What Should I Do First if I Want to Write a Book? Three Goals You Must Set

Part III

This is the last of a series on setting goals for your book. In this post, I’ll go over the last of three goals you must set if you want to write a successful book in today’s increasingly competitive, overcrowded book market.


First, let’s look at what we’ve covered in my previous posts:

  • Writing a book without setting these goals is like deciding to go on vacation without knowing where you’re going, planning what to do when you get there, or packing the right clothing.
  • The goals you need to set before you start writing are overarching. They dig into your “why.” They’re not about goalposts or timelines; they’re about giving you clarity and vision.
  • Goal #1: Who are you writing to? You can have 1-3 ideal reader avatars, but you should have names for them and know their family status, career struggles, and so forth. (More on this here: What should I do if I want to write a book? Three goals you must set)
  • Goal #2: What will they get from your book? How will they feel? What specific steps can they take on their own? What steps could they take with you–hire you, buy your products, book you as a speaker, follow you on social media, e.g.? (Find out more here: What should I do to write a book? Three goals, Part II.)

With all that in mind, let’s look at number three of the most important book-writing goals you can set.

Goal #3: What Will Your Book Do for You?

Buckle up—this next part may not be too fun. Still, there’s hope—but you have to digest what I’m about to say.

Everybody wants to write a book.

OK, not everybody. But LOTS of people. And many of them have stories that are just as amazing as yours—or even more so! How will yours stand out?

Goals one and two from my previous posts will help you get past this obstacle, but this third goal? Knowing your “why” for yourself will bring a lot of clarity. Beyond helping or inspiring others—what do you want out of your book?

Writing the right book.

Some people want a straightforward memoir for their families in friends. Some of these books may be gems. Still, the unfortunate reality is that they don’t tend to be very marketable—and that’s OK if all you want is to preserve memories for posterity.

On the other hand, many would-be authors have different goals, such as:

  • Making an impact. They DO want to motivate or educate people they’ll never meet.
  • Using their book to position themselves as an authority in such a way that they:
    1. increase their following on social media, becoming a thought leader
    2. book speaking gigs, or
    3. become the go-to expert on certain topics among their colleagues.
  • Booking more clients, or a different kind of client.

I’ll give an example from my article on “How To Write A Successful Book: 6 Things More Important Than Words:”

Say you’re a personal counselor. You’ve developed a great technique to help people solve relationship issues, but now you want to shift your focus to people with addictions. Will a book about your relationship technique be something you’ll want to talk to readers about in ten years? Will it help you get more of the clients you want?

In the same way, crafting your message in a way that showcases your unique experience or expertise can have colleagues, potential clients, event coordinators, and others look at you in a new light.


Crafting a successful book takes as much skill as a work of art.

Have you heard the parable about the sculptor working on a marble statue of an elephant? When asked how he knew what to chip away, he said, “Easy; anything that doesn’t look like an elephant.” You see, he knew what an elephant looked like.

What shape will YOUR message take?

Setting the three goals I’ve covered in this series will help you sketch that out. While today’s bloated book market can seem daunting to an aspiring author, there is hope!

Savvy goal setting at the start will position you well for success.

Ready to get started on your book journey but think you might need a hand? Book a free consultation today! Click here: Ghostwriting Consultation.

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