How to Start a Book (And Why You Haven’t)
Each week my team and I weed through hundreds of applications searching for the perfect candidates who we know we can help write a book that makes a difference. A lot of people think we are looking for beautiful writing, or succinct marketing plans, or even a willingness to be molded and shaped by our process.
It’s actually none of those things! In fact, those are, perhaps surprisingly, indicators someone ISN’T a good fit.
- Writers who are focused exclusively on craft are often frustrated with the fast pace of the program.
- Marketers who are using the book as part of a plan they have already put into action, don’t tend to be coachable.
- And “just tell me what to do and I’ll do it” can be plucky, but often means there is a lack of self-confidence or conviction.
What we are looking for, in our lingo, is called a servant’s heart. Someone who knows they are on the planet to help others and has the clarity that now is the time to do that on a bigger way and on a bigger stage, with a book. When I got Marc Cordon’s application, this paragraph dropped him squarely into the tiny HELL YES pile.
Back on July 31, 2017, Marc wrote:
“There have been a few times in my life in which vision, internal motivation, and the right team have come together to create something extraordinary. I love working with/for people. When I feel an intuitive hit (as I do with the timing of this book), I hustle; I work consistently to make the project manifest; I work well with feedback and setbacks; and ultimately, I aim to over-deliver results to which my mentors and coaches can be most proud.”
He was true to his word, and incubating his bestselling book Beyond Resilient was a dream for me. Watching him make a difference with his message has definitely (as promised) made me proud to have been a part of his book journey. So, when he asked me to be a guest on his Golden Mic FB show and share with his audience how to get a book started, it was another easy yes.
Marc wanted his audience to hear from me what it takes to get your book started and how to make sure a book makes a difference.
In the episode, which you can listen to here, I drop a lot of truth-bombs.
I wanted to share with you what I think are the 3 most important take aways to getting your book going, especially if you don’t have a whole hour to watch the interview.
If you want to get started on your book:
🚫 Don’t start by trying to come up with a good idea.
🚫 Don’t start by writing or hiring a ghostwriter.
🚫 Don’t start by brainstorm about the title for the book.
THESE ARE 3 MISTAKES NEW AUTHORS MAKE THAT STOP THEM FROM GETTING THEIR BOOKS FINISHED AND MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD.
Here is how to start your book instead:
💥 BRAINSTORM ABOUT THE PROBLEM – Don’t start with what your book is about. Start with a problem your book can solve. Here’s the deal: People are busy. They do read for pleasure, sure, but they probably aren’t going to read your story for pleasure. (#sorrynotsorry) They are going to pick up your book because it solves a problem they are currently struggling to solve. You can tell your story in there for sure, but there has to be a REASON for your READER to READ.
💥 DEFINE YOUR PROCESS – Once you understand the single problem your book is going to solve, you need to design a framework to solve it. These are the 6 to 12 gates you reader will have to pass through in order to solve this problem forever. If you solved this problem for yourself, it’s going to be a distillation of what you went through without all those detours. If it’s what you already teach your clients, crystalize the steps so anyone could recreate the success you have had.
💥 BE THE DAMN PERSON – You have to be the person someone with this problem would hire to help them solve it. Period. Full Stop. Whether you want to sell books, coaching, consulting, events or programs, no one is going to buy this book from you if you haven’t permanently solved this problem for yourself and for other people using your framework. Ask yourself this one question before you start you book – “If I had this problem, would I want advice from me on how to solve it?” – if not, you might need a coach to help you get your book to match up with your expertise.
In this video with Marc, I shared how the number 1 thing that determines your books success is being in INTEGRITY and ALIGNMENT. If you are writing a book about a problem you are not an expert in solving, it doesn’t matter how good your editor is, or how good your storytelling skills are. Many people, myself included, need a coach to help them really understand what they are already, naturally a genius at. THAT is what your book needs to be about.
YOU have to BE the person who can confidently solve this problem over and over again. You have to LOVE helping others solve this problem and you have to want to talk about this problem all day, every day, for the next few years.
If you have some time, check out Marc’s show. Make sure you stick around for our duet near the end. We had a lot of fun and the comments from the live audience were off the hook. Check it out here: http://marccordon.com/authorincubator
Oh, and if you are where Marc was a year ago and you are ready to “work consistently to make the project manifest” and “aim to over-deliver results to which my mentors and coaches can be most proud,” we’d love to take a look at your book idea and see if we are a fit to help you reach a wider audience, generate an additional $10-$30K a month, and make the difference you were born to make. You can learn more about the application process at www.TheAuthorIncubator.com/apply.
Side Note: Due to the tremendous number of applications we receive, we will soon be instituting a new fee structure. If you want to get in on our current rates, get your application in by the end of the month.