How to Write Your Book without Lifting a Finger

Woman writingOkay, before you say “yeah right!” or “she’s full of baloney” – hear me out. You CAN writeyour book without lifting a finger. We often hear how people are not getting their books done, even though they have a deep desire to share their message or story with the world. Here are some ways you can easily implement to get your book out into the world.

1.  Put together an anthology. An anthology like our book Speaking Your Truth, is a great example of a book sharing a message, yet the writing is primarily done by contributing authors who have a similar message. Put together some guidelines, put out a call for entries, and start collecting stories.

2.  Record and transcribe. You can easily record yourself talking, and then have transcriptions done of the recording. This way you don’t have to “write” it all yourself, but you can easily get it out there by speaking it someone else. You could also do a series of interviews for your book this way, and have those calls transcribed as well.

3. Hire a partner author or ghostwriter. Did you know that the majority of celebrity written books and biographies are largely in part due to a ghostwriter? Don’t feel as though you are cheating by hiring someone else to write the words for you, a partner author is still holding your vision and ideas, and even your voice in the book when they put pen to paper. You just don’t have to do the dirty work.

4. Find past projects to repurpose. Have you been writing blogs, newsletters, journals or other material for the past few years? If so, you might just have a book sitting on your hard drive. Take a look at everything you’ve done before and look for ways you can repurpose previously written work.

Okay, so no more excuses. You can get your book out there easier than you’d think. If you’d like to inquire about our partner authoring services, email us today.

How to Stay in Love with Your Book…til death do you part!

Book with heartIt’s no wonder there are so many abandoned manuscripts sitting on hard drives!

Writing and publishing a book can be a long and tedious process; it takes tenacity, courage, and some serious discipline to see a book through to the end.

I’ve heard my clients say to me over and over again, how they just “don’t want to look at it anymore.” They’ve read it, reread it, and edited it so many times they can practically say the lines verbatim.

So how can you stay in love with your book and see it through to the end? Here are a few tips to help you hold on to that spark.

Remember Your Vision. Think about the first time you even considered writing a book, or when you first started – the excitement you felt, the butterflies in your stomach, and the dream of seeing it in print. Don’t lose sight of the accomplishment that is knocking on your door.

Editing Only Makes Better. If you are stuck in the rewrite and editing process, remember the saying “this too shall pass.” Don’t let creative avoidance keep your book tucked away, make it a priority and focus on it a little bit every day.

It is NOT a Piece of Junk. By the time you read your book a few times you will likely end of questioning whether or not it is any good. This happens for a few reasons – 1. The saboteur comes out and tells you to stuff it, 2. It’s no longer new to you and reading something over and over again is boring! Keep a fresh perspective by giving yourself a few weeks off here and there.

All in all, just know that this part of the book writing process and MOST people do experience some disdain towards their book at some point.

How Not to Write Your Book This Year

pencilsA lot of people share with me how they’d love to write a book, but to some degree they believe it’s just a pipedream.

Pipedream (adj): Origin: Pit of doom, defined as dream that will always live in the sewers and never see the light of day.

Well, I don’t agree – a book doesn’t have to be nor should it be just some goal or dream that never gets done. You can write a book, and you can do it this year!  But if you want to continue saying a book is a “someday,” follow these rules.

How Not to Write Your Book.

  1. Make everyone and everything else a priority.
  2. Hang out with non-writers.
  3. Remember all the times you failed.
  4. Take on extra projects that don’t mean anything to you.
  5. Surround yourself nay-sayers.
  6. Don’t, don’t you dare, ever-never sit down at your computer to write.
  7. Don’t put yourself first.
  8. Don’t remember what it feels to accomplish something.
  9. Become a friend of adversity.
  10. Keep saying “next year.”
  11. No reading allowed, that might inspire you.
  12. Find all the reasons why you shouldn’t.
  13. Tell no one about your dream
  14. Don’t take it one step at a time, that’s too easy.
  15. Never laugh at yourself.

