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!

STILL CONFUSED?

opened copybooks placed on school bench
Photo by Katerina Holmes on Pexels.com

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!

Turn Your Spare Time into… a Book!

A lot of people right now want an escape from reality. The stop-gap income of Federal government support is finishing, the economy is not so grand, and many are looking for a new job. Writing a book which fulfils several goals and triggers our own creative genius… is the best escape ever invented! So let’s focus on how to turn some spare time into a book.

Read more about the article Why a Simple eBook Needs a Blueprint
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Why a Simple eBook Needs a Blueprint

Many people in business want to write a simple ebook, but when they sit down to write it, all that comes out is fluff… They may think, ‘I haven’t got a single original idea!’

Others fall into the endless loop of writing and re-writing. The real problem with both these writerly types is that they have not planned. They have not spent any real time organising their thoughts and ideas around a central theme.

Book Outlining Methods to Help Unscramble Your Brain

Previously I wrote about the steps of outlining and planning, but here I want to discuss my favourite book outlining methods, among other tips.

If new to book writing, you may be unaware that structuring an outline can help you step through the writing process without so much stress and strain.

I admit to being ‘seat of my pants’ style writer, as I had lots of time to let ideas bubble to the surface. But for most business-oriented writers, a timeline and deadline is needed—and so an outline can help you keep on track… and unscramble your brain.

Writing an outline is super-important for ambitious projects with many moving parts. The simple making of a table of contents is a good start, but we are talking more about WRITING TO A MAP.

Mind Mapping (bubble chart or the original one-word-per-strand map) is the start of a writing outline process. We may also use AnswerthePublic.com to find reader questions (the faster way to survey) if you have no idea what they want.

Then, we can move on to answering the questions and sub-topics that popped up. This doesn’t work with fiction; only with factual topics.

On the new book Outline document, fill out the case study ideas, the general points, perhaps the comparisons, in a paragraph underneath the topical chapter headings. Some will come to you later, so don’t worry, fill that in then.

How to Plan and Write a Nonfiction Book Series

Even though I’ve been writing books for 12 years, a distinct lack of planning has held me back. What about you? Can you discipline yourself to research, plan and write a nonfiction book series?

I’m a non-expert who writes—and self-publishes—how-to books on money, freelancing, and marketing. So, if I can have a minor success in these varying topics, you experts out there can definitely write on your key topics and achieve a lifelong ambition.

When planning, don’t stop at just one book. Plan for example a trio on varied angles FOR THE SAME AUDIENCE. The titles don’t have to be set in stone, but it’s good if they follow the same vein… like:

How to Start… or Create your… or

XXX Marketing for XXXX Business or Savvy Secrets for…..

merchandise your nonfiction book series
What about Book Merchandise? So cool.

Always research thoroughly (using Amazon and Goodreads) on the preferred book title. You don’t want to compete with a bestseller of the same title (but don’t worry about a nondescript one).

Sometimes you learn from the first book that, say, the practical approach doesn’t work and you need to get to the emotional side and write a self-help book. No problem, you can still change tack, as long as you are uncovering your readers’ needs and desires and writing for that.


Become a Better Writer Today with These Writing Techniques

The first thing a new book writer does within my world is lean heavily on my editing skills. But unless I have explanatory comments, this is not helpful to their progress because learning key writing techniques must come from other places too.

Some learning may come from reading great writing. Some books hit you like a brick with the emotion, while others leave you cold. What are the differences? Read on and find out.

Is Writing a Book that’s Popular Being a Sell-out?

Jack Kerouac, the talented writer
Jack Kerouac

I know it’s common to think of book writing as some kind of artisan thing, a Jack Kerouac at his writing desk, typing away his creative best.

But that just ain’t reality, kid.

In the real world, we must find a rising trend and a unique angle for our book. Not only for it to be looked at in the first place, but because if you don’t, you’re really only writing books for you.

That’s nice, but it doesn’t pay any bills, even the ones for your book.

Book Writing Outline

There is a chasm between how novice and expert authors outline and write their book. Now, a lot of people writing a non-fiction book approach their writing like this:

Have an idea, start brainstorming, attack it with gusto, have too much content, rearrange it, find an angle, hire an editor, editor does a review and two rounds of changes, mould a final book, write blurb, hope it sells.

I used to be one of those people, so hey, I get it. But then I thought, what if I put some planning and research into those steps… would that help?

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.

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.

powermarketing_booktypes

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 made the mistake of also putting business advice in the front and so mixed my types.

 

Insider Advice–or ‘How to’–Style

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

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.

 

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:

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Wealth Magic by Peter Spann

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

 

The 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)

Examples:

Business Model Generation (a popular book about models and outside the box thinking),

Share Your Passion

Eat That Frog.


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).

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