How To Write a Book (Guaranteed)
Many surveys show almost everyone would like to write a book, 80-90 %, and get published. Most will never do it, but could. Here’s a great way to get started? Write a page every day of 250 words and in one year you will have a 365-page book. That is 91,250 words in one year. It may not be a very good book, but that is fine for now. I never looked for a publisher either, I self-published.
Writing A Novel
The recommended size for a novel most publishers would agree is 80-90,000 words. I am writing one now, I am at 48,000 words and writing 1,270 words a day. I wanted to get a completed first draft done in 2 months and I am on track. If I don’t get 1,270 words written every day, I still try to write something and make up for low count days by going over on other days.
My first book was a business book, and that is a different experience. But my novel is so very exciting. I am always thinking about the plot and the stories in the novel. My wife thinks I am losing my mind, as I forget to do something or give the wrong response to a question. The truth is I am deep into distraction, thinking about how my main character is getting in and out of trouble.
Writing a Business Book
A good size for a business book I have found for me is about 50,000 words. It takes much, much more research. It is more difficult because you want to say something meaningful and useful to people. Novels are about entertainment. But there is a better market for a business book and you can charge a little more. It took me two years to write and publish One Million in the Bank. It also took me two years before that to get on track to even find the topic and inspiration to start that book.
How I Got Started
First Book Attempt
I first tried to write a book in high school. I had a pencil and notebook paper. It was a war story and looking back I did not have the experience to write that book. But I never got very far anyway. Writing a book with pencil and paper was hard and I was only 16 years old. Over the years I have tried again and again, but never got very far, then it happened.
365 Page Book
I call it my “365 Page Book.” What I wrote about was everything in my life? I wrote about my childhood, West Point, the Army, everything. It is easy to write about yourself and make them small chapters 1,000 words unless you feel like letting it flow, then let it flow. Make an outline, like for me, “Fishing with My Grandparents,” “Saved my brother”, “Getting accepted to West Point,” and any and all stories you can think of. The big events will be easy to remember but write about the little events too. This will get you in the habit of writing with very little stress. As a bonus, it will be a good chronically of your life for your family. This is not a daily journal. It is your life story.
Finding Your Book Idea
While I was writing this, I kept trying to think of an idea for my real book. I started a few pages many times even a 15,000 word start on a novel, then got stuck (I can tell you how to never get stuck too, maybe later.) Then I thought I found it, I was 30,000 words in a Goal Setting book. My adult lawyer son read it and made the comment, that there was nothing new in my book and needed stories. So I set it aside to start over but decided to interview someone and get a story. So I got my first story, by interviewing a plant nursery business owner. Wow, what a story. He made himself a millionaire from nothing. That was the beginning of One Million in the Bank and it lead to 7 awards.
Advantages Of Writing A Book
First, it will probably not make you any money. But it could, so you can dream. Even if your book doesn’t make money, there are substantial rewards:
1. People will think you are pretty smart and give you more respect than you probably deserve. I am amazed, people will say “I never meet an author before.”
2. If you have a business, even a very short book can greatly enhance your status as an expert in many ways.
3. You will feel a huge sense of accomplishment. It will make you feel very good and give you bragging rights.
4. For my business book, I learned so much in writing my book. It made me feel young and invigorated.
5. For my novel, it is exciting and often a surprise to see how you can be creative with your characters. Plus I am learning about the craft of writing a novel. Again it is invigorating.
6. With just a little luck you might make some money, but the odds are against you.
Get Started Today
Pick a favorite memory and start writing about it today. Seriously, do it. And if you quit or miss a day, feel no guilt, just pick it up where you left off. Good luck!
Related from my blog:
One Million in the Bank-Starting My Book
Choosing the best entrepreneur books is something of a challenge for people who are just getting started. It’s tough to evaluate which books are going to provide valuable insights and which ones will ultimately waste your time and money.
While we could tell you that One Million in the Bank has won awards, you’ve probably read several award-winning books in the past that ultimately did not help you achieve your dreams. Here are 10 reasons why One Million in the Bank is going to provide you with a different experience.
