With the growth in the self-publishing and print-on-demand industries, many authors are eschewing traditional publishers and are publishing their own work.
Public speakers are doing it. Seminar and workshop leaders are doing it. Technical trainers, financial planners, real estate agents, and lawyers are doing it. Nutritionists and fitness experts are doing it.
Before you embark on a self-publishing adventure, or even if you want to land a traditional publisher, you have to write a book.
Writing a book can feel overwhelming when you are sitting in front of your computer facing the blank page.
"Writing a non-fiction book does not have to be intimidating."
In fact, I believe people can write a solid first draft of a non-fiction book in 60 days.
Over the last 15 years, I have written 20+ books—all while working as a full-time freelance writer and writing trainer. One book,How To Write A Non-Fiction Book In 60 Days, took just over 45 days to write.
I wrote solid first drafts of all my other books on business writing and the freelance writing business in under 60 days. I have no magic powers and am a poor typist. So if I can do it, you can too—as long as you follow the process.
So, what does it take to write a book in 60 days?
1. Come up with an idea
If you do not have an idea for your book, it will be difficult to write your book.
2. Define your purpose
Your purpose should be clearly defined, such as “this book will show people how to write the first draft of a non-fiction book in 60 days” or “this book will show people how to become more effective and efficient business writers.”
A clearly defined purpose will help you focus your writing so you can achieve what you set out to do.
3. Understand your reader
You need to determine what your readers need to know so you can convey the right amount of information in your book so that your readers can understand the issues you are explaining and take the right action.
4. Get organized
Organizing your thoughts before you start to write is the secret to writing a solid first draft of a book in 60 days.
You organize your thoughts on three levels:
Brainstorm the big picture topics related to your book idea.
Organize the topics into a series of chapters that will allow you to logically convey your book idea.
Create detailed outlines—all the points you want to cover, in the order you should cover them—for each chapter.
Once you have a detailed chapter by chapter outline in place, it is all over but the writing. Your job then is to write from point to point to point until you finish your book—one point and one chapter at a time.
It should take you no more than two to four hours per day over 15 to 20 days to focus your book idea and outline your book. The time you invest up front will save you hours of writing time, which is why it should take no more than 40 days to write a solid first draft of your book, following your detailed outline.
Once you complete that first draft, you can edit and proofread the book or have a third party do a final edit and proofreading to eradicate the little mistakes that plague us all.
Once you have a final manuscript in hand, look for an agent or publisher or you can self-publish your book.
The Bottom Line
It takes work to write a book, any book. Following an effective, proven writing process will help you get started and will keep you going. It will allow you to use your time more efficiently and, ironically, will help you write a much more powerful and effective book—all in 60 days.
About Paul Lima
Paul Lima is a freelance writer, business-writing trainer and the author of 20+ books on copywriting, business writing, the business of freelance writing, and how to write a non-fiction book. You can learn more about him and his books at www.paullima.com.