How to Save $35,000 When Writing Your Book
If you’ve ever wanted to write a book you’ve probably run into one or more of the following issues that will stop you in your tracks:
- It's too hard
- It's too tedious
- I don't have that kind of discipline
- I don't have what it takes (I'm not talented enough)
- It takes too much time
- There's too much work involved
- It's too expensive
- I have writer's block
- I can't get my words to flow on paper
- It's not perfect
- My grammar sucks
- I know I need to have a book but I hate writing
- Every time I think about writing I become instantly overwhelmed and I quit
I know how you feel. As an author myself, I know how time-consuming it can be to write a book. I know how frustrating it is to suffer from writer’s block, and to be extremely pissed off when I’ve realized that what I’m writing is crap.
More often than not, I’ve had to completely scrap my approach and start over. Many times I’ve felt like chucking my computer out the window and listening to the satisfying smash it makes when it hits the concrete.
(I’ve never actually done it, but I have pounded the keyboard in frustration.)
Fortunately, I’ve had access to some great editors over the years, who showed me how to avoid mistakes before I could make them. What I learned led to a writing career that’s spanned 17 years.
Most of my writing has been for consumer and trade magazines and at one point I was an editor at Webreference magazine for five years. I’ve been published over 1,000 times and I’ve written 8 books. One of these projects, The Corel PHOTO-PAINT X4 Insider, was an ebook that was sold as a joint venture with the Corel Corporation. The result was over 11,000 ebooks sold and over $90,000 in royalties.
If you’ve been wanting to write a book and you’ve never done so, two major reasons for your frustration may be because you don’t know what to do and you don’t know where to start.
As an example, many business people have been told they need to write a book, then they begin doing so without any idea of structure, purpose or clarity. If you do that, disaster is sure to follow.
Fortunately, there are simple things you can do to get started and I’m going to list a few of those here:
The key to any writing project is a solid outline. The outline is road map, which takes you from where you are to your destination. This is an important step that many people never consider.
Another major mistake is trying to cram too much into a single book. It’s a much better idea to create a series of short books, rather than one big one, especially if you’re a beginner.
Many writers think they need to create long-winded descriptions, so they attempt to put everything into their book. Doing that will bore your audience to tears. Brief is better.
And, finally, many writers HATE editors because they think the editor will destroy their work. In reality, a good editor can be your best friend and can truly make your content shine.
One of my editors, Joe White, transformed one of my articles into a thing of beauty. He was able to write what I wanted to write, better than I ever could.
Still, most of what I’ve detailed above concerns the old way of writing, where you sit down and do everything by hand, but if you want a book done fast, this isn’t the way to go.
The fastest way to write a book is by one of two methods. The first one is where you write out all your chapter ideas then speak your entire book into a recording device. The down side is you’re going to miss a lot of stuff doing that.
The best way, which will uncover all sorts of hidden gems, is to work with an interviewer.
A skilled interviewer will ask targeted questions, designed to elicit information you may not have considered relevant. Not only that, but the interviewer will listen to your answers and if something interesting pops up, will ask you more questions. Often, during these times, items of tremendous value can show up, creating tremendous value for your audience.
A case in point is an interview I did with Michel Fortin, a copywriter. Michel is the creator of the first sales letter which generated over $1,000,000 in sales within 24 hours. In our interview, I only asked a couple of prepared questions. The rest of the time, I listened to what he said and asked him targeted questions. The result was an amazing interview, one worth a great deal of money to the right person. **YOU CAN WATCH THAT INTERVIEW BELOW**
As I said, the fastest ways to get a book finished is by dictating it or by doing an interview. Here’s how the interviewing process will help you.
When we decide to work together, I’ll get on the phone with you and we’ll talk about your book and what you want to accomplish. The first step is to plan our journey together and I’ll work with you to create all the chapters you want for the book.
Once you have all the chapters, I’ll write some targeted questions and send those back to you. Together, we’ll work through all of the topics you want to cover for each chapter.
Once you’re satisfied with the questions, I’ll get on the phone and interview you for each chapter. All of these will be recorded, transcribed and edited. Once that’s done I’ll send the chapters back to you for your comments. We’ll work back and forth until we get it right. This will produce roughly 40,000 words, or 80 pages of content.
