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The Proper eBook Length

I’m often asked about the optimum Kindle eBook length should be. Unfortunately, a clear cut answer does not exist. However, it is possible to identify a range but before we do it is crucial to express the strong need to focus first on quality and second on length. In other words, depending on your writing style, readers can be entertained or helped with a low or high amount of words if in fact quality content is provided.

Assuming quality is the first priority I would suggest that a non-fiction be approximately 15,000 to 30,000 words. This is not a rule, rather a common range among helpful non-fiction books. If you are writing fiction then unless you’re selling a quick read, I would suggest a 30,000 word count minimum. Assuming you don’t have too many images or tables and your font is standard, it is reasonable to estimate that 250 words will generate a Kindle page.

When considering what your book length to aim for keep in mind that more pages has greater potential to earn you slightly more income. Again, it is imperative to reiterate that excessive words purely aimed at increasing the word count will not be helpful for you or your reader.

The greater revenue potential is caused by the Kindle Edition Normalized Pages (KENP), which is the amount of pages read  by customers who borrow your book from Kindle Unlimited (KU) and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL). Each page read equates to a fraction of a penny so a book with a low amount of pages is less likely to derive significant royalties through this source. Conversely, a novel that is 100,000 words and can successfully hook readers until the end can offer great additional royalty potential.

Before closing, I’d like to add that for me personally the only time word count matters is when I set a goal to complete a certain amount of words within a writing session. Most of my writing sessions require 1000 words before stopping, however, I would not continue within one particular section of a book until I reached that number. Moreover, if my writing session brought me to my book’s conclusion then I’d shift focus to hiring an editor rather than adding more words to meet my 1000 word writing session quota. In other words, I never focused on adding words for the sake of increasing my word count.

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Four Approaches To Design Your Book Cover

There are a variety of approaches and methods to design your book cover, so if you attempt the upcoming four options and you do not meet much success then keep going. Do not quit. There are plenty of options that can come from a simple Google search, so just keep pushing ahead, step by step.

Option #1Canva.com. If you’re on a budget and/or have a creative eye Canva.com is the most user friendly design platform to help a novice designer create his or her own book cover. It offers both free images and images for $1.00. It is free to sign up so the only expenses you will have will be based on the amount of premium images, designs, and fonts that you pick, but each cover will not cost you more than $5.00.

Option #2Fiverr.com. You’re probably beginning to see that I use and recommend Fiverr quite a bit. That would be an accurate observation because I use it all the time. Quite honestly it is the first site I go to when I’m unsure about a specific task that I need to have done. It is always relatively cheap, quick, and hassle free (I’m not an affiliate). Do a search for “Kindle ebook cover designers” and you’ll see a great deal of options. To avoid multiple purchases, be sure to hire work from a seller who offers free revisions and be sure to specify that it is for Kindle. You want to be sure that the image is the standard dimensions.

Option #3Etsy.com, Elance.com, Upwork.com, 99Designs.com. These options are helpful because they allow for greater customization. Typically the designers that you find in these platforms are a bit more skilled than the average designer that you might find on Fiverr, but this will cost a premium. I personally have one designer that I occasionally turn to and she charges me $35.00 for a book cover. The nice part about paying a little more is that it justifies your right to be a little more picky and detail orientated when you review your first drafts.

Option #4Archangelink.com. Essentially if you just want an awesome cover produced by professionals check out Archangelink.com. A bit pricey at $199, but if you can afford it I highly recommend it. I know a lot of authors who use Archangel Ink for a variety of services they offer and it just seems like these authors always end up selling a ton of books. Sure, the cover isn’t the only factor, but if the successful authors are using them and you have the budget, I recommend it.

Between these four options you should be good to go but I want to caution you that you should avoid beginning this process before you complete your title and subtitle. I remember when I first started self-publishing I got so excited about a book idea that I had that I started to have my cover designed prematurely. Needless to say, I ended up with a cover with an outdated title and subtitle. This isn’t a big deal if you’re using canva.com and paying only a few dollars, but any more than that is inefficient business.

