Choose the Type of Book to Write

Have the desire to create and share your ideas but not the know-how of writing a book?  Then take a peek at the process of choosing a type (or model) of book to write.

Starting out, mulling over ideas

There are already millions of books published and available on Amazon, so here’s a question: what is the one thing that none of them already have?

Choosing the Best Book Model

Breaking down complex and dry topics, a good writer draws out the ideas for their reader to digest. This is best done with a particular model. If you don’t choose a good model to begin with, your book will wander. It can possibly annoy a reader who likes one type of books, and half-way through the type has changed.


Tips Book

Tips books can be good if prefaced with a note on why you need these tips and how to use the content. Power Marketing was in this style, with 60 tips on marketing a small business, but I extended the part about business advice too much in the front.

A Progression Type Book

This self-help book shows how a person develops an area where they once had no affinity and we see how they develop through a process of discovery, a challenge or adventure. So, some kind of change took place – whether internal or external.

This is apt for a memoir, like My Year of Living Vulnerably (Rick Morton).

The Sleep Fix (Diane Macedo) – tells about her terrible sleeping and investigation into what makes us sleep, and advice on how to fit these new solutions into our lives.

‘How to’ Style, with advice and framework

Insider advice style, with a direct voice (‘you’/’your’) can be ideal for a senior coach or business owner. Usually the focus is on solving the individual’s most common problems and preventing some of the pitfalls in starting out that you witnessed or experienced. It is normally written in the ‘you’ (direct) voice. Excellent examples are:

Ready to Soar by Naomi Simson – Note: this also contains her experience, but we’re looking at proportions here.

Bounce Forward by Sam Cawthorn

Reading these books, you’ll soon see the way the author (with help from an editor) has given the best of their story and also laid out a framework for the readers to follow. Highlighted pull-outs and quotes make it more enjoyable to read and easier to take in.

Exercises Based Style

The reader is taken through from why they must change, to various exercises that will help them self-develop and envision. If you want them to overcome fear of something, then helping through a particular exercise like NLP, anchoring, etc, will help them to do this.

These can be little exercise walk-throughs at the end of some case study examples and inspiring content.


The Face Within – Sue Lester

Your Dream Life Starts Here – Kristina Karlsson

Insider Experience Style

Insider Experience is similar, but with the focus on the author’s lived experience. This can actually be effective and get cut-through, if told in a narrative or other relatable way.

Examples of this style are:

Navigating Change: Adeniyi Borire

Wealth Magic by Peter Spann

Business as Unusual: Anita Roddick (uses pull-outs in the text, bolded quotes on bronze pages)

The Step-by-Step Model Book

Another style of book is the model book. No, not fashionistas but your very own diagram, acronym or concept. For instance, Amplify is a book about podcasting, with a step-by-step system built around the acronym.

Whatever it is, make it yours and never borrow someone else’s special code. You can conjure an acronym up with a generator (or better yet, use your grey matter).  The model is normally explained at the beginning of Chapter 1… along with a nice diagram.

The ‘why’ you need it is as important as the ‘what’ it is.

The model book lends itself to case studies that prove the model works. Do you have clients that have solved their problems with your help? There might be a model hiding there, in plain sight. Points of note:

  • Very reader-solution focussed
  • Very targeted to their stage (a beginner or slightly experienced)


Share Your Passion (7 Stages to Leverage Your Expertise) – Renee Hasseldine

Eat That Frog – Brian Tracy

ANSWER to mulling over ideas:    

Your experience is the thing that is unique. Your writer’s voice also should shine through.

Now that we’ve discussed some types of nonfiction books you could write, it’s important to note one thing:  Stick to one type!

Jennifer Lancaster coaches authors on how to write a book, through regular monthly Zoom sessions and targeted writing feedback (developmental work). We also offer low-cost training through Book Creation Success

Fast-Start Training for Self-Published Business Authors

Having been an editor for seven years, I like to share tips and findings on my two blogs with all the new book authors. But I never realised that there was a need for fast-start author training days.

When there was the 48-hour Author weekend workshop for planning your book, I poo-poohed the idea that anyone can successfully plan and write a book this quick.

Now I know more of the barriers to people writing their first book, I get it.

If support is needed, I still think it best to spend the money on writing coaching over 3-6 months and learn writing techniques and marketing tips every day, but I understand. People want to deep dive, and avoid their own procrastination, deliberation and doubt!

Jennifer Lancaster books on Google

Next Level, Past Writing a Book

What about once you’ve got past the hurdle of writing your book?

