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So I've had this idea for a while for writing a book. I had some ideas which I think could really bring value to people, and know roughly what I would be writing. Just curious on peoples opinion on writing a book as part of joining the fast lane.
 

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Just to make this thread a bit useful, I'll offer some feedback instead of sending you to other threads.

In my opinion, it's highly unlikely that writing one book will lead to Fastlane. Unless you're already a well-known expert or have an existing business (which essentially means you aren't starting from zero), one book probably won't change much in your life.

Yes, there are exceptions. There are people with incredible stories or writing skills who were discovered by major publishers. There are people who somehow generated powerful word of mouth. For the vast majority, it takes at least several books to start making some money and probably 10+ to turn it into a Fastlane business - this assuming that you want to make money just from books (as most fiction writers and many non-fiction writers).

Things are a bit different if you want to use books as a way to promote your services or other, more expensive products.

If you're a great plastic surgeon living in California, writing several books about some common problems people deal with can generate a lot of business for you and be worth six or seven figures. The same applies for public speakers (you can launch a public speaking career just by writing books, particularly for the corporate environment). If you're a plumber from North Dakota, publishing books won't really boost your business.

To sum up, the answer is yes and no. It depends on your genre or niche, on whether you want to build a business on top of your publishing efforts, and whether you're capable of consistently writing new books (particularly if writing fiction) or monetizing your audience with other products (in non-fiction, unless you write in a very popular niche).

Self-publishing can be a good way to make extra income. Turning it into a full-fledged business requires much more dedication and I believe it's more of a career than a business (since it's not easy to sell a self-publishing business as it depends on you as the author).
 
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Just to make this thread a bit useful, I'll offer some feedback instead of sending you to other threads.

In my opinion, it's highly unlikely that writing one book will lead to Fastlane. Unless you're already a well-known expert or have an existing business (which essentially means you aren't starting from zero), one book probably won't change much in your life.

Yes, there are exceptions. There are people with incredible stories or writing skills who were discovered by major publishers. There are people who somehow generated powerful word of mouth. For the vast majority, it takes at least several books to start making some money and probably 10+ to turn it into a Fastlane business - this assuming that you want to make money just from books (as most fiction writers and many non-fiction writers).

Things are a bit different if you want to use books as a way to promote your services or other, more expensive products.

If you're a great plastic surgeon living in California, writing several books about some common problems people deal with can generate a lot of business for you and be worth six or seven figures. The same applies for public speakers (you can launch a public speaking career just by writing books, particularly for the corporate environment). If you're a plumber from North Dakota, publishing books won't really boost your business.

To sum up, the answer is yes and no. It depends on your genre or niche, on whether you want to build a business on top of your publishing efforts, and whether you're capable of consistently writing new books (particularly if writing fiction) or monetizing your audience with other products (in non-fiction, unless you write in a very popular niche).

Self-publishing can be a good way to make extra income. Turning it into a full-fledged business requires much more dedication and I believe it's more of a career than a business (since it's not easy to sell a self-publishing business as it depends on you as the author).
I see, this clears it up for me. Thanks for the in depth information.
 

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One book is unlikely to "be Fastlane" -- but a slow and steady output of GOOD WORK can.
 

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J.K. Rowling is a billionaire.

Writing books is absolutely fastlane. But, it requires a lot of sales on your part to get it there. Even long after JK steps down from the public spotlight, herself, her estate, her grandchildren, will still get royalty checks in the mail.
 

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J.K. Rowling is a billionaire.

Writing books is absolutely fastlane. But, it requires a lot of sales on your part to get it there. Even long after JK steps down from the public spotlight, herself, her estate, her grandchildren, will still get royalty checks in the mail.
I agree that it can be Fastlane - especially if you do self Publishing or even have your own Publishing Company. I just like to point out that J.K. Rowling is often seen as an example for an EVENT rather than the PROCESS. We all know the inspiring Story of a single mom, who wrote the world success Harry Potter in a Café. And as impressive as it is, People often see it as an overnight success. She wrote that book and boom! became a millionaire/billionaire. But that's far from the truth. If you dig a little deaper, you'll find out that she has been writing for almost all her life. Since early childhood she practiced the art of writing fiction - of creating whole universes with characters, places and stories. Btw Hollywood is doing exactly that - creating whole fictional universes you can then capitalize on (e.g. Star Wars, Marvel, D.C., ...). Anyhow the PROCESS of practicing and writing all those unpublished stories before Harry Potter nobody really sees.

