Words to Profit

Marketing tip

The Easiest and Best Way to Write Your Book

by Diane Eble

You want to write a book. You have an idea. Great!


But you don't know where to begin.


I have your answer.


Start with an article.


You've heard the expression: "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."

The "elephant" is the book. The "bites" are the series of articles that will eventually make up the book—each article a piece of a chapter.


You can assure yourself of finishing the book if you just tell yourself you will work on one little piece—one article, with one thought—at a time.


Set a realistic goal. If an article a week isn't realistic, then try an article every two weeks, or one a month. Either way, you'll be making progress.


The Hidden Treasure in Your Articles


Once it's written, don't just move on to the next one. Whether you know it or not, your article contains a hidden treasure. There is extremely valuable information about your audience locked up in that article.


You can unlock the treasure and put that article to work for you to actually shape your book into something you know people will want to read.




By publishing it online, and using the feedback that's available to learn more about your audience.


When you publish an article in an online ezine directory such as ezinearticles.com, the directory keeps track of how times people have viewed your article, how many times it's been published in other places or emailed to people. People are also allowed to vote on your article, and to comment.


As you write your book, article by article, chapter by chapter, you can get a feel for which topics are most interesting to other people. You may find out that some articles receive a lot of votes and comments, others get none. This will help you reshape your book so that you give people more of what they want, and don't bore them with what they don't want.


This really gets me excited. Never before has something like this been available to writers. Before, it's always been a crapshoot as to what people really will want to read. The Internet tools available now have changed all that—to writers' everlasting advantage.


You just have to know how to use the tools.


What to Do with Your Article


Once written, submit your article to ezine directories. Start with ezinearticles.com , the biggest and best directory. Look through the categories and find the one that most closely fits your audience's needs. Go as far as you can.


For instance, this article could go in the "Writing and Speaking" category, but it's best if I go further and put it in the "Writing and Speaking—Writing" category. Now, I could put it in "Writing and Speaking—Writing Articles" category—but I won't. Why not?


Because you, the reader, are probably most interested in this point in writing a book, right? I'm telling you the best way to do that is to start by writing articles, but that's not what's on your mind at first. See how it works? You always start with your audience. It's all about them—not you!


People will find online articles through keying in words or phrases in the search box, so you will want to figure out what kind of keywords people will use to find the information in your article. All ezine directories will ask you to submit keywords. Make your title and your first paragraph, especially, rich with keywords.


In addition to keywords, you need to submit a summary of your article. This is like a little ad to get people to read it, so you want to make sure it summarizes well what you want to say, while enticing them to read more.


The next unique thing about an ezine article is that you can include an author's bio box, also called a resource box. Here is where you can put something in about yourself. Here is where you can also ask them to take some action—sign up for your newsletter if you have one, or your blog, or go to your website to read an excerpt from another book you have, etc.


I suggest you put up a simple blog where you can post your other articles, and say in the resource box, "To read more articles on this topic, visit http://www.yourblogurl.com ." Blogs are great because they're free, quick and easy to put up and maintain, search engines like them, and people can comment on them as well. Just make sure that the articles on your blog and the ones in the ezine directories are at least 20 percent different.


Use the information you're learning about your audience to rethink your book's content as necessary.




One caution about using this technique: Do not submit the content of every single chapter to online directories!


  Two reasons for this.


One, a chapter is probably too long for an article anyway. One chapter may end up being the equivalent of several articles. You'll want to submit only 500-900 words tops as an ezine article. Use something that's representative of the chapter. All you need is a sense of how people like your content.


Second reason you can't submit all of what will eventually be your book's content is—no publisher will touch it if it's already been published.


However, if you can approach a publisher and say, "pieces of several of these chapters have gotten 10,000 views, been picked up by 2000 other ezines, and received 300 comments"—well, let's just say a publisher is likely to be convinced you have an audience, even if you're trying to sell your first book.


Further Resources …


  • If you're having difficulty coming up with ideas for your book or articles, read " Two Never-Fail Ways to Overcome Writer's Block." The second technique is especially good for coming up with ideas so quickly you'll be amazed. One of my clients used this to restructure her book in two minutes! She used the same technique for each chapter and in one day, got the whole book ready for editing. My 16-year-old son, who has writer's block big time, also used this when he needed to write a paper. Within 15 minutes we had mind-mapped his paper's ideas, and he was on the computer typing his paper. Amazing tool! 
  • The second resource is Jeff Herring, " the article marketing guy." I've been listening to Jeff's free teleseminars for some time now, and have learned a great deal. All the ideas I've tried from him have produced great results. Jeff also has all sorts of  great programs and resourceson article writing and marketing. I believe he is about to start a 4-week module called "Article Writing & Marketing Secrets," coaching over the phone on how to submit articles so you and your articles can rise, maybe even soar, above the completion in your niche. Check it out.  
  •    Finally, for an updated list of 50 ezine article directory sites, with links,  click here. 

Watch Diane suggest how to get the most out of your visit here.


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Recommended Resources

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Read my article on why you need a book proposal, even if you plan to self-publish.


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