the start, you will immediately work much more effectively and purposefully. For example, it will gradually become clearer which sub-topics are not relevant enough and should be left out. And you end up with a concise book, instead of a huge pill that is indiscriminately filled with information and ultimately no one wants to read.
Step 2: Determine your ideal reader
According to Nexus Ghostwriting, To ensure that the writing tone and content are well attuned to the target group, it is important to determine in advance for whom you are actually writing. Who do you want to reach? Try to describe your ideal reader (/customer) as specifically as possible. Including his wishes and struggles. Ask yourself how your book will offer the solution to his problem / challenge. Especially in terms of knowledge level, put yourself in the shoes of your ideal reader so that the (structure of) information fits in well with it.
Step 3: Write a temporary blurb and title
After going through the first two steps, you should be able to briefly describe what your book will be about, who will be of interest to you and why he / she should read it. Coming up with a temporary title and writing a temporary blurb can be very helpful to maintain focus during the writing process. Of course you can always change them later. But at this point, they serve as a guide and handhold in sorting out information you collect. Does this information tie in with the core? Does it add anything? Do I expect to find this in the book after reading the title and blurb?
For the overview, it can be nice to create a dashboard like with Trello. In it you can collect all information together and divide it into different lists.
Step 4: Do a mind dump
Time for a mind dump. This is a great step! After you have put the basis on paper, you can let go of structured thinking completely. Your head has probably been full of all kinds of details from the non-fiction book for a while: topics you want to broach, sources you want to use, quotes you want to process, aspects of the design … Time to put all these blanks on paper to put! If necessary, set an alarm for 10 minutes and during that time write down everything, but also everything, that comes to mind when you think about the book to be written. It doesn’t matter in which order or whether it will be nicely on paper. The working out will come later. Do you need more time? Then keep going until you can’t think of anything more.
Step 5: Apply structure
Now that you have everything on paper, it is time to structure it. If you are just such a structure junkie as I am, then this step is also a pleasure. 🙂 If not, don’t worry. With a little patience, the logical structure will automatically become more and more visible.
First, take a moment to take in everything on your list. You should soon recognize a number of connections between certain subjects.
Always keep your core topic, working title, ideal customer and temporary blurb in mind and then determine what should logically be the main topics and what should be sub-topics. Which information is covered? What is a logical sequence of information? You can visualize this by working with markers and drawing lines between subjects, but you can also create a new overview. Are you stopping for a while or do you feel ready? Pick it up a little later and look at it again with fresh eyes.
I always enjoy translating such a subdivision into a mind map. This makes it clear at a glance how everything is related to each other. Bonus: you can also see very quickly where the hitch might be and what is needed for a more logical structure of information. Or for a more logical distribution of information, if, for example, it turns out that you cover one topic extensively and do not go into the other topic too much.
You will also see that the order and layout can still change halfway through the process. Nothing wrong with that; this only indicates that all puzzle pieces are falling into place better and better. And your non-fiction book becomes an increasingly powerful whole.
Step 6: Gather additional information
Now that you know which (sub) topics will be covered and the extent to which they need to be explored, it is time to supplement the information where necessary. You will already have a lot of basic knowledge about some things. Write down everything you know about this and what you want it to be discussed. Then research the other topics. Collect all the necessary information and keep track of what information you got from where. Citation is very important in connection with copyright, among other things!
Also do research on topics you think you already know everything about. There is always a new angle to be found and that can be very inspiring.
Step 7: Make a plan of action
Yes! You now have all the information on paper, supplemented and deepened where necessary. The next step is to adjust your agenda accordingly. Because only with a clear plan of action will you achieve the desired end result in an effective and targeted manner: a self-written non-fiction book that you can be proud of!
Make a to-do list. Think of:
Sources Check for Truth
Hiring Copywriter / Editor
Write an Introduction per Chapter
Elaborate Chapter 1, Elaborate Chapter 2,
Write General Introduction
Request Feedback from Proofreader In The Meantime
Contact the Publisher
Block fixed times in your agenda to work on this and make sure that you are not disturbed at those times. Have you arrived at the actual writing? Then agree with yourself a fixed number of words that you will strive for per day. This provides guidance and gives extra motivation.
And, is it already starting to itch? Then there is only one last step: DO IT!
Keep a close eye on this blog, because in the following article I will share the most important points to consider when writing a non-fiction book!