Or to sum it up: You can't just sit down and write the next Harry Potter. To write good ficiton you can make a living on with the classical model with a Publisher will probably take you years, for a world class success probably decades. Come to think of it that applies to almost every Kind of mastery or building almost every kind of business. Anyhow it's possible but it's not easy.
 

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I agree that it can be Fastlane - especially if you do self Publishing or even have your own Publishing Company. I just like to point out that J.K. Rowling is often seen as an example for an EVENT rather than the PROCESS. We all know the inspiring Story of a single mom, who wrote the world success Harry Potter in a Café. And as impressive as it is, People often see it as an overnight success. She wrote that book and boom! became a millionaire/billionaire. But that's far from the truth. If you dig a little deaper, you'll find out that she has been writing for almost all her life. Since early childhood she practiced the art of writing fiction - of creating whole universes with characters, places and stories. Btw Hollywood is doing exactly that - creating whole fictional universes you can then capitalize on (e.g. Star Wars, Marvel, D.C., ...). Anyhow the PROCESS of practicing and writing all those unpublished stories before Harry Potter nobody really sees.

Or to sum it up: You can't just sit down and write the next Harry Potter. To write good ficiton you can make a living on with the classical model with a Publisher will probably take you years, for a world class success probably decades. Come to think of it that applies to almost every Kind of mastery or building almost every kind of business. Anyhow it's possible but it's not easy.

I never said JK was an overnight success. She grinded for years to get where she was.

I’m mostly using her as an example of separation of time from money. Because she doesn’t have to do a single thing at this point, but her books will still continue to pay her for life.
 

Seeker

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I never said JK was an overnight success. She grinded for years to get where she was.

I’m mostly using her as an example of separation of time from money. Because she doesn’t have to do a single thing at this point, but her books will still continue to pay her for life.
Sorry if it sounded like I implied you said that. As said before I agree with you completely. I just thought that this aspect of this process was worth adding.
 

Galaxy16

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So I've had this idea for a while for writing a book. I had some ideas which I think could really bring value to people, and know roughly what I would be writing. Just curious on peoples opinion on writing a book as part of joining the fast lane.
It has FastLane potential due to the fulfillment of MJ DeMarco's 5 commandments.
 
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I think the two main factors in this equation are Productivity and Scalability. How much time and effort does it take you to write the book? What else could you have been doing with that time? Then once the book is done, how will it get into the hands of people who would like to read it, and how will that in turn scale up to more money?

Will you get paid for selling the book itself, or is it the key that unlocks the door for a much higher paying business relationship? In the book ghostwriting contract I'm in that got approved today, the ultimate client is the owner of a technology and consulting business, who wants to get more big corporations to pay for their $50k software + training package. It really doesn't matter how many people buy the book, as long as some of them are inspired enough to buy a deployment package. I hope from doing this project this year, that I'll see how to use the same process for promoting my own business next year. So it's not directly Fastlane, but it is a great way to get paid to learn some things that might soon help me steer my own vehicle more skillfully.

On the other hand, the are authors like JK Rowling who didn't write a book in order to get paid for more phone calls to personally tell bedtime stories to individuals, but to write out the story once and ultimately sell millions of copies.

A book is a tool, like a hammer or screwdriver. Different people might have different purposes for having a hammer in their toolkit. One might use it to assemble new houses all day, another might use it to demolish condemned buildings all day. Which of them is the better business user of hammers? It depends!
 
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I think the two main factors in this equation are Productivity and Scalability. How much time and effort does it take you to write the book? What else could you have been doing with that time? Then once the book is done, how will it get into the hands of people who would like to read it, and how will that in turn scale up to more money?

Will you get paid for selling the book itself, or is it the key that unlocks the door for a much higher paying business relationship? In the book ghostwriting contract I'm in that got approved today, the ultimate client is the owner of a technology and consulting business, who wants to get more big corporations to pay for their $50k software + training package. It really doesn't matter how many people buy the book, as long as some of them are inspired enough to buy a deployment package. I hope from doing this project this year, that I'll see how to use the same process for promoting my own business next year. So it's not directly Fastlane, but it is a great way to get paid to learn some things that might soon help me steer my own vehicle more skillfully.

On the other hand, the are authors like JK Rowling who didn't write a book in order to get paid for more phone calls to personally tell bedtime stories to individuals, but to write out the story once and ultimately sell millions of copies.

A book is a tool, like a hammer or screwdriver. Different people might have different purposes for having a hammer in their toolkit. One might use it to assemble new houses all day, another might use it to demolish condemned buildings all day. Which of them is the better business user of hammers? It depends!
Very interesting. Thanks for sharing. I had a question sorry if its silly, but do you think its a bad idea to make a project like a book and get it out there even if you think there is a low chance of getting your money back if any of it? Or is it a good idea because you are getting entrepreneurship experience, and you are learning to operate in different areas?
 

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do you think its a bad idea to make a project like a book and get it out there even if you think there is a low chance of getting your money back if any of it? Or is it a good idea because you are getting entrepreneurship experience, and you are learning to operate in different areas?
Your first book will almost certainly fail, just like any other product you'll create. You need to learn by experience, and putting out a book is a fairly affordable way to learn by practice.
 

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What value can you provide by writing a book (or books)? Something to think about.
 

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Write the book to provide value not to chase money.

Stop thinking of reasons not to, just do it and see what happens!

Do, learn, adapt, do better.
 

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Currently writing a book (a novel).

To quote a paragraph from Stephen King‘s incredible „On Writing“:

Writing isn't about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it's about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It's about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.

Writing a fiction story, for me, is something you don‘t do for money. Don‘t get me wrong, of course the author should do everything he/she can to get it out there, earning money with it by getting it in the hands of as many readers as possible. Stories should be read, right?

But.

Writing itself is something different.

What I mean is, while you are actually writing the story, all that should matter is the story itself.

Down there, in the world of your story, it‘s not about Amazon direct publishing printing costs and Kindle royalties.

Actually, those things are not down there in the storyworld, they are outside stuff. While you are in there, down there, they basically don‘t exist.

What exists there, are the people in that world (on the outside they are called characters), and those people do not care about your Amazon sales, word count, etc. All they care about is stuff on their mind, you just sit there, watching and writing it down.

This is my view on it.

All the other, outside, stuff comes when they story is done.
 

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This is an interesting question, and actually one I've been pondering a lot lately, especially after on a related thread, @COSenior said that she no longer believes that writing a book is fastlane. Not to straddle the fence, but I believe the answer is yes, it can be, but the odds aren't terrific, and here's why...

One book isn't enough. With very few exceptions, you'd need to write multiple books to even enter Fastlane territory. Here are a couple of exceptions. Our gracious host wrote a book, "The Millionaire Fastlane" which has become a legendary classic. It still sells years later. Even if he writes no more books, it will continue to sell. In fact, the book is so good and so legendary that other writers mimic it and occasionally plagiarize it, looking to claim a piece of the action. This type of success is rare and unlikely. Another exception is the book "Fifty Shades of Grey." Even if the author hadn't written another book in her life, she'd have enough money to live on forever, even moreso than a book like "The Millionaire Fastlane," because they made a movie of it.

