What You Should Know Before Writing A Book
I’ve now written 3 books with a few
more coming. And I think I know a few things that could save you some time.
What you need to know before writing a book. I first of all want to reassure you
that I’m speaking from experience because I have now written 3 books.
Incidentally, you can get this one for free. You just pick up the shipping.
There’s a link down in the description. I’ll remind you of that at the end as
well. These 3 books have taught me a lot about what you need to know in order
to write a book or before you write it. And the first thing is who is this for?
Who is my audience? That’s important because the tone of this book will be
dictated by who you think is going to be reading it. The obvious example: If you’re
writing a children’s book, you’re going to approach that very differently than
if you’re going to write a textbook for medical students.
Those are pretty diverse audiences, aren’t they? Who’s your audience? That’s
going to help you to shape not only your message but the way you deliver the
content. I asked who’s your audience who’s the book for. Let’s be honest. If
this book is for you, just own that. And this is totally legitimate by the way. I
know people who write books solely for themselves. They don’t have any intention
of sharing it with an audience beyond themselves or maybe their immediate
family. Good example of that? Family history books. Family history books can
be compiled that takes a lot of work by the way to do one of these. The intended
audience is you and your immediate family. That’s totally fine. You can see
that you’re going to approach that differently than if you have a broader
audience. So, even if that audience is you or your
immediate family, just get clear about that right up front. Because the next
step is to figure out “What is my message? What is it that I’m trying to say?” When I
wrote my first book –Pathological Positivity. It was basically a brain dump.
I knew that there was a book in me. I had been
telling myself for 10 years or more that I’m going to write a book. And you
know it was always true every time I said it. I’m going to. It’s like some
undefined future event, right? Well, when I started writing the book, I just started
brain dumping everything that was on my mind because all that has to be in my
book, right? My book it’s like the ultimate product of my brain. Now, my
creative editor Thomas Cantrell (big shout out to you Thomas, you’re so
awesome) gave me a heads up to the fact that this brain dump is not my message.
My message is somewhere in there and we’re going to have to figure out what
that message is. You got to know what your message is. And I remember one day when I
was working with Thomas’s we were trudging through all of this brain dump
that I’d put out there. I said “You know Thomas? Sometimes people call me
pathologically positive. And I don’t know if that’s even a compliment.” He said, “Wait.
Stop. What?” I said, “People sometimes say that
I’m pathologically positive.” He said, “That’s it. That is your message. In fact, that’s
the title of the book.” And that’s where it came from. That became my core message.
How to be positive no matter what. And when I got clear about that, it started
to steer the way I was writing, the way we were editing. And you know what? About146 pages or so of that brain dump got stuck into what
Thomas and I called “the basement”. It’s just a file in my computer where all of
that material that I brain dumped is still there I’ll probably use it for
future books. Some of it is already slated for 2 of my upcoming books.
But it’s not in here. I’m not going to burden you with that. That’s not part of
the core message of this particular book. So, you got to get clear and think about
what is my core message. Don’t worry about all of that stuff that you want to
say but it’s not part of your core message. That’s why you can write
multiple books. Let’s get a little more practical. Another thing you got to think
about before you write your book is how am I going to use this? What is it in
purpose? I’ve given you a little bit of heads-up to that with different examples.
Like the family history book. What’s the intended purpose of that? Well, it’s to
record your family history. And you want to share that with your family. People
outside of your family probably not as interested unless you’ve got a really
colorful family and some of you do. What is my intended purpose? Now, for me, the
purpose was to teach principles that I found myself repeating over and over and
over with all of my clients over a couple of decades of clinical practice.
And I thought “What if I could compile all of that into a concise message that
helps people to understand that I can use that as a teaching tool.” And then I
also had another purpose in mind because this book for me has become a marketing
tool. In fact, I already told you you can get a free copy of this you just pay for
the shipping. Check that out in the description. And not because I want
to sell you a book. I’m going to give it to you for free.
You pay for the shipping because if this is in your hands, you know more about
what my philosophies are and what I’m teaching people. So, that’s part of the
intended purpose for this book for which there’s a new edition coming out a new
cover and we’re repurposing it along some of those lines. But notice that that
purpose helps me to understand how am I going to craft this thing. And putting it
in your hands gives me an opportunity now to interact with you to send a
follow-up email. To see if you want to do some coaching with me. See, that’s a
marketing tool. When I speak, a lot of times if I’m speaking in an event… Let’s
say there’s 200 people at a conference and I’m doing the keynote or some
breakouts in training or combination of those things. I’ll often package into
that copies of my book. Because I’m using that to help put something in people’s
hands. What if your objective, what if the purpose for the book is to make money?
