How To Write A Book: 7 Super Simple Steps

Finally write a book using these 7 super simple steps! 81 percent of Americans feel that they have a book in them — and should write it.” – Joseph Epstein

Are you a part of the eighty-one percent?

If so, I want to share with you how to write a book in seven simple steps!

I meet so many people who say to me that they want to write a book.

When I tell them they should do it, the response is typically, “yea I should”. Then there is an awkward silence and inevitably a change of topic.

It dawned on me that people are probably thinking the process is too difficult for them to ever really accomplish their goal of writing their own book.

After all, I actually began – and ultimately abandoned – at least three different novels before successfully writing my first book.

To be very honest, the key to my eventual success with finishing my book were three things (and I know these are going to sound cliché but they are my truth): (1) having a strong “why”, (2) finding some concrete steps that I knew I could emulate, and (3) finding a group of people with a similar goal to hold me accountable.

Now, you have to discover your own “why”.

For me, not only did I REALLY want to share my knowledge with others but, I  was also motivated to find a way to generate a passive income stream to help me pay off my student loan debt faster. Getting out of debt was a strong enough motivator to make me persist even when I didn’t feel like writing. I knew of other people who were making extra money on the side publishing books and I felt strongly that I could too.

Why do you want to write a book?

As for finding concrete steps, well that is why you are here. I can help you with that. In just a moment I am going to share with you everything I learned from writing a book.

If you want to find a group of people with similar interests I have found the best method for finding serious, highly motivated, high octane people is to take a course in your topic of interest.

The very first course I ever purchased, Self-Publishing School, is where I learned many of the steps that I am going to share with you. It is also where I found my “people”.

Luckily the course offered a Facebook group for it’s’ members so I didn’t have to go too far out of my way to stay in contact with the people who would ultimately become my biggest cheerleaders.

How To Write A Book

Again, the process of writing a book can seem overwhelming but if you follow the advice that I am going to lay out for you then you will be successful.

And just so you know, when I followed what I learned in Self-Publishing School I was able to debut at #1 in multiple categories on Amazon which led to me having a “best seller”.

Here’s the proof:

how to write a book

When I first sat at my computer, I had no idea how to start a book let alone how to finish one, get it published, and make it a best seller!

If I can do all of that with no special skills at all whatsoever – unless you consider following directions a special skill – then I know you can do it too!

Before I lay out the steps for you, I want to paint the bigger picture. There are actually a few different phases you are going to go through on your journey to published author.  So what will it take?

I call the process the ABCs of writing a book. Why the ABCs? Because that is easy for me to remember! So here they are:

– A is for Activation: The activation phase is all about the start. It’s about hyping yourself up to get going and setting yourself up for nothing but success! This is where you brainstorm. You solidify your ideas. You do all of your preliminary research so that you don’t have any excuse to procrastinate once you enter beast mode.

– B is for Beast Mode: The beast mode phase is the sprint. It’s where you run faster when your mind starts trying to trick you into stopping. Some describe this phase as being in the “zone”. This is where you actually win the race.

– C is for Completion: You went all out in beast mode, now, in the completion phase you get to do one final push and birth your baby book into the world!

Below are the 7 super simple steps to writing a book using the ABCs of writing method! Use the steps to finally accomplish your goal of becoming a published author.

Before you get started, two things:

1. “Like” my Facebook page so you can keep me updated on your journey. I would love to hear about your success.

2. Download  The Beginner’s Guide To Self-Publishing to learn what to do before, during and after the 7 steps.

Phase 1: Activation

 

Step 0: Write Your Why

As I explained in the introduction, I believe having a strong “why” for wanting to write a book could be your key to success.

Some common reasons why people write books include, to make money, to establish themselves as an expert in a certain field, to share an interesting or inspiring story, to promote their business, to become famous, and many, more reasons that I’m sure I’m just not thinking of.

Whatever your reason is it should always be at the forefront of your mind when it is time to write.

There will be days that you just don’t feel like writing but your why will be there to motivate you to sit at your computer and crank out a couple hundred more words towards your goal of writing your book.

Figure out your why and write in on no less than 3 post-it notes. Place those post it notes some place you will see them often (i.e. mirror, refrigerator, daily planner).

Step 1: Mind-Map & Outline

Think about your topic. What thoughts come to your mind?

Chandler Bolt, the founder of Self-Publishing School often refers to a mind-map as a “big brain dump”. That is really the best description that I can think of for the process.

During this process, you simply write your book topic in the middle of a sheet of paper and circle it.

Next, you write down all of your thoughts about your topic and draw lines connecting those ideas to your book topic.

This is what a finished mind map looks likes:

writing a book (mind-map)

Mind mapping will help you get all of your ideas about your topic out of your brain and onto a sheet of paper so that you can begin organizing it in a way that will make sense to your future readers.

After you complete your mind-map the next step will be to write an outline. Your outline is what is going to make writing your book a breeze!

I never thought I would be promoting outlines as that was my least favorite thing to do in school but if you want to complete a huge task like writing a book then an outline will become your best friend!

Once you have your outline finished then really, all you need to do is fill in the sections and eventually your book will be done (that is how you get it done…one section at a time).

This is what a finished outline looks like:

writing a book (outline)

Bonus Tip: For additional inspiration, search your topic on Amazon and look through the types of books that come up.

Using Amazon’s “look inside” feature, you can discover how people in your genre of interest tend to structure their books.

