Foundational Decisions to Make Before You Write Your Book

It takes a lot of effort to write a book.  How do you make sure the effort will be worth it?  In this month’s SkillBites Teleseminar, speaker Carol Abrahamson, CEO of Executive Authors (, shared a 4 step process for building a firm foundation for your book, thereby increasing the likelihood that your book will be successful.

Step 1 is to identify the business goals for your book.  These could include to promote your business, obtain media interviews or speaking engagements or awards.  Whatever your objectives are, you need to clearly identify them, determine how you will measure them and identify what data you will collect.  You also need to determine a timeline for when you will achieve those objectives and identify the action steps you need to take toward achieving the objectives.

Step 2 is to identify the target audience that you are seeking to attract with your book.  What issues are they facing?  What are they struggling with?  What are their dreams and hopes?  Who are they – age, gender, economic strata, industry, etc.

Step 3 is to identify the topics that these audiences would appreciate learning about, either to help them solve a problem, or provide a new point of view, or educate them about a new option.

Step 4 is to choose a book type.  The book type will help you determine the best format for the book as well as the voice you use in the book.  Carol has identified over 100 different book types just for how-to books, including Q&As, lessons learned, mistakes to avoid and case studies.  If you email Carol at, she will send you her list of how-to book types.

In choosing a book type, think about what comes naturally to you.  Take a look at what is already on the market.  If, for example, you see many books explaining how to do something, then you might want to write on what not to do, or mistakes to avoid.

Before you write any of the content for your book, go through Carol’s 4 step process to improve the likelihood that your book will achieve your objectives.

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