Getting Started for Authors Tip: Break Your Book Up to Avoid Being Overwhelmed

The 31 Days of Author Tips features the advice from Jenn Grace and other authors, publishers, and people in the writing industry. From hearing Publish Your Purpose Press Founder and CEO,  Jenn T. Grace, you’ll learn the basics of the writing process as well as more intricate details and tips not found anywhere else. You’ll learn how to be better prepared when you set out to write your story. Whether you are writing a memoir or any non-fiction where a piece of your story is shared, you’ll be better equipped for success after having listened to these tips.

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Author Tip Transcript

Tim Ferris offered this tip on a podcast about four years ago, which discussed his “Four Hour…” books.

Instead of thinking of your book as one long arch (intro to conclusion), he thought about making each single chapter able to stand alone. This is a non-fiction book strategy. This concept allows you to laser focus on one topic at a time.

The biggest benefit of approaching each chapter as a stand-alone, comes when you’re marketing your finished book. It works as part of a book launch, public relations campaign and promotion activities. You want to give media and leaders in your industry a hook to invite you as a guest on a show, feature and quote you in articles, promote you to their constituents and clients, etc. Offering one chapter, specializing in one target area, creates an easy hook.

  • Provide a specific chapter on one topic within your mission/vision exclusively to one prominent contact in that field/market. Sharing that one resource will give you the biggest bang for your buck to reach the most people and have significant impact and build interest in visiting your website or searching for the book. Be strategic about who you pick. There are pros and cons to consider when choosing a mass market vs. a targeted audience approach. (Example: Writing about sugar and diabetes may go to a diabetes blogger (targeted) or to a general website on healthcare topics (mass).)
  • Industry average is to offer 40% of your book for free during your marketing campaign.
  • Figure out how to take all your mass thoughts into a book that moves you into being a specific expert in one area.
  • Adding more topics could be in separate books.

Thinking about writing a 60,000 word book can be terrifying and unmanageable. Writing one chapter for 6000 words seems do-able. Work on one chapter at a time.

Some strategies to break down content for a chapter/section as an expert in topic:

  • Write as if you’re a guest blogger for a targeted site
  • Write for a magazine that specializes in that topic
  • Write as if you’re doing a presentation at a conference or a meeting for people in one particular field or expertise area

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