Goals and Objectives in Authoring an eBook

 


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Goals begin behaviour, consequences maintain behaviour!

Introduction

It is ESSENTIAL to set goals, objectives, targets, expected outcomes… throughout the eBook authoring process. The positive consequences of completing tasks that accomplish the goals you have set is the motivation to keep moving forward. For ease of communication the term ‘goals’ shall be used to represent all of the synonyms associated with the word.

Big Picture Goals

You must have a general overall goal which is to write and publish your own eBook. This is the BIG PICTURE goal. You need to see yourself weeks or months from now as a published author collecting “passive income” for your efforts. Passive income is income generated forever after you have completed the initial eBook writing.

Updates are recommended but not essential. If you choose to provide your eBook for free you will still receive passive results through your ongoing contribution to someone’s successful use of your work. Better still, you could see yourself writing another eBook.

The big picture goals include some visualizations, some dream fulfillments, some major accomplishment you have always wanted to pursue, some lasting contribution to a body of knowledge.

Working Goals

Besides the big picture goals, you must establish goals for each of the steps in the eBook authoring process. These ‘working’ goals are your nitty-gritty, hard working daily motivators.

Without the big picture goal you won’t get started and without the working goals you won’t keep going.

“You dream won’t come true, it won’t happen to you - unless you have goals to motivate you to begin and continue. ”

We all understand the importance of goals but we’re not as good at establish appropriate goals, deciding how to reach them or taking the time to write them down. Even after goals are written, the most important step is often left out – HOW you are going to reach them!

Let’s look at a couple of examples.

Big Picture Goals

February 11, 2002

My goal is to write an eBook titled, Classroom Visits by School Administrators, for use by teachers and administrators in schools where teacher evaluations require classroom visits as part of the supervision and evaluation process. I shall complete the book by March 31, 2002 and be published by the end of May, 2002.

What does this big picture goal have going for it?

It has purpose. It talks about the reason for writing and the target audience.

It is specific. It includes a proposed title and suggests the content.

It is time oriented. It establishes time commitments and completion dates.

Sounds great so far but you should also:

  • Write the goal down, preferably in a colourful and dramatic fashion, and post it in a prominent place where you must read it every day. [Bathroom mirrors?]

  • Share the goal with as many people as possible but especially with those persons closest to you. This commits you to pursue your goal.

  • Enlist the support of 2 or 3 people who may not help you write but will encourage you to keep going during the rough times. This allows you to keeping progressing toward the goal. They act as a mirror of your commitment. They keep you on track.

    What next?

    Big Picture Goal: to write an eBook entitled, Classroom Visits by School Administrators

    Start: Feb. 11,2002 Finish: May 31,2002

    Now you must break that goal down into several sub-goals that are very general in nature but more specific than the overall big picture goal.

    This step in goal setting involves breaking down your big picture goal into smaller and more manageable goals; establishing a target date for completion of the goal; listing the means to accomplish the goal (your to do list); and recording the actual date when the objective was reached.

    Goal

    Targeted Finish Date

    Actual Finish Date

    Means to Accomplish the Goal

    To prepare myself to write an eBook

    Feb. 20 take the eBook Teleseminar from AwakenTheAuthorWithin.com

    Feb. 18 contact 2 colleagues or friends to act as mentors

    Feb. 21 write my big picture goals and share them with my mentors and others

    Feb. 13 set aside on my calendar a minimum of 6 hours per week to author the book

    Feb. 10 talk to my significant other about what I intend to do and why. Ask for help.

    What does this format of goal writing have going for it?

    1. The big picture (overall) objective is clearly articulated in very specific language.

    2. A specific time/date is declared for the completion of each task. THIS IS A MUST!

    3. The big picture goal is broken down into WORKING GOALS each one with a targeted completion date.

    4. The working goals are also specific and dated.

    5. The most important aspect of goal setting and writing is the use of ACTION VERBS to begin each of the means to accomplish the goals. Words such as take, contact, write, gather, set aside, talk…are CRUCIAL to success.

    6. The goals use present tense verbs. There is “immediacy” about them!

    These goals are your action plan. Always record the ‘means to accomplish’ goals beginning with action verbs. The more action the better! Include completion deadlines! Remember: “There is doing and not doing. There is no such thing as trying!” You can’t try to write a book. You have to do something before it really happens.

    Working Goals

    Let’s take a closer look at working goals. These are the day to day goals leading you to completion of the bigger goal of writing an eBook.

    Assume you have started the eBook Authoring Teleseminar Series from AwakenTheAuthorWithin.com and you have received the eBook, Awaken The Author Within – A Definitive Guide to eBook Authoring by Glenn Dietzel and Paul Jackson.

    This is your first significant step in the authoring process. You have already begun moving toward your previous big picture goals – you are reading the book and taking the teleseminar series. Using the eBook – A Definitive Guide - as an example of a specific goal leading to completion of your eBook here is what your working goals many look like.

    Goal: Read the eBook, Awaken The Author Within – A Definitive Guide to eBook Authoring

    The format presented here is only one way this can be done. Do what is most appropriate for you.