Then there is also the matter of taking that book, selling it to a tribe and getting a portion of them to take up online programs. This is the ‘holy grail’ of lifestyle business options for the matured business or life advisor.

It seems that Print on Demand was not the secret sauce it promised on the box. It is, rather, a very fast and cheap way to get a book digitally distributed (via a feed). Any book, with virtually no gatekeepers.

In my educated opinion, using this is not the way to interest thousands of people and sell thousands of dollars worth of programs.

You know, there’s something missing from the system… and naturally, Book Creation Success program has a printable PDF on personal branding and offers.

The missing link from selling books: an author brand and sales funnel system!


opened copybooks placed on school bench
Photo by Katerina Holmes on

The Ins and Outs of a Book-into-a-Course Planning Day

The personal brand must be set up before launching the how-to or self-help or business book. Then a sales funnel (pages that explain it) for the program or course must be in place within 3 months of book launch date!

Launches should likewise be planned a minimum of 3 months ahead.

But, how do you plan all this launching activity, when it is all you can do to service clients, tend to family, write your content and do some book writing?

You go to a working day: Turn Your Book into a Course VIP Day, to be specific. So, from the origins of your book, the course can all be planned out that day.

Some free tips on book launching will be given at my free Book Publicity talk on Friday 25th June, 5pm, at Redcliffe Library, Qld.

Why Should an Author do a Course Planning Event?

It’s not like you just plan out an amazing new course on your own. You’ll be learning from an Australian publishing mentor and a course editor with a hands-on understanding of:

  • Both writing and editing a non-fiction book (17+ non-fiction books edited)
  • Book formatting/typesetting (another 10 books)
  • Digital Marketing (15 years’ experience in marketing or copywriting)
  • Taking information and making courses!

Plus hear from another expert who specialises in putting the course material into an all-in-one platform, with design flair.

Over the past two years, besides editing books, I have been testing different marketing ideas and compiling learning resources for indie authors, culminating in Book Creation Success here at the academy.

Planning out your course will be integral to earning MUCH MORE from the book’s concepts, since it does not have the price limitations set by the market.

We can arrange this VIP day with two experts (book creation / course building) in Brisbane, Queensland, on a Saturday in May, June or July 2021. Contact Jennifer.

Your new online course or membership can pay for itself over and over again.

Do this work so you can tell your stories, share practical advice and reasoned arguments.

Enquire for what it’s all about — below!

Define the Purpose of Writing your Book for Business

There are several problems with taking your expertise to market. The largest one is not dedicating time to it.  While writing a book or program is unwieldy and time-consuming up front, if you’ve got a big PURPOSE for writing a book for business, boom, motivation problem solved. This could be helping a charity close to your heart or shining the light on a problem that’s been a past source of agony for you.

Problem: One Offer, Low Revenue Base

Independent consultants and coaches need to grow income from more than just services, to diversify some away from their TIME. When someone is sick, their billings stop—and so does their income. Also, it’s really hard to sell the business or spin-off assets left and right with one-to-one services. 

To create more streams of income, you must offer books, audiobooks, an online training course/s, keynotes or group work, presentation, and if you’re game, online memberships or apps. (I don’t recommend creating an app). 

For the base of all this, a visual model is recommended in order for people to understand easily what your system stands for. Sometimes it’s not a visual tool; it could be a set of acronyms that are steps. (Renee Hasseldine says the ideal is 3 to 7 steps for an educate model.) 

A worthy goal is both rewarding spiritually and will eventually repay your time and investment into learning and creating.


Rule 1:  Any products added must make a gross profit of 30% 

Look at your business model and see if you already have a gross profit. Any new product or package you offer must have this profit margin built in. It’s just good business!

Rule 2:  Employ better branding and positioning, make 1-to-1 rare and lucrative, and add bonuses for packages or online programs. 

Laser-focussed branding and positioning will help you attract higher-level people, so you can increase your value. Ensure all your content marketing material is speaking the same message to your niche segments (or one niche).

bonuses for your reader


Rule 3:  Add online systems that solve problems for selected people, rather than working more consulting hours

You can set up a sales system that starts from a low-cost buy (e.g. a book) and offer various up-sell products for more in-depth needs. You can do this with Samcart (link below). 

Group training might be more effective profit-wise than even one-on-one coaching and you can still add the ‘personal touch’. Denise Duffield-Thomas does this very well, with her Money Mastery group events.

more profits from writing

Rule 4:  Break down the steps and make better Intellectual Property

Communicating of your key message — your IP that has the highest value — is often hard for the professional. So much to offer!  Begin by breaking it down into simple steps or a visual model. This can really help to write the book / training program.