Once that’s done, I’ll create some custom book covers and you choose the one you want. After that, I’ll get some professional copywriting done to sell your book. Next, I format your book for Amazon Kindle, CreateSpace and to give you a digital document (PDF) which you can send to clients. The last step is to give you a professional press release which you can use for newspaper, television and radio appearances.
Most of this is ‘done for you,’ meaning that there’s very little effort on your part. You need to be available for the planning, interviews, and follow up. I will do the rest.
As for the amount of time? It takes from two weeks to three months, depending on your availability as the author.
The Purpose of Your Book
The number one reason for writing your book is to stand out as the expert, the authority, the go-to person in your industry.
Here are some of the benefits of writing a book:
- Instant credibility
- Respect. People pay more attention to someone who has written a book
- Having a book makes it easier to get new clients, obtain public speaking engagements, and do workshops.
- You can use the book to get interviews on radio, television, the newspaper, magazines, and podcasts.
Many authors think they need to have bestseller status to be considered an expert, but that’s just not true. What you need is a book to give away or sell to your target market. You want to stand out in the eyes of your target market; this is where you will gain the most credibility AND by extension, this is where you will lay the foundation for future sales.
The purpose of your book is to prove your expertise and to answer all of the objections of your target audience. It’s crucial to provide testimonials and, at the end, have a strong call to action. This will motivate people to get in touch with you.
What You Need to Put into Your Book
When you write a book you need to view your product or service through the eyes of your customer. As people are reading your book, they will only have one question for you, “What’s In It For Me?” If you write from that perspective, you’ll have a successful book.
A great way to approach your chapters, is where you think about one pressing problem your client wants to overcome and make that the focus of the chapter. At the beginning, create some context by telling your story. Next, talk about what you did to transform the problem and afterwards, lay out the steps which the client can follow to create their own transformation.
Once all the chapters are done, an effective way to give value to the reader is to create a ‘cheat sheet’ and place that at the beginning of your book. This is where you cover what your prospective clients can expect to achieve, with references to each chapter in the book. If the client wants more information they can read about it in depth.
The Content of Your Book In-Depth
As I mentioned earlier, your client is coming from the perspective of “What’s In It For Me?” This is what you need to address in your book, which should contain the following essential elements:
- A professional, recent photo (hire a photographer if necessary)
- Your biography
- Testimonials (extremely important)
- State your USP (Unique Service Proposition). i.e. Rik Schnabel – the brain untrainer
- Create a mini-course or some presentation to demonstrate your expertise
- Add a Q&A section where you answer common questions and objections
- Insert a call to action
- Create a resource page which should include your website, phone number and social media platforms you use. i.e. LinkedIn, Youtube, Google+, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter
"Nathan Segal Was Always An Asset To My Team"Scott Clark, Executive Editor, Jupitermedia Corp.
"Nathan Segal was always an asset to my team. His knowledge of the IT industry, especially the graphics, 3D and photography areas, is top notch."
"I would recommend him in a heartbeat, and enjoyed working with him over the years through many tasks, from website redesign, to technical writing, to working with freelance writers."
"As An Editor, He Was Always Able To Add That 'Special Touch' To My Articles..."Lee Underwood, Managing Editor/Site Manager, Internet.com
"In working with Nathan over the years, I have always found him to be straight and to the point."
"His goal has always been to produce the best product possible, whether it was writing, photography, or Web design."
"As an editor, he was always able to add that 'special touch' to my articles to make them better. "
"Nathan is a true team player. I enjoyed the time that I worked with him and appreciated his insight and experience."
"Nathan is a helpful, courteous, cordial and very talented writer/editor with a marvelous, deep understanding of the writing, marketing and editing processes."Jonathan Fenocchi, Senior DevOps Engineer at Bazaarvoice
If all you need is a book for your business, our journey ends here, but if you need help creating an audience, you’ll want to have a look at what comes next, which is…
In this section, I show you what to need to do to build your audience. As you can imagine there are a variety of options, which you will discover here:
- Build Your authority fast by writing a report
- Build your authority by writing for magazines and blogs
- Become an expert by interviewing experts and celebrities
- How to build community with Facebook
- How to build community through Meetup.com
- How to build community through selfless giving
Let’s look at each of these methods in turn:
Build Your Authority Fast By Writing A Report
The book creation process will be fast or slow, depending on your availability for interviews. To get you up to speed fast, I will interview you and help you create a short report which you can use to get clients, immediately. Included in the report is a strong call-to-action, to entice clients to use your service.
