Three-Step Book Outlining Method

2. Mind mapping lessons

Gathering ideas

Get out your pen and paper and listen to the audio on the 10 steps of researching and outlining!

Here are 5 Ways to structure a self-help or how-to book:

  1. Evolutionary stages (stages through which a problem or skill develops) — each stage can be one chapter
  2. Step-by-step program (i.e. a program you made) – can be used for developing skills, resolving personal problems, diet and health or practical manual
  3. Recovery book (similar to the 12-step AA program). Must address the barriers to recovery from compulsive behaviours. Self-quiz / Checklists.
  4. Component-based book, e.g. components of a winning attitude – How to Win Friends and Influence People.
  5. Exercise-based book — relates to skill building.

(Derived from ‘Writing Successful Self-Help and How-To Books’).

Tips for Creating an Outline

After mind mapping the topic, list the main points you want to make.

Look for missing elements that will take the reader to their intended goal.

Also look for elements that were similar in your mind map and organise better (into chunks).

Look for a main theme… and then minor themes. Write these down, as you can develop a chapter each from these minor themes. Try to make the chapter headings all of a similar nature.

Make use of any leftover parts. In my video, I had a post on The Three Principles of Marketing which did not seem to fit. Or did it? Another look can find any juicy part or anecdote which will relate to my main theme.