With that being said let us take a minute to recap what we have covered so far. At this point we should be comfortable following the steps to creating a book title and maintaining certain criteria when developing the subtitle. Remember there is nothing wrong with looking at other books to help you develop an understanding of the appropriate format just be sure to avoid doing what everybody else is doing. Your goal is to stand out and peak a potential reader’s curiosity. That is going to happen with a creative book cover and a strong title subtitle combination.

Once you feel like you have a solid foundational understanding of the outside of the book along with your completed draft, there are some additional components that can be placed in your book to help grow an audience and increase the income potential. Beyond these items we’re also going to cover some typical book components that most readers scan right over and first time authors might forget, but are still very important to include.

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Product Review: Sentey LS-4560 B-trek H9 Headphones

As we attempt to perfect our writing process it is essential to reflect upon the setting. More specifically, we need to assess whether or not we can sit down and write and not only avoid distraction but ideally reach a zone that enables us to create high quality content in a short amount of time.

It goes without saying that this is very difficult to do, but it doesn’t mean we stop trying.

One of the factors we need to consider when creating a setting conducive to efficient writing is the sounds we hear when we’re writing.

Enter the Sentey LS-4560 B-trek H9 Headphones.

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I recently received that as a Christmas present from my wife. Before this I had been using the standard Apple earbuds that come with iPhone purchases. These were adequate, however, outside of blocking external noise it didn’t seem to be overly helpful.

Advantages

  1. Comfort. The leather material that surrounds your ear feels great against your skin as opposed to an earbud stuck in the ear for an hour or more. Headphone Buttons
  2. Bluetooth connection. While I type on my computer, I connect to my phone via Bluetooth, which means no annoying wires. An added bonus with a wireless connection is that whether you have to go to the bathroom or you need a refill of water, the headphones stay on which means less chance of being distracted in the process.
  3. Reasonably priced. Though I received them as a gift, these headphones cost just under $40.00. Compared to the majority of the competition this price is very affordable.                                               Headphones Package
  4. Easy storage. You can see in the image above that the headphones come with a shell shaped case. The headphones fold up and fit in perfectly. These go right in my nightstand for easy access whenever inspiration strikes and I have time to immediately begin writing. This is also known as the stars aligning.

Despite these advantages it is important to point out that these particular headphones do come with some negative attributes as well.

Disadvantages 

  1. Lacks noise cancellation. Personally, I have not used headphones with a noise cancellation feature, but this product does not offer such a feature. I have to assume that this would maximize efficiency throughout the writing process by better helping prevent potential distraction.
  2. Microphone is next to worthless. I do not use the headphones to conduct phone conversations, but if I’m writing and I receive a call that I have to answer, I want to be able to seamlessly answer the phone, have the conversation, and get back to writing. The two conversations I attempted to have while using these headphones resulted in me disconnecting the headphones, using the phone normally, then reconnecting to the headphones upon hanging up. Not a huge issue but an issue nonetheless.
  3. USB charger only. Though the battery life can last for up to 8 hours, when I want to charge them I have to plug directly into my computer as opposed to an AC wall outlet.

Overall 

For the price these headphones are excellent and far exceed my needs. I strongly recommend this product to any writer seeking the isolation feeling to maximize writing efficiency. I should note that though the sound quality seems be perfectly adequate, I am not an audiophile and therefore couldn’t tell you if it is produces a dramatically different sound compared to competition.

Hope this helps. Happy writing!

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My 4AM Writing Experiment

In the post You DO NOT Have to Write Everyday to Be A Writer I stated that writers should avoid pressuring themselves to write everyday. Moreover, it seems every where we look there is one ‘expert’ after another telling us that in order to be a successful writer then we should be writing every day.

To that I say bologna. I’m a writer, but I’m a father and husband first, which means I’m not going to pressure myself to write every day if it causes me to begin sacrificing valuable time with my family.

The problem though is determining when we can write, particularly if we have little kids (mine are almost 2 and 4 years old).

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Enter my 4AM Experiment.

I decided to try waking up each day during the previous week at 4AM. I would write for 45 minutes to an hour then do a 7 minute circuit work out routine. The results:

Monday – Success

Tuesday – Fail

Wednesday – Fail

Thursday – Success

Friday – No way jose (Fail)!

Overall, I’m happy with it enough to try it again this week. It isn’t easy, but once I’m out of bed and writing I end up feeling amazing all day because I’m so proud of what I did.

The only drawback is, at least initially, I’m so exhausted that it takes a good five to ten minutes to get my brain functioning adequately enough to produce decent content. However, I will admit that when I was working on my book, once I got past that 10 minutes I flew. More specifically, in a span of 45 minutes I produced over 1200 words.

I read it later on that evening just to assess the level of quality and it was pretty good. Conversely, my Thursday writing was an article that I was sending to an editor for my freelance pursuits. I was extremely happy with it.

The only problem was my editor tore it apart and asked me to “take another swing at it” which is code for send me something else that isn’t awful.

The lesson I learned here is that I’m going to use my 4AM wake ups for my own book development. I’m hiring the editors as opposed to the editors hiring me so it makes a bit more sense to allocate my time this way.

The lesson I’d like you to take from this post can be learned by asking yourself a question and honestly answering it:

How can you create more opportunities to write?

I’m not suggesting you write every day, but it doesn’t hurt to reanalyze your schedule every once and awhile to see if there are any new opportunities to squeeze out a bit more time for writing.

It may require some sacrifice but if it gets you closer to finishing that book you’ve been working on for what feels like forever then it’ll be worth it.

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Happy writing!

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You DO NOT Have to Write Every Day To Be A Writer

It seems like everywhere I turn some expert out there is telling me I should write every day. Even if it is for a short period of time, I should make it a habit to write every day.  For the longest time I would find myself stressed out because for whatever reason I was unable to successfully make myself write every day.

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I am a father of two and I work full time (about 40 to 50 hours per week) for 10 months out of the year. My daily routine can be summarized like this:

Wake up around 5AM. Brush teeth, shave, shower. Get my outfit on. Get one of my daughters and get them ready for the day. Kiss my wife and kids head off to work (coffee on the way).

I work from about 7AM to 4PM (often later), commute home and arrive by approximately 5PM. I hang out with my wife and daughters and eat dinner.

At 8PM we bring the girls up to bed.

By about 8:15PM we begin our night time routine. Clean the house, get the lunches and outfits ready for the next day which brings us to about 8:45PM or so.

work-management-907669_1280At this point we are both exhausted but this is when we take care of our side hustle objectives. We usually sit side by side for about an hour on our laptops writing. I should point out that the writing doesn’t always last for
an hour because we literally can’t keep our eyes open.

In the past I would go to bed upset with myself because I wouldn’t be able to fight through the exhaustion in order to make myself write every day. In addition, if I was successful one week then I would find that my wife and I would become more irritable with one another because we often neglected the time we needed to give to each other.

I was in a no-win situation. If I wrote every night my wife and I would be driving each other crazy. If I didn’t, I would feel like a lazy slob who wasn’t willing to step up and do what was necessary to achieve the success I so ambitiously sought.
town-sign-749613_1280This was until it hit me that I don’t have to listen to the experts. In fact, the experts might be amazing at implementing a schedule that works for them but are they really experts in my schedule? Definitely not!

I decided to create my own rules to ensure that I was writing enough but not neglecting other important aspects of my life. For me, I set a goal of a certain amount of words for the upcoming week that I want to write. I base the number on the responsibilities I know lay ahead in the week to come. If I have a few late days at work I might reduce the amount of words. If I know I’ll be able to get out a bit earlier than normal for a few days I’ll increase the amount.

