The Complete Guide to Self Publishing by Tom & Marilyn Ross. This was the complete guide. Of the several recent books I have read I would call this one the bible of self publishing.
– write a book mission statement. Forty to sixty word statement to clarify the essense of message.
– determine the audience. (know exactly who the general reader is going to be.)
– write the introduction. (tell the scope of the book and what ways the readers will benefit from the book.)
– then work on the chapter you are most jazzed about.
– (nonfiction don’t need to be written in any particular order and chapters are usually stand alone parts of the book.)
– think of the chapters as a series of steps.
– think about stories, anecdotes, illustrations, pictures that can embellish or clarify the message.
– Communicate, don’t try to impress.
– Use the right words for the job.
– Avoid ambiguity.
– Keep an eye on overall language.
– Guard against clichés
– Delete redundancies and needless words.
– Inject your writing with liveliness.
– Put more zip in with analogies.
– Use the active voice to achieve readability.
– Be specific.
– Transition smoothly.
– Be sensitive to sexism.
– Avoid bad taste of any kind.