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    Home Articles

    Before You Write Your Book, Organize its Parts

    If you are a serious writer who wants to publish and sell books and informational products, you need to know where all the parts of your book are before you write it.

    After you decide on your topic, working title, audience, thesis, and "tell and sell" and before you write a single page of a chapter, you must organize your book and its chapters.

    Stop Piling and Start Filing!

    Maybe you're a stacker (horizontal multiple piles), a stuffer (look organized, but can't find things, a spreader (spread one pile to another place, then another), a slinger (undecided, you sling into a place behind closed doors).

    If your book is important to you, you need to be able to find the myriad of parts that go into it when you need them. Plan ahead to either keep all of your book's parts in a file, (on the computer and in hard copy), or in a huge three-hole binder with various sections.

    When each part of your book is nailed down on an 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper, with information put on one side of the paper only, so its category can be quickly seen, filed and found when needed, then put into its hard copy proper chapter file or other front and back matter, I guarantee you can find any part of it within two minutes.

    First, you will need a book file to include chapter files and other related information. Second, you will need a promotion/marketing file. Before you start writing, have them handy. Buy files or boxes that can hold manila folders and all of your notes and clippings 8 1/2 by 11 size. You may also keep other versions in a file in your computer. Whenever you see something, a book title, a quote, an article that relates to your book, pop it into the proper file.

    Write your book fast--find it fast!

    Keep every piece of important paper vertical. If you take notes, jot down a great quote, make sure it gets taped or stapled to an 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper, on one side of the paper only, so it is easy to file and retrieve. When you take different notes on one page, or allow your scraps of brilliance to get into the horizontal piles, one of those great ideas will get lost. Along with 20% other important papers, make your book the number one priority in your life. Give each paper a special place in your file to assure you can write your book fast!

    In Your Book File

    In one box or file, fill it with manila folders. Arrange and label by "Front Matter," which includes your acknowledgements, testimonials, copyright and ISBN information; Chapters 1-end, within each you will put your research, articles, partially written chapter, and four-fifteen questions you want to answer in each chapter. Put a color divider between each section. Arrange by alphabetical order if that works for you.

    Sample Files for your Book:

    • Talks you create on your topic
    • The Book's Audience
    • The Book's Introduction in Five Steps
    • The Book's "Tell and Sell"
    • The Table of Contents
    • Mentions (quotes from authors, their names, titles to use later when seeking testimonials)
    • Back cover (Copy others and be sure to include benefits and testimonials)
    • Front cover/title (Include your best 10 and ask friends to vote for best)

    Back Matter:

    • Bibliography
    • Index--need this to sell to libraries
    • Resources/Appendix
    • Glossary
    • Author's bio/photo(inside back cover)

    Front Matter:

    • Table of Contents
    • Testimonials
    • Acknowledgements
    • Foreward
    • Title Page/ISBN/copyright
    • Introduction
    • Dedication
    • Library of Congress

    "Contacts Influential" - from mentions and other professionals, create a list of 50 for peer reviews/testimonials. These people help sell your books. Keep them in a file on your computer if you like.

    Permission requests - Get it in writing when you quote others.

    In Your Chapter Files

    "Mentions" - quotes from famous/professionals which apply to a certain chapter, such as (1-end)

    Chapter One--And All the Rest of the Chapters:: Title, page numbers, notes, stories, how-to's, quotes, exercises, tips, intro, partial document, chapter format Format for each chapter

    In Your Marketing/Promotion File: (Arrange these alphabetically)

    • Marketing plan--launch and lifetime
    • Query/One-page book proposal if you seek an agent
    • One-page programs/seminars/talks
    • Email data base
    • Web site
    • Your eNewsletter
    • Magazine articles to market your book
    • Book signings
    • Radio interview questions
    • Media kit/power press release
    • Ideal book review
    • Business cards
    • Brochures
    • Flyers
    • Final testimonials
    • All marketing Online and offline projects

    If you want to write, publish, and sell your books fast, you definitely want to organize all parts before you set off on your magical mystery tour with purpose.

    Copyright © 2001 Judy Cullins

    Judy Cullins is an author, publisher and book coach. The above article is excerpted from Write Your eBook or Other Short Book-Fast! Subscribe to FREE ezine "The Book Coach Says..."

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ

    WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! Kick start your imagination, ignite your creativity, and begin your journey towards becoming an outstanding writer.

    Grab a copy of WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! from and receive 2 free e-books to encourage and nurture the writer in you. You'll also receive Write Memories, a journaling workbook available for free only to WEEKLY WRITES book owners. And finally, as a WEEKLY WRITES book owner, you'll have free access to e-mail courses such as JOYFUL WRITES: Celebrate Your Life through Writing

    For excerpts, reviews and what you need to do to receive the 2 free e-books, Write Memories and sign up for free e-mail courses, just head on to the Weekly Writes Book Official Site. (Clicking on the link will open a new window.)


    The Journaling Life: 21 Types of Journals You Can Create to Express Yourself and Record Pieces of Your Life

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