Using my productivity system that I explain in my book The Persistence Formula I break each writing goals into 1000 word chunks. If I am hoping to write at least 4000 words for the week I’ll create four goals of “Write 1000 words towards Book X (or blog)”

It is important that you realize that I am not telling you to use my system. In fact I am intentionally not going into great detail about my system for ensuring that I am able to write enough.

I ask you to consider the following when you’re attempting to create your writing system.

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Plan regularly – every Sunday evening I write my goals for the week (which is based on my monthly goals). This is a regularly scheduled time that I allocated towards how many words I want to write for the week.

Follow through  – I believe the reason so many successful writers suggest writing every day is because they’re afraid of the procrastination and work avoidance that can stem out of a lack of a daily writing routine. I can very honestly tell you, however, that I do not write every day but I do continue to write on a regular basis.

Learn instead of stressing  –  though for the most part I am able to accomplish my weekly writing goals, every now and again I might miss a 1000 word block. Rather than beat myself over this missed goal I would reflect on what prevented me from achieving my goal(s) then adjust my future goal setting accordingly.

Write even if you’re not inspired – unfortunately your schedule will not always align with when you’re feeling inspired. Develop a way to capture your ideas when inspiration strikes so you have a data base of great ideas waiting and ready for you when you are able to sit down and write.

Regardless of the system you choose just remember that though there may be many experts out there that can genuinely help you. There may be times where you have to be your own expert and determine what works for you.

Happy writing!

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Being A Perfectionist Is Just Procrastination

I average 20,000 words per month while working a full time job, maintaining this blog, running my side hustle (see The Amazon Sales Formula) all while being the best dad and husband I know how to be.

You’re probably thinking I’m full of myself for starting a post with such a statement but in all honesty it is simply to prove one point.

I get things done.

Again, you’re still probably thinking I’m a bit conceited but hear me out.

I am able to get things done because I refuse to let small details prevent me from moving forward. Every first draft I write is pretty weak. It has even gotten to the point where I couldn’t finish my first read over before sending to the editor. At times I’m literally embarrassed at the content I create. However, I know that once I send it through the editing and revision process I’ll be able to create something that is valuable and helpful to many (not all) readers. smiley-452694_1920

Moreover, I believe that most of what I and others create will most likely not be gold at first. It will take some adjustments and some tweaks no matter how much of a perfectionist you are. For this reason I say focus more on getting the first draft out of the way.

If you identify yourself as a perfectionist then I hate to break it to you but you’re creating a permanent excuse that enables you to produce content at a snail’s pace. You might disagree with this and maybe you’re right. But before you ignore this article, I urge you to ask yourself the following questions.

Are you a perfectionist? If yes, then move on to the next question. If no and you’re not happy with the amount you produce then you may want to check out my book The Persistence Formula.

Are you happy with the quality of content you produce? If yes, then move on to the next question. If no, then I recommend you focus attention on methods to help spark your creativity in addition to reading authors you’d like to emulate.

Are you happy with the quantity of content you produce? If yes, then ignore this rant of an article. If no, then you need to ask yourself what you can do to step up your game. The reality is, you’re busy so your time is limited as it is. So you’re focus should be on taking advantage of the time you have. In other words, if you’re busy then you don’t have time to be a perfectionist. Get the draft done as soon as possible then either edit it yourself (though I would not recommend being the only person to edit your draft) or outsource that process. You can find some high quality yet affordable editors at elance.com and/or fiverr.com.

If you find yourself struggling to complete your writing or maximize the small amount of time you have available to write then check out the three strategies below. Bare in mind the strategies focus on helping people who struggle to produce because they are a perfectionist.

Track Your Words Per Hour

Strategy #1: Identify your current words per hour pace. Give yourself challenges to beat the current pace by five words or so. Time yourself and constantly assess what your speed is. Track the data. Focusing on improving your words per hour will help you avoid editing your words as you write them.

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Strategy #2: Verbalize your words into a voice recorder first then transcribe those words as you listen to your recording. Just focus on writing everything you say in the recorder and only go back to edit once you’ve typed everything you just recorded.

