When Writing and Publishing Your Own Book, Have A Plan

Most authors, having made the decision to write a book, will sit down and regurgitate everything and anything they know about their topic. Unfortunately, due to the competitive nature of the publishing industry, sitting down and writing is only part of the writing and publishing process, in fact it is not even the first step.

Once you have decided to write a book the first thing you must do is develop a plan; and your plan must consider these very important points:

Be crystal clear as to why you are writing your book

Writing and publishing can be very expensive - in terms of money and time, so you want to minimise your mistakes by having a clear understanding of your reasons for writing a book.

Is it to build your credibility within a certain area; to position yourself as an expert? Is it to magnify your income-earning potential? Is it to expand your network and database; to tap further into a market? Is it to increase your publicity and exposure? Or is it because you simply find writing and publishing fun? Whatever your reason, make sure you have one because all of your decisions must reflect this reason.

Don't think book, think book series

If you plan on staying viable in the publishing industry or to make money from your ideas and experience, then you need to understand that your book is not just a book, it's a business. So don't just think book, think book series.

That is, why cram years and years of experience into one book when you can spread it out over several books. This way you will not only be able to make more income, but you can build a brand at the same time. Successful brands will ensure that every book after your first will become easier. Not only will you grab the attention of the distributors and publishers but you will also be selling to the same customers.

According to marketing experts it is ten times easier selling to the same customer than to find new ones. So after your first book is published, your second book will take half the time and money of your first one and so on for your third, forth, fifth…

Have a clear and easily identifiable point of difference

This point of difference (POD) could be in your design, your style or angle. Whatever it is, make sure the readers can easily identify with it. However, considering the large masses of books that enter the market every year, it is highly recommended that your book has a unique angle.

For example, due to increased expressed interest in property investing, bookshelves are suddenly sagging with books on how to invest in property. If you were to write a book for this sector, what would be your POD? Would your book contain tips from America's most successful property investors? Could the foreword be written by Donald Trump? Does it just focus on properties on the coast? Whatever you decided your POD to be, ensure that it stands out on the bookshelf.

Design a great cover before you start writing

Despite what they say, people do judge a book by its cover. And considering the many books that you are competing with on the bookshelf, your book cover needs to stand out. Not only that, if you design it first you can start pre-selling your book before it is even written.

That is, you can start building relationships with potential customers by marketing your book by displaying your cover and providing a brief description of your book. This way when your book is printed you will already have expressed interest and perhaps hype surrounding it.

In summary, after you have made the decision to write a book, you need to fight off the urge to sit down and start writing. Otherwise you will soon reach to a grinding stop and think you've just discovered writers block. However, it's simply a symptom of not knowing where you are going and why. So remember, the first step to writing a successful book is to always develop a thorough plan.

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Dale Beaumont is the author of this article. He is an internationally renowned book publishing expert, the author of 16 best-selling books and the creator of the Get Published Secrets Program.  

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