Creating The Outline

The application you choose for writing your book is entirely up to you. After writing several books I have developed a method that works well for me and I will share that with you. However, it’s not the only way and while I find it best for me, you may have something just as workable and perhaps better.

I have used Word to create most of my outlines but am now using a program called Jarte. This is a free program that takes advantage of the Wordpad program that comes with all Windows operating systems including XP, Vista, and Windows 7. You can also use OpenOffice, an excellent and completely free Office Suite. Or, you can use almost any word processing software including Wordpad without the addition of Jarte. The advantage of Wordpad and Jarte is that it uses the .rtf file type which is compatible with almost all word processors whether Windows or MAC.

If you plan to create your final book on a word processing program then I definitely suggest that you use either Word or OpenOffice as they have the additional formatting options necessary to prepare your final book file. I don’t use them because my final files for either paperback or ebooks are prepared with a Desktop Publishing Program. There are many of these programs available but my favorite, which I have now used to create five books, is PagePlus made by Serif, a British software manufacturer. In future posts I will describe how it works and why I use it but for the next post I will describe how I create my outline for a book.

Writing The Book – Step One

The most important question to ask yourself before writing a book is why. This is important because it helps determine how to proceed. If you are like me, selling what you write is important. Some people write for the sheer joy of it and others simply have something to say and have no interest in marketing. If you plan to sell copies of your book then the first step has to be determining if there is an audience for your topic. Not much point in writing a book to sell if no one is interested in the topic.

Seek the potential readers and write your book for them. The more you know about your readers the more likely you are to have a book that sells. I suggest avoiding general topics that seem of interest to everyone and target a niche group. Once you have decided for whom you are writing, the process will be much easier.

POD (print on demand) Publishers

There are many of these companies and they provide a variety of services at varying prices. As you might expect, after publishing six books, three of my own and three for other writers, I have a favorite. To everyone who asks, I recommend Createspace, an company. They are reliable, maintain a high level of quality, deal effectively with problems, and provide an easy gateway into listing.

I won’t list the many others because you can easily find them with a brief google search. In future posts I will discuss how I deal with Createspace, prepare my books for printing, and why I believe Createspace is best including specific experiences.

I welcome your comments regarding any POD company your have worked with and how you rate them.