Recommended Solutions:

1. Create authority and credibility with a well-produced book and a clear message, thus attracting clients to you.

2. Add to that with an online course and an audiobook

3. Getting some friendly sales but not enough income?  Add to that with a membership site or an up-selling system. Try Samcart Basic to help sell, online. It’s $19US a month instead of the $99 a month mentioned on their website pricing page.  I am not an affiliate.

4. I use Memberpress here for Book Creation Success club, and it’s fantastic. You need to have WordPress first, and it’s an extra cost for developing the course pages or just use the normal WordPress block editor. 


Remembering your Purpose for Writing a Book

Along with this, it’s important to remember your purpose all the way through the process of book publishing. It’s no good spending all your time on your book and nothing on promoting it on your blog, in media interviews, in podcast guest spots, or other ways. Remember the 5 marketing things every day that Jack Canfield & M V Hansen did when promoting Chicken Soup for the Soul.

If you keep in mind the purpose of reaching your audience with your impassioned message… no doubt you will succeed.

Using LinkedIn for Author Publicity

Using a book is a great introduction tool for an expert, therapist, coach or chef! And it is even better when you introduce yourself as an author of a thought leader book, via LinkedIn.  

Once your book is in circulation, you can add ‘author’ to your headline on LinkedIn. I personally recommend you add in the subject keyword too.

The Introvert’s Guide to Marketing for Authors

In this golden age of the personal publisher, introverts must play to their strengths. If you’ve ever read the book ‘Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking’, then you’ll understand exactly what I’m saying. We introverts need to speak up, but in our own quiet way.

Are you good at asking questions, but self-conscious about video?  Then try Podcasting.

Podcast to a Larger Presence

Podcasting is the ‘slow burn’ way to attract a fan base. You own the podcast, so you also own the advertising that can be infused in a short grab inside the show.

Keep in mind that shows seem better with two people, so invite a specialist you know to talk about a topic within your new genre range.

To determine which category your tribe might seek, see (the live talk radio and podcast platform) and iTunes categories for category ideas.

If you have a WordPress or Blogger site, then it’s a six-step process to get your RSS feed (linking the files) to connect to Apple iTunes. First you’ll need to find a place to host your podcasts and apply post tags, categories, etc. Apple Podcasts Connect has a podcasting guide and best practices.

You’ll also need a good quality USB microphone (e.g. Nessie Blue), come up with a Podcast logo – which you can make on Canva for free – and plan how often you’ll produce an episode. It’s best to plan ahead a few podcast shows, and launch the first three all at once.

Freelance Writing to Promote your Book

If your goal behind writing a book is to develop skill, express creativity, and simply be published, then you won’t need a book marketing plan. But if your goal is to write to disseminate ideas to as many as possible, and receive a return on time spent, then you need promotional ideas to get that message out.

For talented novelist and writer’s festival speaker Susan Johnson, having had a roaring writing career in the 80s and travelling the world in the 90s, on returning to Australia and enquiring into publishing, she had a rude shock. No longer did traditional publishers give big advances, and she could not return to teach creative writing at University due to ‘qualifications’ at that point.

Building an Author Platform: for Non-Fiction Writers

At author meets and even on email, I seem to have struck a similar vein when authors are asked when it will be time to build their author platform.

“I will focus on that when I’ve finished my final draft”

“I will start planning the marketing when I’ve got my production (cover, edits) done”

“I am in creative mode now, so I will worry about that when I am administrating and launching”.

In other words, they are putting off till tomorrow what they could (and probably should) be doing NOW.

Admittedly, it might help to have named your book title and come up with the angle – that is always going to help. But you don’t need to wait… FAME as an author never happens overnight. It is a long, slow road, best taken one pitch, tweet, or post at a time. Here is a simple break-down of the author platform steps.


Set up your author brand colours (two is good), theme (i.e. saving money is mine), and get some initial author photos done. You’ll need another photo with the book cover later (which will contain your colours). Working with a designer will help to ensure your brand is awesome, from the typeface chosen down to the relevant logo for your imprint.

Why I Don’t Pay for Book Review Programs

Why do authors pay for book review programs? I have been reading on Publishers Weekly (USA) about authors opting for paid-at-source book reviews, like Kirkus, IndieReader, BlueInk Review, and others. While assuredness of a newsletter promo and reviews can seem like water to a parched author, it comes with a cost. And not just the $149 to $500 they charge per time, which is quite substantial.

