Are You Ready to Write Your First Book? Guest post by writer’s coach, Leda Sammarco

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 19th, 2012 at 10:45 AM

When people find out I write for a living they often ask if I’m ever going to write a book.  I’ve thought about it and I know that, if I ever get around to it, it will be a factual book rather than non-fiction. And I also know it’s likely to be about my love of Cornwall. But where to start?

Well, I decided to book a session with writer’s coach, Leda Sammarco. It was great! She really helped me think about why I wanted to write the book and who I’d be writing it for. She also gave me lots of information on how to get published.

The session was so useful that I asked her to write a guest post for my blog to help other people who are thinking about writing their first book. I hope it inspires you! Over to you, Leda.

If you say you want to write a book people will probably ask what you are writing about.

I suggest you start with the reasons why you want to write.  This is about your big vision, not about wanting to get more clients, raise your profile or be seen as an expert, although writing can certainly do all these things, but they are outcomes.

Most successful non-fiction authors are on a mission and want to share something with the world and create change.



I’m going to use my first book ‘Finding the Gold’ as an example throughout this post. I wrote it because I want to inspire people to find their life purpose.

Identify your main message

When you know why you want to write you will be able to identify your key message.  This is at the heart of your book and is what you are promising your reader.  They need to know straight away what you are offering them.  For instance, my message is, ‘Everyone has a purpose in life.  In order to find it you need to go out and make the journey.’

Define your target audience

Next you need to be crystal clear about your target audience.  If you try to write for everybody, you risk appealing to nobody in particular. Your message needs to reach your core readership; if it appeals to anyone outside of that group, it’s a bonus.

My target audience comprises two groups of people. Firstly, young people such as new graduates who are just starting out and have no idea of what they want to do. The second group comprises people in their 30s and 40s. They may have spent years in a particular profession they don’t really enjoy or have moved around looking for something fulfilling and have given up believing they will find it.

Outline your roadmap

Then you are ready to take your reader on a journey and to do this you need a roadmap.  This could naturally lend itself to seven steps or three parts.  Your reader may want to follow the information in order or dip in and out of the chapters depending on what they need most.

Start by making a list of the key stages.  If you don’t know where you are going your reader certainly won’t!

My book is an inspirational memoir with self-help elements. It relates two journeys side-by-side which mirror one another: one a literal journey and the other metaphorical (told in flashbacks).

There are 12 chapters and at the end of each one there is a ‘Little Nugget’ with tips, questions and things for the reader to do. 

Decide what to include

When you have considered all of the above you can finally turn your attention to what you are writing.  Your content can include topics and sub-topics, case studies, your story, anecdotes, exercises, activities, diagrams and inspirational quotes.

‘Finding the Gold’ is the story of how I found my life purpose.  I chose to tell it through the lens of a trip I took to the West Coast of America. I did this partly because some of the experiences I had whilst traveling reminded me of important events or turning points on my other journey.  The little nuggets include things to do such as starting a journal, learning to meditate or just things to ponder.

Ultimately it’s about offering people something meaningful and relevant based on your experiences, expertise and passion.  When you write from that place you can engage your reader and inspire them.

Happy writing!

Leda Sammarco empowers spiritual entrepreneurs to write their first book. She offers coaching, mentoring and developmental editing and works with authors in a partnership way to help them write their book and get it out into the world. 


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Hello. I'm Elaine, I'm a copywriter and this is my blog.

It's mostly about words and writing - things that inspire me, entertain me, and make me smile. Sometimes it's about things that horrify me so much I want to scream and shout!

I hope you enjoy it and find it useful. And speaking of useful - scroll down and take a look at the Oxford Dictionaries tool.

Click here to find out a bit more about me.

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