There is a chasm between how novice and expert authors outline and write their book. Now, a lot of people writing a non-fiction book approach their writing like this:
Have an idea, start brainstorming, attack it with gusto, have too much content, rearrange it, hire an editor, editor does a huge review and two rounds of changes, mould a final book, find an angle, write blurb, hope it sells.
I used to be one of those people, so hey, I get it. But then I thought, what if I put some planning and research into those steps… would that help?
Steps in Planning and Writing a Book
Step 1: Book Research. Find an angle that is a small gap or difference to other books on topic. Ask yourself questions. Determine reader type and purpose of book.
Step 2: Brainstorm and mind map your topics.
Step 3: Outline. In a Google Docs draft, write the outline and summarise each chapter. Decide here on length of book and then length of each chapter. You could also use Scrivener, if rearranging sections and using references.
If research will be part of your book, start collecting cool ideas and research results. Look at comparative and competitive books and find the gaps.
Step 4: Start writing with the research, quotes, and creative ideas, on the topics in each chapter. Be mindful of structure. See if you can add useful reader resources in some of the chapters.
Step 5: Self-editing. Check chapter lengths. See if the creative content is on par with original reader wants and needs.
Step 6: Feedback. Get beta reader feedback and integrate what seems right to you.
Step 7: Take a fresh look, make it as logical a flow as possible, also check voice is consistent.
Step 8: Send to editor for their copy editing work
Step 9: Integrate the editor’s comments and finalise. Fact check/Copyright check.
Step 10: Typesetting. Send for formatting or do it yourself, if you know about book layout.