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Trick Yourself into Writing a Book—Have Fun, Make Money and Do Good, Too

book proposal coach Lisa Tener
Your Book Proposal Coach

You’ve dreamed of writing a book some day, but 1.75 million things get it in way—give or take. Am I right?

So, I have a trick for you. It’s like cheating, but in a good way.

And you get to have fun, make money and make a difference for people, in the process.

It worked so well for me, I bet it can work for you, too.

Make Deadlines Count

Here’s the thing: Deadlines come. Deadlines go. They come and go.

Maybe, like me, you honor some of your writing deadlines with an accountability partner—even get together for a few weeks. And then you have to cancel one day.

And the next week, you’re too busy so you skip that week, too.

And suddenly a system that worked for you no longer works.

When you commit to teach a class, however, you get serious. People are counting on you. They’ve paid their money, forgoodnesssake.

So you have to develop your course materials. When those course materials can become your book—voila, you get a twofer.

                                                    My Story of Writing a Book

book proposal workbook
Offering a course on writing a book proposal helped me finally complete a beta version of my Savvy Author’s Book Proposal Workbook

Clients loved my book proposal worksheets for helping them gather the information for their book proposals. They provide guidance and structure.

I’ve wanted to put some meat around these worksheets for a long time—adding more direction, top tips, cautionary advice, as well success stories.

Once I committed to teaching a book proposal program, Fast Track Your Book Proposal, I had to add those details to my worksheets. Now, my Savvy Author’s Book Proposal Workbook is just about done. I’m just working with the designer on a few layout/design changes and then the beta version of my book is D.O.N.E. and ready to guide prospective authors to 5- and 6-figure book deals!

Your Turn

Reset Your Child's Brain book
Dr. Victoria Dunckley’s book teaches a 4-Week Program

Does your book lend itself to a course structure? Publishers and agents love books that offer a program:

  • 7 Weeks to a Healthy Heart
  • Speak Greek like a Demigod in 60 Days or Less
  • 21 Days to Blogging Fame

You get the picture. Figure out a time frame in which your readers are likely to achieve their goals—if they apply themselves, of course.

Create a skeletal structure and fill it in:

  1. Clarify your market
  2. Decide what they’ll learn in each day/week/month.
  3. Turn these into chapters
  4. And awaaaay we go!

Make a commitment to teach the material and you’ve tricked yourself into coming up with the course materials—or else!

The Benefits of Writing a Book, First as Course Materials, Are Plentiful

women with controlling partners
Carol Lambert’s book came directly out of the programs she offers for women with controlling partners.

There are many benefits to using your course materials for writing a beta version of your book, in addition to the motivation and accountability to get it done:

  • Find out what works for your readers.
  • Realize what’s missing.
  • Get real life stories and examples from your class participants.
  • Discover fresh ideas and new ways to look at things from the people in your class.
  • Learn what your people see as their major challenges and find out what questions they need answered.
  • Discover what you need to do to make the material more accessible or useful—and how to do that.
  • Use some of the money you make from your class to help pay for editing, design (if self-publishing), a book proposal course, a book publicist, book marketing, an amazon bestseller campaign or something else to help propel your book into the hands of eager readers.

Working on my course materials provided the opportunity to revisit many of my clients’ successes and write about them in the accompanying workbook. This also offered me the wonderful opportunity of catching up with clients whose books are now published. I heard all about additional creative ways they’ve gotten the word out about their books and reached their readers.

Many shared stories about the miracles and dreams-come-true that have occurred in their lives and businesses since they published their books.

Those stories enrich my book and they also make my day! I bet they’ll inspire my readers and make them smile and feel motivated.

Are you inspired yet?

Feel free to make a commitment to teach a course in the comments section below this post. In fact, share your class title, website and email below in case other readers of this blog need what you’ll be teaching and writing a book about. Yes, make it real!

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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.

Reader Interactions


  1. Michelle Braun says

    This idea is so helpful! As I began to envision how I might speak to my target market in a workshop format, many new ideas came to me about how I would like to frame the material. I had some important insights about the “voice” I want to use, which provoked me to think of content I might not otherwise have been in touch with. It was very exciting! Thank you for these valuable tips!

    • Lisa Tener says

      Thanks, Michelle, I’m so glad the post set off a series of creative breakthroughs for you! I look forward to discussing them tomorrow!

  2. patrck sikayinda says

    Lisa your teaching are wonderful , Iam looking forward for finishing a book proposal in three weeks time . It is unbelievable.

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