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Publishing Writing my first book

Discussion in 'Business Models, Niches, Industries' started by steelandchrome, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. steelandchrome
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    steelandchrome Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Well I am having a hard time sitting down to focus on the path I had thought was my fastlane of E-Commerce so have decided to roll with what I know from my current slowlane job and write a book on how to do it better. I am a store manager for a major retailer with over $475 million in retail sales under my leadership over 15 years so have a ton of knowledge to share with those looking to go down this career path. I have found the need based off of so many coming into these positions needing to be trained from the ground up and having little to no knowledge of how to do so without their company doing it for them and holding their hands. I know there are a million books out there on leadership but have found many were to motivational and not really functional knowledge and many others focus solely on one portion of the job and not broad enough to help someone be well rounded on more key competencies needed in retail leadership. I won't focus on the marketing etc on it till I'm closer and pick an official title so I can buy a site and hopefully get a lead form to blast out release announcements etc... I am at 24,000 words written at this point and expect that is about 25% done based off the chapters I have outlined.

    If I keep pace it will take a few more months doing it on days off and after my daughter goes to bed. I'll be seeking some people to read it and give me opinions on writing style later and then make some decisions on self publishing, all e-book, or trying to get it with someone else to publish but we'll get to that when I'm closer... Just posting as a feel good for myself right now that I'm rolling with something and to help keep myself on point to get it done.

    Thanks!
     
  2. JScott
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    JScott Platinum Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Congrats on getting the first 25% written...that's definitely the hardest...

    You didn't ask, but hopefully you're okay with some advice about non-fiction writing from someone who's done a little bit of it:

    - Don't hold off on the marketing until you're finished the book. You'll regret this. Start building a mailing list/audience now, so that when you're ready to release the book, you'll hit the ground running. Perhaps create a website, or even just a landing page, and start driving potential customers to sign up for a mailing list.

    - To go along with the above, start providing value now, before the book is done. This is the best way to build an audience. Perhaps post excerpts from the book to a Facebook page, and start getting followers that you can later convert. When they see that you have valuable information, they'll get excited about the upcoming book. As an example, take a look at the thread MJ started about his upcoming book launch -- he has an entire forum full of people reading to purchase.

    - Try to write every day. It took me 2+ years to write my first two books. It then took me 3+ years to get traction on my next book. When you don't get into the habit of writing, it's easy to go weeks/months/years between putting pen to paper. When you get into the habit of writing every day, you'll find that cranking out a book isn't nearly as hard as you expect. I set a goal to write at least 1000 proofread words per day -- this takes me between 1-4 hours/day, depending on my motivation level. But, I know that with my next book being 75K words, I should be able to complete a first draft in 2.5 months. Seeing the goal line is very motivating.

    - Figure out who your audience is. Then try to determine how many of those people are out there and what percentage of them would likely purchase your book. By doing that, you can determine early on if your customer demographic is too small. That's something you'll want to know sooner rather than later, as it may require you to change the focus of the book to hit a larger audience. That happened to me with my most recent book -- I got about 20K words in before I realized that I could be writing the book for a MUCH larger audience -- it required a major edit of those first 20K words, but better that than to have gotten 70K words in before I realized it.

    - Proofreading, editing, cover design, formatting/layout, format conversion, proof copies, etc. will all take much longer than you expect. Start thinking about those things now, including starting your search for an editor and cover designer. I typically get my editor going even before I have a full draft, so by the time I'm done writing, I already have feedback and revisions to make.
     
  3. steelandchrome
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    steelandchrome Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Appreciate the feedback especially from someone who has done it. I own one of your books BTW ;)

    I have two titles planned for now and need to narrow to one and buy a domain to get a landing page up to build a mailing list. Social media is my next step as you've said here and will start that up within the next few weeks. As far as planned writing time I've set aside 4hrs on my day off alone at home each week at the bare minimum and am looking to do at least 2hrs in the evening across the week.

    Thanks again!



    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
     
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  4. steelandchrome
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    steelandchrome Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Well I got a basic site up to start collecting emails as I finish writing and have written another 5k words... I plan to build some social media within the next week and start joining groups on FB, Insta, LinkedIN, etc to provide feedback and hope to get likes and links to the site for sign ups from there. Just a small progress but I'm moving along. Thanks ;)
     
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  5. steelandchrome
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    steelandchrome Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    So.... I got to about 35k words and lost interest. I am now thinking of picking back up writing this book and actually finishing it over the next month or two. Any suggestions on a decent editor to take a look at what has been written so far and/or are any members interesting in reading some of my finished chapters to see what they think of my writing style and how it comes out of my head onto paper? ;)
    The book is focus on retail leadership for brand new managers (but has higher level thoughts in there as well for tenured managers as well). I have managed retail stores for a total of well over $600M in retail sales and teams of 130-250 at a time so I have a TON of experience in growing sales, teaching process, developing others, etc... Anyways, feel free to reply or PM if you have suggestions or are interested in a rough UNEDITED draft to critique.