Starting with the End in Mind: A Winning Approach to Writing and Selling Your Book

Eric G Reid
3 min readNov 2, 2023

Are you an aspiring author, eager to embark on the thrilling journey of writing a book? The first step might seem elusive, with various options vying for your attention. Should you begin by creating a detailed outline, brainstorming a captivating title, or conducting in-depth market research? The answer might surprise you:

ANY of these can serve as an effective first step.

However, if your goal extends beyond merely putting words on paper to selling your book successfully, there’s a critical principle to embrace from the get-go: Start with the end in mind.

What Does “Starting with the End in Mind” Mean for Writers?**

In practical terms, this concept entails contemplating your book’s endgame even before the ink hits the page. This means, yes, you may consider crafting your book’s title, description, and sometimes even designing the cover BEFORE you delve into the writing process.

Now, you might wonder, is this the only way to approach the task of writing a book? Absolutely not. Different authors may discover alternative sequences that work better for their unique creative processes.

However, from a perspective rooted in marketability and strategic planning, initiating your journey with the end in mind often proves to be a smart move.

The Power of Crafting Your Book Description First

Picture this: You’re about to embark on a long road trip. What’s the first thing you do? You set your destination in the GPS, right? Crafting your book description is akin to setting that destination. It provides you with a clear “target” to aim for throughout your writing journey.

Moreover, soliciting feedback on your book description can be a game-changer. Imagine receiving enthusiastic responses like, “I want to buy this book!” before you’ve even written it. This kind of feedback can infuse you with the confidence and motivation needed to bring your book to fruition.

A Valuable Lesson for Writers: Start Where It Makes Sense

Here’s an essential lesson that extends beyond book writing: You don’t always have to start at the literal beginning with most tasks. This principle applies to various aspects of your writing journey:

1. Writing Your Book: Consider writing the ending first and then circling back to the introduction. This can provide you with a clear sense of where your story or argument is heading.

2. Crafting Your Description: Start with the final call to action before working on the opening headline. This ensures that your description leads readers toward a clear decision to purchase.

3. Marketing Your Book: Think about selling your book before you’ve even written it through pre-sales. This not only builds anticipation but also validates your book’s potential in the market.

4. And More: Remember that starting at a different point or even from the “opposite end” can be a creative and strategic way to overcome writer’s block or navigate challenges in your writing process.

In conclusion, the journey of writing a book is not always a linear path. Embracing the concept of starting with the end in mind offers a strategic advantage, especially if you aim to sell your book successfully. Whether you begin with your book’s title, description, or another element, the key is to set a clear destination for your writing journey. So, fellow writers, don’t be afraid to explore different starting points and discover what works best for your unique creative process. Happy writing!

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Eric G Reid

I'm Eric G. Reid, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Skinny Brown Dog Media. My mission: transform aspiring writers into authors, and help them create an impact