1. One Million in the Bank creates realistic expectations
The glitz and glam story that many entrepreneur books promote says that the millionaire lifestyle is achieved primarily when one designs some great, new, innovative app that revolutionizes existing ways of doing things. Let’s face it, this misperception even leads people to conclude they can’t become millionaires, as most of us don’t know the first thing about programming. Alternatively, many entrepreneur books may tell you that launching an “Internet marketing” business is the way to become rich and famous.
But the truth is, 80% of most millionaires are self-employed business owners who have put their efforts into a tried-and-true business like the ones you interact with every single day. Millionaires open roofing businesses, retail stores, and even laundromats. One Million in the Bank focuses on those kinds of businesses. Author Michael L.F. Slavin will even tell you why you should focus on selling real people real goods, instead of attempting to start a 100% “online” business or waiting to leap onto the next technology craze.
2. One Million in the Bank shows you how to find investors without going on Shark Tank
Most traditional businesses will never be that interesting to big-wig venture capitalists, and that’s great news. Venture capitalists really are looking for the next big idea. They’re also looking for a business they can make “go public” in a very short period of time so that they can skyrocket the value. Then, they want to turn around and sell it. Often, the actual entrepreneur is forced out of the process along the way.
Meanwhile, there are quiet investors in your own neighborhood who just want to help their local economies while making an outstanding return on their investment. This book will show you how and where to find them. You receive a step-by-step method for uncovering them and an actual script for approaching them.
3. Less motivation, more action
There’s a place for inspirational, “you can do it,” speech and, yes, One Million in the Bank incorporates some motivational words. However, most of the book focuses on the practical steps you can take to get yourself closer to business ownership and a million in the bank. You could essentially write yourself a to-do list blueprint just by reading the book.
4. Real people, real stories
When One Million in the Bank does focus on inspiration, it does so by sharing the stories of real life millionaires who started from the bottom and made it work. These are people just like you: people who got up every morning hating their cubicle job, and middle class or even lower class people who were barely scraping by.
Nobody suddenly inherited a million dollars. They didn’t do it by writing books and selling seminars about making millions of dollars (you know, the ones that make it sound like everyone on earth should quit their job). So many entrepreneur books focus only on the author’s successes. While Michal L.F. Slavin does take the time to establish his credentials, he also focuses far more of his attention on other people. He also shows there are a variety of ways to make it to the top, which is great news for those of us who hate to write and are afraid of public speaking.
5. You will change your thoughts…but not the way you expect
The occasional dive into “the power of positive thinking” seems to be the norm for just about any entrepreneur book. We all know the drill. “Change your thoughts, change your life.” “Believe it, receive it.” “Visualize it, and it can be yours.” Sadly, positive thinking alone will not make you a millionaire.
One Million in the Bank addresses your thoughts without repeating and rehashing any of these tired old statements. Instead, you’ll learn that yes, you do have to change your thoughts, but eliminating cognitive biases that prevent you from seeing opportunities is the way to get it done. He’ll show you exactly how to do that so you don’t miss the next big opportunity that comes your way.
6. You’ll learn where to focus your efforts next
One Million in the Bank won’t do everything for you. You’ll still have to seek out as much information as you can and learn from as many reputable sources as possible.
But when you’re done reading it, you’ll understand that your next book purchases should be books about how to write a really good business plan, books about how to sell, books about how to effectively market your business, and books about improving both your leadership and your management skills. You’ll have a great foundation for understanding the material in all those subsequent books because author Michael L.F. Slavin already gave you a foundation.
Ultimately, of course, the goal will be to stop reading and to start doing. After you finish One Million in the Bank you will feel absolutely no “analysis paralysis.” You’ll take concrete steps toward building the business that will support your dreams, even as you look for new ways to educate yourself in how to be successful.