Besides the monetary risk, there is the risk it’s a one-off event. You still might not get reviewers’ email addresses as the review companies try to protect their reviewers’ privacy. That means no future promotion.

If you do get their email addresses, then please ask gently for a review – and do not connect to them on social media first. Some authors might try to send the ePub, but you know, many people cannot work out how to open it without the benefit of their Kindle reader app.

It is imperative that you protect this list of potential Advance Reader emails, because these people are going to come in very handy.

Use a Street Team

street team reviewers
Photo by Helena Lopes on

What about people who know you? These genuine helpers can form part of your ‘street team’, or advance reader copy (ARC) team. You can either offer your ebook for 99c on Amazon or send a PDF directly to them, for free. You might want to remove the ability to print it though.

Although I was terminally shy at first, because of my networking, I now have a nice list of 420 connections on LinkedIn to ask for endorsements or to notify of a giveaway on Goodreads. Plus Goodreads forums is an ideal place to recruit your street team/ARCs as its chock-full of book lovers.

Remember though, we can’t ask for Amazon reviews from LinkedIn 1st connections because now Amazon is disallowing an author’s social connections to give reviews — whether they bought the book or not.

The Problem of Asking Strangers

Even though I had fairly regular buyers in the first 3 months of launching Create Your New Life of Abundance and How to Start a Freelance Business, there were no reader reviews, which is a common problem. The library copies generally don’t prompt reviews either.

The workaround for this suggested by Mike Kowitz in his book, Smart Marketing for Indie Authors, is to quickly publish a second book and have a page summarising past books within its back matter. But for the first one, he says you’ll have to rely on the Street Team of friends/family who are not connected to you on socials. You may also prompt the review on your own blog posts. I noticed that at least one of his reviews were from a paid reviewer (or at least a pro reviewer) and the others were reading very real. 

So, while book reviews are crucial for social proof to better sell your book to others searching for that topic… there are many catches with getting them. 

Sometimes it pays to join up with someone who has a bigger email list than you for launch promotions. Think up creative ideas to reward new reader-reviewers. Cute stickers, daily planner printables (letter size PDFs), quote posters, and other low-cost items could be just the thing. Since we are not allowed to pay for the reviews listed at Amazon or Goodreads, and a gift is just a thank you card in physical form.

Always keep your personal return-on-investment in mind when planning book promotions.

Email Jen for Joint Venture proposals:

Building an Income along with a Book

Here I want to uncover some of the fallacies around book publishing and how it is possible to turn something you love into a nice income stream.

Many of the authors I hear from have said, ‘It’s okay, I’m happy to publish my book and see, it doesn’t have to make a steady income’. Okay… but isn’t that fear talking? Wouldn’t you rather make a regular income?

Target Reader Profiling

I know all too well the feeling that everyone should be interested in my latest book’s content. I mean, who doesn’t want to manage their money better… or as with the Simple Drive to a Healthier Life book, who wouldn’t be interested in better health? Well, the fact is, some of us are cuckoo for money advice (and some are spenders)… and others are nuts on health (while some like to eat anything tasty).

Write a Non-fiction Book in 1 month?

Today I’m exploring whether it’s possible to write a non-fiction book in one month and what other steps you will do in following months.  So, can you write a book in a month?

The answer is: well, I think that depends on what you classify as writing. Yes, you can outline, arrange your sticky notes (manual chapter structuring), and type like the clappers to get a draft of about 30,000 words for example.

You will also need to write a full target audience description, check the blurbs of successful competing titles, and draft a book summary.  Getting tired yet?

Actually, you might want a writing coach before you complete the first draft, particularly if your background is academic or corporate and you can’t quite get the voice right.

An Editorial Process

Then, to finish your book and reference it, you will need an editorial process. The first stage is having someone with a trained eye (an editor) look at the draft and ensure your structure is good, your message is appropriate for the audience, and your voice is ‘talking’ at the right level.

This will give you a much-needed rest. In month 2 (or so), when you look at it again, you will spot all kinds of things that you want to change!  You might also enlist some kind beta readers as well.

While others are posting photos, you are working on the message… streamlining your book… and capturing some book marketing ideas you can use. You might also be finding a book designer and copy editor.

In month 3, rest assured you will be tired, but still going. This month you are hearing back from beta readers, integrating editor/reader comments, deciding on book covers and interior layout. You might also be creating an opt-in freebie for interesting others, setting up your website book page, and getting pre-sales orders.