Build Your Authority By Writing for Magazines and Blogs
This is what I did for the bulk of my writing career. I’ll guide you, step-by-step, through the process of finding paying magazines, researching back issues, writing a query that sells and getting yourself into print.
With some magazines, you will be given an author's byline, where you can have a link to your website. In other cases, you can use a call-to-action to promote an offer. This will give you visibility and can help you get more writing and other opportunities.
To help you succeed, 10 videos are included in this section, along with 10 hours of coaching where I show you everything you need to know. You get to watch over my shoulder, as I show you in real time, how to find writing opportunities to build your business.
In addition to the videos and coaching, you get a copy of my book, “How to Position Yourself as an Expert in Any Industry.” In this book, I show you everything I know about how to get writing opportunities.
As an example, there are some writers who say you should never call an editor. That’s total B.S. If you think you have a hot idea, one that could make a difference for the publication, get on the phone and pitch the editor, directly.
I’ve done this many times over the years. Not only did it get me assignments, it also created a great relationship with the editor, and I wound up with more opportunities as a result. You can do it, too.
Become An Expert By Interviewing Experts And Celebrities
One of the fastest ways to become known as an expert is to interview those who have that status. Over time, as your audience gets to know you, that authority will be transferred to you and you will become known as an expert in your niche.
In this special report, you will learn how to find and interview celebrity authors such as Coach Dale Brown, the man who discovered (and coached) Shaquille O’Neal, and Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations with God, which has reached millions of readers.
The process of interviewing is explained in-depth. You’ll find out what equipment you need and how to target the right people for your industry. All of this is covered in the book mentioned in the previous section.
How To Build Community With Facebook
In this report, you will learn how to create community on Facebook using a combination of techniques, such as building a Facebook page, a Facebook group, creating a call-to-action, creating an email marketing list, helping members in other groups, answering questions, and more.
How To Build Community With Meetup.com
Back in 2007, I returned to Victoria, B.C., after spending my winter in Mexico. Wanting to improve my Spanish, I looked around for opportunities but found nothing in the city, so I went online. After a brief search, I found Meetup.com and joined it. Shortly after doing so, I discovered two Spanish groups, one in Vancouver and one in Nanaimo, but nothing locally.
For 3 weeks I waited, watching, and hoping that someone would start a group, but it never happened. One day I finally realized that if I wanted to be part of a group, I was going to have to create it. Shortly afterwards, I signed up to be an organizer, paid my fees and chose the name, “The Victoria Spanish Group.”
The short story is this, I built the group from zero to hundreds of members within a few years and paid almost nothing for advertising.
In this report I walk you through the steps of what I did and how I learned to manage people, especially troublemakers.
Meetup is a fabulous way to build community and you, as an author can not only have your own group, you can also create guest appearances at other groups in different cities. This report shows you how.
How To Build Community Through Selfless Giving
One of the most powerful ways to build your brand is through selfless giving, giving, without the need to sell or to expect anything in return. This concept came into my life through my friend, Roland Takaoka.
Despite my doubts that it would work, I immediately put it into play by doing Google Hangouts on Air and later, on Blab, where I created several shows and participated in others, helping people in a way which matched my business concept.
It paid off, and I wound up with many friends, along with invitations to be a guest on other shows and to do an occasional presentation.
The Number One Thing You Need To Know Is, In Order To Be An Authority In Your Business, You Must Build A Community Of People Who Know, Like, And Trust You. This Is An Inescapable Truth. Ignore This Step And Your Business WILL Fail!!
Frequently Asked Questions
I Have Writer’s Block. Can You Help Me?
Of course. Writer’s block is not a problem with our system. Outside of some basic planning and checking over the edits, you don’t need to write.
When you go through the interviews, all you do is answer the questions. This frees you from writing. As you relax into the interviewing process, your words will flow and it will be easier to tell your story.
I Know I Need To Have A Book But I Hate Writing
With our process you don't need to, not even when you look over the transcripts. You can look at what you want changed and use a Dictaphone or software on your computer to record your response. If necessary, we can do a follow-up interview, transcribe that and make the changes required. You don’t have to lift a finger.
If I Don’t Like Your Service, Can I Get A Refund?
Only prior to doing the interviews. Once the interviewing process has begun there are no refunds. For those of you who want to know why, it’s because this is a service, not a product. It’s not like we can restock a shelf. Our service is time-intensive and there’s no way to refund that.
