New Years’ Resolutions for Aspiring Authors

Looking at another year and worried that you won’t make progress on your book again? Do you have ideas but haven’t had time or energy with everything else you are doing to get them on paper? Worse yet, do you have a partially or completed manuscript and you don’t know what to do next? Here are some New Years’ Resolutions to help you get that book published this year.

1. Get clear on your authentic passion.
Lack of clear thinking about your message is the biggest stumbling block to getting your book written. That may take time and it is pretty hard to rush that thinking and reflection time. I find when experts get clearest on their passions is when they work with clients. If possible, write as soon as possible after you do a seminar, workshop or see clients one-to-one – that is when both your passion for what you do and your confidence is the highest.

2. Know your audience. You will have the most success in crafting a message that hits home and solved the problems of your audience if you spend time with them. The audience for your book should be the same as the people who spend money with you – you know they are willing to pay for your expertise and perspectives. You will also want to write just like you talk with them. If you find words you say to clients over and over that they relate to, those are the words that should go in the book. Use “you” as much as possible and not “we” when writing and make suggestions using words like “Consider how you might…” and “Focus on these strategies….”. Try to avoid saying “You must…” or “You should”. Finally, consider how you can keep your own doubt out of your writing by avoiding, “I believe…” or “In my opinion…”. Your audience wants you to be certain of your advice before they trust in your words.

3. Take an inventory of work you have already done.
If you are a subject-matter expert, you have probably already done articles, interview, blog posts and more. You can use these as source material, actually put them in the book if they fit or at least use them as inspiration for what to write about. If you don’t have an inventory of work done, this might be your first step in writing your book. Many are intimidated by the idea of an entire book, but an article or blog post seems more doable.

4. Start with any chapter. (or any checklist or any paragraph). You don’t need to start at the beginning. In fact, your Introduction (if you have one), should be written last. No one will ever know in reading the finished book where you started and how. Just getting words on paper is tough, so whenever the must strikes, just write. You can decide on where it fits in later. After you do enough writing, books tend to organize themselves. If you are the type of person who likes to do outlines and plan, do that. If not, just write.

5. Get help and support. Why do we think we should be able to write a book? You don’t learn how to do it in college and there really is a method to the madness. A book coach can help with creating the most marketable and transformational book for the audience as well as keeping you on focus and on track. An author’s assistant can help with the practical manuscript-prep items, like audience research, organizing already-existing inventory and more. Just make sure you are working with someone who has a lot of experience helping authors create successful books.

Here are two downloads
, the first called How to Build a Marketable Nonfiction Book and the second, From Idea to Published: How to Get it Ideas on Paper that might help give you some additional ideas.

One of the most affordable coaching programs (in my humble opinion) is at www.eWomenPublishing.com. Take a look at the website for more information about how you can succeed with your book in 2011. Enjoy!

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