Now if I haven’t convinced you not to write your book yet, and you are actually considering it then…

  1. Make you and your book a priority.
  2. Hang out with writers.
  3. Remember all the times you did succeed.
  4. Clean your plate of any unwanted projects.
  5. Surround yourself with believers.
  6. Make time to write every day.
  7. Put yourself first.
  8. Remember the feeling of accomplishment.
  9. Give adversity your best fight. (put’em up! put’em up!)
  10. Say “this is the year!”
  11. Read for inspiration.
  12. Find all the reasons why you should.
  13. Tell everyone about your book.
  14. Take it one step at a time, as a matter of fact take it one sentence at a time.
  15. Keep it light, laugh at yourself – a lot.

If you need more support, check out our book How to Bring Your Book to Life This Year!

Take Time to Write Your Book

Time to WriteIt may sound contradictory to our book title – How to Bring Your Book to Life This Year, but in reality, bringing your book to life this year isn’t about skipping steps, and producing a poorly produced copy of your first book. That’s why I’m writing this post – do in fact, take time to write your book.

Here’s what I mean.

  • Going too fast could mean that you are rushing through the process and not allowing your book time to develop and breathe.
  • Rushing could mean that you are skipping steps, overlooking critical pieces, and moving too fast.
  • Jumping ahead of yourself could mean that in the end you’ll have a classic case of “book shame.” Book shame is when you aren’t proud of your book and you’d rather shelf it than promote it.

Here’s what I don’t mean.

  • Taking time to write your book doesn’t give you permission to procrastinate.
  • It isn’t saying that you can skip working on your book, and it will magically finish itself.
  • It isn’t a reason to hide behind perfection, and over-thinking, over-analyzing, or over-anything.

Taking time to write your book means that you give your book the proper time, attention, and love it deserves. If you can write your book in six months – fantastic. Would it be better if you took a year, and you want to take that year – than take it. Are you just wanting to get it done and be over it – maybe you should slow down. Are you taking too long because you feel exposed sharing what you’ve written – perhaps you need to move faster.

The point is that every book and every author are different. One book could be completed relatively faster than another. A piece of fiction generally takes years to complete, whereas a how-to book that is already in your head could come out rather easily.

The biggest mistake I see people making is putting too strict deadlines onto their book. They want a book out by X date, just because. Although they have no idea what timeline is realistic. Go easy on yourself. The last thing you want to do is rush through something, and realize you should have given yourself more time. It’s okay if your book comes out six months or a year after you hoped it would. Chances are it will be better because of it. And you are still WAY ahead of the game by having a book at all.

The Battle Between Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing

Self-Publishing vs. Traditional PublishingWe are often asked why someone would chose to self-publish over traditional publishing. Well, it’s a matter of personal preference.

First, we should state that we in no way advocate that self-publishing is the best and only way to go. It’s not. In fact, traditional publishing comes with its own set of perks. It also comes with its own set of challenges. The same goes for self-publishing.

The best thing to do is assess which option is right for YOU! We tend to come across more self-published authors these days, as it is easier to get your work out into the world over using traditional publishing, and because we talk to a lot of author-preneurs (people who have a business tied to their book).

Here’s a quick list of what to consider when choosing to self-publish or to seek a traditional publisher:

You might want to self-publish if:

  1. You want to maintain creative control – with your manuscript, cover design, etc.
  2. You are a good marketer, and are committed to seeing your book through
  3. You would like to get your book completed relatively quickly
  4. You are not that concerned with seeing your book in Barnes and Noble
  5. You speak a lot and want to sell your books at speaking engagements
  6. You are a speaker and you want to use your book to get more speaking engagements
  7. You’d rather take more money per book sale, yet have to pay for pieces of the book to get complete (cover design, editor, etc.)

You might want to publish traditionally if:

  1. You have a marketing platform that a publisher would love
  2. You have a commercialized (not niched) book that has a market of “everyone” (Niche books are often picked up by publishers, but it’s easy to sell a niche book through self-publishing)
  3. You aren’t tied to your book exactly how it is, you are okay if the title changes, the manuscript changes, and you are hands off through that process
  4. You plan to market hard and do a lot of publicity
  5. Having your book in Barnes and Noble is important to you
  6. You’d rather take less money per book and not pay for the pieces of the book to be complete (cover design, editor, etc.)
  7. It is important for you to have that credibility of being “published”

Overall, it’s important to choose what is right for you. Talk to people who have self-published, then talk to people who have published traditionally. Get both sides of the story, then make your decision.

