7 Steps Toward Writing Your Transformational Book

Have you felt inspired to write a transformational book—one that will help your readers create change in their lives, organizations, or the world?
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Have you felt inspired to write a transformational book—one that will help your readers create change in their lives, organizations, or the world? That's awesome because the world needs more transformational authors, or what I call “Authors of Change.”

A "transformational book," in case you're unfamiliar with the term, is any book meant to inspire change. It can fall under self-help, memoir, fiction, prescriptive nonfiction, creative nonfiction. Transformation is the end result of change, which is a process.

Iconic books within this category include An Incovenient Truth by Al Gore, The Art of Happiness by the Dali Lama, Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein, and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

If you are like most aspiring authors, you may feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of knowledge you need to write and publish a book that sells well and, therefore, makes a positive and meaningful difference.

Indeed, writers of all types need to be well prepared if they want their books to succeed—to sell. For instance, you need to know how to:

  • Make your idea and book marketable
  • Structure your book
  • Write the book
  • Build an author platform
  • Determine the best publishing route for you and your book
  • Work with editors, agents, and publishers
  • Promote your book
 The Elements of Narrative Nonfiction

The Elements of Narrative Nonfiction

Become One of the 2%

The fact that publishing a book—a feat in and of itself—is not enough to impact readers. The book must sell for it to get read. This stops many aspiring authors from ever putting a word on paper. That's likely why only 2% of the 81% of Americans who want to write a book ever become authors.

For those who want to write transformational books, there’s even more to accomplish. You need to see your book as the start of a movement, yourself as the leader of that movement, and know how to influence your target audience to do something different—to change.

Knowing all this, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and stop pursuing your dream of authoring change.

Don’t let that happen to you. Instead, become one of the 2%.

Your readers need you. They long for change... and you can tell them how to achieve that goal.

Steps to Writing a Change-Inspiring Book

But you have to write your book to serve your readers. To begin writing your change-inspiring book immediately, here are seven steps you can take:

  1. Brainstorm your idea using a mind map.
  2. Turn your mind map into a detailed table of contents, one that contains not only chapter titles but also subtitles for all the topics you plan to cover in each chapter.
  3. Complete a competitive analysis to determine if the book you want to write is unique and necessary in your category (business, mind/body/spirit, memoir, Christianity, parenting, etc.); compare it to at least ten bestselling books currently on the market.
  4. Based on the competitive analysis, list five ways you can write a better book.
  5. Tweak your table of contents to reflect what you have changed.
  6. Make sure your book "fills a hole" on the shelf of your chosen category—that it is better and different. (Do some research at Amazon.com or a books store.)
  7. Make a list of the 5 to 10 benefits your book will offer readers; make sure you fulfill these "promises" as you write.

Now begin writing.

Go the Extra Mile

Keep in mind that there are more steps required to produce a book that sells and inspires change. To succeed in authoring change, you need to take those steps, too, including marking the book. When you take these steps, you increase the odds of our book succeeding. Remember: If it doesn’t sell, no one reads it. And if no one reads it, you won’t change anyone or anything.

To go the extra mile toward authoring change, you need to:

  • Know and analyze your market—be sure you are writing a book they need and want.
  • Write with authenticity, passion, purpose, and authority.
  • Understand how people change and use that knowledge as you write your book.
  • Create a website—preferably one that includes a blog. (And start blogging.)
  • Use social media—share you blog posts and other information about your book and movement consistently.
  • Speak—talk to as many people as possible about the change you want to affect.
  • Market—create an extensive marketing plan and begin implementing it long before your book hits the bookstore.

If this sounds like too much to do... or to do alone, please, don't decide you can't become a transformational author. You can.

Remember why you want to write this book—to improve lives, organizations, or the world. Then set out to learn what you need to learn and to master the skills you need to master.

That’s how you move into the 2%. The other 79% give up—or aren’t willing to do the work. You prepare for success.

You Are Not an Imposter

Remember: There are people with wounds that need healing, and you have the salve. There are organizations with great ideas but no strategies for carrying them out effectively. The world has old and new problems, and you have solutions.

If you have a bit of wisdom or experience that someone else doesn’t yet possess, you can—you must—share it. And don’t fool yourself into thinking you are not the expert—that you are just pretending to be an expert.

You are not an imposter. You are someone with a book idea that offers the promise—the hope—of change.

Someone Needs Your Book… Now

Someone out there—probably many people—need what you have to offer. And they need it now…not later. So, don’t wait to write your transformational book.

While you may think you don’t know enough to become an Author of Change, you can learn. You may believe you aren’t prepared to take up the mantle of a cause, but you are more prepared than you think—and you can learn whatever you don’t yet know. You can practice what you learn until you are fully prepared to step up and into our role as an Author of Change.

Commit to becoming one of the 2%—and writing and publishing a book that makes a difference.

If you want to find out how prepared you are to become an Author of Change, take this quiz.

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