Your book is the answer to one question.


What follows is the most important step you will take if you want to write a publishable and much bought book. Otherwise you will likely spend a year writing or dabbling at five unfinished books—and none will see printor will you receive a dime!

Fortunately, there’s an almost fail-safe way to get your book timely afoot.

First, you write a purpose statement about your proposed book. That is, in one sentence explain the purpose of your book. Let’s say the purpose of your book is to show readers how to swim safely from Alcatraz to San Francisco.

Next, convert that one-sentence statement into a working question. The question here is, “How can one swim safely from Alcatraz to San Francisco?”
Then your book is the answer to that working question, plus anything that defines the elements of the question. Here, that would start by defining Alcatraz, swimming, San Francisco, and the facts of the swim.

Type out the working question and tape it to your monitor. Yes, another item hanging from your monitor! It’s the judge. It will help you throw out lots of irrelevant facts and war stories that may be interesting in somebody else’s book, or another book of yours later, but not here.

Your book is your response to this working question only. That response is the reason for your book’s existence. Also, if you rigidly adhere to this formula, you will probably write your book twice as quickly.

There’s one more critical step: make a list of every secondary question that comes to mind from your working question. Questions that must be answered to achieve your purpose. The most obvious of these secondary questions begin with “who, what, why, where, when, or how.”

Like who makes this swim? Maybe kids and perhaps a few old people, but mostly those in their 20s-40s—and only those with the physical ability to swim! Answer those six starter questions, the “who, what, why’s…,” add some more secondary questions, and you have the core of your book outline.
Give the book an order that makes sense—like developmental or chronological, or perhaps create a series of case studies. Then sort the secondary questions into that format and, voilá, you have a tentative book outline. Those then become the book’s chapters.

For example, we might focus on the massive, annual Alcatraz to San Francisco swim and build from there. Our book might be a how-to case study with the reader the key participant. Since the purpose would be to take part in that event, you might start your book’s process a year in advance and tell what, step-by-step, the readers must do to progress from near zero (can they swim yet?) to completing the actual feat.

From that, you might add additional chapters about (1) how the actual swim can be done at any time and how that would be arranged, (2) other organized swims from Alcatraz to San Francisco during the year, (3) historical swims (and failures) in the past, (4) the dangers of trying and failing, and so on…

This process continues in How to Get Your Book Published Free in Minutes and Marketed Worldwide in Days

Best wishes,

Gordon Burgett

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2 Comments to “Your book is the answer to one question.”

  1. By Admin, July 27, 2013 @ 7:47 am

    Very much appreciated.
    Gordon Burgett