Just wanted to let you know that I’m now posting at my author site, www.Sophfronia.com. Any new class announcements will be made there as well. Thank you for reading the Business By the Book Blog!
I was on the phone recently with a client who is developing a book proposal. We had discussed many things concerning her book idea: what she would do to market it, who her ideal reader would be, how she would find that reader, clarifying what her book is about so she doesn’t send mixed messages in the proposal. Just as we were confirming what parts she would write for the following week my client commented, “This is the hardest work I’ve ever done. Is it supposed to be hard?”
Well, yes. And we haven’t even dealt deeply with the writing of the book. That piece will be hard as well, even harder in fact. That’s why you have to be really clear on why you want to write a book in the first place. Yes, aspects of book writing can be made easier. You get help, you get an editor or a book coach or maybe even a ghostwriter. But this doesn’t mean you abdicate all aspects of your book, unless you want it to come out as someone else’s book! There are just too many moving pieces to producing a book. Each aspect of the process (writing, publishing, marketing) consists of multiple steps, many that must happen simultaneously. Unless you have the grounding of a strong “why”, it will be difficult to motivate yourself to get to the finish line.
But I see a glowing reason to finish: When we held the first “How to Write & Publish Books That Change Lives” Workshop last year, I discovered that many of you were interested in writing a new kind of book–not just your basic self-help or how-to book– you want to write a book of true sharing. You have been through things, you have learned a lot, and now you want to help others by sharing your hard-won knowledge. I think that kind of book is worth fighting for! So here are a few tips that can help. Notice I didn’t say make it easier–I said help!
1.) Create Your Plan: Know in advance what you want to do with your book, who you will sell it to, and how you will reach your audience.
2.) Write Everyday: There’s nothing else for it. I’ve learned this from my own experience. The only way to get the book done is to work on it consistently.
3.) Get Support: Decide what help you need in the form of a team or education. It really makes all the difference.
I will add one more thing. Only you can take your work seriously. On the New York Times Room For Debate site I recently shared the experience of what made me think of myself as a serious author. You can read the piece here. Check it out, let me know what you think, and consider what you need to help you take your work seriously.
If you want to learn more about how to bring your book into the world, join us for the next “How to Write & Publish Books That Change Lives” Workshop on MAY 19. Hope to see you there!
By Sophfronia Scott
How big do you think? When it comes to thinking about writing a book or planning strategy for a business, it seems we’re constantly being told to “Think Big”. Goals are supposed to be just big enough to make us uncomfortable. I do understand the importance of thinking big: it makes you stretch yourself and test your abilities.
But there’s a downside to thinking big: it can inspire fear. When you think too big or try to do too much, the possibility of failure looms. You fear failing, you fear trying. Next thing you know, you’re frozen with fear. I walk this line constantly. My current writing projects can easily be described as “ambitious” so fear is constantly lurking at the edge of the forest of my mind. Can I really write this? Can I finish it? When the fear rises, I find these two quotes to be helpful:
“‘Come to the edge,’ He said. They said, ‘We are afraid.’ ‘Come to the edge,’ He said. They came. He pushed them… and they flew.” — Guillaume Apollinaire
“You don’t have to save the whole world in a single bound. Small steps, taken again and again, will accomplish far more than any grandiose scheme.” — Ralph Marston
Notice in the first quote that the “they” do not have to start out flying. They are not asked to jump. They only have to “come to the edge”. The rest of what they needed–momentum, circumstance, opportunity (or, in this case, a friendly push)–showed up and took them the rest of the way. In the second quote, again, you see that you don’t have to accomplish the big thing all at once. You start small and you do something small. As you walk you achieve the world along the way.
You don’t have to write a 400-page book or execute a million-dollar business strategy all in one week. But you can write one page. You can send out one email or one letter to promote a product or service. You can then write another page, mail a postcard, or start a newsletter. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way.
I created the How to Write & Publish Books That Change Lives, workshop so you will have the best experts for you with hands on help so you can see how you will bring your book into the world. I know that what you have to offer the world is amazing. Come join us, and we’ll show you how to write your book, get it produced and share your insight with the many readers waiting for it.
And here’s the best part: as you’re moving along and taking your small steps, you won’t have space in your mind for fear. Every small accomplishment will push it further and further away. Then your book will be written, your business will be successful, and you will be flying. Come to the edge.
© 2011 Sophfronia Scott
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, but you must include this complete resource box with it: Sophfronia Scott is Executive Editor of the Done For You Writing & Publishing Company. Learn what a difference being a published author can make for your business. Get your FREE audio CD, “How to Succeed in Business By Becoming a Bestselling Author” and your FREE online writing and book publishing tips at www.DoneForYouWriting.com.