10 factors of consideration before you write your first book

by Andrew Chow | July 2, 2019

  1. Do plenty of research and quote the sources. Let’s face it. No matter how authoritative you are in your subject. It is always good to quote other sources which agree with your finding. If you have done extensive research and benefited from stepping on the shoulder of others, give credit when credit is due. Statistics, info graphics, case studies, surveys are always helpful supporting data which will enhance your points as you develop and communicate your thoughts leadership
  2. Create interesting title for every chapters with a byline to follow up. Make every chapter a mini book by itself. It deserves all the attention on its own. Brainstorm other ways to bring out the best in a title, make an extra punch by asking a strange question. Make a bold statement and qualify it later. All chapter titles will be on the contents page. This will affect buying decision of readers at bookstore as they are browsing through your book.
  3. Provide a Personal Reflection section with questions to ponder. Self -reflection, discussion points and brainstorming guidelines are always key in adult learning and development. Where do you want to take the readers to after reading your chapters?  Are there areas you wish your readers to consider by going through a self discovery process? Personal Reflection List is a great tool for introducing other consultancy or coaching services of the authors very discreetly.
  4. Summarize the key learning points of your chapter into bullets at the end of a chapter. This is excellent for a quick recap of your chapter. It is also excellent for book reviewers to get the salient points of your chapter. These summary points can also form the basis of future workshops you are conducting. If you have 10 summary points for every chapter, you may like to consider giving titles like “Ten Things to Recall” or “Ten Steps to Success”.
  5. Explain how to read your book in your preface. Is your book meant to be read from cover to cover or just specific sections for different levels in the organisation? It is important to tell the readers how to approach your book and manage their expectation of the readers by providing different objectives clearly. A good preface highlights the purposes of different sections, acknowledge different contributors, family members, close friends, business associates and partners who have helped the author to produce the book.
  6. Connect readers through your social media contacts. It’s the social media age and everyone is connected by some platforms via social media. The new media has given tremendous resources for research and engagement. You will get quality feedback from participating in conversation on professional networks like Linkedin. You will create a social media buzz by creating a fan page on Facebook for your book so that readers canshare their success stories after reading your book.
  7. Enable readers to get further  learning tools and templates from your book’s microsite. The digital world has created many further learning options by converting ideas and concepts to templates and worksheets. Enabling these to be downloaded from your microsite will help to raise more advocators for your book which will increase your book sales eventually. It is also a great lead generation tool for those who get to know about your microsite first before knowing your book even existed.
  8. Organise all technical details to a Resource Section. Appendix, diagram, mind maps and web links are all great tools for clarity, however they may be best served in a Resource Section to avoid disrupting the flow of thoughts for readers as they are reading your book. It is also a good avenue to give acknowledge to the great researchers before you in this section. The additional work you may be expected to do is to provide cross reference (page number) throughout your book about where to find the resources.
  9. Build credibility by providing a Further Reading List or Glossary. Work with other authors of similar domain, get a public contribution of different definition of terms used throughout your book and compile a glossary list. This is an excellent way of getting more people to take ownership of your book. When your book is published, these people will be the ones looking out for it and actively advocating it to their friends. If there is ever a section where user-generated content is possible, this will be it.
  10. Add value by providing skills, knowledge or instill attitude change, not the number of words written. This may be your experience, wisdom, knowledge or insight you have gained over the years as a practitioner, research or consultant. Give value to enable readers to get a quantum leap in their journey, not just an incremental growth. It is not about how many words you can write but how much insight you can inspire throughout your book. If your objective to write your book is to impart skills, transfer knowledge or change attitude, you will be rewarded in due time from the book sales.