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How to Write a How-To Book: Tips on Continuity and How to Avoid Repetition

Your Book Writing Coach

Last week, I picked up a couple book writing tips from my students. Nora Hall, who finished her first draft of  Survive Your Husband’s Retirement in the fall Bring Your Book to Life Program is now polishing her chapters. A reader pointed out that she needed to be certain that she follows up with solutions to problems mentioned in early chapters. Nora’s solution? A spread sheet.

View from our book writing class

“I don’t usually do spread sheets, but I realized that would help me organize the book and make sure I provide clear and satisfying solutions to some problems and challenges I present  in earlier chapters. What a tremendous tool!”

I love the idea of a spreadsheet. I can see it helping an author:

– Avoid repetition.

Nora Hall

– Ensure you answer any questions you bring up early in the book.

– Easily locate and offer readers the chapter where they’ll find more information on a particular story, problem or issue.

– Find sections more easily.

– Move sections around with greater ease.

Outlining software may help with some of these issues as well. Have any writing secrets or additional ideas for using a spreadsheet to organize your book? Please share as a comment below!

Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

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