Do you have a plan?

I’ve been listening to Christine Kloser’s Transformational Author Experience over the past couple of weeks. The calls have ranged from mindset to actual writing to preparing the book proposal to having buyers ready to buy the book before you write it. They strongly recommend developing a thorough plan whether your intent is to send it to an agent and/or a publisher or to self-publish. The answers to the questions that come up are important to you in either situation.

I had heard of a book proposal in the past but hadn’t looked at what it contains. A proposal for a major book launch is extensive, looking at the marketing process as well as the general concept for the book and the details of the book itself. It seems to be a bit much for a small, inexpensive info product based on a webinar or telesummit. However, if you are ready to create a major product based on your signature system, each of the topics should be considered. And considering each topic can be of value for any product, program or book you are considering developing.

Typically, the creation of an information product involves looking at the material you have already been teaching your clients and considering how to turn this into a form that they can use without your active participation. The more complex the product, the more important it is to develop a plan before you begin the actual writing.

Following are the typical parts of a book plan:

Executive summary

What’s this book about?

Why is this book needed?

Why are you the best person to write it (include bio)?

How are you going to sell thousands of copies (overview)?

The marketing plan

Show your topic is HOT!

Define your target market.

Develop your marketing action plan.

About the book

Title

Competitive analysis

List of chapters

Chapter summaries

Sample chapter(s)

The people on the telesummit who have written and sold best-selling books said their proposals are often 100 pages or longer. They have thoroughly thought out each step prior to the book’s creation.

As I mentioned earlier, the plan you would develop for an info product wouldn’t necessarily go into the same depth as a major book proposal. However, I can see a lot of value in thinking thru each step before you begin the actual writing of your product.

A basic part of the plan is the Overview.

  • What’s the topic of the product? What problem is it designed to solve?
  • Why is the product needed? This can be as simple as that there is a gap in the services you are providing to your clients and this product will fill that gap.
  • Why are you the person to write it? What are your qualifications, in terms of experience and background, that qualify you to create this product?
  • How are you going to sell thousands of copies (overview)? Authors typically discuss their platform here. This was a new term although not a new concept to me. It refers to how many people you can reach, thru your various lists, thru your affiliates, thru organizations you belong to such as the local Chamber of Commerce. As a general rule, only a percentage of the people you reach out to will purchase. The more people you can reach, the greater the finite number will be.

 

The Marketing Plan is important whether or not you are creating a book or a product.

  • You need to have a sense of how you can sell enough copies to get a return on your investment. Your goal may not be thousands of copies, but you still need to think through how to do your selling. Why will your clients buy your product rather than someone else’s?
  • Who are your potential clients? These are the same clients you are working with on a private basis, but typically at an earlier stage in the development of their business.
  • How are you going to reach them? Social media, affiliate relationships, speaking, webinars,etc.

 

And last comes the development of the book or product itself.

  • Address the title. The most successful title will have a catchy first part and an explanatory sub-title.
  • The competitive analysis looks at what else is out there – other books or products on similar topics. How is your book or product different from the competition? What is unique in your point of view?
  • Create a list of your chapters or units in your product.
  • Write a summary of each chapter or unit. This will help you in being clear as to whether or not you are leaving something out.
  • Sample chapters are important for the book, especially as this helps you get a good feel for the flow of your writing. A sample chapter is less critical at this stage for a product.
  • Components of the product are important to think about – print, audio, video, posters, bonuses, etc.
  • Your method of production and delivery needs to be resolved – print in quantity and ship from your offices or work with a fulfillment house.

 

Looking at this list can seem overwhelming. You don’t have to work through all of the items on your own. Certainly most of them require your input. After all, no one knows your business and your clients better than you do. No one else knows your process or your secret sauce as well as you. These need to be brought out, either by you working through an outline and filling in the blanks, or by working with a strategist who can help you brainstorm these things.

If you are ready for some help sorting this out, click here to schedule an Extraordinary Products Exploratory Session.

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