Being a hard-wired left brain helps me “make sense” of a lot of things that to others would seemingly just float around, waiting to be grabbed when the momentary need strikes! What does that mean to me as a writer? What does that mean to you as someone who aspires to take advantage of a “Strategy” of Self-Publishing? It means that it is possible to quickly and easily create a “blueprint” for writing that will serve you well, whether you write one book or one hundred!
Each book has certain essential “elements,” which, if you create a three ring binder and use dividers to identify them, you can begin collecting (in one place) the myriad of things that will ultimately become your book. Using this simple guide for creating a template for writing a book, you will find yourself quickly and easily inserting marketing copy you have found or created, possible images for the book cover, and rough copy of the various chapters as you complete them.
Believe it or not, most books are not written cover to back! Nor should you feel compelled to constrain your creativity by thinking that is the only right way to write. Many of my clients begin their writing career by agreeing to write about a particular topic, on a regular basis, but just writing in response to the creativity that flows. Some experience they have will inspire them; a statement made by another person will motivate them, and questions that others ask of them will all serve to engage the writer within. At the end of a designated time frame, depending on how prolific they have been – we assess what has been written, organize it and – viola! a book has been borne.
The following elements are included in virtually every book published – many of which you might inadvertently skip for lack of having this knowledge. Following this “convention” will give your book a more professional appearance, and will help you know when you have all the pieces pulled together. There are three primary sections; today’s topic is about the first.
Everything That Comes Before Chapter One
In creating a template for writing a book, you will easily follow the flow by appropriately including a significant number of pages you might expect others to never even read – stuck there between the cover and where you want your readers to be… that glorious Chapter One and those all important first words you seek to share with the world as your legacy message! Notice the right/left page placements which are critical to following the proper protocol for the printing process.
- Testimonials – otherwise known as sales copy, endorsements and excerpts from reviews you have received. (Right)
- Half-Title Page – containing only the book title. (Right)
- Fontispiece – that mysterious “blank” page actually has a name! (Left)
- Title Page – Listing the full title and sub-title (Right)
- Copyright Page – the first page read by anyone “in the industry.” (Left)
- Dedication – a place to acknowledge others who have supported you on this journey. (Right)
- Epigraph – a pertinent quote that sets the “tone’ of the book and serves to make sure the table of contents is a right-hand page. (Left)
- Table of Contents. (Right)
- List of Illustrations – if applicable (Left)
- Forward – written preferably by another “accomplished” author. (Right)
- Preface or Introduction – expressing why you chose to write the book. (Right)
- Acknowledgements – different than the dedication page, this serves as another great sales tool… listing everyone who “contributed” in any way to the successful completion of your finished product.
- Disclaimer – unfortunately we live in a litigious society and while disclaimers are not full protection, they certainly will serve to put your reader “on notice.”
- Text – ah! finally – you have arrived at Chapter One.
I am sure that you never imagined a part of the strategy of self-publishing would include having to know all the “parts” of a book, but I am glad to have imparted that knowledge to you and trust that you will benefit greatly from creating a template for writing a book. In fact, if you are serious about taking the next step toward putting all that “gold” between your ears on paper, email me at VoicesInPrint@yahoo.com and put “Template” in the header and I will graciously send you a PDF of not only this first section, but the remaining two, which I will discuss in my next post.
Until the muses run again… think about how you might take advantage of creating a template for writing a book to change whatever is holding you back from sharing your legacy message – and being highly compensated for leaving your mark on the world!Anna Weber … your Literary Strategist