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Writing a GREAT book or E-book

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Many information marketers tend to skip doing a book in their field. It’s MUCH easier to do an audio program. A LOT less work. BUT, not doing a book will hurt you in the long run. Trust me, I did this the WRONG way when I started. It hurt me. Don’t make the same mistake.

How and why did I get hurt?

First off, there is nothing better than a book for gaining credibility in your field. An ebook is fine, but I’ll also be recommending that you produce a PHYSICAL book as well. More about that later.

To write a good book you MUST START with a good outline. This is a mandatory step. You can’t write a good book without a good outline.

Here is my LOW TECH suggestion on how to do one right. Go get a set of 250 3X5 index cards. Open up the package and start writing down any and everything you think your book should contain. Don’t screen yourself, just start CRANKING out index cards. Also, don’t worry about duplicating a topic, you can clear that up later.

Depending on how broad your topic, you may need MORE than 250 cards. A BIG topic may require 500.

Now that you’ve written down EVERY possible idea for your book, find a large open area on your floor or carpet in a room where you won’t be disturbed for a couple of hours. Look through each index card and start putting them into piles based on topics.

When I wrote my book “Publishing for Maximum Profit” which you can get at Free Information Marketing Books page, I used this exact system.

I wrote out all of my index cards. I then sat on the floor in my living room. I then started sorting the cards into piles. Eventually, different CHAPTERS emerged. With the book on Publishing, it was clear that there needed to be a chapter on Printing. So every index card that had ANYTHING to do with printing went into that pile. I did the same with every other MAJOR topic that came up.

When all was said and done, I had about 12 chapters and thus 12 piles of index cards. I then went pile by pile through the sets of index cards. I looked through them and decided what order they should go in to best explain the topic. When I finished with one pile, I moved on to the next. When I was done I had 12 stacks of cards, each pile in the correct order.

By looking at each pile if was obvious what the chapter title would be. All of the cards in that pile were about a specific topic. I then came up with a “sexy” name to title the chapter.

My next step was to take each card and write an article about it. I didn’t decide in advance how long that article would be. I just wrote until I had exhausted the topic. I tried to make sure NOT to cover anything BUT what that individual card was about. I knew that other topics would be covered on other cards.

I didn’t write in any specific order. I found that doing it this way gave me the flexibility and control to write based on what I was in the MOOD to write. It took me about 4 weeks and I was done. This is a relatively short book. When you read it, you’ll understand.

This article is all about the WRITING process. If you want more information about other elements of writing a book, download the Publishing book at the page I gave you earlier.

To write a book, you have to start with the outline like I’ve recommended. Without it, you’ll spend a lot more time than is necessary.

You’ll also find that some days, the writing comes easier. That’s natural. The one thing I suggest you do is that you MAKE yourself sit down and start writing every day for a given block of time. Writing is an act of creativity AND discipline. I make myself write a certain number of words per day, whether it’s a book or article or blog post.

If you’re finding it difficult to write, I suspect it’s because you don’t have a strong interest in your topic. That to me would indicate that you need to look around for something that you feel more passionate about. When I’m writing about a topic that I really enjoy, the words seem to flow onto the page.

If I were writing fiction, maybe it would be different, but for us as information marketers, that is NOT the case.

At the beginning of the article I spoke about it being a MISTAKE that I didn’t start with books. Here is why.

Creating audio programs in mass quantity, which I did, helped me to make money, but not build a reputation. Sadly, reputations PRIMARILY are created through writing and publishing books. To follow up on this fact, my other mistake was to ONLY self publish. If I had it to do over I would have clawed tooth and nail to get at least one of my books done with a major publisher.

Again, status and reputation, as well as distribution will accrue faster when you publish with a major publishing house. That being said, get started writing your book NOW, worry about who will publish it later!

Your comments are welcome!

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5 Responses to “Writing a GREAT book or E-book”

  1. Isabelle on April 24th, 2012 12:35 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your ideas generously.

  2. daveM on November 12th, 2012 7:50 pm

    This is an area which I have set as my traget, content creation , and I would like to perfect the ebook method, so your article is quite pertinent to my needs. Thanks you

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