Writing a book can be a lot easier than most folks think.
I know, because I’ve written and published 27 books in the last few years and have several more in progress. At one point, I was consistently producing more than one book every 21 days!
How to Write a Book Fast
I’ve published books anywhere from 40 to 400 pages (sometimes the shorter ones sell even better).
So if you think you have to write a massive 400-page book, you don’t! Your book should be as long as it needs to be to fully tell the story (fiction) or help the reader solve their problem (nonfiction).
Here’s what I recommend to get started with writing your first book:
1) Brainstorm Ideas in 15 Minutes
Lock yourself in a room. No phone, no email, no interruptions for 15 minutes. Only a pen and a notebook. Come up with as many book ideas / topics / niches as you can think of. You should have at least 20. If you think of other ideas afterwards in the shower just add them to your list ASAP.
Write down these questions to spur ideas:
What topics would I love to write about?
What knowledge do I have that could help people?
What do I know now that I wish I knew when I got started with X (a business, relationship, problem, whatever)?
What ideas do I have that could sell well?
Why: It’s important to get all your book ideas out ahead of time. Otherwise, halfway through a book you’ll get an idea for 10 other books and might get distracted. Get distracted with a great idea upfront, not halfway through.
2) Do Research and Get Feedback
Find out what your potential readers are actually looking for. You can follow our book market research process in order to better understand your market and how to make your book stand out from the competition.
You should also ask your marketing and business savvy friends which of your ideas sound most marketable. If you don’t have any marketing or business savvy friends, tune in to our weekly podcast interviews with bestselling authors and try to expand your network of entrepreneurs and creative people so you can get better feedback on your ideas.
Why: Feedback is crucial. Great feedback from smart people can help you confirm that your good ideas are really worth pursuing, and it can help you choose the best book idea for you to start with. The key is getting started. Once you get the first book done and selling well, you’ll be so excited you won’t want to stop writing books.
3) Choose Your Best Book Idea
Based on feedback (10%) and your passion/interest/inspiration (90%), decide which book to write first.
Why: You better be inspired to write your book and share your story. Otherwise, you’re going to need someone else to motivate you to finish it and market it. Feedback should only be used to clarify your own thoughts and ideas and make them better.
4) Write a Book Outline
Lock yourself in a room again. No phone, no email, no interruptions for 15 minutes. Come up with as many ideas that you want to share in the book as you can think of. If you think of other ideas afterwards in the shower just add them to your list ASAP.
Write down these questions to spur ideas:
What are the most important things someone should know about this topic?
What challenges did I turn into solutions, and how can those become lessons?
What do I know now that I wish I knew when I got started with this topic?
What are the biggest mistakes I see people making in this area?
Organize these ideas into a tentative book outline that will help guide your writing process.
Afterwards, you should be so excited that you can’t wait to start writing and/or speaking into a voice recorder (also a good option in lieu of an interview or as a supplemental way of recording info for the book). I use QuickVoice app for my iPhone when on the go.
5) Write Your Book
If you’re going to write it yourself, just schedule an hour a day to write early morning or late at night when there’s no distractions. In one hour a day, you can write several Kindle books a year depending on your typing speed. Don’t have an hour? Do 30 minutes. No excuses.
You can also refer to our 7 tips for finding your writing motivation to help you stick with a daily writing practice.
If you don’t want to write the book yourself, but want to be interviewed by a ghostwriter, the first step means getting interviewed or creating a voice recording. If you have a good interviewer already (friend, family, colleague), use them.
If not, find a ghostwriter on Guru/Elance/Craigslist to interview you.
I have some referrals for great ghostwriters if you need them (around 5 to 10 cents a word or $2,500 to $5,000 for a 200 page book). Many books can and should be a lot shorter than 200 pages, that’s just a reference point. A medium-tier ghostwriter may seem a bit pricey, but the quality is what you’re paying for—a finished book that’s ready to publish so you can focus on other parts of your business and life.
Or you can go for a cheaper writer (2 cents a word or so) and edit the book yourself, crowdsource editing to your friends or customers, or hire a good editor. With a good medium-tier ghostwriter, you probably won’t need a professional editor because they have their own peers edit their work and they’re often willing to do a final edit. With a cheap ghostwriter, you will most definitely need a professional editor.
I’ve also developed a free book writing template for Microsoft Word that you can download here: www.ebookpublishingschool.com
Want more tips on how to write a bestselling book? Grab your copy of The Kindle Writing Bible today on Amazon.
Did you find this article helpful? Let us know in the comments below!
For more helpful resources, check out these posts:
- How to Write a Book Outline: The Secret to Writing a Good Book Faster
- How to Write a Book: 7 Simple Steps to Writing a Book That’s Ready to be Published
- Nonfiction and Fiction Ebook Formatting Templates for Kindle
- How to Write a Book Proposal: Including a Template, Samples, and Instructions
Tom Corson-Knowles is the founder of TCK Publishing, and the bestselling author of 27 books including Secrets of the Six-Figure author. He is also the host of the Publishing Profits Podcast show where we interview successful authors and publishing industry experts to share their tips for creating a successful writing career.