130. 4 Unexpected Early Benefits of Outlining Your Book

Are you still a little skeptical about the true value of outlining your book?

If you just want to get to writing, I completely understand. I used to feel the same way.

But a smart writer convinced me otherwise, and I’m glad he did.

In this episode, discover why outlining will make it easier for you to sell more books, plus 3 more unexpected, often overlooked benefits of creating comprehensive outline for your book.

For more writing tips and inspiration, follow me on Instagram @candiceldavis.

Mentioned in This Episode

The Successful Author’s Secret Weapon *Live Workshop! TOMORROW (WED, JULY 26TH!*

Authors Ignited: Group Coaching Program for Nonfiction Authors

Creating a Course from Your Book (Episode 128)

Jump-Start: A free guide to help you jump-start your nonfiction book.

Complete Author Coaching (1:1 Coaching)

Episode Transcript

Hey there, and welcome to “Nothing but the Words.” I’m your Book Coach Candice L. Davis.

In the last episode, I talked about how writing a comprehensive, well-thought-out outline can really help you write your book faster and with less stress.

Your outline can help you keep writer’s block at bay and eliminate any of the paralysis you might feel when you sit down to write.

For how-to books, personal development books, professional development books, and even memoirs, an outline is incredibly helpful and, in most cases, crucial to the writing process. 

In this episode, I want to share 4 benefits of outlining your book that many authors miss.

When I talk about your outline, I’m not just talking about a list of chapters. That’s a table of contents, as you know.

In my experience, most authors benefit from going deeper, and if you’re seeking a traditional book deal, you’ll have to go deeper for your book proposal.

A comprehensive outline shows you, at a glance, the order of your content and the details of each chapter.

It breaks down the topics and subtopics you’ll cover, the concepts you’ll explain, and the stories you’ll tell.

I suggest you get specific and detailed in your outline, keeping in mind that it’s not written in stone. 

This is your book. You can make changes when it makes sense to do so.

So let’s dive in.

These are all benefits you can get from your outline even before you finish writing your book.

In the best-case scenario, you’ll start marketing your book well before its launch.

You want to get some momentum behind the marketing before you launch. 

Your outline is essentially a guideline for creating marketing concepts, including social media posts, Amazon ads, social media ads, and articles for LinkedIn and other media outlets and websites.

You can pull specific ideas from your outline—not your actual book content because you don’t necessarily want to publish that before you release your book—for ideas for much of your marketing content.

Or you can give your outline to someone on your team to create those posts for you.

Most authors, whether they publish independently or have a book deal, grossly, grossly, grossly underestimate how much time and energy they need to invest in marketing their book.

But a comprehensive outline takes a lot of the pressure off of you when you’re creating content.

In addition to helping you come up with marketing content, your outline is the place to look when you want to come up with your talking points for media appearances. That’s the 2nd early benefit of outlining your book.

Maybe you’ve got big goals for media appearances, or you might be thinking, “I don’t need this.  I’m not going on the Today show, I don’t have that kind of platform. Oprah’s not calling to invite me on her show.” 

If so, that’s okay. Plenty of bestsellers have been made without a national TV appearance. 

There’s plenty of other media within reach. Don’t overlook local TV and radio. Those shows need new content every day too.

Podcasts are actually my favorite media option for authors. There are thousands and thousands of them.

If you can think of a niche, there’s probably a podcast for it, and if you look through your network, which is a great place to start, there are probably some people you know who host podcasts.

But you’ll eventually run out of friends and need to pitch to other podcasts.

Your outline is the place to pull different points and stories to develop your pitch.

My favorite benefit of podcasts is durability. When you appear on a TV show, that’s great, especially if it has a large audience.

But for the most part, people don’t watch news shows or talk shows in reruns.

They either catch it live, maybe record and watch it the same day, or never watch it at all.

They might hop on Amazon right away, but probably not.

With a podcast, typically there will be show notes that will link to your book. So listeners can just click and find it and buy it.

Even better, three months later and even three years later, new listeners can still find your episode and discover your book.

I might need to do a whole episode on using podcasts to promote your book because there’s a lot more to say, but the point for us today is that your outline is a fantastic place for you to find talking points for media interviews.

It’s a great place to go to find that one story you know will work for a particular podcast audience.

Listen. You will know your book well by the time you’ve finished writing it, but it can also become a bit of a blur for you.

Instead of flipping through all those pages to figure out what you want to talk about, go to your outline.

The 3rd benefit of outlining your book is that you can use that outline to create other intellectual property.

This ties back to my interview with Parchelle Tashi a couple of episodes ago. If you want to develop a course based on your book or some part of your book, a solid outline is essential.

Your entire outline doesn’t have to be the framework for your course, but having a comprehensive outline would definitely make course creation a lot easier.

Depending on your strategy, you might want to release that course before you finish writing your book or at the same time as your book launch.

Your outline will make it a lot easier to do that. If you missed that episode with Parchelle, you can find it at CandiceLDavis.com/128.

And finally, the fourth benefit of your outline is that it’s a great place to find ideas for talks or workshops.

If you’re a speaker or a trainer, or you want to be, your outline is a goldmine.

This is content you can share before you launch your book, before you even finish writing your book.

You don’t have to wait until your book is published to share your stories, ideas, or processes.

In fact, sharing them with a live audience can help you see what really engages people.

This episode comes out just a day or two before my live outlining workshop, The Successful Author’s Secret Weapon.

If you’re ready to craft a comprehensive outline for your book and really leverage it for all the possible benefits, I’d love to have you join us.

We’ll meet in my Zoom room. It will be a fairly small group, so everyone will have a chance to ask their questions and get feedback where they want it.. 

You can find out more at candiceldavis.com/secretweapon

I’m so deeply proud of this workshop  and how it can help you kickstart your book and really get some momentum on your writing.

I don’t teach live workshops outside of my group-coaching program, Authors Ignited, very often, but I felt compelled to teach this one.

Check it out at CandiceLDavis.com/secretweapon.

I hope to see you there.

That’s all for this episode, friends. Thanks for listening to “Nothing but the Words.” I’m your book coach, Candice L. Davis, and I’ll see you next time.

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