by Guest Blogger, Rick Butts
Starting a book is easy. You open your word processing program and type a sentence. Like this - "It was a dark and stormy night."
Then you save the file as My_New_Book.doc and YOU are an author! This allows you to go around impressing people by saying the magic words, "I'm currently writing a book."
I've found you can milk this for nearly a year without writing another word, although, there will be questions. These questions can get quite uncomfortable.
What are you writing about?
What is the title of your book?
This is where it gets really tricky.
If you tell these annoying interrogators that your book is about something boring, you will find they lose interest fast. This they will do by saying, "oh isn't that interesting?"
If Mr. or Ms. Full of Questions persist and ask the title, and your working title is crap, it can get ugly fast.
"The title of your book is either the beginning or the end of a discussion about your book. The title is everything." Rick Butts
Since the wireless class of people today have the attention span of a caffeinated housefly and if you hold out any hope of anyone reading it besides your parents and that nice lady at the the sushi place, you'd better develop these phrases and they had better be really good.
This brings us to the title of this article about how to start a book and actually finish. The key to this is to start your book in a way that is actually easy to finish.
Finishing a badly planned book is exhausting and likely to send you running to your AA meeting with a burning desire to share your pain. Of course, after the meeting they will ask you back by the coffee about the topic and title and you are back in the soup again.
The 3 Reasons Most People Fail to Create a Big League Book
1. Failing to Clearly Target Your Exact Audience.
2. Failing to Clearly Articulate a Unique Solution to a Problem Faced By That Exact Person.
3. Failing to Clearly See What the Book Looks Like Physically When You Are Done.
Target Your Exact Audience
Of course, everyone in the whole wide world NEEDS to read your awesome book, but it is unlikely that everyone in the world won't. Nice targeted books are a million times easier to promote because:
* you write to that target person
* your style appeals to that target person
* you use vocabulary, nouns, and verbs that are unique to them.
So, I believe we need to actually steer into buoying most people with our book title and topic. I recently worked with a cool lady who had written a book to help franchisees with the things the franchisor doesn't provide. Her topic was for sure of little or no interest to the average double-dipping snack hound at a cocktail party, but it was huge to someone who owned a franchise.
"You don't need to stand out in a crowd any more. In this market it is critical that you stand out to the right person! Rick Butts
Identifying the exact target person your book is for will allow you to create a title that will have the right person fall to their knees, kiss your ring, and beg to get a copy of the book before the other unlucky slobs who don't know you personally get it.
Clearly Define Your Unique Solution
Let's be honest, if you do NOT have a unique solution then why are you writing a non-fiction book? Please don't write a book of tips, please don't write a book of case studies, and please don't ask me to read yet another overview of the fundamentals of anything.
Unless you have a unique solution writing a book will be a boring painful experience and no one will care about it when it's done, even you. Those boxes will eventually get moldy in the storage shed and your spouse will threaten you with bodily harm if you don't get rid of 'em.
"The greatest asset you can have in your business is a unique solution to a problem faced by an identifiable group of people - with money." Rick Butts
If you know the unique solution, planning the book is easy. You map out the problem in the introduction, poke the pain in the first chapter, then introduce your solution (in 3-5-7 parts etc) and that becomes the next chapters - a conclusion and maybe a last chapter to summarize and give the reader a kick in the pants - and boom!
Know What Your Book Looks Like Physically
The simple solution to this one is to simply "Go BarnesStorming!" Get in your car and drive to Barnes and Noble and do the following:
1. Get highly caffienated.
2. Find the section where your book will actually go.
3. Examine all the books in that section and decide what you hate and what you love and what your book will look like when it's done.
A 4th grader once said to her teacher, "I KNOW how to spell banana, I just don't know when to quit?"
Decide on your cover style, your font size, and how many pages your physical book will be, and write to fit. When you reach that size, quit!
If you take the time to plan in advance who your target reader is, what exact unique solution you are providing to that reader, and you know what the book will look like when you are done, you can leap into your chair, fire up your word processor and get it done!
Want to learn the shortcuts to doing it right? Check out http://BuzzyBook.com!
Rick Butts is the author of 14 books, top motivational keynote speaker, creator of multiple audio/ video training programs, and is currently offering his unique solution for writers at http://BuzzyBook.com