At Wheatmark we’ve worked with thousands of authors, and based on this experience I am proposing this ten-step process for writing your next nonfiction book. This process incorporates blogging in advance of your book’s release, so that you get a head start on building an audience for your book.
1. Make a chapter outline of your book. All you need is enough detail to describe what you are promising to give the reader in each chapter.
2. Get input on your outline from a trusted reader or editor. This should be someone who is a reader of the type of nonfiction book you are writing. Revise the chapter outline based on their input. Repeat as needed.
3. Now that you have a finalized chapter outline, write each chapter as a blog post, immediately posting each chapter on your blog as you finish it. Point all of your followers on social media to each new blog post. Save any comments or feedback you get. End every post with a note stating that you’re coming out with a book on the subject you’re blogging about.
4. Once you’ve completed all the chapters as blog posts, assemble them into a manuscript. Also, assemble all the comments and feedback you received. Read through the entire manuscript noting any changes you would like to make. Revise or rewrite the manuscript. Repeat as needed.
5. Get an editorial review from a professional editor. (At Wheatmark we call this a Reader Report.) This should be a top level standalone report which evaluates the big issues like the suitability of your manuscript to your target market, and what level of editing your manuscript requires.
6. If the editorial report recommends a developmental edit, hire a professional editor. Rewrite the manuscript based on the developmental edit. Repeat as needed.
7. Give your manuscript to your writers’ group, or a few trusted readers. These should be avid readers of the genre of book you are writing. Revise or rewrite the manuscript based on your readers’ inputs. Repeat as needed.
8. Get your book copyedited by a professional. Make sure they use the “track changes” feature in your word processing program, so that you can easily go through what the copyeditor sends you and easily accept or reject changes. Repeat as needed.
9. Get your book interior designed by a professional book designer who understands your target market.
10. Have a professional proofreader make corrections directly in the final designed book interior.
That’s it. Follow this process and you will insure that your book is the best it can be while building demand for it once it is released. What’s your writing process? Leave a comment!