Finishing off the book’s small changes, updating the contents page, writing the author bio and final blurb (two versions), and ensuring it looks great will be the next steps.

Not Finished Yet: Pre-Sales

Never neglect the pre-sales process, which is where you will be scrambling to do your marketing efforts (but not haranguing strangers) so that your book will become successful. Meanwhile, if your assistant has loaded your files and metadata right, your title will be updating at various online retailers.

So, setting an ‘available to order’ date eight weeks in advance is wise. As well, real world book distributors need an even longer lead-in time before public release. Always allow time for doing a revision and second proof (e.g. another 10 days).

If you get traffic to Amazon during this period, then they will order it to be in stock immediately. If the book page does not receive traffic or purchases, then it will show your book on launch as “available in 7 to 10 days”.

So, writing your book in 1 month is possible if you’re disciplined, but finishing your book (if you want it to be great) needs about three or four months. In fact, I (Jennifer) have a non-fiction book writing program with coaching and editor suggestions, paced over six months, if you’d like to take a look.

Producing a Book, with VA Help

1. Producing Your Book Costs Time and Money

Writing a ‘serious’ book takes a really long time. Producing a book takes, in some cases, even longer. In one case, it took 72 hours to proofread, layout, produce, administrate and convert the eBook for a self-published client book. 

If you want a copy editor to do a ‘quick run-through’, remember that she or he must take it to a publishable standard. Editing a book properly takes quite some time, but this depends on whether your book needs structural editing help, developmental suggestions (a manuscript review)–or simply a copy edit. It is not just your budget that constrains this editing; it’s also the skill level of your editor. 

So, a 30,000-word non-fiction book may take between 22 hours and 30 hours for me to line edit in one pass. I’m good at spotting things that don’t sound right. So, a client-focussed editing project might cost between AU$1,400 and $2,000 for a 30,000-word book, for a rough idea. Overseas editors might charge less, but you might not know if they are up to standard.

Author VA to help produce book

Producing and Marketing a Book with Virtual Assistance

Self-publishing processes and book marketing takes much time to learn. Many novices Google to find a solution and end up with a basic author services package that costs $2,000 – $3,000. This normally doesn’t cover the marketing angle! There are a few good Australian self-publishing companies whom I recommend, e.g. Publicious (small, Gold Coast) and Fontaine (large). Under no circumstances should you just choose a company you clicked on the Google ad of, without further research. 

So, perhaps spend 2-3 hours researching and interviewing a local freelance book editor, marketing VA, and book designer. It’s worth it. A Virtual Author Assistant will free up your time. There is a small group of Australian virtual author assistants on FB and although it’s a closed group, you can apply and say you’re a client. 

You can also try to find an author VA on the global VA Directory. The worst place to find an Author VA would be Upwork or similar; I think you know why. 

The best thing an author can do is to focus on benchmarks that they want to achieve.

Book Production or Marketing Tasks  to Outsource

Some of the fiddly and time-consuming things an awesome Author VA can do:

* Fill out all the ISBN details at Thorpe, once collated. 

* Ensure the book’s Search Inside (Amazon) is working and upload PDF preview or widget to website. 

* Communicate with your book designer on some matters, like the PDF and upload problems you don’t want to handle!

* Fill out meta data at your Printer/POD, and send your final PDFs

* Advise on and/or create a website book sales page, if they have this skill

* Set up your Amazon author page at Amazon Central.

* Set up your Goodreads author profile and claim any books you’ve written

* Set up a BookLife, Scribd and BookBub profile and book title (optional)

* Integrate book promotion images and ideas into your social media postings

* Update your social media profile headers to include the book and author image.

Keep Focussed on your Outcomes, Not Production

What do you want to do with your book? There are lots of ideas for utilising it: 

  • Sell it at training and speaking events? 
  • Give it away as a prospect offering (ensuring to capture contact details)? 
  • Send it out to referrers?  
  • Keep it low-priced for new subscriber offers on emails? 

If the multitude of things in the ‘Tasks to Outsource’ list above sounds like it is worth it to outsource (your hourly rate being at least twice theirs), then offloading means you can focus on strategy and relationships.

Building relationships with similar others and educational portals in your niche is a wonderful thing. Focussing on your Linkedin and blog content can pay off too; not forgetting trade magazine articles, Women’s Network articles, etc.

Preparing a 1-sentence pitch about your book’s thesis can also come in handy, when someone asks for your expertise.

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