1. Choose a Topic
The first step to writing a book is deciding what you are going to write about. Choose a topic that not only interests you, but will interest your readers. Make a list of your personal interests and subjects that you already know a lot about. Next, sign up for a free Google AdWords account and visit the tools section. Using the Keyword Planner, you can type in each of your interests and find out what is popular and get more keywords to use in your book title. For example, if one of your interests includes UFO sightings, type “UFO sightings” into the new keyword and ad group ideas section. Click “Get Ideas” and you will get a list of what people are searching for. A popular search term under UFO sightings is for sightings 2014. For our make believe book, we are going to right about the hottest UFO sightings in 2014.
2. Write a List
After you have chosen your topic, it is time to make a list of all things you will be including in your book. For our book on the hottest UFO sightings in 2014, we are going to break our list into states. Open a new document and, at the top of the page, type in our current title of Hottest UFO Sightings in 2014. Our goal is to find one great UFO sighting for each state in 2014, so we change our title to 50 Hottest UFO Sightings in 2014 and make a list of the names of each state in the U.S. After our list is complete, it is time to move onto the next step: research.
To find the latest information about our subject, we are going to use the internet. As we search and scour the internet for the latest UFO sightings for each state, we will be adding our notes to our list of states. At this point, we are not worried about duplicate notes or organizing our research. Our main focus is to find the most exciting UFO sightings that happened in 2014 for each state.
During the research phase, we will also be contacting people about sightings. We might interview some specialists and we may be able to get in touch with the eyewitnesses. We will takes notes of everything and document our interviews. Add as much information as possible under each state about all the interesting UFO sightings.
By the time we are finished with our research, we will have the makings of a rudimentary outline. All of our research notes and interviews should have been added to the list.
It is time to get organized. Focusing on one state at a time, we read through all the research we’ve have gathered. We’ll decide on what information to keep and what to delete. We’ll cut and paste our notes into sections. Make notes chronological and decide on the best place to put the interview. Any personal thoughts and conclusions should appear at the end of the entry.
The reason why we did your research first and are now organizing our notes is because it makes the process of writing our book easy. By the time we are finished with our outline, we will be playing connect the dots with our notes and turning them into full sentences and paragraphs.
5. First Draft
We have followed through with the research and the outlining. Writing will be the easiest part. We begin by focusing on each section of the book. We’ll skip the introduction and the conclusion, for now.
As we are writing our book, we may discover that we’ve missed a few facts in our notes. Since this is our first draft, we are not worried about perfection and, instead of stopping our writing flow, we will instead mark those missing facts with dashes (------) and come back to them later on when we are editing.
When we are finished with the body of our book, it is time to write the introduction. The introduction to our book should begin with a hook sentence. A hook sentence is a sentence that is interesting or intriguing. It draws the reader in. After the hook sentence, we will tell the reader why he wants to read our book. We will also list any benefits the reader will get from the book and include a short paragraph on why we wrote the book.
After we have written our introduction, the conclusion chapter will be easy. This chapter will sum up what the reader has read. It will tie together all the issues the book raised. It can also include information on how the research will impact future studies, beliefs, or habits.
Holy cow, we made it! We’ve turned our list into a book. Now it is time to go back over our book and begin the editing process.
A popular method used to edit books is to begin reading our book out loud in a funny accent. This will force us to pay attention to what we are reading and it will help us pick up any mistakes.
Correct all spelling mistakes and typos. Smooth out any awkward sentencing. When we reach the dashes we put in for missing information, we’ll take the time to look up the facts and add them in.
After finishing the first edit, it is time to take a break. For the next day or two, we’ll work on something else so that we can return to our book with fresh eyes.
9. Final Proof
It is time to go over our book with a fine-toothed comb. Kick back, relax, and start reading out loud again. Make corrections.
We’ll also have our computer read the book to us. This feature is available on both Macs and PCs.
If it’s possible, we’ll ask someone else to take a look at our book. Print the book off and give them a red marker. Ask them to mark up the pages whenever they spot a mistake or if they feel that there is a problem with the wording.
We will also want to take a final look at our book’s title. Does the title accurately reflect the content of our book? Does it have good keywords? After giving our title some thought, we decide that we will change our book’s title to 50 Unbelievable UFO Sighting in the United States: 2014 Edition.
10. Cover Design
When it comes to cover design, we have two options: we can make our own cover or we can hire someone else to make the cover for us.
If we decide to make our own book cover, our first step is to study other book covers in our genre. We observe what background colors are popular, the fonts and font sizes, and how images are arranged on the covers. We will also note how covers with white backgrounds also have a border around the edges so that the book stands out against Amazon.com’s white background.
A lot of work goes into creating a book cover, so we can decide to purchase a cover for our book. One of the most popular places to get an inexpensive book cover is on Fiverr.com. For $5, we have someone else deal with the hassle of sizing and coordinating the text and imagery on a cover.
After all this work, there is still more to do. We have to layout our book in MS Word and upload it to Kindle. When our book goes live, our next step is to market our book and begin work on our next book.