It seems the entire world is obsessed with finding more information on how to become and stay healthy. As a result, the demand for well written, up-to-date books on just about any health related topic is at an all time high.
Are you ready to become the next Dr. Oz and showcase your knowledge on a syndicated talk show that airs all over the world, 5 days a week? Are you someone who is winning the battle against an illness like Kris Carr and wants to share your story on how you keep yourself healthy by writing best selling books? Are you an experienced wellness practitioner like Queen Afua who has written several books and turned them into training programs for women all over the world?
If you answered yes, then you may be ready to get started on writing your first wellness book. But where do you begin? What does the process of writing a health book actually look like? Let me give you the 10 steps to get you started on writing your health book.
Step 1: What Should You Do Before Writing Your Health Book?
There are a few questions you should be asking yourself before getting down to the business of writing a health and wellness book. Skipping these questions could cost you time, money, and wasted energy on writing the wrong book for the wrong audience.
- What is your motivation for writing a health book?
- For whom are you writing this health book?
- How do you envision your book helping you grow your health and wellness business?
- How will you get your book into the hands of those who need it most?
- How will you continue to market your book once the initial excitement is over?
I discuss these BIG QUESTIONS with my medical, health, and wellness clients during our Author Jam Sessions. Why? Because it helps to talk these big ideas out loud with someone who can help you think big. Your health book is a legacy that can continue to help people long after you are dead and buried — if you do it right. Asking the right questions will help you clarify your vision for your book and help you develop a business plan that can keep you busy for AT LEAST the next 5 to 10 years.
Step 2: What Is the Main Theme of Your Health Book?
Let’s start thinking about the major theme of your health book. Getting this right will save you from writing a book that no one wants to read. This means that you are clear on who you are and what your audience is interested in reading.
- What is your book about in 3 to 5 sentences?
- What result do you want your readers to experience after reading your book?
- Have you already written on this topic before (blog posts, presentations, etc.)? What kind of feedback did you get from your audience?
Don’t have an audience yet? Then you may want to hold off on writing a book and opt to do smaller writing projects instead. Blogging, writing an ebook, producing a podcast are just a few of the creative ways you can start creating free health content that will help you build an email list. The people on your list will clue you in on what they want to learn from you. I’m not telling you to put off writing a book for the next 5 years… It just means that you should put in the work of at least 6 months to a year of consistent audience building before you begin writing your first health book.
Have you already written your health book and still don’t have an audience? Make an appointment with me ASAP so I can get you started.
Step 3: Write Your Health Book Outline
Writing an outline for your health book is essential to getting it done in the most efficient way possible. A book outline is a map of how you want to present your material in some kind of logical order. Your outline can be flexible throughout the book writing process — for example, if you need to rename a chapter, move it to another location, or add another chapter in at the last minute then you can do so without too much worry. You just want to create a solid outline from the very beginning to ensure that you narrow the scope of your book to something that won’t overwhelm you as a writer, or those who have to read it.
Step 4: Evaluate Your Health Book Outline
Now that you have written an outline you are happy with, let’s evaluate what information you have versus what you need to research. Go back and gather the materials you already have written from step two.
- How can you plug these materials that have already been written into your outline?
- What other research do you need to do in order to complete the book?
This is the step where many medical, health, and wellness professionals joyfully realize that they don’t have to start writing their book from scratch. It is perfectly acceptable to pull from what you have already created and build from there.
Step 5: Begin Writing Your Health Book
All your book writing activities should begin with a schedule. If you want to ensure that your book actually gets completed, then you’ll want to create a writing schedule.
- Pull out your calendar and pick a date by which you plan to complete the writing of your book. Do you have an event coming up where you want to sell your books in the back of the room? Be sure to give yourself enough to get your book edited, create a cover, and go through the process of publishing. Those final details can take anywhere from an added 6 weeks to 3 months — so plan accordingly.
- When is the best time for you to write? Morning? Lunch time? Late evenings? I recommend you write DAILY to ensure that you keep a momentum going. If you stop and start every few days, you take the chance of getting distracted. I understand that life happens, however it’s up to you to do your best to honor your goal and your reason for writing your health book in the first place. Pull out your calendar and create a writing schedule you can stick with.
- Write. It really all comes down to this one action. Writers write. Procrastinators get nothing done. Pick which one you want to be.
Step 6: Edit Your Health Book
The reason why many people have trouble with the writing process is because they are censoring their thoughts and editing as they write. So you just want to make sure that you write first, edit later. Here’s some tips to get you through editing.
- You can choose to edit after writing each chapter, or edit after writing the entire book. I prefer the former simply because it allows me to chop up the process. However you may prefer to write the entire book, then go back later — it’s completely up to you.
- Hire a professional editor. Having another set of eyes on your work is invaluable to ensuring that your book is polished and professional.
Step 7: Design a Professional Book Cover
Never underestimate the power of a great book cover — especially in today’s internet economy. You can’t get away with book covers that look homemade anymore. There are several ways for you to get a great book cover at a variety of prices. Here are a few suggestions:
- Canva.com: If you are the least bit artistic, you may want to try creating a book cover on your own. Look at the ready-made templates to get you started.
- Fiverr.com: Everything on this site is $5+ per service. However remember that you get what you pay for. Get recommendations from friends who say they got an awesome service for best results.
- GoOnWrite.com: The guy who runs this site creates beautiful book covers starting at $45 using stock photos.
- Hire a designer. You can go on sites like Upwork.com or do an internet search to find a graphic designer or illustrator who can create a great book cover from $50 to $200 or more.
Step 8: Get the Interior of Your Health Book Designed and Formatted
Now that the outside of your book is beautiful, we can work on getting the inside just as lovely. Your book — whether in printed or ebook form — should never look like a Microsoft Word document. You can hire someone to use Adobe InDesign to create a proper design on the inside of the book for you. You can also choose a DIY option by purchasing a book formatting template using MS Word or Adobe InDesign. Click here to download your DIY Book Design Templates. Once the interior is designed, a professional book formatter can create files for both ebook and print versions of your wellness book.
Step 9: Final Proofread
Before you pay to print your book or turn it into an ebook file, it’s important to ensure that you get one final proofread to catch any last minute mistakes. You and a proofreader should give your health book one last read before hitting the PUBLISH button.
Step 10: Publish
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the finish line! Now you are ready to publish. Here’s a few options I recommend to my clients:
- Ebooks can be published as a PDF on your website as well as published on other distribution sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can go to these websites to find instructions on how to do so.
- Print books can be published in a multitude of ways. You can go to your local printer and have it done old school style. You can also use a system like Amazon’s CreateSpace. Finally you can go to another publishing and distribution company like IngramSpark to reach international audiences.
And that’s it!!! Can you sense my sarcasm here???
Health and wellness publishing can be a bear. That’s why I’m here to help you through the process.
If you are ready to move forward with writing your first medical, health, or wellness book, I’m ready to support you. The best way for me to support you is with an Author Jam Session. Here’s a link to my schedule. Click now so we can get started.