I have wanted to write a book for years. I’ve been talking about it longer than I’ve been consulting. Well, patience paid off. I’ve finished my first book – Essential Meeting Blueprints for Managers. Yippee! I don’t have a firm publish date just yet but you can pre-order a copy here.
Writing a book is a very interesting experience. For those of you who have also been thinking about writing a book, I wanted to share some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way.
- Know why you’re doing it. There are many reasons to write a book: money, experience, etc. Your reason will help you make decisions about the process – especially when it comes to publishing (i.e. self-publishing versus niche publisher versus big name publishing house). Believe me, I had a huge learning curve here.
- Be open to inquiries. You don’t need a literary agent – unless, of course, you want one. You can get a book deal from an email. If you’re a blogger, keep in mind that publishers might be probably are reading your blog to see if you have book potential. And if you’re not a blogger but you want to eventually write a book, maybe starting a blog is a good first step.
- The process takes longer than you think. There are proposals, research, outlines, writing, revisions, etc. I started writing over a year ago. Yes, that’s not a typo – over a year ago. When you commit to a book, it’s a long-term project. You have deadlines. Be prepared for writing to be a big priority in your life.
- Find a routine that works for you. And your friends and family. I just mentioned writing a book is a long-term project. One of the best things I did was to establish a book writing schedule. For me, Saturdays were “book writing day”. Mr. Bartender and I agreed upon my schedule. This kept me on track and I didn’t feel guilty about locking myself away. Figure out what works best for you so you can meet your writing obligations.
- Always ask yourself, “Would I buy this?” It’s great to write a book because you have something to say. It’s another thing all together to get people to buy it. One of the things I really enjoyed in my book writing process was the part when reviewers were given my draft for comments. They were asked, “Would you buy this?” I got some terrific feedback which only made the final version stronger.
- Editors exist to make the outcome better. If you plan to write a book, get ready for people to edit your work. Looking back, I’m grateful for the writing opportunities I’ve had with publications like Mashable because it allowed me to get used to people editing my work.
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While the process has been long and a lot of work, I’m really happy I did it. And if presented with the right set of circumstances, I’d probably definitely do it again. In the meantime, I look forward to sharing the book with you when it launches.