How to Write Your Book Outline in Just a Few Minutes

500_F_63093124_NUetPLgt4cJ5BPAyjI9tIy8SyJrHw8b9Are you ready to write your Best Seller but are unsure where to start? Are you spending more time day-dreaming about being a guest on Oprah than you are writing? While the day dreaming will certainly get you far by projecting your desires into the universe, the saying goes: writers write. This means that as long as no words go on the page, your possibilities of making your dreams become reality are nil.

Why aren’t you writing more? Why does what you write not come out the way you imagined? The answer to these questions may surprise you. The answer is that you don’t have the right tool for the job.

What is the right tool? Assuming that your writing skills are fair to fantastic, the tool your looking for is called an outline. Every successful writer uses one. Embrace the use of outlines for all your projects. All prolific Writers know that you need a road map to go somewhere you’ve never been before, unless of course you want to get lost.

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Certainly, if you had a uncomplicated outline you’d be doing more writing than dreaming. With these easy step by step directions,  you will have your complete book outline in place in just  a few minutes.

Step 1

First, Lets break it down. Lets say, for the sake of this article, that the average book is 200 pages in length. This translates to 20 Chapters, at an average rate of 10 pages per Chapter. Can you see where I’m going with this? Before you start writing chapter headings, move on to Step 2.

Step 2

Now, make a list of 2O main Subjects you want to discuss in your book. Use no more than 3 Words for each Subject.
Such as: 4. When Cats Bite.

This will be what each Chapter is about. You can worry about impressive titles and names later.

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Now, next to this, make another list of the 5-10 important things (list single words only please) that you want to mention about each Subject/Chapter.

Such as, Chapter 4: When Children Bite

b. Breed
d. Trauma
e. Emotions

Step 4

Next, switch this list of important things around in order of importance. Put the best stuff that you are most passionate about first, the not so great stuff in the middle and the medium-good stuff last.

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This goes for the entire 20 Chapters of your book too, take a moment now to resort the overall flow of Chapters into this Best, Not the Best, Good order as well. This will get your readers hooked from the first page enough to coast through the middle and keep reading when they find it picking up 2/3 through the book.

Step 6

Screen shot 2013-06-22 at 2.05.27 PMVoila! Your outline is done and there is nothing standing in your way from writing that book. You have a complete and clear outline to make it happen. You now know fully well what goes on each page from beginning to end. Do this for all your books from now on. Do not try to write your book without finishing the outline first; it will only frustrate you more and put more time between you and the fulfillment of your dreams.

Congratulations. See you on Oprah.


For more help writing that book read my followup post:

How to Write Your Book in Just a Couple of Weeks


Authors get taxed too!


If you do not have experience doing your taxes refer to this website for free assistance This company allows you to do a free 1099, unlike most other companys you’ll find.

It allows you to click back ad forth until the numbers are right and only e-files if you do the taxes before April 15th of the year, but you can do many years prior and print those out to mail to the IRS.

There are also tax deductions offered to authors. Refer to this video for information:


Do Book Signings


Book signings are a great way to get your face out there. You are able to interact with fans and readers.

It is especially helpful to do local book signings in your hometown. Locals enjoy seeing their own on the face of a book. This is a great way to publicize yourself.

You can easily team up with the bookstore and take out an ad in the local newspaper for more exposure.


Starting out, writing won’t be a full-time gig


Few writers are able to make a living doing nothing abut writing. Authors usually make $1 to $2 for each book they sell and as an eBook on Amazon you are making even less. Keep in mind that you will probably want to hold on to your day job as you breakthrough in this profession.


Sell more than books


Your book doesn’t have to be the only thing you sell. Consider having your book cover or title emblazed on a T-shirt or baseball cap. This way you can add to your profit and get some publicity.

Most writers don’t get rich off book sells. Those who do best have product lines in addition to their books. This includes, DVDs, coloring books (for children’s books) and other creative products.


Have a copy of your book at all times!


This is a absolutely excellent technique if you frequent public transportation such as the subway, taxis, etc. Someone is bound to ask you what you are reading and Voila! You have just added someone to your social network. Also have a supply of your business cards to pass out to everyone you meet. And yes, you should definitely have a business card!


Reach out to Independent Book Sellers (IBS)


By now you should know all the IBS in your area. Many of them collect the demographical information of their customers. Contact the owner and see if they will send out your promotional material. But be ready to pay for the postage if they do!


Build a Team!


To be successful you will need a great team behind you. Your team should include:


  • Ø A Book Mentor,
  • Ø A Focus Group,
  • Ø A Professional Editor
  • Ø Proofreader
  • Ø A Typesetter
  • Ø A Professional Cover Designer
  • Ø A Publicist, to create press, schedule interviews with authors and publishing company where appropriate, 
press releases 24-7 about everything that happens
  • Ø An Assistant (if you can afford one) to collate valuable information, update calendars, social media, websites additions to authors and company sites, mail, fan mail, etc.




If you don’t have a team, or at least the beginnings of one, start looking for people now! Many publishing companies provide these services. Be sure to ask about them when looking for a publisher.


Take advantage of Google Alerts


Many non-fiction authors are considered experts in the subject matter that their work is based on. As a subject matter expert, there are dozens of online communities that would love for you to join their conversation on matter similar to your book subject. This allows you the opportunity to also promote your book.

If you create multiple Google Alerts at, Google will email you whenever a new conversation, or a new news story or blog post on a given subject, appears. Remember that you want to participate in the conversation, not spam it will book ads.


Do a Blog Tour!


Now days it can be very pricey to go on a nationwide or worldwide book tour to promote your work. However, with the Internet there is a much easy and cost effective way to tour.Consider doing a virtual blog tour.

With this marketing tool, you arrange to have news and updates of your book published in various blog post on multiple blogs, with each story appearing on a certain day.  Many authors go on tour to promote a book by organizing book signings at bookstores.A well-run blog tour will have all participating blogs cross promote each other and readers will be encouraged to follow the author’s progresses.

Keep it interesting by having each of the blogs cover a different aspect of your book or of you, the author.