1. Figure out your top 10 signature stories and then get a friend you can tell them to who has a digital recorder or use a site FreeConference.com to get your stories out by phone and use their recording feature.
2. Look up five stories that are wonderful examples for what you are espousing in your writing. For example, think “The Tipping Point” by Gladwell and his first chapter on the ride of Paul Revere. See if there is some awesome story in history that hasn’t been told recently that you can use as what could be what I refer to as your “Cornerstone Story.”
3. Take these stories and then look at other books that are similar to yours that are ranked 10,000 or less (which means they are selling more — from 1 – 10,000 on Amazon). Note the number of chapters these top authors created, the number of pages, the titles of the chapters. Then look at both the good and the bad reviews.
View the lowest ranked books first as this will help you not get caught up in feeling intimidated to the point you don’t write your book because you don’t think you can achieve the same five-star accolades. If you read the lower-ranked reviews, first, you will feel more inspired. Trust me on this one.
4. Take note of the categories the books you are viewing are in so that you can create Google Alerts that will help you track what are the top subjects people are writing about and reading about in your area of interest.
5. Build your writing acumen by writing first thing in the morning even just for 10 minutes about your topic. This will help you develop your unique voice.
6. Check out sites like HARO – Help a Reporter Out, to gather up some great stories you can either add to your book or
7. Make sure you create a great cover.
8. Always have two or more editors go through your copy–the first editor should be a developmental editor or a ghostwriter who can look at your content for meaning, clarity, organization, style, polish and impact. Then always get a final editor for those nasty grammatical errors all writers have to pay attention to prior to typesetting.
9. I believe you should have your book professionally typeset. It makes a huge difference.
10. Have someone not from your inner circle write your back cover marketing copy. I do use a lot of different writers for my marketing copy. Then I add to it. It’s much, much easier this way.
Bonus: Get someone to help you–a book coach who has been through the ropes before.