Eight Important Steps for Planning Your Next Book

Are you acim authors? I want to show you the smartest and most effective way of working on your book and getting it out. I know you have the energy and drive to write the book but have you sat down to do a proper plan for it?

The writing of a new book is not only an exciting adventure; it’s the creation of an asset of great value that will last your whole lifetime and beyond. Just recently, I was going through the Copyright Law for literary works and discovered that these rights remain with the author for 50 years after he/she dies! In other words this asset becomes your exclusive property for a very long period of time – do you really want to be casual about how you create it?

The process of creating this asset is itself a project that requires proper planning for it to succeed. If you think about it this way, you’ll realize that you must invest some time, energy and thought into what you are creating. Many times, as writers, we simply sit down at the computer and start typing away without any prior preparation, which may work for some people but not for every writer. In this article I show you how to come up with an excellent plan for working on your project, from start to finish with every detail in between. I call it a Book Plan.

Stage one: Concept Building

This is the very first step that involves thinking about the subject matter of your book. If it’s fiction work, e.g. a novel, you will be thinking about the theme, story line and characters. For non-fiction works you will be thinking about the topic that has you itching to write. Do a proper research on your topic to get as much information as possible. Write down all your thoughts on paper or a Word document and file in a place where you can retrieve easily for reference. You will keep referring to these initial ideas as you write in order not to veer off your intended topic/theme.

Stage two: Create a writing template

This is the stage where a lot of thinking has to be done. The bulk of your project lies in this stage because it determines the outcome of the book. If you don’t prepare a good writing template, when you start writing you may lose track of original idea or get confused. The writing template simplifies the process and makes it a lot more organized. Make sure you are clear-headed for this.

First, create a simple outline of your book based on the information gathered in stage one. Write at least ten topic-sections of the book that can stand on their own but are interconnected. These shall serve as chapters. Under each section, write down the main points that talk about that section. Write freely at first, without worrying about the order of the points. Once you have all of them then you can arrange them in the order in which you will write.

Stage three: Target audience

Any kind of writing has to have a target audience, i.e. the people who you expect to buy, read and enjoy the book. Knowing your target audience (market) is important because it affects the content and language of your book. You have to slant the book towards the target market in order for it to sell successfully. Your target audience can be defined in terms of age group, sex, occupation, geographical location and education.

Stage four: Writing the first draft

The only thing I can say here is that you write, write and write! The first draft is simply your first attempt at creating a flow out of the template in stage two. Do not worry about spelling and grammar at this stage; that will be dealt with later. Just simply get out all you can onto the paper/screen.

Once you are though with the first draft, put it aside for a day or two. This break allows your brain to take a rest and form new thoughts and opinions about what you are writing. When you come back to the draft later you can make changes, insert new ideas or cancel whole paragraphs as the case may be. Meanwhile you can go to stage five.

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