When you choose to become a client, it must be with a 100% commitment to see the process through. If you have any doubts, call Nathan at (408) 84404851 and I will answer your questions. If I don’t feel you’re a good fit for our service, I will tell you so.
How Long Will This Take?
While we offer a maximum time of three months to completion, it can happen a lot faster, depending on your availability for the planning, interviewing, and editing stages.
If you’re seriously motivated, we could complete the process in as little as two weeks. Again, the speed of production depends on your availability. If you do your part, we'll do our part. It's as simple as that.
Are There Any Particular Subject Areas? Are Certain Subjects Better Than Others?
You can use this technique for multiple situations, though it's best suited for an interview style, where one can tell their story without having to write it down. Using an interview technique, you can explore many avenues that might not come up another way, such as when writing out a book by hand.
Where this technique would not be the best is for highly detailed books, where the language has to be precise. It’s also not the best for tutorials, where you have to describe processes. Still, you can demonstrate the tutorial, record your voice, transcribe that and fill in the details later. That will save you a lot of time.
Can I Use the Book to Get an Agent?
If you want an agent, a better idea is to write a book proposal, not an entire book. We have a template for that.
A major problem affecting many would-be writers is the need for perfectionism. This often manifests as editing while you write, which is a huge mistake. In reality, you write whatever comes to mind and edit it later.
The ‘Done for You’ Writing System eliminates that problem. As the interviewee, you give answers to the questions during the interview. All of these are transcribed and during the editing process, if you want to add/subtract from the content, you can do it there. It's that easy.
I Like Your Program, But It’s Too Expensive
The price is a valid concern and I’m glad you've brought it up. Our service is perceived as a high-ticket item by some people and it seems like a lot of money… but is it?
The average hourly fee of a financial advisor is $250/hour. As you probably know, writing a book by hand is time-intensive and you’re probably busy with clients so you won’t have a lot of time.
For the sake of example, let’s say you can only allocate 2 hours of time/night. We’ll also assume it will take you 6 months or 183 days to write. That translates into 26 weeks. At 2 hours/day and 5 days/week for 26 weeks, that translates into 260 hours to write a book. That 260 hours translates into $65,000. That’s what it will cost you to write a book.
With our system, it will only cost $30,000. You save $35,000. Imagine what you could do with an extra $35,000? Not only that, but our process will save you a lot of time, too. I’m sure you can see how this would make a big difference in your life.
Make No Mistake, You’ll Get Published Fast With Our System, But It’s Not For Everyone
To Find Out If You’re A Good Candidate, Fill In The Form Below With Your Name, Email Address, Phone Number, Some Details About Your Book And The Industry You Want To Address.
We’ll get back to you within 48 hours to discuss your book. If you want to talk to us, call (408) 844-4851 PDT. Our hours are from 9-5, Monday to Friday.
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"Nathan Segal has identified the problem area facing today's aspiring professional writers. Many do not treat their writing endeavors as a business."David Hyland
"Being able to string words together in a comprehensible, enlightening, and entertaining manner is not enough."
"Being able to market oneself to vendors who will pay well in exchange for creating content that will satisfy their needs and wants is the key ingredient in achieving and sustaining a successful freelance career."
"Nathan has proven that his stategies, techniques and tools work well and should be the foundation for others to follow. I have a feeling that we will see and hear more from Nathan in the future and it would be wise for all of us to look, listen and learn."
"5.0 out of 5 stars Book Review - Secrets of Profitable Freelance Writing"Dad of Divas
"I have been writing for some time, but most of this writing has been done personally instead of professionally."
"This book, though short, was full of so many resources for the would-be freelance writer. I was amazed at how easy this book was to read and understand. I also was impressed at how much could be placed into one book."
"This little book was a ready reference guide for all writers, and it was one that I will definitely keep around to assist me in the future as I continue to write and possibly look to writing professionally in the future as well."
"I asked Nathan Segal to edit my book, Resilience For Kids."Vicki Kirss, Email: vicki AT Internode.on DOT net
"I found Nathan to be very approachable, easy to work with, honest and extremely reliable. When he said he would get my edits back to me, he did as he said."
"With his expert help, my book become more concise and readable, Nathan helped clear up many areas where I had some difficulty with clarity myself."
"I would highly recommend Nathan to anyone who requires an editor."