I tried something out-of-the-box (at least my box) for this article. I sent Donna Kozik (she helps people write their book in a weekend!) some questions about how to make writing your book easy (since I’m in the middle of writing one myself!). Her answers were so good that I immediately wrote her an “OMG!!! This ROCKS!” email. Even if you’ve only been tickled by the urge to write a book, you may just start writing after you read this. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. ;-)
Jeanna: What are some small steps that budding authors can take to move their book from a thought to a real thing?
Donna: That’s a key word — resist. You have a form of resistance if you’ve uttered any of these phrases: “I don’t have time to write a book,” “I don’t know what to write about,” or “Why would anyone read a book written by me?”
I hear you and your questions. But, if the desire to be an author is strong enough, you will find the answers and a way to overcome this resistance.
Jeanna: What are some small steps that budding authors can get take to move their book from a thought to a real thing?
Donna: The first thing you can do is identify WHY you want to be an author. Rev. Michael Beckwith says “The pain pushes you until the vision pulls you.” You know the pain of not having a book, now what is the vision that will pull you into being an author? What will having a book do for you both personally and professionally? Answer that one small question and you will take a big leap forward in getting a book done.
Jeanna: Any advice for the authors that are already in progress but haven’t thought about what they’re going to do to get the book out there in the world once it’s written?
Donna: Don’t get scared. There’s magic in the process–so trust the magic. Recognize that things will start to unfold as you get closer to getting done. At the same time, while you’re moving forward with your manuscript, the best thing you can do is make a list of people who might be able to help you spread the word that you have a new book. You might be surprised at how many people you know who can help you out.
Jeanna: What are 3 things you should never ever do when writing your book?
Donna: I love this question!
First, I recommend doing a “fast draft,” or what I call a “popcorn draft,” of your entire manuscript. James Michener says “the art of writing is rewriting.” So a popcorn draft gives you something to rewrite. And never go back and read what you wrote until this popcorn draft is done. That’s a mistake. Instead, just keep writing.
The second thing you should never do is proclaim to the world via Facebook and Twitter or other means that you are writing a book. Studies have shown that there’s a type of psychological payoff from doing that–in other words, when you say it, it’s like it’s done. And then you don’t actually do it. Yikes! So if you really want to hold YOUR book in YOUR hands, wait until you really are before you start telling people.
The last thing you should never do is show your popcorn draft–or maybe even your final draft–to anyone who’s related to you. I’ve seen more book ideas go off the rails because the writer asked her husband what he thought. When the tearful writer tells me he hated it and gave all kinds of ways it should be changed, I always ask in return, “Is he a publishing expert? A book writing coach? An author himself? No? Then don’t listen to him!”
Jeanna: And let’s talk money, shall we? So many people think writing a book will make them wealthy, which is rarely the case.
Donna: You said it, sister!
Jeanna: If an author wants to use the book to attract new business and make some coin from the book itself, what do you suggest?
Donna: Two things: First, make sure you have a great “call to action” page at the front of your book that drives readers to your website. Offer them an “ethical bribe,” that will make it enticing for them to visit your site — something that serves as a companion guide to your physical book is a good choice.
Second, put your book in different forms. People will pay big bucks for things like training calls, workshops or a done-for-you option based on the information in your book. It doesn’t have to be something groundbreaking — just what you cover in your book in a different form. People will love to give you money to hear more from you!
Jeanna: Last question, what’s the best attitude to have while your book is in process to ensure success?
Donna: Another super question! I think the BEST attitude to have is “done is better than perfect.” There are hundreds of thousands of just-started or half-finished or nearly-done manuscripts out there. They aren’t making a dime or changing a life. It doesn’t make an iota of difference how good a book idea is if it’s not out there doing its job as a finished product. So let go of resistance, perfectionism and anything else standing in your way–and get your book done!
Donna Kozik is a 2-time award winning author and creator and leader of the original Write a Book in a Weekend virtual event. Grab her COMPLIMENTARY book planner here..