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Article   | Idea to Book

Idea to Book

You have the idea in your mind.  You have a lot to tell the readers.It can be a story, a biography, a guide for self help, management concept, educational idea- it can be just anything.The point is that you have enough material to engage and benefit the readers. 

There is a big leap from `wish’ of writing a book and `plan’ of writing a book. To plan, you need to sit down and visualize the whole book as if it is in your hand already. Let’s see how to do it.

A book plan has it all what any plan has. It has time schedules, page estimate, resource planning, pricing. Let’s start writing the plan.

1.Objective of the book – it must be very clear in your mind why you are writing a book.What is that the reader will get after reading your book? Is it only sharing of experience, or you want to motivate? Is it only introduction of a particular subject or is it covering the subject in-depth or is it revealing some latest advancement on the topic?Be very clear about the objective.Your objective will dictate the tone, speed, direction and impact of your book. It will decide what do you elaborate and how much.This is the destination of your book.Write it down.

2.Reader of the book – for who you are writing this book?In other words, who is going to read it?Is it for high school students, or is it for general knowledge of middle aged employees, if you are writing a book on personal image building, decide if it is written for the teenage girls who want to make modeling as their career; or is it written for the working women in their thirties who are advancing their careers?

You may have a lot to say about the subject, but different things appeal to different classes of readers. An astrophysicist would write one book for scholars, another book for 15 years old boys and girls motivating to choose this discipline as their career and yet another book of sci-fi for general public. Do not cram everything in one book.

Caution – do not say that your book is useful for everybody.A wristwatch is useful for everybody, but a particular model is for a particular class of buyers. Define who is the buyer of your book. Write it down.

3.Contents of the book – Now prepare the contents page of the book.How will you divide it into chapters?What will be the headings? – and sub headings?Will there be any charts, graphs, images, illustrations?If yes, who is going to make them?This way you can avoid any possible repetition.

Write down the contents page of your book.

4.Resources – Are you reproducing any material from any other published or unpublished work from any person? It can be in the form of a quotation, interview excerpt, image, graph, chart, drawing or any other form.Make sure if you need to get the permission of the concerned person for reproducing it.If it only a mention of some public document, it is likely that you can just quote it with the source.In some cases, however, it is necessary to get his/her written permission along with payment of fees.Check this aspect thoroughly.

In any case you will not want to reproduce someone else’s material as your own. Be sure and prepared to have the backup or source of what you are saying is your original thinking and not borrowed from anywhere else.

In some cases, the source expects just an acknowledgement.Please do that.

If you are sharing any real life success story, decide if you want to use the real names.

5.Co-authors, contributors – it is possible that your book needs contribution from another expert in the field. Suppose you are writing a book on entrepreneurship, you may like a company law professional to write about formation of a company.   Decide if you need such a contribution, and if yes, who is the right person for that. Write down what and how much will the contribution be.

6.Length of your book – At this stage, you will be fairly equipped to estimate fairly accurately how long a book it will be. Estimate pages or number of words for each sub-topic, then topic, then for a chapter, introduction, preface, end-notes.  Write these numbers of pages against each heading in your contents page already prepared. 

7.Timeline – it is an important aspect. You may need to publish your book to coincide with a particular event. Or you can decide your own timeline. Allow time for writing and rewriting. Please remember to allow time for these activities:

a. Preparing final manuscript

b. Editing

c. Proof reading

d. Creating images (charts, graphs, illustrations, tables, photos and others)

e. Securing permissions, if any.

f. Independent review of the book

g. Getting `advance praise’ for the book.

h. Getting preface written by an expert, if necessary.

i. Creating cover.

8.Editing – Once you have complete manuscript in your hand, go for editing. Appoint a professional editor.  If he/she has domain background, still better.  The editor will give inputs and suggestions regarding selection of words, flow of the language, paragraphs,  sequence and other things.  These suggestions are made `keeping the end in mind’.  All the comments, suggestions are to make the book better.  You can of course discuss the suggestions and inputs and make final decision.

9.Finding the publisher – if you are not self publishing the book, then you will need the publisher to publish your book.  The process can start any time once you have finalized the contents page with page numbers and timeline. You need to prepare a one-page synopsis for the publisher.  Send it across, meet the publisher.  The publisher  will take his sweet time to go through the manuscript or proposal to accept or reject it.  You may need to approach a few publishers simultaneously or one-by-one.  Acceptance may depend on a few things like

a. Publishing plan of the publisher

b. Competition for the book

c. Specialized area of the publisher

d. Perceived market need

e. Past record of your other books or your reputation in the subject.

f. Recommendation by an author or editor associated with the publishing house.

10. Contract – Contract between the author and publisher is very important.  It talks about what rights are parted with, for how much time, obligations of both the parties, royalty and tenure.  Do not hesitate to ask questions, or to appoint an agency or a lawyer to protect your interest.



TranslationPanacea contribution


Objective of the book

solely the author’s idea

Reader of the book

Contents of the book


Co-authors, contributors

helping writing in a better way

chargeable per word + per meeting

Length of your book

Author’s discretion, we can give inputs


decided mutually




chargeable per word + per meeting

Finding the publisher

helping preparing the book proposal, representing to the publisher

fixed fees +15% of the contract fees (royalty)


taking it through the contract in the best possible interest of the book.



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