Since How To Work a Room® was first published, people have asked that I meet with them so they could "pick my brain." Thanks to encouragement from Patricia Fripp, I listened to the market and launched www.pickmybrainconsulting.com to coach emerging authors over a decade ago. Although the process of being published has changed dramatically in my 21 years as a best- selling author, some of the techniques, issues and process are the same.
If you want to write a book:
1.Pay attention to what interests you, your area of expertise and what advice people expect from you.
2.Collect articles. I'm all about reading with a scissors. Today, that may mean keeping files on your desktop of links to relevant articles. But I'm a hard copy collector.
3.Organize your hard copy articles by subject matter into old-fashioned file folders in a bankers box or filing cube (Those subject matter files are "chapters".)
4.Listen to conversations, television, lectures, movies. You'll hear many interesting, fun, poignant stories/quotes. Write down date, sources, exact words etc.
5.Think in terms of what end-users want and believe they need.
Over 13 years ago, I observed that people were using the internet to avoid/supplant in-person interaction and developed a keynote speech about the subject and how to remedy it. I also wrote a draft of a proposal that 10 years later turned into the book proposal for Face to Face: How To Reclaim the Personal Touch in a Digital World. Some ideas need more time to incubate than others. As technology was overtaking our lives and communication, I knew it was time. BUT, I was busy giving presentations and needed a kick-start. So I followed the advice I'd been giving my writing clients:
6.Write the first draft as a letter to your best friend explaining your idea for the book, what you'd include and the market of people who would buy and benefit from it. The first two words of the draft of my book proposal for Face to Face were, "Dear Lana". And it flowed!