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Strategy #3: Incorporate more personal stories within your work. Obviously you only want to do this when it is helpful and valuable for your readers, but when it is this can be a great way to get yourself into a write zone. Use that momentum to continue writing.

 

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Two Free Facebook Groups Writers Need To Join!

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The legend himself, Jim Rohn.

One of Jim Rohn’s famous quotes, “Don’t join an easy crowd; you won’t grow. Go where the expectations and the demands to perform are high” illustrates why it is imperative that authors surround themselves with likeminded, productive people.

Many would agree and I can speak from experience when I say there are a significant amount of benefits of surrounding yourself with people who either are headed where you want to be or are already there. Doing so can expose you to positive habits and strategies, helpful resources, and advantageous networking opportunities. All of which can help bring you closer to achieving your goals.

Despite this, it seems many people do not take action on this. I could explore in greater depth as to the reasons people do not take action when it comes to expanding their network (or anything for that matter) but I prefer to focus on a two quick solutions that can easily enable you begin surrounding yourself with people who will help make you more productive by granting you access to the benefits listed above in addition to many more that I’m sure  you’ll learn about along the way.

The additional perk about the two groups I’m going to show you is that you can utilize them at your convenience in the comfort of your own home. Which means if you’re like me and you have a full time job and a family to care you can still take advantage of these groups.

Facebook Group #1: Authority Self-Publishing

Authority Self-Publishing

I found this group because I have been an avid Steve Scott follower. When I was in the process of writing my first book The Amazon Sales Formula I came across Steve Scott’s ebooks that focus on developing productive habits. As I became a fan of his work I quickly learned that he also offers a ton of valuable content for writers. I still struggle with the thought that his podcast Self-Publishing Questions is no longer. However, I was recently brought back to a state of joy when he and two partners created the Facebook group Authority Self-Publishing.

I use this group for motivation but also for advice questions. The image below shows a question I posted. I received three comments that gave valuable instruction which did cause me to adjust my marketing strategy. The second image below shows a post I made when I was feeling down about my first negative review which I wrote about in the article The First Negative Review. You’ll see that I received 19 likes and 18 comments. It was this support combine with my wife cheering me on that brought me from feeling discouraged to writing over 2000 words that same day!

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Facebook Group #2: Pat Flynn’s Kindle Publish Facebook Group

Pat Flynn's Kindle Publishing Facebook Group

Most entrepreneurs (particularly internet entrepreneurs) are well aware of Pat Flynn, but in case you are not he is basically the “it” guy when it comes to blogging and generating income online. He is best well known for his blog The Smart Passive Income. This guy is great because he somehow has scaled his audience without hindering his friendly, happy go lucky image. More importantly, he focuses on providing valuable content for free.

The Facebook group does just that. Valuable content at no charge from many great writers. Before these two groups I was paying $47 per month to be a part of a writing Facebook group. The group was phenomenal. I received tons of great strategies and met some great people, but why pay for it if you can get the same thing from the two groups above.

Go take action. Join these two groups.

I’ll see you there!

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5 Strategies To Use When You Don’t Know What To Write About

education-548105_1920Inspiration. We have all felt it before. All of a sudden we’re hit with the topic that we want to write about. If we’re smart we have a system to capture that idea whenever we’re not in front of our computer. If we’re lucky we’re in front of a computer ready to turn the idea that has magically bestowed upon us into a collection of words that offers valuable content for our sacred readers.

Inspiration. We have all felt it before. All of a sudden we’re hit with the topic that we want to write about. If we’re smart we have a system to capture that idea whenever we’re not in front of our computer. If we’re lucky we’re in front of a computer ready to turn the idea that has been magically bestowed upon us into a collection of words that offers valuable content for our sacred readers.

This post is about every day that isn’t like that.
The reality is there will be many days that we do not feel inspired. So what do we do now?

