From Lisa Tener, Book-Writing Coach, on The Huffington Post:
As a book-writing coach I see one “issue” more than any other: authors and would-be authors who don’t know what book to write. Either they write the wrong book (often) and have to start again — often years later — or they have so many ideas that five years after starting they still haven’t decided on a topic. Truth be told, both behaviors are forms of writer’s block.
So how do you know what book to write? I tell my authors to do a pre-book audit — and it always works:
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2. Identify Your Core Readers. Many authors are confused about their audience. One day you’re writing for people suffering from heart attacks; the next day your audience is lovesick singles. Once you’ve completed 1 above, picture a dartboard. The bull’s eye is your core reader. That’s the person you imagine when you’re writing your title, your outline, your bio and every word in-between. Write with this core audience in mind and your book will be conversational (versus self-conscious), compelling (versus boring), and accessible (versus scattered) — and it will have a lot more impact.
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6. Structure Your Book. Starting to write before you have a structure is the number-one book-writing mistake. One-hundred percent of the time, the result is too much material and then, having to start over again, sometimes after years of work. So what is structure? For some, it’s an outline; for others, it’s a box of color-coded index cards in book-order with content, features/ideas on each one. Some authors I work with swear by mind-maps (diagrams representing ideas, tasks, words, etc. arranged around a central theme) to organize their books. Whatever you do, do it before you start to write. Yes, it will change as you go along but without a foundation there is nothing to evolve from.
Link to the rest at The Huffington Post and thanks to Meryl for the tip.
Meryl asked, “What the heck is a book-writing coach?”
PG thinks it’s someone in a baggy sweatshirt with a whistle who yells at you to work faster, tells you to drop to the floor and do 30 push-ups when you don’t and slaps you on the butt after you finish a chapter.