II. Write Your Caregiving Book—Research and Write Overview

Two of the Four Steps to Being a Published Author

  1. Research what’s out there—books, articles, videos, podcasts.
  2. Write a succinct and compelling overview—100 words.

Avadian signing Caregiving Book--Photo Courtesy Bonnie KeithYour caregiving book—how to write and get your work noticed is the second in this three-part series on getting your caregiver story published. At the end of this series, you’ll receive an invitation to share your story on The Caregiver’s Voice website.

If you haven’t yet, read the two articles leading to this one—an introductory piece to this three-part series, “How do I write a caregiving book?” and Part 1 of 3: Write Your Caregiving Book—Overview.

1. Research others’ work.

As you think about what you will write and how it will benefit your readers, research what your colleagues and/or fellow caregivers have written—blogs, articles, and books. Listen to podcasts. Watch videos. You’ll be more successful when you bridge the gaps that others have missed.

If you are writing about caring for a parent with dementia, search for keyword phrases such as “caring for parent with dementia.” Sign-up for Google alerts with your keywords. Researching others’ work and using keyword phrases will help you fine-tune and define your unique approach.

Look at books that are similar to what you plan to write.
Start online using your keyword phrase to search on Amazon.com and/or Google books. Despite the ease of online research, you may find your local bookstore representative to offer useful information. Help support a local business and buy several books related to your topic. Once you’ve completed your book, the bookstore may be willing to sell copies.

Solicit feedback by sharing.
Share excerpts of your writing in a blog and via social media and ask for feedback. It’s best to develop relationships early. Help others by sharing and commenting on their work consistently well before you need something. You’re more likely to get help you when you ask.

Accept feedback regardless of whether or not you agree. People are gifting you with their time and attention. Thank them. You never know which idea will be the one that you build upon.

wheres_my_shoes_md2-199x300.jpgI wrote four communication, career, and leadership books as a speaker and consultant to corporations. None were as personal as “Where’s my shoes?” the grammatically incorrect title of my fifth book. It was the question my father asked repeatedly while living with Alzheimer’s.

There were only a handful of books and educational offerings by and for family caregivers in the mid-to-late nineties. Conference organizers saw me as the rare family caregiver who was able to speak and write about my experiences.

The second edition of “Where’s my shoes?” My Father’s Walk through Alzheimer’s  was released six years after the first. Caregivers and professionals valued its comprehensive, compelling, and candid content.

Both editions are out-of-print.

Today, thousands are willing to speak and write about their caregiving experiences.

If you’re like most writers, you’ll feel a sense of urgency in your mission.  The world needs this, now! The world won’t read what you write unless you give us a good reason. In most instances, your compelling reason will emerge after you do your research.

2. Write a 100-word overview.

As you research and hone your ideas, draft a 100-word paragraph that describes your book succinctly. (You may do this 50 times. Seriously.) Include the following:

  • Why are you the best person to write this?
    Include your education and/or experience.
  • Who will benefit?
    Identify your target audience.
    “Where’s my shoes?” appealed to family and professional caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s and was used as a case-study text.

Write your 100-word synopsis then set it aside. Don’t look at it! Read it a few days later. Revise. Let it sit a week then revise again. This one paragraph may be the hardest one you write. It will take many revisions to be succinctly compelling. When done well, it will serve as your marketing tool.

Ask those you’ve been developing relationships with for their reactions. Their responses (even no response) will be of value as you hone your message.

This overview will guide you as you commit your time and effort to write an entire manuscript. Read 10 Secret to Successful Media Pitches for inspiring ideas while shaping your 100 words.

In the final installment of this three-part series, you’ll learn how to BUILD your PLATFORM to draw interest and to BE PUBLISHED. 

More Information:

  • Writer’s Digest University—Online Workshops
  • Grammarly’s 30 Writing Tips to Make Writing Easier

The post II. Write Your Caregiving Book—Research and Write Overview first appeared on The Caregivers Voice.

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