Thursday, July 7, 2016

Write your book in a weekend, Part 2

In a recent post I shared my notes from a webinar on this same topic, how to write your book in a weekend.

This post is based on notes from a couple of different webinars I attended in 2009 and 2010.

Reviewing my notes from several years ago has helped me recognize a couple of weaknesses in my note taking system. First, I realized I didn't always include the source information (like the name of the webinar or who sponsored) it. Second, my notes are not always as comprehensive as I would now find beneficial.


In this first set of notes on writing your book in a weekend, I failed to record the source. My notes are also brief, so I am using other information I've learned along the way to expand my notes.

Ask in a bookstore, "Where would I find a book on ___?" Traditional (e.g., Books-A-Million) and online (e.g., Amazon) bookstores have specific categories for books. The categories available in a traditional bookstore are also good starting points to further refine your categories online. In both cases, it is essential to have a clearly defined category for your book.

Collect source material. Start an online file and an offline file to save links, print out stories, and collect any type of information that might serve as content for your book. Most how-to books are full of examples, lists of steps, and application suggestions for readers.

What are 10 things readers want to know about? Make a list of the 10 areas of content readers are interested in. For example, a book on building your own house might have chapters on finding a contractor, developing house plans, and obtaining the appropriate permits for building.

Storyboard with bullet points. On a whiteboard, piece of paper, or new document, quickly make a list of points you would like to write about. Expand on the 10 things that readers are interested in.

Over a period of time, clarify, modify, and expand your outline. It is helpful to create "trigger sentences." If someone asks you about one of the chapter topics, what will you say?

Speak the book and transcribe. Once the outline is fully fleshed out, use an app to record the book by addressing each of bullet points in your outline. Find an online service to transcribe your spoken audio.

Theoretically, that's it to writing a book! Of course, there is a lot more detail to each of these steps, knowledge required to self-publish, and effort to write a book.


Use these questions to help clarify the purpose and audience for your book. These questions are also from my 2009 planner.

  • What kind of non-fiction book do you want to write?
  • Who is your audience?
  • What will make your book unique?
  • Why do you want to write a book? What is your vision for your book?
  • What is your budget for getting your book published?


Steve Harrison

Steve Harrison's Bestseller Blueprint is a collaboration between Steve and author Jack Canfield on how to write you book. These notes are from my 2010 planner. It is interesting to see the similarities in the different approaches to writing a book.

  • Develop a theme - a big idea.
  • Create a table of contents and expand the outline.
  • Tips books are always popular. For example, 20 Tips to Retire Early.
  • Don't edit while you create.
  • Speak your book. 
  • Get it out there - version 1.0.
  • Commit to a publishing date publicly.


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