Steps for Writing a “How To” Book

If you’ve decided that you know something other people would pay to learn from you then you are in a great position to create a “How To” book.

There is a huge place in the market for such titles, as people are always yearning to learn more about, well, everything. With a little help, your book about auto mechanics could be as successful as a dieting book published after New Year’s.

Here are a few tips to get your book off the ground and running. Writing a How-To Book

Educate Yourself

You may know all there is to know about your subject matter, but it’s important to have a good understanding of the publishing industry before you begin writing a book.

You may save yourself a great deal of trouble by learning what it is publishers and agents are looking for in a “How To” book long before you begin writing.

If you write a 300-page manual explaining how to fix a roof, only to find that the market is already saturated with identical “How To” books, you can’t say we didn’t warn you.

Select a Subject

When it comes to topics, unless you plan on doing quite a bit of research, you should stick to what you already know how to do. (Learn more about coming up with ideas for your book)

Chances are, no matter how much of an expert you are in your selected topic, you’ll still be required to do much research before you begin to write.

Make things easy on yourself for your first “How To” book and stick with what you know.

If you are a business person or have an entrepreneurial mind, you will be thrilled to learn that these types of books are very popular. Who doesn’t want to learn about how to increase wealth?

Also, readers are always interested in learning more about their hobbies or favorite crafts. A book about quilting or build furniture could be very appealing to the right audience.

Outline the Book

Create an outline for your book. This will serve as a rough guide as you write. The outline can be rearranged later, so don’t worry about sticking to it like glue.

The point is to organize your thoughts so that the final product of your efforts is coherent and polished.

This exercise will also help writers feel less overwhelmed by the huge amount of the subject matter they wish to cover.

(Learn more about outlining your book here)

Hit the Books

You may know your subject matter backward and forward, but it’s important to have facts and figures handy to back up the advice you’re giving.

To make your book more interesting, interview some of your fellow experts and introduce your readers to more than one perspective.

Readers thirst for resources – and so do publishers. Establish yourself as a true authority on your subject matter by doing your homework.

Break Out the Pencil

After you’ve created an outline and organized your research notes, it’s time to get down to business.

Don’t think, however, that you must begin by writing with your book’s introduction. You can start writing whichever chapter you wish – though when you’re ready to create your book proposal, you’ll want to make sure the first two to three chapters are finished. If you’re self-publishing or writing an eBook, this doesn’t become a problem (learn more about writing an eBook).

If you’re new to writing, you may want to begin with the chapter that seems like it would pose the least problems. This way, you won’t feel overwhelmed by the writing process before you’ve even begun.


Now go on and start writing your How-To book! Share what you know!


Useful Resources:

List of Popular How-To books on

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