book table of contentsOnce you have your Vision and a 10 word Purpose Statement you really know what you’re book is all about. Consciously and unconsciously ideas are accumulating.

Now it’s time to begin to organize the information you’ve got in your head and/or determine what sort of research you need to do.

If you love to outline this is a good time to begin that process.

But if you’re like me and the very word outline make sure shudder there is an easier way. I call it a working table of contents, which is really just a list.

A table of contents is just a list

In truth the table of contents of any book is simply a list. True it’s a list in a particular order with page numbers added to help readers find their way, but anyway you slice it it’s also a list. And lists are pretty easy to write. That’s probably why I like lists better than outlines.

So that’s where you start. You make a list of everything that needs to be included in the book.

When I say everything that the book needs I’m talking about the major ideas you want to be sure make it into the book.

Your goal is between 10 and 20 or 25 items. If you have many fewer than 10 or a ton more than 25 on your list, most likely you need to add to it or prune it.

My cat book example

Working again with my notion I may want to write a book about cats, here’s an example of how my list might start: [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

hate marketingI don’t know how many times I’ve heard writers say, “… but I hate marketing!” In fact, I’ve been known to say it myself, at least I used to.

Maybe it’s no wonder we tend to actively dislike the whole idea of marketing ourselves and our writing. After all, we’re all subjected to tons of so-called marketing messages every day. According to Jay Walker-Smith, Yankelovich Consumer Research, quoted at“We’ve gone from being exposed to about 500 ads a day back in the 1970s to as many as 5,000 a day today.” Although some will argue the numbers, the truth is we’re all exposed to marketing clutter.

Typical writer’s objections to marketing

Here are some of the objections I’ve had two marketing and I know other writers have had as well:

  • We don’t like it, often, when someone markets to us.
  • We have a sense we shouldn’t have to market ourselves and our writing.
  • Marketing feels like selling out.
  • We’re embarrassed talking about ourselves and our talents.
  • Marketing is boring.
  • We don’t know how to market.
  • Were sure were going to do it wrong.

[click to continue…]


Your Book Needs a 10 Word Purpose Statement

January 20, 2015

When you do a Visioning for your book, you’re opening up to wider possibilities. The Purpose Statement helps you hone that vision to the laser-like focus you need to get your book written. When you couple vision and purpose you’ll have a book that says exactly what you want to say, with clarity, clear organization and […]

Read the full article →

Martin Luther King and the Power of Words

January 19, 2015

Every now and again I remember what a real privilege it is to be a writer. Not only do we get set our own hours, go barefoot to our office, and have a commute measured in inches rather than miles, we also have the opportunity to influence hundreds, maybe even thousands of people – maybe […]

Read the full article →

3 Kinds of Freelance Writing Marketing Secrets

January 15, 2015

Who knows how often it’s been said but it’s true – marketing is the key to success in freelance writing. I’m often contacted by folks hoping for freelance writing marketing secrets, and while I doubt there are any marketing tips that are truly secret, I suspect there is information that is not quite obvious I was […]

Read the full article →

How to Create a Vision for Your Book

January 13, 2015

We talked about Visioning your writing business. Visioning is also a wonderful tool when you decide you’re going to write a book. When you create a Vision for your book you accomplish several things: You open yourself to a larger idea or an expanded idea about your book You set the stage for real clarity […]

Read the full article →

Why Do Freelance Writers Want to Write Books? Why Do You (if you do)?

January 8, 2015

Why do freelance writers want to write books? At least it seems most, if not all, writers have a desire to write at least one book. The reasons run from a vague sense that a book is probably a good way to make money, or at least get better known to a passion about something. […]

Read the full article →

Think Small in 2015 for Freelance Writing Success

January 6, 2015

By Allison VanNest of The trick to having your best and biggest year ever as a freelance writer is to think small. Wait, what? Yes! When you think small you actually increase your chances for freelance writing success. A study by the University of Scranton found that only 8% of people will follow through on their […]

Read the full article →

Create a Vision for Your Freelance Writing Business

December 22, 2014

As the new year approaches, many writers, myself included, want to set goals for our freelance writing business. A better approach is to first create a vision for your freelance writing business. Visioning is a way to invite your intuition (even spirit) to inform you about what you really want, and how you want to […]

Read the full article →

What You Need to Know to Write a Book Now

December 18, 2014

The desire to write a book is something many, perhaps even most, freelance writers share. Often, however, it seems like we writers postpone that book writing project roughly forever. The possible exception being those truly hardy souls who manage to get a novel written in a month during National Novel Writing Month. All sorts of […]

Read the full article →