A good book does not start with writing. It starts with research. As you begin your book writing journey, here are some things to consider.
1. Most of a writer's time is spent in study.
Much of a writer's time is spent reading through relevent materials available in other books, magazines, newsletters, newspapers, interviews, etc. And don't forget about the Internet, the worlds largest library. If you are planning on writing and publishing a book, you have an obligation to your audience, to your book, and to yourself to exhaust every possible source of information.
2. Research will help you qualify your book writing project.
Once you begin to see what kind of information is out there, it is quite possible that your writing approach, direction and niche may change. Research has a stimulating effect and will help you qualify your project.
Louise Purwin Zobel, author of The Travel Writer's Handbook, cautioned writers to "never skimp on your research." She believed that "so-called writer's block is invariably the result of too little research," and "if you know enough, you won't have trouble filling as many pages as you want to."
And as noted author and historian, William Manchester once said, "I write to find out."
3. Start you book project with a "proposal."
Many writers begin with a book proposal - sort of a business plan for their books. They draft the back cover sales copy, and then a preliminary table of contents. Finally, they fill in the individual chapters. But as these writers research other books, articles, journals and interview sources, they learn more about their subject. Often, they discover new information, and the books take off in new directions.
4. Research is an on-going process.
Conducting research does not end when you begin writing. Rather, research should be an on-going process, concluding only when you have finished your written works. The more research you can do - the better your book will be.
Remember, writing is a research journey. You learn when you write.
[The above post was created from excerpts from Successful Nonfiction, written by Dan Poynter.]