Hi everyone! Welcome to the Kindle Publishing Challenge – day 1 of spending a month getting your creation done and another month promoting it. There won’t be any sort of hard and fast rules. I’m not a babysitter and the only reward is your own success.
So today I want to tell you how it’ll work and then share a video with you and a bit of text that shows you my process. I was going to just quietly do part 2 of my Online Career Plans book in the background, and I will, but I also want to do something in FRONT of you – so you see the process unfold.
How the Challenge Works
Today is day 1 – we’re really just getting an idea, doing a bit of research, and outlining a basic table of contents for ourselves today. (Video of how I do that and text steps below).
Then, every day after this, we’ll do at least 1 page. First. Before anyone else’s work is done. That’s key. No excuses about what all else you have to do.
People have had questions – like they’re almost done with a book, can they just do that one? Or they have a bunch finished, will those work? Well I’m not monitoring everyone but why not do this from scratch and just see how easy a start-to-finish 30 day deal is and then do your other stuff on your own time? You don”t have to – I’m really not going to stop you either way.
She woke up this morning (I’m keeping her here another day too) and she sat down and stared at her computer. She kind of didn’t know where to start. So with her computer open and mine open, I showed her. I decided to do my own book on video for you so you can see the process unfold.
Mom got her outline done. I think she was happy with it. I know it’ll be good and it’s a great topic – one I know many of my OWN subscribers will enjoy reading.
Coming Up With an Idea
Geoff Shaw’s Kindling teaches this in depth in various ways. I am going to show my own method. Now the video showing the next three steps is listed at the bottom of this blog post but I want to write some things down. When it comes to developing ideas, and in the video you’ll see how I do it – sometimes I either know what I want to write about, or I have no clue.
For example purposes, I went with “no clue” on this one. So this was for someone who feels they have no expertise or whatever and wants to do a non fiction anyway.
I have a process for choosing ideas:
1. Drill Down in Amazon Topics
You want to drill as far as you can, picking categories with lots of books. It means it’s popular. So in my example, I choose a category called motivation – by drilling down through how to advice, health-mind-body, self help, and motivation. Might have been a couple of others but they’ll be in the video if so.
I glance through and see what’s selling. Effectiveness, productivity… Looks good to me! I’m productive. I’m effective. LOL!
2. I go to my free Google keyword tool.
I type in “motivation” (no quotes and not closely matched). I scroll through the 2 pages and see a lot on employee motivation or workplace motivation. Bingo! I used to be an employee and I had a bad attitude because they didn’t motivate people at all.
See for me, writing non fiction is all about sharing MY point of view. My opinions. I do NOT relate well to “facts” as a writer. Or as a reader unless I do really need specifics, like if I had diabetes and wanted to know exact blood sugar stuff, etc. But even then, I know I’d prefer to learn from someone’s personal viewpoint.
I write what I like. So there you go – employee motivation is my topic. It’s one reason I was so eager to leave the corporate world. Once my son was out of the danger zone with his RSV, I could have gone back and made more money – but I didn’t. No way! I’d rather struggle than return to that environment. And I’m glad I did.
Researching the Topic
In another tab I open another Google keyword tool and type in employee motivation. This time I DO closely match the searches. This is when I start jotting down simple one word entries that I find in the keyword tool like survey/questionnaire, retention, rewards, compensation, etc. The rest are in the video.
Then I go to Google and type the same phrase in and pick a few sites to go look at and just see what kinds of topics they cover. No cutting and pasting! Just glance, see if you’re going to cover everything. So I find a site and add coaching/training and work environment, etc.
Next, I go through several books on Amazon and see what their TOCs are showing. No reading, no copying. Just make sure you know that you’re covering everything, period. You want it to have your own unique slant on it. Not someone else’s.
Last, and I normally do this first actually, off the top of your head think about what needs to be in this book. Common sense stuff.
Developing a Temporary Table of Contents
From your one word TOC outline, you want to begin categorizing things in a logical order, then add ideas, delete them if necessary. Really can show you better in the video.
Here’s the Video (25 mins):
You can either click play on the vimeo video below or watch it at this link where I’ve uploaded it to my site: http://www.tiffanydow.com/gifts/ideaandtoc/ideaandtoc.html
Now – did you get your idea chosen and your TOC outlined?
If not, do it!