IT’S HARD AND TIME-CONSUMING WORK TO WRITE A BOOK – You’ve probably heard the statistic that four out of five of us want to write a book. The fact is that few of us realize that dream. Let’s face it, writing a book is hard work and it takes a lot of time. With so many things pulling at our attention, it’s hard to find the hours needed to sit down and write. Perhaps you’ve scheduled some “book writing time” in your appointment book and held true to a couple of them, but then found them going by the wayside as other items seemed to take priority. Or maybe things stalled as you realized that writing a book was a much bigger project than you originally thought, and you became frustrated and overwhelmed by the process.
SELECTING A BOOK SUBJECT – Say you do have the time and the energy to write a book, how do you know what to write about? Whether you’ve been working in your field for a while or are just getting started, you probably have a fairly large “knowledge base,” but how do you pick your topic and then narrow or expand the subject matter for a book? Next, how do you make sure your book is one people will want to read and be engaged in once they start reading? As an example, you wouldn’t stand up and start speaking about just anything; your book has to have purpose and focus so it connects to your audience. You’ll agree that you don’t want to waste your time putting a book together that’s not going to get you the desired results.
ORGANIZING YOUR THOUGHTS FOR “BOOK FORMAT” – Are you thinking that there has to be an easier way than spending hours at the keyboard pounding out pages? Maybe you’ve heard one of Michelle Prince’s recommended techniques of “talking your book” or recording it and having it transcribed. The problem there is that you still have to figure out how to outline the book so you don’t end up with the nightmare of having to edit 20 hours’ worth of transcription for a 150-page book.
WRITING CAN BE VERY CHALLENGING – If you are looking to write a book to be used as a tool to grow your business and gain exposure for increased opportunities, you are probably not a writer. You are an entrepreneur whose skills are vast but may not include writing. Some wannabe authors look into hiring a ghostwriter. But hiring a ghostwriter can come at a pretty steep price, as much as $50 a page! (If you had that kind of money, you wouldn’t need to write a book in the first place!) You also have to do a fair amount of research and questioning to make sure you find a ghostwriter who understands you, your book concept and how you want to use your book after it’s done.
FINDING THE RIGHT PUBLISHER CAN BE TRICKY – Should you self-publish or shop your book to a traditional publisher? There are pros and cons to both; however, one of the problems with seeking a traditional publisher is the length of time until publishing—once accepted, it can take two years or longer before your book hits store shelves. It seems to make more sense to self-publish, doesn’t it? The good news is that self-publishing options abound, which makes getting your book in print much easier and faster. But it also presents its own host of challenges. Do a search on “book publishing” and you’ll come up with more than 400 million sites to wade through. How do you know what company will do a good job in not only putting your words in print but also helping you select, for example, front and back cover designs so your book will draw interest? Besides, who has the time and energy to become a self-made expert in publishing?
AFTER YOUR BOOK IS PUBLISHED, YOU NEED TO PROMOTE IT – There’s one more thing to consider, too. Whether you decide to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher, get ready to do your own book promotion. Although traditional publishers will lend a hand, they have so many books to worry about that you’re basically on your own. (Of course, if you self-publish you’re entirely on your own in promoting it.) If you’ve talked to any of your colleagues who have written a book, you’ve probably heard them say something along the lines of “writing the book was easy compared to promoting it.” It’s true. Promoting yourself and your book is a whole new ball game.