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Start Writing Your Book: Your First Steps

When you’re just getting started, making the decision to write a book is the easy part. What the heck do you do next? It’s a big journey to go from “this is something I want to do” to writing an actual book. So, to help you figure out where to start writing your book, I’ve put together a list of the first steps you should take on your journey to becoming an author.

Prefer to Listen? Here’s Audio of “Start Writing Your Book”

(Full blog post coming soon! Until then, here’s the basic information you need to know, and you can get the details by listening to the podcast episode.)

Step 1: Find Your Why

  • Why are you writing your book? If you know your why, it’s easier to stay motivated.
  • Look for external motivation. In some cases, it can be better than the really internal motivation, e.g., “I’ve always wanted to write a book.”
  • How is your book going to help people?
  • How is your book going to help your business?

Step 2: Figure Out What Your Book is About

  • Pick a topic for your book
  • Infopreneurs and entrepreneurs, this should be related to your expertise
    • What do you want to be known for?
  • Food bloggers who want to publish a cookbook, what type or style of recipes do you want to be known for?
  • Also pick a book topic that will fit into the rest of your business and sales funnel
    • Try to drive clients into your services or courses with your book

Step 3: Find Your Book’s Positioning

  • Positioning is an important step for any book, but it’s particularly important if you want to work with a traditional publisher.
  • You’ll include your market analysis and positioning in your book proposal that your book agent will shop around to publishers.
  • Who is your book’s ideal reader?
  • How does your book fit into the existing market in your niche?
  • What are your book’s comps (comparable books)?
  • Why will readers want to buy your book? What will your book give them?

Step 4: Find Your Reader Path

  • The Reader Path I’ll describe here is designed for nonfiction authors
    • Fiction authors will need to find their main story arc and fill in their protagonist’s journey
  • Your Reader Path consists of three parts:
    • Your reader’s Starting Point
    • Your reader’s endpoint (The Transformation)
    • The Reader Path
      • The Reader Path leads readers from The Starting Point to The Transformation.
  • The Reader Path is part of the Fast Author Framework, the process I use to help my clients write books that readers rave about

Step 5: Write an Outline

  • Your outline will make the writing process infinitely easier.
  • Write down as many details and talking points as you can. The more you plan ahead, the easier it is to get the words down when you sit down to write.
  • Your outline is a detailed description of your Reader Path
  • Include:
    • Mindset shifts your readers need to make and steps for helping them through those revelations
    • Stories or examples that will help your reader understand what you’re teaching

Step 6: Write Your Book!

  • Once you have your outline, it’s time to start writing!
  • Write a little bit every day if you can. It’s the tortoise and the hare: slow and steady writing make you a published author.
  • Writer’s block
    • Your outline will help you make sure you don’t get writer’s block, especially if it’s very detailed.
    • Check out my posts about writer’s block for more writing tips

Need Extra Help Planning Your Book?

Free downloads to help you plan your book:

Pick up a copy of How to Write a Wellness Book on Amazon.