7 Essentials for Putting Together a Powerful Book
1. Create a strong outline before you start writing. I often recommend starting with a mindmap – jot down your main idea in the center of the page and just start writing any ideas that come to you. You can take those ideas, group the common ideas together, and put them in an order that makes sense. This might be chronological, or it might be by subject matter. Make sure the outline fits your vision for your book. Your vision may come to you as you are writing the outline.
2. Do your own custom research. Once you’ve put together an outline, you can start fleshing it out. You’ll find there are many places you still need to do quite a bit of research. Google is your friend. Use it. But fact check your sources!
3. Check “facts” you uncover in your research. Don’t be guilty of the sin of blindly parroting urban myths. Be wary of using information found on blogs, unless it is well sourced. Academic sites, professional sites, books, and journals are a great place to get information. Dig deep to uncover primary sources (original research, studies, historical documents, etc.) rather than relying on secondary sources such as magazine articles or books.
4. Make sure you absolutely do not plagiarize anyone’s work! That means no lifting copy verbatim: And no rewording some other author’s material.
If you plagiarize in the latter fashion, not only are you opening yourself to legal action, but your book will feel wishy-washy and unoriginal anyway.
It is acceptable to (a) refer to another author’s statements or positions (b) quote short sections – one to three lines – as long as you cite (give credit to) the author and his work. It is not acceptable to quote entire passages without written permission, and citing the source is not a sufficient substitute.
When in doubt, get permission.
5. Do not use PLR (private label rights) material. – Just because you bought the rights to use materials does NOT mean it’s appropriate to take that and use it for a book. Additionally, it is absolutely against Kindle’s terms, and pretty much just a lame thing to do. This is your book, your name is going on it. Plus you want your book to feel as unique and individual as possible. Any PLR should be used strictly as a guide, giving you tips for research and facts to look up, as well as ideas for your own unique twist on things.
6. Tell stories. That is, include anecdotes that will personalize your book for the reader, even if you are not using actual examples of others’ experiences, but just showing her what is possible in her case, if she follows your advice.
7. Take a stand. – Your book will feel much stronger if you are not afraid to take stand firm in your convictions and present all arguments and assertions from that central core.
Do you need more help with going from idea to outline?