Write a book in a weekend! promises a popular program aimed at aspiring authors.
Write a book in 90 days or less! promises another.
These are seductive headlines for sure, attracting thousands to enroll in the programs they’re attached to every year.
Who wouldn’t want to speed up the process of getting a book into the marketplace so it can do some of the heavy lifting for you and your business?
What solopreneur, small business owner, coach, trainer or consultant doesn’t want another tool in their tool belt for making the cash register ring?
I get it. With my writing and publishing business, I am fully vested in the book planning-producing-publishing-and-promoting process. I am passionate about helping people get their books written and published.
But book writing today is fraught with tarpits the innocent land in far more often than they should. I have met what I lovingly refer to as “book writing gone bad roadkill” at too many conferences, luncheons and networking events. These are good people whose publishing dream was leveraged for profit by less than scrupulous folks who know how to talk slick and dazzle with seductive promises.
Of course, plenty of legitimate businesses exist to help aspiring authors succeed. Here are three important things to consider before pulling out your credit card for a book writing program.
1. To write a book well involves more than just putting your expertise down on paper.
Don’t be tricked into thinking that if you get your ideas, processes, etc. down on the page, you are guaranteed to achieve any of your business goals. It’s the same kind of illogical fallacy that suggests if you can walk, you can complete a marathon after attending a weekend “bootcamp” showing you training shortcuts. Successful racers have trained consistently for at least a year (most for many yesars). The ones who tell you otherwise are either lying or of another world.
2. To write a book of any value or substance requires more than two days.
90 days is also a stretch, although a handful of folks will say they’ve done it successfully. Some course leaders will hold up one or two examples of individuals who have achieved this remarkable goal (without holding up the dozens of folks who didn’t achieve this goal, far from it).
To echo the marathon metaphor in #1, preparing for a 26.1 miler is not the same as taking a stroll down the street. Please don’t confuse the two.
3. To write a book that represents your brand and the many years you have put into becoming the expert you are is worth investing the proper time.
Your book will become a central part of your brand. It will reflect your values, your ideas, your expertise. If you are like most professionals, you have invested years into honing your skills and specialties.
Why would you risk jeopardizing all your hard work over many, many years just to save yourself some time and push out a product?
A book should never be a rush job. This isn’t to say you can’t get a quality book into the marketplace within a year. (I know a best selling author who did it in nine months, but that was pushing it and there were negative health costs associated with that pace.)
Your Book Is an Extension of Your Brand
Ask any author of note whose book has appeared on the NY Times best seller list, ranked in Amazon’s top 100 best sellers or sustained their speaking schedule for years, and he/she will tell you the book is the result of many months, if not years, of hard work.
You can get started writing your book in a weekend. Maybe flesh out an outline and a chapter or two.
But an entire book that reflects your brand in a way that will open lucrative doors of opportunity for you?
These are the fairy tales of modern marketing efforts.
Best to keep your credit card safely tucked inside your wallet.