May 2014 Featured Article

Why You Need to Finish That Book

Finish-signLast month, I showed you why it's so important to finish your first info product.

How it will improve your authority positioning, allow you to help more clients without continually trading your time for money, and create an additional stream of income. Improving your business and your life exponentially.

Well, there's one more project you need to make a high priority if you want to take your Expertpreneur® business to the next level. A resource that has been the cornerstone of our learning for a long time: A book.

When someone has authored a book, you immediately think, “They must really know what they're talking about…” right? I know I sure do. There is something inherently impressive about it.

And even though we're in an age of digital formatting and self-publishing, where any person who writes something can put it out there, we still treat books with respect. We believe the author is knowledgeable and we will listen to what they have to say.

So, today I'm going to show you why you need to finish your first book, and some strategies to help you through the process.

You'll learn the publishing secrets behind some of the greatest authors' success…

Tips on how to get past those initial roadblocks, and combat the dreaded A.D.D….

And, finally, the simplest way to write your book, even if writing isn't your forte…

Getting Published is Easier Than You Think

get-publishedMany people shy away from writing a book because they think it's too hard to get published.

After all, traditionally it involves wooing big publishing houses, having to find an agent, and praying you find your way into their “inner circle.” And then there is the conundrum of publishers only wanting to publish people who have already been published. Which can mean extreme difficulty getting your first book published.

Well, with the advent of self-publishing and the digital world, this has changed. The power is now back in the hands of authors.

Now, I realize many people look down on self-publishing as an “easy route.” A way for people who aren't good writers to release whatever they want and call themselves authors.

However, that's not always the case.

Are you familiar with John Grisham – popular author of many best-selling legal thrillers? How about Irma Rombauer who wrote The Joy of Cooking? Or Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul?

Every single one of those authors got started by self-publishing. They went through countless rejections from publishing companies (Jack Canfield had a whopping 140 rejections!) and decided to take matters into their own hands.

Back in the day, you would have had to print up a bunch of copies and sell them out of your own home, or perhaps an office, or even from the trunk of your car. But now, with ebooks and digital publishing, there's much less up-front cost and hassle to get started.

And you don't have to wait for permission from a big publisher to find your success.

The irony here is that all of these authors sold very well when they self-published. They took the time to market their books and build up a fan base. Then, once established, big publishing houses reached out to them to strike deals. So, you never know what could happen.

But you can only find success as an author if you finish your book in the first place.

Getting Your First Book Done

Do you ever look at an Expertpreneur's® product page and wonder how they managed to publish so much?

Brian Tracy, Guy Kawasaki, Seth Godin… all of those guys have released countless books. They are so prolific you have to wonder if there's just a huge team of worker bees behind them churning things out.

The truth is, they simply were able to focus their thoughts into a single idea, create a plan, and get the job done. They focused on finishing that one project and got it done.

As I've discussed often in the past, Expertpreneurs® suffer from having “too many ideas.” I’m definitely guilty of this myself. Of course, coming up with big, fresh ideas isn't a problem in and of itself. That's what makes any Entrepreneur so special.

However, with so many thoughts running through your head, it can be hard to stay focused. You may start working on something, then halfway through come up with a completely unrelated idea and shift to that. Then, after starting that, you move onto a new idea.

Ultimately accomplishing nothing.

It can be a curse. So, the first step to getting your book (or anything) finished is creating a plan and sticking to it.

First, you need an idea. What is your area of expertise? Are you a life coach? Relationship coach? Fitness coach? Management consultant? Motivational speaker? Within that field, what unique angle do you bring to the table?

Perhaps you have a special 3-step plan for tackling new relationships that helps people determine whether someone is right for them or not. Whatever it is, pick one topic that you can write enough for a standard-length novel, and start there.

That's another point – a book does not have to be an encyclopedia. You do not have to create 13 volumes. You only have to write about one topic at a standard “novel” length that you are knowledgeable and passionate about.

Once you've come up with a topic, break it down into sections. How will you present your information? Can you break your three steps down even further? Do you have stories to share that provide engaging social proof? Are there exercises your reader can do?

Creating an outline will help you break the large task of writing a book into digestible bits. It'll seem far less daunting than sitting down to write a 200-page document. And, if you find you get stuck on one section, you can just jump to another.

Finally, set aside time each day for writing. It doesn't matter how long. Especially if you are new to writing, it's highly unlikely you will be able to sit down for six hours straight and produce 50 pages of quality work. You aren't used to that, and you'll give up due to frustration and exhaustion.

Thus, you should set reasonable, attainable goals – 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour at a time. Whatever you think you can accomplish each day, and slowly build from there. As you get used to writing, you will be able to work longer and longer without stopping. But it takes time.

Ultimately, writing is a process. But it's a process worth doing. And if you want to learn insider secrets for preparing to write your book, you can tune in to issue #7 of my Expertpreneur® Magazine. There, Robin Colucci, a publishing coach, will share four vital pre-writing steps to get you started on the right track.

And if you want the full education on book writing and publishing for Expertpreneurs®, check out her book “How to Write a Book That Sells You.” It's fantastic.

What if I Don't Write?

writing-first-blog-paragraphAll this time, I've been talking about how important it is to write a book, and why Expertpreneurs® should have one. And you may be thinking, “Great… what if I'm not a good writer?”

I understand where you are coming from. As I've said in the past, we can't be good at everything, and it's important for you to recognize your strengths and weaknesses early on, so you can focus on what you do best. It's better for your business.

The good news is, you can hire someone else to write a book for you. They're called ghostwriters, and they can be easily found on freelance websites like elance.com or odesk.com.

Again, there's a bit of a stigma with ghostwriting, in that it may feel like “cheating.” After all, how can you say a book is yours if you didn't really write it?

Truthfully, ghostwriting, when done correctly, is a collaborative process. So, when I talked about creating a plan for your book and outlining what you think the chapters should be… that is all information you would share with your ghostwriter.

You would chat either over the phone or via email to discuss your expertise and what you are looking for in the book. The ghostwriter then works on it and sends it back to you for proofing after finishing a draft. You can go back and forth on this many times.

Frankly, when you work this way, you can actually come out with a better product than if you worked on it alone. Collaboration is great for inspiration.

Just be sure to be open and honest with your ghostwriter from the start. Negotiate the number of revisions in advance, and if it desperately needs more, be sure to compensate them appropriately. Pay them a fair rate, and don't throw too many curveballs at them.

You never know, it could be the beginning of a fantastic relationship for you. Leading to a library of books for you to sell, full of your ideas, that you didn't have to write by yourself!

Books Will Change Your Business

As clichéd as it might sound, a good book will change your life.

You will be viewed as an authority among your colleagues and clients, you will have a new income stream (remember, you're making money from each book sold!), and you will get more business than ever before.

So, even though it is a daunting task, carve out some time in your schedule to create a book. No matter how you have to do it.

In doing so, you will feel accomplished, and it will elevate your business to the next level.