Being a published author is a very powerful thing.
In many peoples’ “perception”, it directly translates to expert status. Even people who never bother to read your articles or book will attribute enhanced status to you because you’ve been published.
If you’ve been following me, this isn’t news to you. You’ve heard me say repeatedly that you should write a book.
Being able to add the title of “author” to your credentials can increase your perceived worth, which means you can charge more for your products and services and lower and even eliminate resistance to price.
Books can be used to position your products and services, like an extended sales letter.
And of course, the biggest reason for authoring a book is that it’s one of the fastest ways to raise your status to “expert”.
Yet, many business owners, despite knowing this, will never write a book. It’s impossible for me to tackle all the reasons why this occurs, however a big stumbling block I will cover here is the time factor.
Maybe you think you are too busy, can’t write fast enough to complete a book in a sufficient amount of time to make it worthwhile. Or you think you need to take time off in order to get it done and wonder who will “man the store” while you take time to write.
If you’ve ever thought about writing a book, you’ve undoubtedly read that it takes “6 months to a year” to write a book. Or you’ve heard the stories from authors like J.K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter, who said it took her 5 years to write her first book Harry Potter book.
But writing a book doesn’t have to take a long time, nor should it. Writing slow only earns you less money.
Another myth worth debunking is that writing slow creates better books.
Sara Gruen wrote her first draft of her novel in 4 weeks. Her book, Water for Elephants, is a magnificent novel, became a number-one bestseller, won awards, and birthed a movie.
Anthony Burgess was badly in need of cash and the advance offered for his novel required a manuscript—so he averaged 2,765 words per day, to get the famous A Clockwork Orange done in just 3 weeks.
Ray Bradbury had two noisy kids in his home, so he rented time on a typewriter in the UCLA library for ten-cents an hour to work on his novel. The ticking meter spurred him to great speed—he averaged 5,086 words per day to complete Fahrenheit 451 in 9 frantic days. A New York Times critic sniffed, “This is not a precisely designed work.” But it was a bestseller and is a much-read classic.
Each of the 76 novels featuring Inspector Maigret was churned out by Georges Simenon in less than two weeks. The most successful series sold 860,000 copies in the United States.
Robert Louis Stevenson had a sleepless night, disrupted by a reoccurring nightmare. The next morning he began the novel he finished in less than a week: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. (Source WIRED Magazine 1-12)
Personally, I write one draft, print it out, rearrange the order of some pages, make the fewest corrections by hand as possible, write “bridges” needed to segue one chapter to the next, and hand it off to Carla to clean up, and off to the publisher it goes. I write my books in approximately a week’s time, about 30 hours.
Perfectionism is rarely profitable which is why I rarely do a second draft of any book. And I set a pre-determined budget of time for each book. When I use up the time, the book is done. Wherever I may be when the clock’s used up, only two more words are permitted: The End.
It is important to author a book. It’s equally important to create a pre-determined timeline and find the “Good Enough Spot”, the line of quality to stop working on your book, because going beyond these fails to profoundly interest your clients, customers or patients. After all, many will only be interested in the fact that you’ve authored a book.