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How to Plan Your Book and Write in Less than 30 Days (Mind-map)

Hey this is Sasha, and today I want to share with you how you can write your book in 30 days, or at least give you an idea of how you can plan your book in a way that you can write it within 30 days.

The planning process is often one of those things that people get really confused about. There’s all kinds of ways to plan it. Sometimes you can plan a book simply in a note file, excel file, Trello, there’s a lot of different ways. It really comes down to your own personal method you can use a sticky note method, but in the end it comes down to creating topics or big plan ideas, so that you can take those and write deeper or expand on those topics, on that next stage, as you start writing what’s inside your brain, on to paper.

Whether you use a tool like Trello to plan your book out or you just do it on paper, totally up to you, but I’m going to share with you the concept of how to really plan those things out, so that way you can have your book basically ready to go as you get into the writing step. So If you’re a planner, here’s the video to watch.

In either case, what you normally approach planning is you start with a big concept when you’re writing a book, and I’ll show you how I do this.

When I go through the planning process, I pretty much do the same concept exactly as I’m going to share with you, but I do it a little bit quicker, I speed things up, I cut out certain things, I don’t really do big mind maps anymore, instead what I do is I use sublime text and Dragon Naturally Speaking, I use those tools to really speed up the process with a good microphone and I just speak the book. But before you get there, you kind of need to have a basic plan or idea. This is what I’m going to share with you.

The planning process

Let’s just take a book concept or idea that you want to write. Let’s just say we’re talking about photography, or we’re doing a book on how to build a photography business.

Here’s basically our main topic or main concept, now what you do is, you start to expand these things. It kind of comes down to how you want to structure your book. Do you want to do it based on building a photography business? Is it more about how to use a camera?

We’re going to say, let’s say the wedding photography business because it’s a popular business, I’ve actually been in that wedding photography business, so I know how it works and operates. And you can start breaking your book apart.

Breaking your book apart

As I start going into it, I might have one section or chapter before the sale, that could be one segment of the book, then I might have another segment that’s during the sale, and then another one that’s after the sale. So now I have these three components.

As I start looking into this, before the sale is before anyone really even knows you, during the sale is while you’re even operating and doing wedding photography for that person, and after the sale could be completely after the wedding process.

This just helps me get organized into thinking, how is that book going to be written? It’s kind of like a linear progression.

Now you start drawing some bubbles, before the sale it might be about how to get exposure, these are some of the things that photographers are concerned about.

Then another thing before the sale is how do you get referrals? This is kind of part of the exposure, so you take a couple of big concepts, it could be, how do you build out your website? These are things that people start thinking about. Or in other words, if you want to look at a big topic, it could be marketing. Marketing is kind of a big umbrella under referrals and getting exposure.

Coming up with questions

You start creating kind of like three to six bubbles, and now what you do is you list a lot of questions.

Once you take this concept and you have a few of these right here, you start listing questions. How do you get more referrals? This could be a question. Another one is, how to get referrals from referrals? How do you do referral bonuses? How do you do incentives? How do you build your website? How do you do a newsletter list? How does that work? how to upload pictures to that website? Is there any design elements that you need to know?

The same thing with marketing, the same thing with getting exposure. How do you do networking? These are all questions that people who are getting into the wedding photography business are going to ask. It might be, how do I network with seamstresses? Or how to network with people in your industry and use that as leverage to get more exposure and land more clients?

It could be in marketing, how to create the appropriate business card? How do you do that? Because a lot of people go with business cards the same way, is a name, a phone number, this and that and that’s it. It’s just very image based, instead, most business cards do not have a little line that says “Visit this link to get my free report on how to get a great wedding photographer for your wedding”. It could be “10 things most people don’t know when hiring a wedding photographer”.

And again, you have this business card and that’s the right way to really make a business card, that way when they visit that link, you get their email address, potentially their phone number, and you can make a follow up call. But it’s really all about building that process.

Breaking the book into chapters

So you create 6 to 10 questions under each one of these areas. Now I have let’s say 6 questions here, 6 questions here, 6 questions here, and here, so then you have 24 questions right here put together that you can basically write a chapter about. You have 24 little paragraphs or 24 little chapters or segments.

This could be one chapter, this could be chapter two, chapter three, chapter four. Now you have 4 chapters, and you have 6 questions under each, these are like paragraphs or sub-topics, and you have a lot of content already filled in for those chapters.

And you do the same thing during the sale. You start drawing this out, let’s say, how to deal with someone over the phone? Doing the contracts, you might have a lot of bubbles that you start building out and the same thing with after the sale. Or when you’re at the wedding, let’s say how to network, give away your business cards or show a slideshow, and how that all works.

As you start building these things out, you’ll see, and then again you have 6 questions here, 6 questions here, and do the same thing, you create three or four bubbles over here, and again, you have your topics after the sale. It could be follow up calls, this could be showing the photos, albums, there are all kinds of things, and again, you do 6 questions, 6 questions, it could be 3 to 5 questions. You have 24 questions here, so this is 4 chapters, and let’s say this is 4 chapters, so you have 12 chapters right there, you have a book, and you have all these questions that go with that book, answering those questions as you get into the book.

Different tools you can use to plan your book

And that’s ultimately what you’re doing, when you’re creating a book, you’re creating this mind map, whether you do that in Trello, in Microsoft word, on sticky notes, the concept is the same, you can literally do this in notepad or sublime text and just speak it, like using dragon natural speaking, and when you speak this out, you’re just basically answering these questions, and out comes a book. Because you’re answering these questions, this is what each chapter is all about. And if you’ve done the basic planning correctly, out comes your book, very quickly.

You can see how this really starts to expand and create this web very well and it ultimately creates the chapters for you book, and it’s all these questions and problems that wedding photographers are struggling with.

Ask other people to find out more questions

And if you’re struggling with getting the questions, one of the best things to do is go ahead and write other wedding photographers and say what are the things you struggle with in your business?

Some people may say, I struggle with getting referrals, I struggle with networking with other seamstresses, I struggle with the contract process on how to explain the contract, in which case you might say, how to do an overview of how to fill out your wedding contract by video.

You might have a video that shows people how to really fill out that contract, because some people just don’t know, they don’t understand the fields that you’ve written, so you need to explain those things to them.

How to deal with customer service through the phone? Again during the sale, how to do that process? Some people just don’t know how to do that, or maybe they’re introverted, they’re scared to speak to other people on the phone, they prefer in-person conversations.

All these things could be areas of fear for wedding photographers, or just things they don’t know, or where they can actually improve.

Just answer the questions and you’ll have a book

As you start creating this, if you go with a few questions under each main category or section, it slowly starts creating and building your book, and once you have this, the rest of it is just writing out the answers to those questions, which you probably already know.

Thanks for joining me in this video, I hope it made you think about some things of how to start spreading your idea from one concept, building things out and then just writing a question under each little topic or subtopic, and that ultimately is your chapters, and those are the contents for your book, and as you start answering those questions, there’s your book as your finished product.

Resource List:

Sublime Text
Nuance Dragon Naturally Speaking