3 Reasons to Write that Book – This Year!

Book PagesDo you need a reason to write your book? If you are wondering if you should make the time to actually write that book you’ve been pondering for some time now, here are 3 reasons to move forward.

Three Reasons to Write Your Book

  1. Build a Platform. Writing a book can significantly help you build a platform for your business or your brand. Whether you are an entrepreneur, small business owner, or a public figure looking to speak in front of larger audiences, a book can help elevate your expertise and build your platform. Check out our client Susan Hyatt, and her book Strategy for Good or Deb Roffe’s book Reach Your Summit and Beyond.
  2. Leave a Legacy. Perhaps your book is really about leaving a legacy – to your children, grandchildren, or even to the world. Legacy books often include personal stories, opinions, and events. These books are a great way to connect with your family, connect with your audience, and leave a legacy of your lifetime. One of our clients, Jack Harms’ book, Travel Junkie does just that.
  3. Share a Message. Sharing a message within your book could tie into both building a platform and leaving a legacy, but ultimately the book is written to inspire others in some way. Perhaps it’s a message of hope, possibility, or even peace. Karen Loucks Rinedollar shares her message of giving back and being involved in the community with her book Working for Peanuts. It’s her personal story and journey of creating a world-wide nonprofit, with her book she hopes to reach others and inspire them to give back in their own way.

These are just three reasons to write your book – this year. We know there are plenty more – the most important part is to figure out your driving force behind creating a book and hold on to that vision to see it through.

If you need support in getting your book done, please be sure to send us an email to schedule a consultation.

Having Trouble Writing? Here are 3 Sneaky Saboteurs – and how to change them!

Writing TipsAll writers have their moments (days, weeks, or months) when the words just aren’t flowing. The muse seems to have left the building, and the dishes, laundry, and happy hours all take precedence over sitting your butt in the chair and writing your book!

The point is, most of us have trouble writing at times in our life. But it’s not stopping these droughts from happening, rather it’s about learning to manage and control them and move back into action.

Here are three sneaky saboteurs that may be stopping you, and how to fix them.

Your Environment – There’s nothing that zaps creativity like an uninspiring place. Drab lighting, endless stacks of paperwork, and an unorganized desk can send your muse on a permanent hiatus. Take the time to straighten up your environment on a regular basis – whether at the end of every day, or week – just make sure you are always working in a clean and inspiring place. Add candles to your desk, put a favorite picture or painting in your point of view, and surround yourself with only things that inspire and uplift you.

Routine – Routines, while effective most of the time, can also become the exact thing that stops your writing. When you are in a writing-rut routines must be broken. Even sitting in a different part of your home or office, working out of a coffee shop, or taking the bus/train/bike instead of driving. Any slight change in your schedule and routine offers new inspiration, ideas and creativity. The more you get out and experience the world – the more ideas will come to you, and you’ll soon be clamoring to get back to your writing!

Your Diet – This isn’t my favorite topic to include in “what’s stopping you from writing” as I’m a foodie and love all kinds of food. I hate when someone tells me I may need to stop eating something because of how it affects me, but it is true. Food does affect us. Watch your diet and pay attention to your body. Perhaps you need less carbs during times when you want to write, or you need more protein. Cut out sugar, caffeine, and alcohol as much as possible. You want a clear head, and to feel energized. A bad diet can leave you sluggish and couch-ridden, whereas clean and healthy foods will keep you going and your fingers moving!

The key to beating these saboteurs is recognizing them, and then taking the steps to move past the blocks. If you are having trouble writing and finishing your book, be sure to check out our writing and accountability services. There’s nothing quite like a good kick-in-the-booty from a trusted adviser.

Myth and Mistake: Your book needs to be in a bookstore to sell copies

Myth about BookstoresWhile this seems to be the aspiring author’s dream to be in a bookstore, it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Shelf space is expensive in today’s bookstore, but not only that – check out these alarming statistics as well:

  • 52 percent of all books are not sold in bookstores! They are merchandised via mail order, internet, in discount stores, through book clubs, and in nontraditional retail outlets, etc.
  • About 20 percent of online sales are of titles not available in traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Projections are this figure will soon reach a third of all book sales!
  • Typically bookstores only carry stock of books that will sell within 30 days, or they go back to the publisher and you buy the books back. Bookstores are famous for returning books to publishers. The industry return rate is typically 36 percent for hardcovers and 25 percent for softcovers.

To see your book on a bookstore shelf you can:

  • Do what’s called “Reverse Shoplifting” and place your books in local big box stores. When someone sees your book, they can grab a copy, and still check out. The bookstores will still sell the book, as your ISBN and barcode will give pricing and book information. You won’t earn royalties, but it will help with word of mouth marketing and getting exposed to new people to read your book.
  • Furthermore, always do what Robert Kiosaki did on his press and publicity tours. This best selling author of the Rich Dad Poor Dad series used the phrase, “You can purchase my book everywhere” when doing publicity for his first self-published book. Because in fact, this is true. When you use a Print-on-Demand (POD) service like Create Space you elect to do their expanded distribution sales channel – which gives booksellers and stores the ability to order your book online and ship it directly to the consumer.

So, remember – just because your book isn’t on a store shelf doesn’t mean you can’t get widespread distribution for it. Plus, just being on a shelf isn’t going to sell your book. In the end, it’s still up to you to make sure your book sells, from the shelf to online!

The Steps to Writing a Book (The Process of Writing a Book)

Writng your Book on PaperWriting a book can be a simple or complicated process. To simplify the process, familiarize yourself with the steps necessary to write a book, make a plan, set goals, and get accountability to see your book through to completion.

Here are the basic steps to writing a book:

  • Have a well thought out book idea
  • Write, write, and write some more
  • Send your manuscript to a few trusted peers for review
  • Hire a professional editor
  • Choose the title of your book
  • Decide how you will self-publish (ex: use a print on demand, find a local printer, etc.)
  • Hire a cover designer, get your cover designed
  • Hire a layout designer, once your book is in final edit format, get the book in layout
  • Put together the miscellaneous pieces, such as purchasing your ISBN, barcode, getting endorsements, finding someone to write your foreword, and so on.
  • Print a test/proof copy of your book
  • Register for a sales tax license in your county and/or state
  • Order copies of your book
  • Sell your book!

While I know this is a very simple version of what goes into creating a book, in reality these are all the necessary steps that it takes to bring a book to life.

To see a more detailed explanation of each of these steps, be sure to check out our guide, How to Bring Your Book to Life This Year, available on Amazon.

When to Be an Expert, and When Not to Be

Book ExpertIt’s easy to get caught up in learning something new, but there comes a time when you have to make a decision and ask yourself “Is this something I want to be an expert in?”

Perhaps it is. But most times we learn everything we can on a subject because it is fascinating, and we think we need to. Yet, the truth is we don’t need to become an expert on everything. We only need to become an expert on what we are most passionate about, and what we do for our work.

  • If you need a website for your business, doesn’t mean you need to master websites.
  • If you use social media for work, doesn’t mean you need to teach social media classes.
  • If you learn a skill, it doesn’t mean you need to become the next guru around it.

The same is true for self-publishing.

The reason I say this is that when I first started understanding how the book process and self-publishing world worked I realized I needed to learn everything I could on the subject. Now, I see other people going through the process of writing, creating, and self-publishing a book. Many of these people spend countless hours learning and figuring out the “self-publishing” world.

Some realize this isn’t an area they want to become an expert, so they use their time marketing, perfecting their book, and focusing on what really matters.

However, the people who believe they need to be an expert on the subject before they can move forward really get bogged down in the details.

Luckily, people specialize in certain areas of business so you don’t have to.

Before you decide to become an expert on something, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Am I really passionate about this topic?
  2. Could my time, money, and energy be spent on my own topic of interest/expertise?
  3. Is this something that I want to teach or share with others?
  4. Am I learning this because I feel I need or have to?
  5. Could someone else teach me the most important aspects of this topic?
  6. Would I be able to save time and energy if I found an expert to work with?

Really consider these questions before you decide to ingest every bit of material on a topic. You don’t need to know everything about every topic, but you should know the most important and critical pieces.