It didn’t take long for me to realise my researched and well-crafted books weren’t selling and I needed a launch strategy: only ten years! Don’t let it take you this long… Here I share my own book launch process and project management style for non-fiction books (indie authors). It takes a bit more work than a written plan, but the fact that it reminds you daily of your tasks is enough impetus for me. Asana is a Project Management tool, which is a SAAS (so yes, you can pay for more features by the month) and I use the free version. How Did I Set up a Book Launch Plan? First, I used the ‘Project Launch’ template in Asana. But I changed the headings to ‘pre-launch marketing’, 'planning', ‘creative deliverables’, 'monitor results' and ‘post launch’. As I remembered things to do, I added them as tasks and set a date. Another awesome feature is the fact you can add a list. I just copy and pasted a book launch list from off the internet and…
All the elements in producing a book
There is a chasm between how novice and expert authors outline and write their book. Now, a lot of people writing a non-fiction book approach their writing like this:
Have an idea, start brainstorming, attack it with gusto, have too much content, rearrange it, hire an editor, editor does a huge review and two rounds of changes, mould a final book, find an angle, write blurb, hope it sells.
I used to be one of those people, so hey, I get it. But then I thought, what if I put some planning and research into those steps… would that help?
Steps in Planning and Writing a Book
Step 1: Book Research. Find an angle that is a small gap or difference to other books on topic. Ask yourself questions. Determine reader type and purpose of book.
Step 2: Brainstorm and mind map your topics.
Step 3: Outline. In a Google Docs draft, write the outline and summarise each chapter. Decide here on length of book and then length of each chapter. You could also use Scrivener, if rearranging sections and using references.
If research will be part of your book, start collecting cool ideas and research results. Look at comparative and competitive books and find the gaps.
Step 4: Start writing with the research, quotes, and creative ideas, on the topics in each chapter. Be mindful of structure. See if you can add useful reader resources in some of the chapters.
Step 5: Self-editing. Check chapter lengths. See if the creative content is on par with original reader wants and needs.
Step 6: Feedback. Get beta reader feedback and integrate what seems right to you.
Step 7: Take a fresh look, make it as logical a flow as possible, also check voice is consistent.
Step 8: Send to editor for their copy editing work
Step 9: Integrate the editor’s comments and finalise. Fact check/Copyright check.
Step 10: Typesetting. Send for formatting or do it yourself, if you know about book layout.
1. Producing Your Book Costs Time and Money Writing a 'serious' book takes a really long time. Producing a book takes, in some cases, even longer. In one case, it took 72 hours to proofread, layout, produce, administrate and convert the eBook for a self-published client book. If you want a copy editor to do a 'quick run-through', remember that she or he must take it to a publishable standard. Editing a book properly takes quite some time, but this depends on whether your book needs structural editing help, developmental suggestions (a manuscript review)--or simply a copy edit. It is not just your budget that constrains this editing; it's also the skill level of your editor. So, a 30,000-word non-fiction book may take between 22 hours and 30 hours for me to line edit in one pass. I'm good at spotting things that don't sound right. So, a client-focussed editing project might cost between AU$1,400 and $2,000 for a 30,000-word book, for a rough idea. Overseas editors might charge less, but you might not know if they are…
There are several problems with taking your expertise to market. The largest one is not dedicating time to it. While writing a book or program is unwieldy and time-consuming up front, if you've got a big PURPOSE for writing a book for business, boom, motivation problem solved. This could be helping a charity close to your heart or shining the light on a problem that's been a past source of agony for you. Problem: One Offer, Low Revenue Base Independent consultants and coaches need to grow income from more than just services, to diversify some away from their TIME. When someone is sick, their billings stop—and so does their income. Also, it's really hard to sell the business or spin-off assets left and right with one-to-one services. To create more streams of income, you must offer books, audiobooks, an online training course/s, keynotes or group work, presentation, and if you're game, online memberships or apps. (I don't recommend creating an app). For the base of all this, a visual model is recommended in order for…