Illustrations by David Saracino
Today’s Biz Ladies post comes from Danielle LaPorte and Linda Sivertsen, the co-creators of Your Big Beautiful Book Plan, a digital program for people who want to get their word into the world. Danielle and Linda are graciously sharing a three-part series for the Biz Ladies column on how to conceptualize, create and publish your book idea. And because they have a special love for the design crowd, they are also giving D*S readers an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the book proposal that scored photographer/blogger Susannah Conway her book deal for This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart. Thank you, Danielle and Linda, for such a wonderful first post on how to kickstart the process! — Stephanie
Read the full post after the jump . . .
Is there a book inside you burning to be written in digital or print form, for the world or for your private time capsule?
Writers, storytellers. Hear this: Your blog is your content.
Think you’re starting from scratch? You’re not.
Your blog is where you have already captured your everyday, lifetime, take-it-for-granted experiences. Turn them into insight, humor, education and information — a book.
Nothing is matter-of-fact for a writer. Everything is a matter of life. Make a story out of everything. Your life is one teachable moment after the next. Preach it.
1. Just get started.
We’re telling you right now: Just get started. If you have ideas in your being, get them on paper or onscreen. Write now.
Some people are waiting for things to be perfect, and then they’ll write their book. It’s never perfect. Write now.
Imagine six months from now, where will you be?
Will you have your book proposal in front of several publishers?
Or will you still be waiting for the right time?
Write now. Make stuff happen.
You’re a writer. And that’s that. Declare it.
“The story I am writing exists,
written in absolutely perfect fashion,
some place, in the air.
All I must do is find it, and copy it.”
— Jules Renard, “Diary,” February 1895
2. Your blog is your content.
It’s all right there — it just needs to be mined and packaged.
- Rummaging through old blog posts for a “Best Of . . .” review? Hold up. THAT’s the makings of your book outline sitting right there.
- Remember that one post that went viral? The one people walk up to you in the grocery store to thank you for? You’ve got the first lines of your book proposal.
- Read through the comments your readers leave on those viral posts. Therein is your raison d’être. Your market. The problem that your writing will solve for people.
- That survey you conducted last quarter? Package the results with supporting interviews, and you’ve got yourself the beginning of a chapter summary.
- That five-part series you wrote on that subject that makes you giddy? Right there you’ve got five unique chapters.
- That blog crawl you started last spring? Recapitulate the wisdom collected into a manifesto, a guide, a set of case studies and success stories.
We tend to think of our message first and then think of stories that will support and illustrate our message. When really, we should first pay attention to the stories that are living in our psyches: the tales we’ve never forgotten, the images that left a deep impression. And then we should look for the message inside of those stories. There’s a reason the stories stuck with us: They point to our core theory and teaching.
Your book (your speech, your product) has already been written — it’s hiding in plain sight. On your blog.
3. Just don’t put it off.
You’re already sitting on great knowledge; the content is inside you. Ignite the spark by first asking the right question. Your book is calling you.
Yours in content liberation!
Danielle + Linda