Okay, well that’s an important thing to understand going into it. Because you’re
going to approach that differently if then if you’re simply using it as a marketing
tool or teaching tool. So, get clear about your purpose. That
purpose is going to drive the next question because there’s a basic
question that all authors have to answer for themselves. How am I going to publish
this thing? And there are 2 basic options here. Traditional or established
publishing house. Self publish. Which is becoming a more popular option all the
time. Because in our on-demand society, there’s so many ways that you can
repurpose your content from the book. If you’ve self-published that you would be
restricted from doing if you were to go with a publishing house. Now, there’s
advantages and disadvantages both ways. I’ve self-published all of my books so
far. That doesn’t mean that I won’t use a publishing house at some point. I think
the advantage of a publishing house is primarily distribution. Because they
already have relationships with bookstores or with online retailers,
airports, whatever. That is a huge advantage because you get to tap into
that market. The advantages I think of self-publishing; and the reason I’ve
chosen to go that direction is because of the way I use my content and reuse
and repurpose and even licensed my content for other coaches to use. So,
that’s a more attractive option for me. And it gives me a bigger profit margin
if I’m selling my book in an event, for example. How am I going to publish it?
There’s advantages and disadvantages both ways. So, consider that as you
consider writing your book. And that also speaks to the marketing and sales part
of this. Marketing and sales sometimes sounds like, “Oh, I don’t want to have that
kind of business thing. I just want to write a book and then they let some
people enjoy it.” Well, what people? That’s marketing. How do you get the word out to
the people who want to read your book? Let’s say that you’re writing a novel or
a science fiction thriller or whatever it is, okay? You’re gonna mark it to those
audiences. That’s why we had to get clear about who it’s for. You’ve got to have
some strategy for how you’re going to get your book in front of the people who
want to read it. And that’s marketing in sales. So, these other decisions that
you’re making about writing your book are going to
inform that one as well. Now, let’s get practical. After we finish our
conversation here, would you check into the next video that I’ve queued up for
you right up there. Just click on that it’ll queue it up and you can watch it
after this one’s done about how to start writing your book. Because there’s a lot
of very practical things that you’re going to have to figure out. “When am I going
to do my writing?”, for example. Now, for me, that was every Saturday morning from
5:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. Two hours every Saturday morning, I was up writing. Why?
Well, nobody else wants me at 5:00 in the morning. I’ve got the place to myself,
okay? Not even the dog is up at that hour. So, it was quiet, it was peaceful. That’s
when my brain works. I’m a morning person anyway. And that irritates the heck out
of Vicki. But anyway, that’s who I am. And so, that’s when I did it. When are you
going to write? It doesn’t just happen magically. You’ve got to find it in your
calendar, in your schedule. When am I going to write? I know that sounds simple
but you got to answer that question. And then also, “Who’s going to help me?”
I mentioned Thomas. My dear friend and creative editor Thomas Cantrell was
essential to my process because he was challenging my thinking. He was helping
me to see what the clarity of my message was. We had a whole team of people who
were reviewing the drafts as we completed them and giving feedback and
helping with editing and proofreading. And I had designers to work on the
covers. You don’t have to do this on your own. Find out who you’re going to be
working with. And for me, the way I found Thomas was that 3 of the books that
I really enjoyed that were written by colleagues of mine had the same creative
editor. And it was him. So, I reached out to him. I liked his work product. I
trusted that. You can find your own team but understand that there’s going to be
a team and start thinking about who’s going to help you with this. You’ve got
this. You are an author. Maybe haven’t started writing yet.
It’s time to get going on that. If you need a little extra help, I would be
happy to be a bigger part of your team. You know what? Start out with what I
already suggested to you. Get your free copy of my book. That puts you into my
loop and we can have some conversations and some back-and-forth. There might be
some other ways that I can assist you with some coaching. Get the free book
first. Down below in the descriptions dr PaulJenkins.com. You’ll see a big
orange button once you click through and it’ll be obvious how to get a copy of
this. You just pick up the shipping. I’ll send it to the for free.