How to Start Writing A Book
Who else has a book idea taking up space in their mental junk drawer? Time to stop shuffling it from one spot to another and write your book.
We’re sure you’ve heard this advice before:
- “Find a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted.”
- “Plan ahead and put on your calendar a regular writing time.”
- “Make a daily word count goal.”
Here’s the truth drop. While this is solid advice, it isn’t anywhere near your first step to write a book. There’s something you need to do first before even putting pen to page or fingers to the keyboard and it’s called book positioning.
You got it. The secret first step in the world of how to write a book is book positioning. Positioning answers the question that each and every reader has floating around in their noggin before selecting a book to read. The magic question?
“Why should I read this book?”
If you don’t answer this question before writing your book, it won’t be long until you’ll be playing a game of whack o’ mole with problems and consequences.
- Writer’s block and never finishing the book
- A lack of resonance with the audience
- Not being able to achieve the desired outcome
We’re guessing you’re not going to want to start from scratch—or quit altogether.
Is there any good news?
There sure is.
We’re about to walk you through the three steps to follow to position your book. Turn the metaphorical page, and let’s dive in.
Step #1: Define Your Objectives
Have a good think. Grab a cup of tea. Go for a walk. [DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ALPHABETIZE YOUR SOCK DRAWER – THIS IS UNNECESSARY!] Focus your thoughts on figuring out why you want to write this book and what do you hope to achieve by writing it.
Then, consider what the reader would get out of your book. Once you’ve had a good ol’ fashioned brainstorm, define your objectives and as you start writing your book, check in from time to time and ask yourself: “Is your book doing what you have intended it to do?”
Step #2: Determine Your Target Audience
While we all want to think that our book is for everyone, we’re sorry to break it to you, but it isn’t. Your book has a specific audience out there that it can serve. What problem does your book solve? Who would connect most deeply with your book? Perhaps it’s new mothers, fitness buffs, or forty-somethings who live in New England and are looking to improve their golf swing while also reducing their sugar intake. Get specific. You won’t regret it.
Step #3: Craft Your Book Idea
Now we’re talking your language about how to write and publish a book, right?
Crafting the book idea! The good stuff!
Okay, before you get all jumping-up-and-down-on-the-couch on us, we’re not talking about figuring out your plot or naming your characters. We’re still on the theoretical side of things here. And there is a lot to figure out when it comes to writing a book.
When we talk about crafting your book idea, we still are pointing out that you need to figure out why your audience will care about your book, and how your book helps solve a problem for your audience.
Ask yourself the question, “Why will my audience care?” Approach this question from your audience’s perspective instead of your own. Try to get inside their heads— their thoughts, hopes, dreams, fears, oddities, and issues. Do we need to help you at all with the idea of writing with a particular persona in mind? We’re kind of experts on this subject and we also have this handy-dandy ideal client persona template you can use. You’re welcome.
You’re an aspiring author after all. Use that beautiful brain of yours!
Final Thoughts on How to Write a Book
To write a book, start from point “A.” Start here. Start with these three key steps above.
While they aren’t as fun as character development and world-building, these three steps will help you write a book in a way that will set you up for success before you even write the first word of the first draft.
Now, if you’re looking for how to write and publish a book—publish being the keyword here!—then we might suggest you tune into the No Excuses: Write a Book and Build Your Brand Ponderings from the Perch podcast episode with Miles Rote, Author Strategist at Scribe Media. Everyone at Scribe is super nice and happy to talk you through this process. Make an appointment to get the ball rolling today and get that book out of your head and into your most ideal audience’s hands!