By clicking on the look inside logo you can see an author’s first couple of pages, table of contents and other select information that may help you complete your own outline.

writing a book (look inside)

Step 2: Go Public (Pick A Date & A Partner)

It is important that you go public after you complete your mind-map and/or outline. Do not reverse these steps.

The reason you need to complete step one first is so that you begin to realize that your book is doable. The outline is really half the battle. Once you have that done, you can fill in the rest…easily!

Now, you need to choose a due date for your book.

I recommend 7-8 weeks from the date that you complete your outline because that will give you plenty of time to get your book written, edited and revised without giving you enough time to give up on your goal of finishing your book.

Once you pick your date you need to write it down someplace you will see it every day, just like you did with your “why”.

Now to up the ante, you need to choose an accountability partner.

Select a person who will hold you accountable for doing the work you know that you need to do in order to get your book written. Share your due date with your accountability partner (later you will share your 30-day writing plan with your partner as well).

Step 3: Create A 30-Day Writing Plan

Rule number 1: prioritize your writing.

Your 30-day plan will consist of you breaking your huge goal of writing a book into mini-goals that you will accomplish over a short period of time.

Here’s how to do that:

– Determine how many words your book will be (standard non-fiction book is about 50,000 words so we’ll use that to illustrate how to create mini writing goals).

– Determine how many words per day you will write (50,000 word goal divided by 30 days = a little under 1,700 words per day).

– Schedule writing time on a calendar (you can download a blank calendar template to make scheduling more convenient).

– Tons of research promotes writing first thing in the morning.  So, you might want to wake up an hour earlier and knock it out.  But, if you are like me and your brain doesn’t wake up until after 9am then you will need to make other arrangements.

– If it takes you two hours to write 1,700 words then you will need to schedule two hours of writing every day for 30 days (preferably at the same time and the same place every single day).

To summarize, to complete your 30-day writing plan you need to commit to a final word count, divide your word count by 30 and write that many words every day for 30 days straight.

Don’t stop writing until you hit your word count. Don’t skip days. If you have to miss a day then make sure you schedule a make-up session.

Phase 2: Beast Mode

 

Step 4: Get To Writing!

Two words: consistent action.

Now is the time to implement your 30-day writing plan. In beast mode you have to commit to intense focus.

You have an outline and a writing plan so there is no excuse not to get ‘er done!

You have to take it one day at a time though. It’s the only way.

Work your plan every single day. Do not skip a day. If you have to skip a day then make it up. Just add a day to your calendar but don’t quit. Stay focused.

Don’t let nothing or no one take you off your game (trust me obstacles WILL arise).  But, you are a beast. Get it done!

Step 5: Treat Yourself

Writing a book can be a lonely process. At the end of the day it’s going to be you and your keyboard…getting it done. That’s it.

People are going to be upset with you because you won’t be as available as you were prior to starting your book. That is hard to deal with.

In fact, I once lost a relationship due to prioritizing my writing (side note: it was a relatively new relationship and I was happy to learn that the person was unsupportive before things got more serious).

You have to be mentally strong and keep reminding yourself of your “why” if you want to finish writing your book.

The people who truly love you will understand and cheer you on!

I want to make this clear: do not use writing your book as an excuse to neglect your loved ones. That is why I recommend a 30-day writing plan (with a few extra weeks to edit and revise).

The people in your life who love you want to see you succeed and they should understand and be able to endure a few weeks of intense focus. You can’t stay in beast mode year round however!

Now about treating yourself…do it. Reward yourself for accomplishing your intermediate goals.

If you plan to write 500 words a day and accomplish that writing goal for a week straight then I say you deserve a treat!

Determine what your treats will be in advance. Have fun with it.

Phase 3: Completion

 

Step 6: Edit & Revise

In step six you are almost at the finish line. You are so close that you know you will definitely accomplish your goal of writing a book.

In this step you have your first draft completed and you are ready for editing.

The first thing you need to do now if re-read your entire body of work and make corrections. Because you were not allowed to edit in beast mode you might need to make a lot of corrections.

Once you feel like you have done the very best job that you are able to do you need to get a second set of eyes on your work.

Now, if you know someone who is a high school or college English teacher who is willing to edit your work for free then go that route.

I don’t know any such people so I hire an editor from Upwork.com to do my editing.

Once you get your manuscript back from editing you will do another revision and then be ready for publishing!

Step 7: Hit Publish & Repeat

Here is where things get exciting. You need to decide how to get your brand new book out in the world!

Since this post is about writing a book and not necessarily publishing, I have to tell you my advice here is going to be limited.

If you want to self-publish I can tell you all about that. Again, I learned almost everything I know from Self-Publishing School.

If you are interested in self-publishing I recommend you do it through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. There are free options for both ebooks and print versions.

Here is a link to their website where the process is explained in a nice two minute video: https://kdp.amazon.com.

Warning: After you publish your first book you may start thinking about writing another one. The process is addicting!

Besides, most people feel like their first book isn’t the greatest anyway (after all, you were learning with your first book…kind of like your first child).

Now that you have learned the ABCs of writing a book you can do it over and over again and even create a nice passive income stream for yourself.

Get The Beginner’s Guide To Self-Publishing

Bonus: Learn how to write a book from the pros! Download the resources that I personally use to write and publish books. 

Click here to access the beginner’s guide to self-publishing.

Don’t forget: “Like” my Facebook page so you can keep me updated as you write your book!

What steps will you take next to accomplish your goal of writing a book? What type of book do you want to write? Let me know in the comments.

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