Getting Started with Your First Book

Alas, the flooring is all done!

I still have to install the transition strips, but that’s a project for another day. It will be done by the weekend however, along with my spare room being painted. That room now sits completely empty, except for the paint can in the middle of it.

My thought was to put everything back and paint in a month or three, but my boyfriend convinced me now is the perfect time. I have to admit he’s not wrong. And it will be nice to have one more thing checked off the list.

My office was the last room to be done, and I have to say this is much nicer than the carpet that was in here. Moving my chair is now effortless. In fact, I have to be careful because it rolls too easily. I somehow foresee myself forgetting, and rolling back into the bookshelf when I push myself away from the desk.

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

If someone had told me a year ago that I would be installing vinyl planking I would have told them they were nuts. Even when I picked out the colours I didn’t see myself doing any of the installation; yet here I am with some new experiences under my belt.

Granted I didn’t do the entire house alone, but I did enough to know it’s not something I’d want to be doing full time. Kudos to the professional flooring installers; they are definitely worth the money they charge. (I had the linoleum in my bathrooms installed by a local flooring company. That was NOT something I was willing to tackle.)

Don’t be afraid to take on new challenges. Or try new things. If it works out that’s great! If it doesn’t, then at least you can say you tried.

Writing a Book

The same goes for writing. If you want to be a published author, you first have to write your book. It is scary in the beginning, and all the self-doubt can be paralyzing.

But don’t listen to the negative thoughts in your head. Or for that matter, to the naysayers in your circle. Do what makes you happy, and if that involves writing a book, then go for it.

It doesn’t matter if you write fiction or nonfiction. The goal is to get your story/knowledge out there. Take a few minutes and do some brainstorming. Write out your ideas, or use a mind map to get your ideas out. The latter is a great tool to use if you’re more visual.

The Process

Once you have some topics/story ideas, work on your outline. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll concentrate on nonfiction in this post. Although I also write fiction, I take a different approach to it than I do my non-fiction.

If you’re having trouble with your outline, consider turning it into a series 10 questions your audience wants answered. Each question is a chapter and every subtopic is a supporting question. For example, your might have an outline that looks like this:

Chapter One: What Is Calligraphy?

  • Where Did Calligraphy Originate?
  • Why Do People Use Calligraphy Today?
  • What Can I Do with My Finished Calligraphy Work?

Chapter Two: What Supplies Do I Need?

  • How Do I Know If I Picked the Right Pen?
  • Do I Need to Use Specialty Paper?
  • Which Ink Should I Buy?

You can use as many questions as needed in each chapter to share your information. Some chapters may need several questions to cover all of the points you want to share while others may only need three or four questions. Don’t get hung up on how many questions you have right now.

When you’re finished with your outline it’s time to flesh it out. Answer the questions as thoroughly as you can, without boring the reader. Keep your tone friendly, and it doesn’t hurt to add a little humour in as well.

Once you’ve finished your first draft, it’s time to polish it. This is where your editing comes in. Sometimes it helps to take a step away from it for a few days or so, and look at it with fresh eyes. You’ll find sentences you want to reword, or you may omit entire paragraphs.

It’s all part of the process, but is a necessity if you want to create a book others will want to read and learn from.

For a more detailed look at writing nonfiction, you can pick up my 12 Module Course here. If you have any problems with the download please contact me. It’s a small price to pay for a course that can be the beginning of a regular stream of passive income for you.

The hardest part to anything new is getting started. Once you take the first step (even if it’s a baby one) the rest will fall into place.

What’s something you’ve done that scared you to death at first? Let me know in the comments below.

Moving forward in life and venturing into new territory.

Winter has arrived here in Alberta. I’m not ready for it, but Mother Nature doesn’t care. It’s here and I can either embrace it or complain. (Chances are I’ll do the latter more.)

The home renos are coming along nicely; only two more rooms to do the flooring in. My office is going to be the last one because it is the smallest and has the least amount of things to be moved. I’m thankful for the built-in bookshelves; no need to empty and move them.

At the end of this month the arborist is coming in and taking out several trees that have lived beyond their years. I presumed them to be healthy but when the leaves fell I realized just how unsafe they are. I don’t like to have trees cut down, but when they become a hazard it’s time. I will end up with some nice firewood at the end of it all though, which is nice.

Plus I’ll be able to plant some fruit trees in their place come spring; which I’m looking forward to. I know they’ll do well in that spot because they’ll have all the sunshine they want, yet be protected from the west winds by an existing hedge.

Now that life has settled for me, I am able to pursue something I have wanted to for a long time. It’s going to take time and work but I’m so excited about it!

For those of you who are authors or information product creators, you know how hard it is to get your work seen. And it’s even harder to earn a living from it. (For those of you who are earning a full-time income from your work, kudos to you!)

At the end of October I bit the bullet and started my own publishing company, Birchbark Publishing. Right now I’m concentrating on ebooks and information products, with the intent to expand to other digital formats (audio and video). Digital is faster to distribute, easier to fix errors, and can be read on any device (as they’ll be in PDF).

For those with an artisitic flair, I’m also accepting submissions for colouring books. The beauty of PDF is these can be printed by the buyer and coloured in the traditional way, or opened with a note-taking app and coloured digitally. Portability at its finest.

Fiction or nonfiction. Novels or short stories. Kids books too.

I know there’s going to be a learning curve, but I’m going to do my best to not have any screwups.

You can read my latest blog post on my publishing site here, and let me know what you think.

Your Best Posts…All in One Place

Do you find yourself clicking on my posts from weeks ago just to find some side hustle information?

After some searching through a few posts to find out what I have already talked about, I decided there had to be a better way. That’s when it hit me…compile an ebook to make it easier for everyone.

I did just that, which took me the better part of two days. As the content was already written, all I had to do was copy and paste from my post editor. Add in the copyright, disclaimer, table of contents, and some back matter…and done! Each post is in its own chapter, and linked from the TOC. That in itself makes navigation so much easier.

The end result: Side Hustles Anyone Can Do

This is a prime example of how your content can be repurposed. It would have taken me days to write all of that content from scratch. In fact, over the course of when it was written, each post had several hours put into it as is.

If you write articles on your own site pick a dozen or so of the best/most related ones, and compile them into an ebook. By doing so, you’re giving your readers all of your knowledge from those articles in one place. If you have a lot of posts under your belt, consider doing a set of ebooks: Volume 1, volume 2, etc.

Set up a landing page for your new book, and include a payment method. I use PayPal for mine, and use the advanced features so the customer is taken to the download page after purchase. If they choose not to purchase, they are taken to my Tools & Resources page.

My landing page and download page were both done within WordPress. It took some trial and error to get it right, and if I didn’t I do hope someone tells me. (I can’t go through the entire process on my own because my emails are linked to PayPal and it won’t allow me to buy from myself. I can completely understand the logic there.)

Don’t forget to include an About the Author page in the back of your book. This is the perfect place to showcase yourself as a person and writer, plus link to your website and mailing list signup. If your readers like what you write, give them a freebie in exchange for their email address.

You can either sell your new ebook on your site, or publish to online retailers. Be sure to indicate it is previous work republished, as some retailers will not accept content that has been made freely available online.

I have chosen to publish my book only on my site for the time being just to see where it takes me. I’m testing some marketing efforts, and publishing exclusively on my site will give me more accurate data.

Have you considered compiling posts or articles into an ebook? If you’ve done it already, what type of results did you have in terms of sales? Let me know in the comments below.


Want more side hustle content delivered to your inbox once a month?


%d bloggers like this: