I have a close friend from college, Merle Garrison, that is a politics/history buff. He’s extremely intelligent, insightful and inspirational when it comes to where our country was and where it is going. I constantly tell him that he needs to get into politics, or get on a talk show circuit… or write a book.
Writing a book is a great first step for him and a lot of other people, such as business coaches, trainers, philosophers, motivational speakers and any other person that wants to turn their unique brain power into a career. And who doesn’t want to turn their passion into a career?
So, I told Merle that he should write a book. But, of course, everyone wants to write a book, but the daunting task never gets off the ground. It’s because you have to make it a well-planned, sustainable effort. And here’s how you do it.
The strategy to write AND market your book in six months
First, you need a blog. Second, you need to join other blogs that resonate with you – that you passionately want to lead discussions on.
You’ll be writing passages of your book on your blog and you’ll be gaining fanfare (if you’re good) writing/researching your subject matter on these other important blogs, essentially killing two birds with one stone.
Break it down
Six Months. That’s approximately 26 weeks. That means that you’ll have to write 11.5 pages of your book each week (a chapter). This is a brisk pace, but if you’re writing about something that you’re extremely passionate about, it’s really not.
This basically equates to 26 chapters written in six months. So, you better come up with a framework to keep yourself on track during this marathon. Nothing in stone. If you stick to this plan, you’ll be learning more and growing along the way as you get into debates with other intelligent people while blogging. But you will come into writer’s block frequently and if you have your outline to fall back on you’ll be able to find your way out. If you think you’re going to write it as you go (meaning, skipping doing the framework)… you’ll just fizzle out as the constant uncertainty becomes overwhelming.
So, perhaps you start with three phases. In my friend’s case, maybe:
1. History – where we were. Forefather’s intent
2. Where we are now and how it happened
3. Where we should go from here. Righting the ship
From here, this leaves us with 8-9 chapters in each phase to fulfill our goals and provide us our 300-page book. As you start writing down the proposed titles (subject matter) of these chapters, you may find one of your 3 phases requires way more than another, but that will work itself out organically. The important thing is to fill out this framework as completely as possible and arrive at your (approximately) 26 total chapters of about 11 pages each (and obviously the chapters may vary in length as well, but our framework is important so that we don’t lose our way).
I could go on in more detail about blogging strategies and such, but much has been written on that already. I’ll wrap this up with saying that once you have your framework mapped out – set up your blog and get to your first 11-page chapter. See what it takes for you to complete this in a week – then do it better the next week. It should come easier and easier for you with practice.
And a last note: As I said in a recent Happy Hour Recap video, this isn’t “If You Build It, They Will Come” anymore. You MAY not get much of an audience until your SECOND book! There’s a ton of competition out there. Your success will come from two things:
1. How clever your thoughts/writing skills are
2. How well you market yourself by blogging on and engaging others on other blogs.
Now I got to get back to work. Go get ’em, Shakespeare!