You are finally done with your keyword research, and you now have the grand keyword for your book. Great! The next thing is your book outline. Don’t tell me you were going to skip that. Many publishers take this for granted, which is not good. This stage in book publishing is necessary if you want great content for your book. Interestingly, the process is dead simple.
Many books on Amazon have shitty content and should be thrown into the garbage can! Is that an OMG look on your face? Sorry fella. It’s the bitter truth. I want to be straight with you so that your book doesn’t end up like one of those ones. I mean, nobody pays for trash from a garbage can.
That is why we want to talk about creating a book outline that would command sales! When you have a great outline, your writers can give you brilliant book content. Stick around to the end for me to show you how.
How To Outline A Nonfiction Book And Sell It Like Hotcakes [Video Guide]
Get Your Free Book Outline Template
Just click here to get your Kindle book outline and then keep reading the rest. In this template, I explain in detail what you should or shouldn’t include.
What Is A Kindle Book Outline?
A book outline is like a rough format of few words that say what you want your book to entail as a whole. It is just like an expository idea of that book in view, and it also answers the ‘How?‘ question—things like structure, length, tone of writing, etc.
For a publisher, I’d say it is a set of instructions you give to your writers for them to have an overview of how you would like your book to be written. I call them instructions because asides from things I want my book to talk about, I can also be specific about certain things I want or don’t want my book to have.
Why Is This So Important?
I have noticed that this is something that many publishers miss in prepping a book for publishing. The reason is not far-fetched. They don’t think this stage essential for better book sales, so they treat it with levity or don’t pay attention to it at all.
The majority of self-publishers assume that getting hot topics for their books is where the work is for them. Everything else is left to the hands of the writers. All the stages of the Kindle book publishing are important, especially book outlining. If you want a book that would stand out in the niche market, you have to start with your book outline. A great outline yields fantastic content.
Let me point out some issues with non-outlined books so that you may understand I am not bluffing.
The Problems About Generic Books
I have heard a lot of publishers complain that writers give them cliché content in their book. They obviously didn’t lay out a clear set of instructions and specifics for those writers. Of course, the writers will do a lazy job without proper guidance, as they will write content easily found all over the web.
The books end up like all many other books on Amazon, nothing distinct or unique. You know that automatically means poor sales. Customers want answers, and they are looking for books that would give them that. For your books to have high demand and sell well, they should be specific.
A book should focus on a particular problem, answer a question, and meet a particular need. It’s all about specificity. Self-publishers (at least the majority) understand this principle. It’s funny, though, that they still don’t get the book outlining logic. Because creating outlines is what solves all of these problems.
Complaints from Customers
Oh man, you are going to hate this part. If people actually get this generic-content-book by chance; some will come back in full force.
You start seeing things like “I didn’t have to buy this book, I could have gotten this exact content online…” and other negative comments too. Trust me, sales of that book is going to go down. This has happened to me before and I’m sure there are other publishers out there that have experienced the same thing.
You see why you need book outlines. Now, the next question is…
How Can You Craft a Best Selling Book Outline?
Like we said earlier, to develop a great outline, you don’t have to break a sweat. There are just two things you need to do.
- Analyze Book Reviews.
- Check Book Previews thoroughly.
Before we go into the details of these steps, it is worthy of mention, that you need a notepad.
The Essence of a Notepad
On your desktop, you need to open the notepad application. It is on this software you will craft your outline. Findings from your research, points to notes, areas of concentration, and every other thing you want for the book would be noted here. Let’s get back to our process.
How to Analyze Book Reviews
If for example, I decide to publish a book on Paleo Diet, I would type in that keyword in Amazon’s search bar to see books related to the keyword.
When the search result pops up, you should scroll down and look for books on Paleo Diet written by authors. You don’t want to check those by publishers because your goal is to get quality stuff for your book. How would you know those written by authors? By the number of reviews the book has. An author’s book would have a minimum of 1000 reviews.
The next thing is to open the reviews of the selected book in a new tab. Our analysis can begin now. Don’t forget that it’s called analysis so you have to go through this exercise patiently and read in between the line. This way, you won’t miss out on any detail.
For your analysis,
Stay on the reviews with two stars to five stars [2*-5*]. Your analysis is basically to know what customers enjoy about the book, the issues they have with the book, and other things that interest you. I doubt you can get that from comments in the one-star section. People who leave one star for books like this are those who want to be intentionally negative. You can check out the one-star comments if you want but I won’t suggest you do that.
Furthermore, you should do your best to ignore stupid comments. Yeah, they exist! Do you remember our keyword example here is Paleo Diet? Good. So, I selected a book to analyze the reviews and the very first comment I saw was “way too much too read…” C’mon man, that doesn’t make sense! If it’s little then we can relate to your criticism but ‘…too much to read…’ Who says that? Self-publishers beware of this kind and look over. Lol.
