With 600,000+ books published each year, it’s getting harder and harder for a book to be noticed by your ideal audience. That’s why taking the time to plan a book that targets a market and fills a need in a category is so important. Indeed, creating a business plan for your book before you begin writing can make the difference between a book that sells or doesn’t sell, which means gets read or doesn’t get read.
This is especially true because that business plan produces a writing guide for a book that sells. If you then use that writing guide as you compose your manuscript, you increase your likelihood of actually producing a book targeted at the needs and desires of your target market.
How to Produce the Writing Guide for a Marketable Book
The business plan for your book, contains an Overview as well as a table of contents and a chapter-by-chapter synopsis of your book. These have been honed based on your market and competition analysis. This means that by the time you’ve completed these sections they should be focused on providing benefit to your ideal readers and producing a unique and necessary book in your selected book category.
You then develop your writing guide using these three business plan sections and 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 folder on your computer called “[Your Book Title] Writing Guide.” Place within it these sections of your business plan:
- The Overview of your book. This should include your book pitch, book description/summary or synopsis, and a list of reader benefits (even for fiction)
- The List of Chapters, otherwise known as your book’s table of contents
- The Chapter Summaries, 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. 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.)
- 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. 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, until you get to the end of your chapter. Write in the space underneath each bullet point.
- Review your chapter summary. 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? Does it target your market? If not, make notes on what you left out or how you need to re-angle 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 writing guide, you increase the likelihood of writing a marketable book. This means your book will stand a higher chance of being discovered by your ideal readers and providing them with the value they seek.
Isn’t that what you’d like to do—produce a high-value book for your audience so they read it and find it useful?
The Author Training Manual: Develop Marketable Ideas, Craft Books That Sell, Become the Author Publishers Want, and Self-Publish Effectively, Nina Amir’s new book, provides all the information you need to create a business plan for your book and to train you to become a successful author. However, you also can get author training from Nina during the next Author Training 101:Craft Books that Sell LIVE course. Starting May 6, you will receive audio and video lessons that correspond with the chapters. And, while you use take the course and complete the training exercises in the book, you get support during 8 weeks of group coaching. You’ll also get a bonus proposal/business plan template and more! Only 20 spots! Get more information and claim your spot by clicking here.
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