I’ve shown others how to articulate goals, define their purpose, and align their vision with their core values for more than 30 years. When I launched my own business as a speaker and consultant, I had to learn how to convert the processes I used to facilitate group goal-setting strategies into an individual process to transform my own dream into a plan of action.
I attended many workshops hosted by many motivating speakers. Although their seminars were exhilarating, I felt less excited when I opened some of their books. Most of the texts were autobiographies that explained how they reached their goals with little information about how I could reach my goals. So, I created a workbook that shows others to confidently pursue their passions. Dreams to Action Trailblazer’s Guide empowers readers with tools they need to define their own goals and chart their own course.
Dreams to Action Trailblazer’s Guide is available on Amazon as an eBook. I am grateful to Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch, authors of APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, Amy Lynn Andrews and her rousing How to Write an eBook tips on amylynnandrews.com, and all of those who have shared their eBook writing experiences in blog posts and articles across the Internet.
Here are some of the best tips that transformed Dreams to Action Trailblazer’s Guide from an idea and into an eBook:
- Clarify the Subject of Your Book. What is your book about? What are your areas of expertise? What information do you have to share? How is your unique perspective fresh and interesting? Brainstorm. Make a list of possible titles for your book.
- Define Your Target Audience. Who wants to read your book? Who needs to read your book? Who will want to buy your book? Consider how your book fulfills a need or solves a problem for a potential reader.
- Carve Out Your Niche. Although there may be many books written about your areas of interests, no one can offer the distinctive perspective to the topic matter that you can. Become a thought leader in your field.
- Engage in Social Media Conversations. Join social media groups who share your passions. Read and comment on their posts. Build authentic relationships. Learn from those with whom you engage across social media platforms.
- Do Your Homework. Thoroughly research the subject matter of your book. Go to the library and read books and articles written by experts in your field. Pay attention to titles that capture your attention in bookstores. Check out the Amazon Kindle Bestseller list to learn more about the books that are available and similar to your interests.
- Create an Outline. Once you decide upon a topic or subject for your book, design an outline that will guide you as you write your book. Write a preliminary table of contents. You can change your mind throughout the writing process, but an outline will help provide your writing with direction.
- Write the First Draft Without Editing. The purpose of writing the first draft is to get your thoughts and ideas out on paper. If you try to write and edit at the same time, you will never complete your book. Write first; there will be plenty of time for corrections later.
- Get Feedback. After you write the first draft, then start editing. Your own words will become so familiar that you can become blind to errors that need correction. Invite others to read your draft who are unafraid to provide ruthless feedback. I invited people I met through social media venues to read and offer comments on my books. They provided outstanding feedback, valuable comments, and flattering reviews.
- Check (and Recheck) Your Grammar and Spelling. Do not rely on Microsoft Word’s spell check to make all of your corrections for you. When I write nonfiction and create submissions for journal articles, I refrain from using contractions and I write in third person. It may be helpful to hire a professional to edit your manuscript before you submit it.
- Recognize What You Can (and Cannot) Do. I know how to write quality content. I know how to edit. However, when I was ready to submit my manuscript for publication, I wanted the cover and pages of my book to reflect the quality of the content. I hired a graphic artist to design the cover and interior pages of my book. I found a technology wizard to help me create affiliate links within the eBook.
- Do More Homework If You Hire Someone. Check out their work if you want to hire someone to assist you with your book. Ask to see examples of their products. Contact their references. Insist upon a clearly-defined contract before you pay for anything. This will save you enormous headaches, time, and money.
- Follow the Publisher’s Instructions. Platforms such as Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)and Amazon CreateSpace have detailed formatting instructions.
- It’s Your Responsibility to Promote Your Book. Do not expect a publisher or Amazon or Kindle or your social media friends to publicize your book. It is up to you. Connect with others. Guy Kawasaki offers fabulous marketing tips in APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur.
Steve Jobs believed little details separated mediocrity from excellence. Although Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)and Amazon CreateSpace provide fantastic tools that allow you to create fine eBook and paperback copies of your book, I am so glad I enlisted the help of people I could trust to help me produce a quality product.
Believe in your inherent writing gifts and what you were created to give to the world.
Mark Coker, Smashwords founder, insists, “Authors should think globally from day one.” Believe in your inherent writing gifts and what you were created to give to the world.
There is an audience waiting for your eBook.
The time to begin is now.