Have you ever had to write a book fast? Maybe you’ve been procrastinating for a while and now have to have a book ready for your next speaking gig or maybe you have to meet a publishing deadline. Whatever the reason for getting your book finished, I wouldn’t recommend giving yourself only 1 month but if you need to get it done fast here’s how to start writing a book today.
First thing I’d like to mention before we get into the specifics is, the only way to really write a book quickly is if you do not need to research your topic. If you do need to do research, then that will take a lot of time depending on the subject. But you could also think of it this way, if you need to do research then you might not know as much about the subject as you think you do. I would recommend this quick strategy for non-fiction books only. For example; I just finished my new book “Brain Dead Offer #1”, all 232 pages of it, and it only took 3 weeks to write, edit and print. But that’s because I knew the subject and had experienced it.
- Create an outline – Think about the content of the book and the order that the information should best be presented and create a table of contents with at least 15 chapters. The titles of these chapters do not need to be created, just the topics. So jot down a list of 15 minimum chapter topics. You may end up writing more or even less but at least it’s a good starting point.
- Find a proof-reader or editor – It’s a really good idea before you even start writing to find an expert to put your content into a readable format. Sure, you may need more that a proof reader for this, you may need an editor. Whatever you decide, do this early on because you’re going to submit your chapters 1 by 1 to them. Why? Because they will be able to provide insight and direction as you go along. That can be very helpful. They may make recommendations on content and context that you’ll need to push it forward quickly.
- Start with an introduction – Write a chapter on why your audience should read your book. If you just start writing, you may not have solidified in the mind of the reader what’s in it for them. If they don’t have a reason they may not stick with it. Also, if they pick it up on a bookshelf and scan the introduction it could very well put them in a mental state of buying. Your introduction should include the problems that you’re trying to solve as well as some background information on how you came to create your solutions. The best way to do this is to write a story. Stories are memorable, information is boring.
- Each chapter from that point on should contain content in an engaging and curiosity creating fashion. So, start each chapter with the problem. Then move on to bullet point solutions. Each subsection or bullet point as it were, separates your ideas and allows the reader to absorb them in bit sized chunks. How do you eat an elephant? One bit at a time. Therefore your information should be separated into mini “how-to” sections that are consumable and interesting.
- The more stories you put into your book, the better it’ll work. Audiences love stories. And, because your stories are likely real life examples of what you’ve experienced they take up a lot of space. Therefore it’ll be easier to write lots of content because you’ll be explaining in detail your experiences. Think about explaining things in terms of what you see in your head. Take them through the details of your experience. Names, dates, places, description, occurrences, failures, pictures and details all serve to create imagery in the reader’s brain. Give it a shot you’ll love the detail that happens when you really picture the scenario in your head.
- Use other people’s stories. If you’ve helped others then simply ask them to write a thousand words about their experience. For example: if you’re a consultant and you’ve helped company XYZ make millions using your information and direction then get them to write that experience down and submit it to your proof-reader. The more writing you get from others, the faster your content will grow.
- Be inspirational and motivational. Even the most boring content can be made enlightening by lacing it with emotion. I like to use what I call “hypnotic-connectors” to accomplish this. Hypnotic connectors are words that evoke emotion such as: exciting, ground-breaking, revolutionary, exclusive, inviting, sensual, essential etc.
- Imagery – The use of imagery is essential for you words to be hypnotic. To capture the attention and the interest of the reader use words that help them visualize the concept. For example; imagine standing at one of a hundred bookshelves at your local Barns and Noble or Chapters bookstore. Of the hundreds of thousands of books in front of you, what are your eyes drawn to? Books that are shelved side by side so that you can only see the spine or books that you can see the entire covers? Books that get premium shelf placement are sold way more than books that don’t, would you agree? What just happened? I transported your mind to the local book store. That’s what I mean by helping the reader visualize. See how that works?
- Okay, this is the most important point; time management. As much as you may realize that your book won’t get finished until you sit down and do the work, you must also realize that there are several other activities and distractions in your life that will prevent you from doing it. So, here’s my recommendation; set aside at least 2 hours every day to write. Where will you find that time? Likely in the evening but anytime with do. However, you must find a space where you cannot be distracted by anyone or anything. In 2 hours you should be able to produce at least 4,000 words.Therefore if you write everyday it will take you 15 days to write a book. If you add proofreading and editing time to that you’ll end up at around 3 weeks. Take another week to get your cover created and your liner notes and voila, you’re done. In order to set aside time you’ll have to be disciplined. It takes emotional involvement and repetition to get into it but if it’s important enough to you, you’ll do it. Real-world deadlines will help, but imaginary deadlines work well too. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard from people that they’ve been working on their books for a couple of years. Ridiculous.
- And finally, get yourself a version of Dragon Naturally Speaking. It will cut your writing time in half. It may take a couple of sessions to get used to but once you’ve got it you’ll never look back. Let’s face it, you can speak way faster that you can type and Dragon Dictation is very accurate. It conforms to your tone, pitch, volume, speed and accent. Once you’ve trained it, it rarely makes mistakes.
If you’d like to see this information be stretched out with more detail and put into a step-by-step format full book, then write your comments below and any questions you have and I’ll put it together in a few weeks and stick it on Amazon as soon as it’s done. I’ll even send you a message to let you know when it’s ready. And any suggestions you have about how to title the book would be appreciated. Maybe I’ll call it; “How to Start Writing a Book and Actually Finish It.” Happy writing.