Last year I wrote and published a book I had no idea I was about to write. I started writing it on the 3rd September and it was ready for publication on the 17th.
It shot into the top 10 books in Philosophy on the UK Kindle store by the end of September and the amazing reviews tell of the impact it is having on readers.
Here’s how I it came to pass …
Step 1: Have a Cracking Idea
I was watching my lovely partner snoozing on the sofa and wondered how many other people were also asleep right at that time. I also wondered how many people who were awake were also really ‘asleep’.
Step 2: Have an Immovable Deadline
I was presenting a workshop on creativity on the 27th September at Sadler’s Wells at the Transformational Media Summit and wondered if I could write a book with a big message – and get it published in time so I could use it as a case study for the journalists attending.
Step 3: Don’t Write a Big Book
To print a title and author name on the spine, you need about 100 pages or so. This equates to around 10,000-12,000 words. My aim was to write a book that could be read in a single commute or sitting.
Step 4: Learn How to Bend Time
I have been studying how we perceive the passage of time and I know some psychological and physiological ways to stretch time so we can get more done in less linear time. See Bending Time to find out how you can do this too.
Step 5: Write Short Chapters
A short chapter can be written and read in one session. What I do is meditate before each writing session for 20 minutes and I can then generate around 1000 words in an hour or so. The chapters in this book were actually around 500 words long so they could be re-syndicated in a blog.
Step 6: Review but Don’t Edit
Before writing each chapter, I review the previous chapter so I don’t duplicate and I ensure continuity and fluidity over the whole book. I only edit massive faux pas but don’t try and proof read or edit the whole. Incidentally, I normally Mind Map my books but this time it just came from ‘nowhere’.
Step 7: Know When To Finish
With epublication and print on demand, subsequent editions are easy. So when the 10,000 words or so are done and the base story is told, that’s time to wrap on this edition.
Step 8: Get Someone Else to Proof Read It
It’s impossible to mark your own homework so get professional, or a friend or colleague with an eye for detail, to read it and sanity check that it’s a Good Book and tells a solid story.
Step 9: Format It Nicely and Upload It to a PoD or ePub service
I use the CompletelyNovel print on demand service for my print books as it is so easy – and support is brilliant. Books normally arrive in 5 to 7 days. I uploaded it on the 17th of September and the box below arrived on the 20th in just three days!!
Step 10: Spread The Word
After finding a couple of other errors in the print books (so much easier than on screen), I uploaded it to the Amazon KDP platform and by the 21st September, it was available to download globally for less than the price of a cup of coffee. A few tweets and Facebook posts later and the reviews started flying in.