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A “wannabe” writer stops writing, loses momentum and eventually begins again months later only to go through the same cycle time and time again. You on the other hand, the real writer, combats the lack of inspiration by implementing one or more of the following strategies. I want to preface these strategies by giving you complete permission to adjust these in any way possible to make them more effective for you.

Exercise – For me personally there is nothing better than a jog along with some music that will help me zone out. I recommend the following Pandora stations:

  • Ratatat
  • Parov Stellar
  • Yo-Yo Ma
  • Jose Gonzalez

Experiment with the music, but the idea is to increase your endorphins while you put yourself into a bit of a trance. It is amazing what great ideas can pop in your head.

Converse – find a friend, spouse, family member, writing partner and just start talking to that person about what you have written about or would like to write about. The key here is forcing yourself to talk for 20 minutes or more. If you can’t think of anything that relates to your writing to discuss then talk about anything. Talk about how your feeling and try to discuss why you may be feeling that way. Many times you can use the source of frustration as a potential idea for something to write about.

Go Outside – this is simple. Go outside and observe what you see in great detail. Try to take it all in. Focus all of your attention on observing as many small details as you can. If it helps verbalize the small details out loud.

Write About Your Block In Your Typical Writing Setting – sit down in front of the computer and just start typing that you’re blocked and that you cannot think of anything to write. Write why you think this is happening and what you could you do to fix it. Try to write as much as you can. The idea is that if you’re in your typical writing position as you type words your subconscious mind will eventually throw an idea your way because you’re used to writing in that particular setting.

Read – if you truly can’t think of anything to write then grab a book that relates to your genre and start reading. Have a pen near by so you can write down questions, thoughts, and comments as you read. Do it enough then all of a sudden you’ll have plenty to write about.

There is plenty of things you can try to reignite your creativity and idea muscle, however, it is essential that whatever you choose if it doesn’t work just continue to search for your method(s).

If you’re looking for more strategies check out this article as well. Now stop reading and start writing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The First Negative Review

If you’re like me then you focus a great amount of attention on completing as much writing as you can whenever you have the opportunity. With a family, a full time job that often requires 50 to 60 hours per week, and a variety of additional entrepreneurial pursuits I am forced to maximize my productivity when I sit down to write.

On one hand I am proud of the habits I have created. As a result, I am efficient and extremely productive. On the other hand, every now and again, I can find myself forgetting that ultimately the words I am writing will be read by many different people.

These people will have and are entitled to their own opinions. Moreover, it is very likely, regardless of the quality, that a portion of your readers will not like what you have to say.

When this happens it is essential you do not, under any circumstances allow these opinions to cause you doubt yourself or your abilities. I say this because today I received my first one star review on amazon. In response to a suggestion I make in my book The Declutter Formula one reader was so turned off they felt compelled to leave the following review.

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Negative reviews are not uncommon and are often very helpful from a consumer stand point. When we go shopping online and we see a negative review we look at it as information we’ll either consider as helpful or unhelpful. We rarely look at the poor review and think to ourselves “jeeze that was mean, I feel really bad for the writer (or seller)”.

When the review is a result of your creation though it will hit you straight in the gut. It’ll hurt. Essentially you put yourself out there in an extremely vulnerable way and some person very easily demeans your message. Again, it hurts.

When (not if) this happens to you, it is essential that you refuse to let this negativity hinder your drive to continue writing.

To close I’m going to offer three quick strategies to help work through these discouraging reviews:

Strategy #1 –  Join writer/author focused Facebook groups or attend meet-ups. Tell members your experience and watch the support roll in.

Strategy #2 – Does the negative review offer any constructive feedback? If so, focus your attention on using the feedback to help improve your skills.

Strategy #3 – Read through your positive reviews. As bad as a negative review can hurt, a positive review offers a feeling of joy that is comparable to very little. The same day I received the negative review I also received the review below.

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Regardless of the strategy you choose to utilize to get yourself past that negative review, remember that time is of the essence and what you really should be doing is more writing.

