To blog a book in a month (or less), plan your content before you begin. The more detailed your plan, the more work you’ll complete during your writing periods, which means the faster you will complete your book. In fact, producing a business plan for your book provides the best writing guide for writing a marketable book quickly and effectively.
If you complete the proposal process, or author training process, mentioned in my last post, you not only create a business plan for a marketable book, you create the best writing guide possible. As you follow the steps described, you develop a detailed map of your book. This provide an big-picture view—your table of contents—of how you will write you way from your starting point to your destination. It also gives you a close-up view—your chapter-by-chapter synopsis—of all your stops along the way.
Your Writing Guide
After you have created your business plan, develop your writing guide using this four-step process adapted from my book, The Author Training Manual: Develop Marketable Ideas, Craft Books That Sell, Become the Author Publishers Want, and Self-Publish Effectively.
- Create a computer folder called “[Your Book Title] Writing Guide.” Place within it:
- The Overview of your book (from your book’s business plan). This should include your book pitch, book description/summary or synopsis, and a list of reader benefits (even for fiction)
- The List of Chapters (from your book’s business plan), otherwise known as your book’s table of contents
- The Chapter Summaries (from your book’s business plan), or chapter-by-chapter synopsis for both fiction and nonfiction
- Create individual chapter documents for all the chapters in your book and place them in the “[Your Book Title] Writing Guide” folder. Open a document for each chapter. Copy and paste that chapter’s summary into the document twice. Leave the first summary intact. For nonfiction, break the second duplicate summary into bullet points or subheadings with spaces in between. (If you find it easier, determine what questions you need to answer, what benefits you need to provide, or what solutions your need to provide to address the topics about which you need to write.) For fiction, break the second duplicate summary into scenes, shorter dramatic arcs, or flashbacks. Do so with separate sentences, short phrases or paragraphs with spaces between.
- When you sit down to write, open the writing guide and review the first three documents. This will remind you of the book you want to create and help you stay focused on your idea and the promises you want t keep to readers. In particular, read the pitch to stay focused on your book’s topic and unique and necessary angle or the story you want to tell. Refer to this anytime you feel lost, stuck, or off track. Refer back to the list of benefits to remind yourself of the value readers expect from your book and to be sure you deliver it.
- Compose your manuscript using the bulleted chapter summaries. Open a chapter document. Review the complete summary at the top to remind yourself of that particular chapter’s content. Then, write your chapter by moving from bullet point to bullet point, section to section, scene to scene until you get to the end of your chapter. Write in the space underneath each bullet point.
Review Your Work
The four steps above will help you write quickly and effectively. However, it’s still possible, despite all your planning, to get off track. For this reason, I suggest you use these two final steps as well:
- Review your chapter summary or synopsis. When done, skim over your draft chapter and compare it to the synopsis you wrote. Determine if you achieved all your stated goals. Did you cover everything in the summary? If not, make notes on what you left out so you can add those points in your second draft.
- Reread the three documents in the “[Book Title] Writing Guide.” Consider whether you delivered on the promise of the entire book in this particular chapter.
With your business plan and your writing guide, before you know it, you’ll have a marketable book written or blogged.
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