Sunday, June 27, 2010

The journey from book idea to publication

I've been helping people write books for years and I keep telling them how easy it is. But now that I've done it myself, I have to admit the process gets increasingly more and more difficult with every step. On a scale from 1-100 with 100 being impossibly difficult, this is how I rank every step in the process:

Step One: Coming up with a book idea = 1
This step is so easy it's almost laughable. I talk with authors all the time who are afraid someone is going to steal their book idea. But having gone through the entire process, the idea is the easy part.

Step Two: Outlining the idea = 20
Once you have the idea it's not that much harder to outline it.

Step Three: Writing = 30
Writing is mostly about discipline. If you can force yourself to sit down and hammer on the keys you can get through this phase.

Step Four: Editing = 50
It's a lot easier if you can get people to help out. But it also makes it harder. The more people who give you their opinion, the harder it is to trust yourself. In the end you have trust yourself.

Step Five: Design = 30
It used to be really hard to design a book and a cover. But today it's a snap. The only reason I gave it a 30 is because the book cover design is still pretty tough. If you can entrust this to a professional, do it.

Step Six: Publishing = 99
I used to think that publishing was the easy part, and technically it is. All you have to do is push a button. But making the decision to push the button was really hard. I kept wondering if I was done. I kept thinking maybe I needed more editing, maybe I should change the title or do more writing.

I think this is where most people fall apart. They get stuck trying to make sure everything is perfect and the project loses steam. The dream fades. And once you lose momentum it's really hard to get it back.

That's why I think the hardest thing an author will do is release their book into the world. So my advice to you is this: Pull the trigger. Don't wait for things to be perfect. Just do it. Trust yourself and push the publish button. I did it and it feels great!! Good luck.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Inspired by Matt Cutts

Matt Cutts does this 30 day challenge and I like reading about his experiences and how it affects him. So this month I've decided to give it a try myself. He asked his readers to give him some ideas and there were some good ones on the list. I actually suggested he write a book, and of course I'd want him to use but it's not for everyone. Tom Foremski just did it and I think it took him about 3 weeks. Wallace Baine did it and it took him two. But they are journalists with years of old articles and blog posts. It would be more difficult if you started with just an idea. But that would be a good challenge.

Friday, June 04, 2010

KION FastPencil Interview

I had a chance to speak with the nice folks at KION about FastPencil and how writers are flocking to self-publishing during the economic downturn. Now that authors can choose print-on-demand and ebook distribution on the Kindle and iPad, publishing is actually cost-effective with almost no risk. Today you can sign up with, import your manuscript or start a new book, click a few buttons and be a published author. Here's the snippet from the news: