Step 3 (pt. 4): Creating Your Products: Your Book
Avish: All right Fred, even though we’re talking about the digital world, you think it’s really important that you have a physical book.
Fred: Well the nice thing these days is once you create a physical book, you can instantly turn it into an e-book as well. So it is a good idea to actually have and create physical books because you’ll need them as well.
Avish: All right, well, I would guess that this one, more than most products, intimidates people because writing a book just seems like a Herculean task if you’ve never don’t it before.
Fred: Yes and that’s why I would send people, if they want more information, to two sites. First off, to my site, fredgleeck.com/ebooks and download my book, Publishing For Maximum Profit, but also taking a look at publishingabook.com, which is where we do some coaching, Bill O’Hanlon and I, on getting people to publish their books. Both personal coaching, self-paced stuff; and you can take a look at both of those sites. But, just to get back into it, a physical book and an e-book. The nice thing is, if you go and create your physical book, you’re going to automatically, when you put your files together, be able to have and create your e-book real easily as well. It’s a necessary component, although you’re right, it is intimidating and it’ll probably be the product that takes you the longest time to actually do.
Avish: Okay, well, people can get some of those resources, but let’s just talk a little bit about it here. Why is it so important?
Fred: Why is it so important? It is so important because, everything, you know, if you have just an e-book, having a physical book is a different story. When somebody says, what do you do, and you say well, I’m an author, let’s say for example. Oh really, who’s your publisher or do you have a copy of your book? Again, having the physical book makes the reality of an author real, at least to other people including the media.
So that I would encourage everybody, when they put their books together, and by the way, I would say that everybody should create their books and their physical books at a place called Create Space, which is a sort of a subsidiary of Amazon. And the reason why you want to do that is most of your physical books will be sold online through Amazon, so if you create them through Create Space they do what’s called print on demand, and they only print as many as you need and there’s no inventory costs and it’s a great thing. So Create Space is C-R-E-A-T-E S-P-A-C-E so createspace.com and doing it through Amazon. But, yeah, again, a physical book is necessary but you can not only have a physical book, but you can have the e-book as well.
Avish: Okay. So it adds credibility and helps you get press and it’s just another revenue stream as well.
Fred: Yeah the thing about it, is that I think that when you walk into, when you walk into any room and what I usually do is, I take a number of my books whenever I go to a seminar or workshop that I’m attending and I stick a whole bunch of copies of my book sitting in front of me on the desk where I’m going to be writing my notes. And usually somebody will come by and sort of look at the books and go, oh what are these? And I say, eh, I just brought some of my books. Oh, these are yours? And again, if I had approached that same person and he said, what do you do? Say I said, oh I write e-books, he’d say see ya later. But that person would spend a lot more time and have a lot more, perceive me as a lot more credible if I had a physical book.
Avish: Okay, well you’ve given a lot of—you’ve given a couple resources, the fredgleek.com/ebooks and the publishingabook.com. How about just a couple tips or high level techniques people can use to write their book.
Fred: Yeah well, this is one that I just recorded a program with Bill O’Hanlon on this about the three fastest ways to write a book. I think that for writing a book, I like to use what I call the index card system. And the index card system is to have anybody who’s listening to this program take everything that they know about a topic and write the individual bullets of knowledge and information that they have, put them onto separate index cards. So start with, buy three or four hundred index cards and write as many things as you can individually, individual thoughts and ideas about your topic onto those index cards.
Once you’re done, take all the cards, put them on the floor and then put them into stacks of things that seem to sort of go together. Once those stacks, that go together, are done and you have let’s say, say you had a total of three hundred cards and let’s say you came up with fifteen stacks and twenty cards underneath each one. You now would have, basically, the different chapters for your book and you’ve got the content in there under each of those fifteen stacks of twenty cards.
Then what you do is you take each of the individual stacks of twenty and you put them into order. You put those cards into the correct order basically thinking to yourself, well what should go first? What should go second? All the way down to number twenty. Once you’re done with that, you would take that stack and come up with a name for it and that would be your chapter title. So now you’ve got these fifteen stacks, twenty cards each, you’ve now named them all and then the next step would be, and you put the cards in order.
The next step would be to determine in what order each of the stacks should come. So, basically, what order should the chapters go in and sort of logically arrange those so you have chapters one through fifteen, but then you’re going to add two chapters an introduction and a conclusion.
Now, once you do this, once you have everything set up and all the cards, basically then what you do is you go through your stacks of cards, pull out a card and write as if you’re writing an article on just that topic. So what happens is you’ve broken down this massive project of a book into very simple little mini reports that you’re doing. And so each index card that you have, some of those index cards, a single idea, might merit two or three pages. Other parts of you know, other ideas that you have on an index card might only merit a paragraph. So don’t try to artificially inflate the length of what your book will be. But that’s a good way to put it together and a good way to write it.
Avish: All right, well that makes it sound pretty simple, it’s still a lot of writing but it’s definitely doable.
Fred: Absolutely, yes. So it’s not, it’s not going to be, it won’t be done overnight, but I have seen people crank out a book this way in less than two weeks.
Avish: Wow, and so since it may take time, and some of the other things we’ve talked about I think can be done faster, where in your product creation cycle should writing the book come? Should it be one of the first things you do, should you wait since it’s going to take longer?
Fred: That’s a good question. I am actually coaching a guy right now and he’s gotten a little bit hung up because he says, you know, I’m writing this book and it’s taking me all this time. Well, the thing about it is, is you should be writing your book immediately, but you shouldn’t be expecting to get it done immediately. So there are lots of things that, like you and I sitting here via Skype, going into Garage Band, you and I could put together a two or three or four hour audio program in three or four hours, basically. And it’s going to take a lot less time to do a quick and dirty audio program than it does to do a book.
So while you’re writing the book you probably want to concentrate on creating some of the other products that we talk about here. First, or not really first, but you know, they’re going to get done quicker but the book should be something you start and get going right away but don’t expect it to be done right away.
Avish: Okay. That makes a lot of sense