Diminishing Income from Backlists. "Backlist" refers to previously published books by the same author. In the past, a nice backlist could sustain an author even if they weren't producing a ton of new stuff. However, Amazon has greatly reduced the profitability of backlists, because their algos strongly push new books over older books. This means that unless you're constantly putting out new books, sales of your older books will probably dry up completely, unless, of course, you've written a legendary book like "The Millionaire Fastlane" or "Fifty Shades". Personally, I've had books that were huge hits, but unless I produce new books fairly regularly, I will see nearly zero sales of those previous hits. Some of this is because I write genre fiction, and some of this is because Kindle Unlimited (Amazon's book subscription service) is wreaking havoc on my genre. Either way, the hamster wheel must not stop, or the passive income goes poof!

Timing. Oh man, where do I start? Like most Fastlane ventures, timing plays a huge role. Right now, if you're writing genre fiction, especially romance, the timing is horrible. In fact, if you had a terrific romance book that you were itching to publish, I'd suggest holding off until Amazon deals with their Kindle Unlimited mess. A couple years ago, I'd say, "Don't wait, hit that publish button now, baby!" You've got to look at your niche and see what it looks like, and then act accordingly.

Overall Summary. You didn't say what kind of book you were looking to write, so it's really hard to say how much potential it has. I do think that books can be Fastlane, but unfortunately, the low barrier to entry, not to mention weird market incentives from Kindle Unlimited, has the market all twisted up right now. We're probably due for a consolidation. Increased competition plus scamming in Kindle Unlimited has driven a lot of authors out of business. But at some point, the scamming will be stopped and/or another player, possibly Kobo/WalMart will challenge Amazon's dominance. If your book is non-fiction, I'd say write it as soon as possible and get it out there, see what it does, go from there. If your book is fiction, I'd STILL say to write it as fast as possible, and then see what the market looks like when you're ready to publish.

As for myself, even with the market upheavals and scamming going on at Amazon, I'm very glad to not have a boss. I work from a mountaintop home and never have to worry about TPS reports. I have a ton of flexibility to take my kid to appointments, etc. I have months where I make a ton of money and months where I make nearly nothing. (This part is a bit scary.) Sometimes, I think it takes nerves of steel, because my income isn't guaranteed, and I might put hours and hours (weeks/months, etc.) into a book, only to see lackluster results. On the flipside, I can see books take off like a rocket. Recently, I happened to read an interview with a superstar romance author, and she said that a third of her books succeeded. That's an amazing batting average, and yet, it also means that two-thirds of her books disappoint. Can you pick yourself up after a disappointment? If not, this might not be the business for you. But if so, and if you have a real talent for it and find a good niche, oh yeah, can definitely be Fastlane.
 

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Very interesting. Thanks for sharing. I had a question sorry if its silly, but do you think its a bad idea to make a project like a book and get it out there even if you think there is a low chance of getting your money back if any of it? Or is it a good idea because you are getting entrepreneurship experience, and you are learning to operate in different areas?
Not a silly question at all. Writing a book is a big project. Marketing it is another big project. Why take that on, if you don't have a business plan for it?

I agree with all the comments about value for the reader. If your book idea is nonfiction, I would recommend, just use a blog, video channel, podcast, social media, or forums. Share your ideas in a way that's free, and so easy to do a little bit at a time. If you get an enthusiastic audience, then work on a book. Your first book could simply be a collection of your best, most popular essays or articles or transcripts. That would be a very low risk way to start.

If your book idea is fiction, then there's no substitute for writing a book. But be aware you will need to endure a lot of rejection before you find a publisher. And most publishers would probably want to know what the author can do to help with marketing. You could self-publish it, but again, what would be the marketing plan so anyone even finds the book?

Maybe telling the story is your total passion and you'll never have inner peace until the story's written out for others. It that's what's in your heart, then it doesn't matter if you can make a profit. It might be that artistic fulfillment is super important for you. That's great, and I'd never tell someone to not make their art for passion. But that's also not a business model.
 

Galaxy16

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Is The Millionaire Fastlane or Unscripted fastlane?
These are two different books by MJ DeMarco.
And there is no book called “Unscripted fastlane”.
  • The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the code to wealth and live rich for a lifetime.
  • Unscripted: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Entrepreneurship.
 

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