Stairway to Earth, The Book FAQ


By Bill Birchard


Why did you name the book Stairway to Earth?

In the process of book development, most authors struggle to bring a blue-sky idea down to earth. They start with high hopes at the 40,000-foot level but have trouble moving through that thin atmosphere to the solid ground of publishing reality. Stairway describes this process, step by step, and thus the title.

What does Stairway offer that other writing books don’t?

Stairway is a “process” book. It doesn’t cover writing alone—composing sentences, paragraphs, and chapters. Nor does it cover publishing alone—the tasks of getting in print. It focuses instead on the most mentally intensive tasks of thinking, organization, self-management, and creative development.

What is the most difficult part of book development covered in Stairway?

Producing a logical progression of chapters. In the best books, authors guide readers on a journey of discovery. Each chapter advances the reader one more intriguing step. Stairway shows authors how to produce the best possible journey, step by step.

What makes the Stairway approach so effective?

By following the Stairway to Earth process, authors document each step of their work, in writing. Like artists preparing successively more complex “studies” before executing a masterpiece, authors advance their work one work-in-process step at a time toward superb manuscripts. The stepwise approach eases each stage of book development. It also creates a paper trail that provides invaluable fodder for writing the manuscript with confidence and control.

Is Stairway for new or veteran authors?

Stairway is for both. New and seasoned authors will both benefit from a systematic approach to creative and developmental work. They also will enjoy the many tips, techniques, and examples throughout the book.

Authors often get stuck midway through the writing of a book. Can Stairway help?

Getting stuck often stems from the same cause. Though striving to make a simple argument, authors get tangled up in logic and/or sequence of presentation. Stairway helps authors avoid stalling out in the first place with a systematic approach to developing each chapter—before the writing.

Where can I learn more?

Visit www.stairwaytoearth.com for a primer on the first eight steps in the book. The website introduces a time-tested program that guides authors in getting their ideas down to earth and on the road to publication.

Info for book reviewers: Stairway to Earth: How to Write a Serious Book, published October 2011 by Birchard Books (Amherst, New Hampshire). ISBN 978-0-9835381-0-3. 140 pages, 6 X 9, self-help/writing/publishing, $14.95. For a FAQ about the book, click here. To download the cover image, click here. To download images of Bill Birchard, click here.


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