Creating a Content Plan for Your eBook
As an author, I am always jotting down notes and ideas. But when it comes to writing my eBook I begin by creating a content plan that will help to guide my writing process and eliminate wasted time.
It is more about providing structure and organizing all of those ideas that I have jotted down on paper so that my eBook doesn’t resemble the chaotic mess that my notebook does.
Have you seen a business plan where ideas are created in ‘clouds,’ and surrounding these clouds are all of the key points and ideas that are associated with that main topic? The same applies for when we ‘brainstorm’ and try to provide some organization for all of our ideas.
A content plan will help improve the ‘flow’ of your writing and eBook. You don’t want to write an eBook where the reader feels like they are constantly jumping around to get the information they need.
A basic content plan is better than none at all. I have four basic steps that I follow to help organize my ideas and create structure for my eBook before I start to write.
I identify the major sections, categories and topics that I need to specifically address.
I then gather all my random thoughts, notes and ideas and separate them into the appropriate categories or sections.
I identify each chapter and write a title for each chapter along with assigning each chapter with a number. This can be change at a later stage but it provides a starting point. It also allows for me to add additional chapters at a later stage if I find that a certain topic should have its own chapter.
Starting with the first chapter; I write down in order of priority and importance the ideas and key points that I wish to write about. I work my way through each chapter listing these key points in order until I have planned all chapters with the content.
I then write out the chapter title on a separate page and list each key point to be covered. I then write additional notes for each key point. So, basically I am further breaking down the main points so that I cover every piece of important information.
Once I am happy with my content plan I then set about compiling gall my notes, information and research for each chapter. This way I am organized. Some authors I know create a folder for each chapter that comprises of a title page, key points sections, additional points section and a section with all their research and information.
I now focus specifically on the first chapter and allow my creative thinking and writing to just flow. I am often busting at the seams with information to write so I start with my first main point and work my way through each point. I know I can always come back and remove information later.
This process can be adapted to suit your personal needs and requirements. But it is a basic content plan that will make the writing process much easier for you. Random writing without a plan is hard to structure and organize.
There are a number of writing software tools available to help you create structure but I still use a basic word document to write my manuscript. When I have a ‘road-map’ for my eBook I find it much easier to write as I know how much information to include in each chapter and what information I need to leave for another chapter.
If you plan on submitting your manuscript and proposal to a publisher then they will also want to see a content plan. They won’t have time to read all of your eBook or book so they will want to see what direction your eBook goes and if you maintain the quality throughout the eBook.
A content plan is essential for all authors. How you create your own content plan is up to you, you just need to have one to provide you with structure and organization.