This week, a book-coaching client sent me materials in preparation for a coaching call. Even though I haven't read the book yet, I have no doubt she will be successful in producing and marketing her book for two reasons.
1. She wrote down her plans. When you actually commit your plans to paper, they are more likely to happen.
2. The information is detailed. She sent a mission statement for her book, a promotion plan, and a quarterly plan for July through September. These aren't documents filled with vague unformed ideas. They include specific details, action steps, and timelines.
The reason most people don't finish their book projects is not lack of desire; it's lack of planning. I'm thrilled to be working with this client because I know she'll really get her book done and devote the time it takes to market it well. She's done her homework.
The ability to plan is an often-underappreciated skill in our instant gratification-oriented society. People often ask us how we managed to follow our dream and move to 40 acres of forest in deepest Idaho. The short answer is that we planned it. Anything big requires planning, whether it's a book or a 1200-mile, life-altering move across the country.
Big projects require patience and endurance to complete. You have to accept the fact that it won't be easy. One of the appendices in the back of my book Publishize has a high-level overview of all the steps you need to produce a book. It's 22 steps! And that's just to get the book published; it doesn't include marketing the book after it's released.
I'm also a big believer in the idea that you plan your life first and your business second. Of course, I'm biased since the whole reason we started our business was to be able to live anywhere we wanted. Our lifestyle dictates our business, and not the other way around. The choices we make almost every day come from how we want to live our life. (Sure, many people may make more money than we do and brag about being gazillionaires, but are they actually happy?)
Most people who are miserable in business created a business that runs their life. That happens when you don't plan ahead. Entrepreneurs who end up unhappy didn't think about what they like to do or visualize what they'd actually be doing on a day-to-day basis. Planning forces you to examine what happens next.
When it comes to your book, by mentally walking through the steps it takes to produce and market it, you can determine what you can do yourself and what you can outsource. It also forces you to realistically examine your budget and motivations for writing the book in the first place. Is the work going to be worth it? How will it affect your life?
Ask yourself these questions the next time you're feeling stuck on your book project. Then write down your answers. When you've stalled out, it probably means it's time to put pen to paper and start planning!
Thinking of Writing a Book? Get Help.
If you are struggling to get your non-fiction book done, it's probably for one of a few simple reasons. Published authors aren't really any different than you. Writing a book is not magic. However, published authors have found ways to overcome common writing problems, so they have bookshelves full of their books. Once you know how to write a non-fiction book, writing more books is easy. If you know you want to complete a book, check out our Write Your Book page to find out how we can help you realize your dream of becoming a published author. Fill out the Book Completion Questionnaire for a consultation about your book project.