In your Keyword Analysis, don’t disregard well-structured, heavy content, and emphasized reviews [Positive or Negative]. You are writing for the people that want to buy and not yourself so it’s their comments that matter.
When I was going through the negative reviews for this particular Paleo Diet book, 3-5 persons complained that there was a lot of repeated content. That means repetition for a Paleo Diet book is a big turn off and now that I know, it won’t be an issue in my book. If I overlook it, thinking that they don’t know much, I would most likely face the same problem later.
In the Positive review section, I read another thorough review. The individual, trying to appreciate the author, narrated the examples of food in the Paleo Diet that was mentioned in that book. That’s a pointer telling me to include these types of food. The same person also poured out her heart trying to compare the pre-cultivation diet to the cereal-based diet that began 10,000 years ago. Uhm! From this review, I can decide to thoroughly discuss and compare both in my book.
Furthermore, it’s good that you take your time with the reviews. Don’t do a rush work so you can move on to another source to get outlines. The reviews are rich with information. Most times, I don’t even bother going to other external sources. When I study the reviews thoroughly, I get everything I need.
You should know, however, that this process could be time-consuming. In fact, it takes me a couple of hours to be done with the whole of it. I don’t mind the hours because it’s worth it, and I don’t have to work my brain up. Everything is right on my screen (in the reviews). I bet you won’t regret it if you decide to try it.
Go over this process for about 2-3 more books, after which you are good to go on to the writing stage if you want to do more books, fire away!
Once I have read the reviews and sieved out what I need, I like to go to the book previews, and this brings us to the second part…
Checking the Book Preview
You should also open the Amazon book preview. Here you can check a book’s table of content and get a better idea about the needed information for yours. I study the approach, format, segmentation, and a whole lot more. This is really helpful!
The information you get from the book preview should channel your book content. You kind of want to see if there is a way for you to be more specific in your book. We already talked about how your book should answer a single question. Don’t make your book content b-r-o-a-d. Let it solve a particular problem because buyers want solutions. Of course, it still has to stay on your keyword of choice. What you get from the preview should help enhance your focus.
Peradventure, you don’t get substantial information from the preview to help you add a little twist to your book, nothing says you can’t create content better than that of authors in your interested niche of book publishing. Even with the information, better content is wonderful.
Organize your Outline
The final lap of crafting this best-selling outline is for you to organize your outline. Your outline must contain every single detail you want your writers to work on. You don’t want them to get confused or mix up the whole thing.
- Section your points in a manner that would be easily understood.
- Sometimes you can decide to leave a few examples on your outline in URL format. You can tell the writers to check out the book preview for a good idea of your content. This is something I do.
- Make your demands in your outline. Let the writers know what you want and don’t want in your book. For example, I tell them not to add a copyright page. If they do, they count the words on that page with my total word count, and I don’t like that. Another thing I tell them I don’t want is all these generic opening lines like “Thank you for downloading my book” Gosh, it pisses me off. Writers tend to look for ways just to fill up the word count, and they can add some of these crappy lines.
Carefully, check my outline example…
How Do You Order Your Kindle Book?
The team of writers I use is called The Urban Writers. These guys give you good content for a reasonable price. If you decide to use their services at any time, be sure to use my coupon code JA5. With this code, you get a 5% discount on any book they write for you.
To make your book orders on this site,
- Click on ORDER>BOOK SERVICES>WRITING PACKAGES
- You have a range of writing packages options. I commonly use the RISING PACKAGE or URBAN PACKAGE.
- Click on the BUY NOW
- Next, you have to fill in some details.
The details include:
- Word Count: You should know the number of words you want for your books. If you are not so sure, you can check out my post that talks about how you can determine the best length for your kindle book.
- Content Title: Make sure your title is keyword-based and also very catchy
- Content Subtitle: The same advice in ‘Content Title’ goes for the subtitle.
- Author’s Name: This is straightforward… Don’t tell me you don’t have a name. Laughs!
- Outline and Requirements: All of that work that was done in the notepad will be copied and pasted here.
- Upload Additional Files: If you have any other document, you’d like them to take a look at, upload it here.
When you finish off with that page, you want to do three major things.
- Add to Cart.
- Check out.
- Add your Coupon Code and Apply.
Other Important Things You Should Know When Outlining a Book
- Know your audience: I saw a review for one of the books on the Paleo Diet that stated the book was not as professional as expected. The person even compared the book to something a 6th grader could comprehend. This makes it obvious that you should understand your audience when you are making plans for your book. Perhaps, even provide more technical and complex knowledge to more savvy readers.
- Your keyword/title can guide your outline for specificity.
- Sometimes it’s good to go with your gut. All of the above are just to help you, but you don’t have to follow it strictly.
Now you know all about book outlines. As you can see, much is not required to get this done. If you get the book outlining right, your book will sell for months and months. So, try to outline your next book.