Reading great entrepreneur books is one of the best ways you can get started on the path to business ownership. Most would-be entrepreneurs should plan on reading at least 3-10 of these books before attempting to launch their ventures, as this process of self-education creates a foundation for future success.
Of course, it’s not really enough to read just any books. You have to read the right books. Otherwise, you may waste a lot of time and follow a lot of bad advice. You may even become discouraged!
So here is some simple advice you can follow to find the best entrepreneur books.
Check Awards Lists
Awards lists are a great start. Most non-fiction book awards have rigorous selection criteria and a dedicated team of readers who are serious about selecting and curating high-quality options for their own followers. Here are a few great award sites to check out.
The Feathered Quill – Alhough The Feathered Quill Book Awards don’t have a “Best Business Category,” you can find some outstanding options by checking out their “Best Self-Help” and “Best Informational Book” categories. The lack of “one category for every type of book” is actually a good sign, as it prevents them from having to hand out an award to every single author who comes along.
Nonfiction Book Awards – This site publishes awards on its blog. Take a few moments to scroll through and see what’s out there. You’ll find great business books (and a host of other great reads as well). If you’re crunched for time, stick to entrepreneurial books that have received the “Gold Medal” rating.
Small Business Book Awards – This site focuses exclusively on books about small businesses and entrepreneurship, so you’re sure to find some real gems here.
Make sure the book contains actionable insights
What you really need is a road map—a way to get you from where you are now to where you want to be. Too many books are filled with “positive thinking” fluff. If positive thinking were all that it took to launch and run a business, every optimist in the world would have one!
How can you tell without buying the book? First, look for reviews. Check for words and phrases like, “actionable,” “practical,” and “easy to follow.” If you get the sense that reviewers came away from the book knowing exactly what to do, you probably have a winner.
You might even try to preview the book by flipping through it at your local bookstore or reading an excerpt online.
Once you’ve found a good book, read it with a notebook and pen in hand. You’ll get the most value out of any entrepreneurial book if you use these actionable insights to develop your own plan. Creating a running to-do list and idea list is a great way to put the book to best use. If you find you’re not getting anything down on paper after three or four chapters, give yourself permission to move on and find another book…the one that you’re reading might not live up to its hype, and you don’t have time for anything that’s not going to get you closer to your goals.
Read the author’s story
It’s never a good sign when an author cloaks him- or herself in a veil of anonymity. The best entrepreneur books come from authors who are open about their stories. They are happy to share where they are coming from and what they’ve accomplished.
They are also transparent about their failures—especially their failures, in fact, as there is no road to success that does not include some hard times and tough lessons!
As you read the author’s bio, ask yourself a few questions. Has he or she been where you are? Does the author’s story inspire you? You should get this feeling of, “If he or she can do it, so can I!” If you’re trying to escape your low-end cubical job that barely pays a living wage you don’t want to try to take advice from an author who inherited all of his or her wealth. That author’s reality just isn’t in synch with yours.
Of course, the author’s accomplishments should also impress you. Why follow someone’s road map if you aren’t interested in reaching the destinations they’ve reached?
Look for people who have used the author’s advice
It’s wise to research entrepreneurs you admire. Find out what they are reading lately—it’s a great way to start emulating their success. However, you also want to make sure the advice is accessible to someone in your current life circumstances.
In One Million in the Bank, author Michael L.F. Slavin shares dozens of stories of real people who have made his plan work. It’s easy to see his advice is accessible to anyone at any time. These are the kinds of results you’re looking for, since you can be certain the steps that he outlines will produce results for you, too. Isn’t that just the sort of thing you’d want out of an entrepreneur book?
Remember, this is an investment in yourself
While you may feel like your current lifestyle doesn’t leave you a lot of time for reading, any entrepreneur will tell you that you can only develop your business as you develop yourself. This means taking the time to grow your knowledge and understanding.
Of course, reading alone isn’t going to get you where you need to go. Eventually you have to get out there and start enacting the advice you’ve encountered. After you find and read the best entrepreneurial books, it’s time to commit the actions that will help you change your life!