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Punch The Blank Page In The Face With These 3 Strategies

Whether you refer to your list of book ideas, act on a sudden shot of inspiration, or finally decide to begin writing the book idea you’ve been sitting on for the last five years you, it doesn’t matter. You still might find yourself staring in front of a blank page without the slightest idea of how and/or where to start. Then as soon as you begin typing each letter you match it with an equal amount of deletes. At this point you are completely frustrated and annoyed.

I get it. I’ve been there. Don’t panic my fellow writer. Many have been there which means many have successfully escaped.

Check out the three strategies below to help you get yourself started. This is a pre-outline stage. Literally, you have nothing and you need something, anything. Breath calmly, rest easy, and enjoy the solutions below.

Strategy #1: Open Up The Flood Gates 

Grab a huge piece of paper or a the whiteboard of equal or greater size. Just start writing everything you think of when you think of your book. Do this for at least fifteen to twenty minutes. Do not put any restrictions on anything. Seriously, if it pops in your head during this time then write it down. It may or may not have anything to do with what you want your book to say, but for now that does not matter. Write down words, phrases, sentences, draw charts, pictures. The keys are to avoid withholding thought or ideas and to write for at least fifteen minutes, if not longer.

To be clear, if you write something down and feel as though it didn’t come out the right way, for the sake of this exercise just try writing it down again somewhere else on the sheet or board. Do not cross out or try to correct. If you find yourself requiring more than fifteen minutes then continue until you are completely empty, but force yourself to push through to the fifteen minute mark.

Once you have finished this process and you are completely and utterly unable to continue writing down ideas be sure to save this sheet or board somehow. I recommend you take a picture and/or if you have an iPhone you can use the GeniusScan app to scan and save it to your phone (see example below).

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This is only an example, don’t worry if yours looks completely different.

Strategy #2: Start Talking

Find a method to record your voice. I recommend the iPhone voice recorder app, but there are a variety of options out there so pick what makes most sense for you. All you’re going to do is start talking about your book. If this is difficult, pretend you’re answering the question “What is your book about?”. Force yourself to verbally respond in as much detail as you can.

Do not worry about repeating yourself, speaking incorrectly, confronting long pauses. None of these are going to hurt you later on. The key is you’re just going to start talking about what your book could be about. If you have specific ideas about possible chapter titles then include it.

Once you’ve done this save the recording and get ready to move on.

Strategy #3: Generate Keywords

If you have any friends in the internet marketing world then chances are you’ve heard the acronym SEO. Moreover, I’m sure you have heard of Search Engine Optimization. I bring this up because I want to make clear that generating keywords in this instance has absolutely nothing to do with SEO. For the purposes of trying to get yourself to a clear starting point with an organized road map guiding you along the way to happy finished book land. Use Google’s Keyword Planner  (free) or Long Tail Pro (paid software) to generate possible keywords within the subject of your book idea. Start identifying words and terms that you feel as though you could elaborate on and begin creating a list of at least 20 words or terms. Once finished with the list you have two options.

Either record yourself as you elaborate on each keyword and term verbally or write down a few sentences for each item on your list.

After you have completed one of the strategies above you now need to organize this information into a neater visual. Review the results of your chosen strategy then try to come with a list of at least ten potential chapter titles. For each chapter, you want to list each possible chapter subtitle that would fit. If you have more than ten chapter subtitles, you may want to consider breaking it into two separate chapters.

As you write each chapter title and subtitle, do not worry about sequential order just yet. Focus more on what you’re going to discuss within each chapter. When you complete this, you are officially ready and able to begin writing each chapter.

Pick one chapter that you’re very excited about and/or you feel confident about beginning. That will building the momentum and you can slowly chip away, chapter by chapter.

I recommend writing your chapters within Evernote because you can create a Notebook and title it what ever your book potentially may be titled. Within each Notebook, you can create a Note for each chapter.

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An Evernote notebook containing multiple notes for one of my previous books

Regardless of your writing tool, you now have officially eliminated the blank page that has had continued to taunt you.

Happy writing!