How do you translate your expertise into a book?
For those of you who published a book in their field of expertise, where and how did you start? How long did it take you? Did you seek editors help?
Tell stories ...writing a book is difficult and time consuming and also expensive. There are cost no one speaks about. Having two books published by Wiley it is a long process. If you want to go with a real established publisher you have to make a proposal and might wait over a year until you hear back. You have to send in materials about why you wrote the book, other books in the last five years similar to your book and on the same and similar topics, how those books have been doing and most importantly what willYOU do to sell the book. The publisher will do almost NOTHING to market your book. Then you have to commit to purchasing a number of books within a short time person.
They charge you about 40% of the full retail price. You then get paid an advance but that advance is then deducted until you sold, net, the amount equal to the advance before they send you any money,That could take about two to three years. Unless you are the 0.5% or 1% of all the books that make it as a 'best seller'.
Once they approve the book you have a specific time to complete it. After completion it takes 4 - 12 months for their editor to review and sign off and then another 6 - 12 months until published. So it is from the time you start your first draft, get the book accepted, edited and published it could be four to six years.
That is if you want to go the established publisher route.
Alternatively you can self publish. There are a significant number of self-publishing choices probably one of the best is Amazon. It would be an e-book. If it sells really well a publisher might pick it up for a hard copy. You can also self publish hard copy. There are a number of places for that. Either e-book or self publishing I would invest in an editor. They can cost for as low as $10,000 and as high as $50,000. But you want an editor who has done books you can read before you select an editor to see if you like her or his work. If they never did it before don't use them. Being an editor is rigorous work. I have an exceptional one if you want their contact let me know.
In short it is a very rewarding experience to have it actually published. Remember most books today are not more then 175 pages. Stories are the best means of getting you message out there. Your question how long one book 4 years the there 5 years, yes have my own editor I paid and then the publisher's editor they paid for, and started by simply putting down in writing the content of the workshops and keynotes and began rearranging them and putting it into a logical order.
All the best in this journey.
The first thing I did was to blog on everything I did for about a year, then to go through all the important news over the last 10 years, finally to distill it into a powerpoint presentation. Then I was ready to write my book on business and innovation. It's organically grown and tastes better!
I started writing books around six years go and have had 13 published to date - all by international publishers, including Pearson, Macmillan and Wiley. So I don't know about the self-publish/eBook root.
But if you are keen to produce a professionally published book, the starting place is to think through your topic clearly and develop the perspective you want to take. You'll then need to develop a structure for the book, so you can create a contents, with a few sentences of summary for each chapter.
The next bit is critical: you will need a strong marketing description of the book, that you will adapt to the submission format required by the publishers you pitch to.
Let's say you are successful. How do I approach the writing...translating my expertise into the content of a book? This is *my* process and I am sure there are as many as there are writers. In summary:
1. Research/read/think/take notes/draw diagrams/build models
2. Rinse and repeat for a fair old time - in my case around 10-30 days of graft, getting my ideas straight
3. Now polish up the structure you pitched
4. Populate each chapter with its major sections and each section with notes about what I want to cover
5. Go through all of my notes and figure what fits into my structure and where to put it
...I now have a flat-plan - a writing guide that sketches out a 40-50,000 word (the standard size for a UK trade paperback for the business section of travel book stores) book in a couple of thousand words. All of the chapters and sections are now in the right sequence to tell my story and each section is sketched out to the extent that I know why it is there, what it needs to say, and the key content items to go in it.
6. Now I will chunk my structure into approx 3-4,000 word chunks. This is what I can write in a 'long morning' - working from 5am to noon with a break for breakfast with my daughter and a shower.
7. I can now schedule those chunks into days where I can give the writing my total attention. I won't even open up my email until I have finished writing my chunk.
8. Now, each day I write, I complete a pre-set chunk of the book, in sequence, starting at the beginning (except for the intro sections)
9. The last writing stint covers the opening and closing papers
10. Now put it aside and get on with something else for a week or two. After this, I can read it through with a tiny modicum of objectivity, and start the editing process.
Total time spent - approximately 20-50 working days spread over around 2 to 5 months (in among other professional commitments).
Then, of course, t goes to the professional editors at my publisher for the several cycles of editing, during which I will answer questions and maybe review an edited version. Finally, I get page proofs to mark corrections on, before printing.
The last step is opening the finished book and seeing, within seconds, the typo you and all of the editors have missed a dozen or more times. This happened on three of my books - and two of the errors were in spelling the first names of people I respect highly - eek!
WOW I'm impressed. I want to say thank you to each and every one of you and convey my deepest appreciation for your time, attention and participation.
Your answers are not only valuable but also very inspiring.
If you can dream it, you can achieve it. '' Zig Ziglar '' Have a great day and week ahead of you!
For my first book, I used createspace.com to self-publish my book. I put all my time management tips in the book "TimePeace: Making peace with time". Although it is a time management techniques book - I wrote it in the form of a novel. We tracked the hero, Derek Wilde, as he transformed himself from a disorganized investigative report into a well-published author - with the help of the techniques taught at the TimePeace Institute. It was fun to write.
Pick something fun to right and that you have passion for. If you do that - it won't take you very long to write.
Yes - find help from an editor.
Great question! After taking a writing course, I started bloging about my topic and reading about the consumer's questions about my topic to determine their needs. I then did extensive research into the industry. I blogged for about two years and then wrote an e-book. I did consult with publishers' and book reviewers' blogs for several months to determine what to include in the book. I wrote articles and blog posts weekly as well as read to keep up on the industry.
After about two years, I decided I needed to revise the e-book, as the industry had chnaged, and I opted to write a book instead. At times, the work was overwhelming, but it was necessary.
To get my books published I looked for publishers who will give time to 1st time authors. and understood and had a solid reputation in my industry...Estimate how long you think it will take and double or triple it...Always a minimum I've found a year at least...And yes seeking good editors and reputable publishers is a key...And if you decide to self publish, make sure of good editing and market/sell it like crazy...
Have you considered a ghost writer? Suggest you read this article:
Writing a book can boost your brand and build your business—and share your expertise with the world. But it can be a daunting task. So start with regular posts to a blog. Don’t want a blog? OK, set a regular time to write or a weekly goal of something doable, say, 500 words. Some people make great progress with a technique called “100 x 100”: Write 100 words for 100 days. The beauty of this method is that your inner taskmaster, the one that tells you don’t have time for a book, agrees that 100 words is a reasonable use of your time. And you’ll often write more than 100 words, but on those days you can’t muster more than 100, you’ll still enjoy a sense of accomplishment.
As you craft your first draft, write fast. Don’t futz with your words now—you’ll waste time editing content that may be cut or dramatically revamped. Just get your ideas down. And don’t worry about the quality of your words. Everyone writes bad first drafts, even those bestselling authors you love to read.
Just finish your first draft, rough as it may seem. (Those clunky words and ideas are the stepping stone to the good ones.) Too many writers have started a first draft only to leave it languishing in a drawer or a file. You’re going to finish yours, and when you do, that’s when you polish it to perfection. And before you know it, you’ll know the thrill of being introduced as “the author of …”
A great way to ease in to writing on your field of expertise is creating an ebook. An ebook can be shorter and easier to distribute. You can start by thinking of the market (the readers) you are writing the ebook for. It might help to create an outline first of the points you want to cover. Then, flesh out those points. If you aren't a writer yourself, consider working with one. They can take what you've written and polish it. If you are adept at writing, I still recommend having an editor go through what you've written.
If you don't use an editor's services for your book, then don't even bother publishing it...