Want to write a book? Is it on your bucket list or a must have or an mmm not sure, one day maybe?
I knew from a young age that this writing malarkey was part of who I am. Although I never relished going to school, I did enjoy English when we had an interesting book to read. I found myself carried along with the characters and transported to another world.
These lessons inspired me to write in my journal and explore my own life. I dreamt of being an author and having my books turned into films. When I wrote creatively my life changed, I could be anyone and go anywhere. The ending was under my control.
Life took me along another path. When it came time to write a book, it was not the novel that I dreamt of; it was a book on marketing. Of course, it was, I was in the marketing game, and people really needed a book on how to conduct a marketing audit. They did really!
The funny thing is even though that marketing audit is not in print, in those days you offered PDF’s from your website, I still get people asking for permission to use it. Just recently a college in the states approached me to ask if they could use it as a teaching tool. If you write a book its legacy can live on beyond your expectations.
Despite starting many novels, it has never the right time for me. Rather I have so many other ideas that I want to share. And that is where my frustration lies, I love to write and there are never enough hours in the day to indulge my passion. Although, in truth, I get up early and write as I love the peace of the morning and the freshness of my muse. Dogs willing of course.
Unlike me, writing might not be your thing. As you ponder the mysteries of the gifts of wisdom bestowed upon you, you might ask, how can you write a book, if putting pen to paper is not for you?
Writing a book is a balance of time and money. I see it as an investment of energy. If you make the time, invest your time and resources here and if you have the money pay someone else to write a book for you. There are a series of solutions in-between. Let’s explore.
Write a book yourself
This would always be my first choice. When you decide to write a book, find your best idea for right now, map it out and spend time each day writing. Unless you are skilled in planning a book, you may find yourself getting stuck, but with a little back and forth you can sort it out. I am sure that once the book is written, you will feel delighted at your best efforts and you can hit publish.
The beauty of self-publishing is that if you spot any mistakes you can upload your amended manuscript straight away.
Write a book with a course
In this scenario, you invest in a course that takes you step by step through the planning process and guides you to getting your first draft written, edited and published. This would suit like above someone who makes the time to learn the steps and takes action. Similar to using a course, you could also use a book. This suits self-directed learners.
I’m a fan of this way of doing things as I can tackle things bit by bit and have the back up of a video or book. If it’s a course, it has to have videos as I am a visual and active learner.
Talk your book
Once your book is outlined, using something like Dragon Naturally Speaking you can support you to talk your book. I’ve done this and magically written 40,000 words in a weekend. Admittedly apart from eating and walking my dog that’s all I did. The big edit revealed that Dragon didn’t quite understand everything I said, but I had a lot of words to work with and that made life so much easier.
There are apps you can get for your phone which mean that you can be talking your book in the bath, walking the dog or driving to work.
If you have online courses which have videos already recorded, you can send the files to somewhere like rev.com and get them transcribed. I hate making sense of transcribed files, but once again you do have a head start.
Although I like the idea of talking a book, I much prefer putting my fingers on a keyboard and writing. But if you are short on time or do not like writing, this is perfect. You’ll need to be a tough editor and maybe this is where you get in some extra help.
Blog your book
This is one of my favourite options. Using your blog to write the content. There are several ways that you can approach this. One is to plan your book and write a blog a day or several blogs a week to get the content into the hands of your reader.
Another is to have no plan but an idea that you may want to write a book. In this case, you blog in the same way and then come back and deconstruct your content, timeline it, look for the gaps and compile it into a book.
Personally, I favour the idea of creating an outline and then allowing the blog to flow, but sometimes great books emerge from connecting with your muse and allowing the content to make its way into the world. I have a blog your book course and group that can guide you through this process.
Write a book with a coach
There is a lot to writing a book and this option is for those who value being supported by someone who knows the ropes, can guide them, hold them accountable and get them through the hump days when you simply do not want to write. They hold a space for you and gently guide you through this incredibly life-changing process.
Write a book on a group program
Being a part of a team who supports you through this process can be just what you need to stay on track. When I invest in group programs or in anything, I make sure I turn up, no matter what. There is something inside of me that says I have paid, and I want every ounce of value. When I did my executive coach training, which took a year, I turned up, I did the coaching hours and I delivered every piece of content required even when I didn’t want to.
On a group program, you are guided through all of the steps, held accountable, inspired and supported not only by your facilitator but by your peers.
Like anything in life you only get out what you put in and you do need to show up.
I love this model of coaching and with my groups, they also have the benefit of all of my online courses so that they have lots of additional resources. My door is always open so that when someone is stuck, they simply have to reach out and if I can I will get on Zoom and help them through.
If this is an option for you, consider what you get and how available your coach is. There is nothing worse than showing up for a class, later having questions and nowhere to direct them.
Write a book with a co-author
There are a couple of ways to look at this. You may co-author with someone whose name goes on the book or they may write for you in return for a fixed fee and a percentage of the profits.
Like any relationship, there needs to be clear boundaries and allocation of tasks. I’ve written with 3 other authors and they were a wonderful team to be with. The book took much longer than I anticipated but we are all delighted with the result.
I have also written for people and not had my name on the credits. One of the things that I pride myself on is being able to write in someone else’s voice – once I get to know them. So, when a client needs part of a chapter or even a whole chapter writing on those hump days, I can fill in the gaps.
This is a great option if you are up against a deadline with your publisher and time is not on your side.
Use a ghost-writer
Having someone else write your book does not mean handing over the reins to someone else and swanning off to do something else. Once you have found the right person to write your book, you need to build a relationship so that they can get inside your head and heart. The process needs interaction, interview time and feedback. This is a collaboration of a very intimate kind.
You may have workshop material or other documents that your ghost-writer can access, learn and translate along with your story into a book. The ghost-writer needs to understand what it is that you are trying to create not only with your book, but your business, so you must spend time taking them into your world.
The work can be conducted online quite easily, you could also ask your ghost-writer to come to your location or you could go to theirs. I’m in Spain so the perfect place to hire a villa and get your book out of your head.
What do all of the options cost?
Here’s the thing they all cost you in some way. If you write a book yourself the whole process could be around 700 or more hours. Yes seriously. From ideas to publication you need a lot of time. Price up your time and you’ll get an idea of what it theoretically will cost you. Pricing this way can be pretty scary if you use your charge out rate…
If someone else writes for you, they take on the time and energy and you will pay them (generally) by the hour or a contract price. Consider what you charge your clients per hour and expect your ghost-writer to charge you accordingly. Consider their experience and skills and how these can deliver you a book in your voice that will greatly enhance your brand and visibility.
Outside of your time and the cost of the ghost-writer, expect to pay for proofreading, cover and interior design. You may also need support with a book proposal for a publisher, uploading to Kindle Direct Publishing if you are self-publishing, marketing and PR support.
Look at this in a different way, this is an investment. The world doesn’t need books, but they do need wisdom, inspiration and guidance and a book is a perfect delivery system to a world hungry for knowledge, personal growth and stories.
And finally, whatever you chose as your way to write a book, please do it. Your words, wisdom and experience have the power to inspire and change not only your life as you write or share with a ghost-writer, but they have the power to change others lives. You only have to read the reviews on Amazon to understand this or listen to someone whose life has been changed after reading a book.
Which option resonates with you?
One or two of these options will resonate with you, work out why, ask how important having a book is to you and what you are prepared to commit to – time or money?
If you are not sure of which option, book in a call and let’s explore.
How To Write A Brilliant Book
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