    Working goals require:

    targeted completion date

    means to accomplish the goal

    actual finish date

    Note: For each of these sub-goals you would establish a targeted completion date and record your actual completion date. Notice how the sub-goals are numbered as they are actually working goals and means to accomplish the goal at the same time. A numbering system keeps you on track and allows for checking off completed tasks as well.

    1. Start working with the material in the eBook – A Definitive Guide.

    1.1 read the information in the preliminary notes and the eBook

    1.2 download and/or print the related information from web site

    1.3 re-read information and make brief notes or highlight it

    2. Do the work suggested during the Teleseminar Series

    2.1 become familiar with the Discussion Board on web site

    2.2 post a welcome message and/or questions, comments

    2.3 read or re-read two books in Part D of preliminary notes

    2.4 visit web sites suggested in notes

    2.5 choose and contact my team members

    2.6 choose a topic and/or title of my eBook

    2.7 gather together any materials readily available to begin writing

    2.8 arrange to have someone type my eBook (if necessary)

    2.9 begin search and recording of applicable web sites

    2.10 record dates on calendar of all 5 eBook Teleseminar sessons

    What do these written goals and means to accomplish them have to teach us?

    The goals are:

    Written in specific detail

    Use action verbs

    Are positively worded

    Have targeted completion dates

    Are specific to the bigger objective of dealing with the authoring eBook

    In reality, goals are always broken down into smaller goals and smaller goals again which become the action plan for reaching your big picture goal. They can be added to, revised, have the completion dates altered… so you successfully complete your dream.

    BIG PICTURE

    The overall goal of writing an eBook To STEPS These are also goals but steps/stages/processes/… along the way To WORKING GOALS Goals specific to each of the steps or stages To ACTION STATEMENTS These are the means to accomplish the goals.

    10 Steps to eBook Authoring

    The 10 Steps as outlined here are representative of 10 steps/goals to reach the big picture goal of authoring and publishing an eBook. Each of these 10 steps is further broken down into working goals and then into action statements.

    For each of the 10 Steps to eBook Authoring, a reflection and writing stem has been provided to get you started with some action ideas of how to accomplish the goal of completing the Step.

    Step RaW Stems - Reflective and Writing Stems

    I Idea

    * I’ve always dreamed about writing a book about _

    * My experience says an eBook about _ is needed.

    * If I wrote an eBook about _, _ would be interested in it.

    II Reflection

    * My primary motivation for authoring an eBook is _

    * Additional benefits to writing it will be _

    * I have a head start on the process because _

    III Commitment

    * I will discuss the eBook concept with _

    * I will seek out additional information about eBooks from _

    * I will sign up for an eBook authoring course from _

    IV Big Picture

    * In general terms my eBook will be about _

    * Some of the topics covered in my eBook will be _

    * The objectives of the eBook will be to _

    V Chunking

    * The general topic will have sub-topics such as _

    * The format(s) I choose to use will include _

    * In terms of portability, interactivity, and versatility I will _

    VI Writing

    * The choice of word processor, font, graphics, … will be _

    * My style of writing shall be _

    * In this part of the process, I shall seek help from _

    VII Editing

    * After writing with flow and little editing I will be ready to _

    * I will use automatic spell and grammar checking as well as _

    * Since this is a time-consuming and crucial step I shall _

    VIII Publishing

    * Among the choices I have for publishing I choose _ because _

    * They eye appeal of my eBook is ensured by _

    * The publishing process is _

    IX Marketing

    * I shall choose _ for marketing my eBook because _

    * In addition to the primary marketer I shall _ to sell my book.

    * To track my eBook on the market I shall _

    X Celebrating

    * After completion of the eBook I plan to _

    * I shall send thank-you notes and copies of my eBook to _

    * Upon reflection of the eBook authoring process I intend _

    Review your goals on a regular basis

    WHY?

    A progress report toward your dream

    Keeps you motivated and working

    Justifies the process of goal setting

    Keeps you on track with your time lines

    Gives you cause to celebrate

    WHEN?

    At regular intervals during the process [weekly, bi-weekly, monthly]

    At the end of each step along the way

    When you need a “boost” by seeing what you’ve already accomplished

    When you take the time to reflect on past accomplishments

    When you re-write or add goals.

    HOW?

    Set aside a specific time to review goals

    [Sunday morning before the Sunday paper]

    Write a journal note about your progress

    Tell someone about what you are doing.

    Then celebrate again! You can never get enough celebrating.

    Establishing a method of recording your goals along with dates and means to accomplish them will ensure that you reach them. There is much that has been written about goals and goal setting. In eBook authoring, establish how you want to proceed toward your Big Picture goal of writing a book.

    © 2005 Paul Jackson

    Paul Jackson is an eBook author and retired Elementary School Administrator responsible for training sessions for teachers and administrators. Paul uses his educational background to help eBook authors accomplish their goal of writing and publishing a book. At http://www.ebookwritingandpublishing.com eBook Authoring Services opens the door of opportunity for anyone dreaming of leaving a written legacy of their passion in eBook format.

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