Two weeks ago, we launched 15 amazing new books on our live broadcast from the Author Castle. We were thrilled when all of the books made it to the top of the best seller charts where they’re able to reach thousands of people and change lives.
Here’s the excitement a few of the authors shared about their books topping the charts.
We were all so overwhelmed with the thousands of you who tuned in to watch these books launch live and share your love and support with these authors. And many of you submitted soooo many great questions for our authors about how they got their books done. So many that we just didn’t have time to answer them all.
I’m so thrilled with how well these books have been received that I wanted to do something a little different this time. The truth is, there is someone out there right now searching for a book on Amazon that could change their lives. And YOUR book could be just the message they need for a life altering change.
So I wanted to make sure that we answered ALL of your book writing questions for you to learn how these authors got their book done so you can get your message out there too.
I’ve personally answered nearly 40 book writing questions you asked for. Questions such as “How do I tell my story?”, “What do I do when I feel stuck?”, “What if I’m not a good writer?”, “How do I know I’m the right person to write this book?” and many many more.
So without further ado, if you asked us a question during the broadcast and want the answer or if you’ve just been wondering how you can get your book done, here’s the answers to your book writing questions:
Joel from Stockton California
Q: How do you write a book when English is a second language?
A: We have lots of authors for whom English is a second language. One of these is Aicha Bascaro who’s book Multi-Unit Franchise Mastery was released in the launch you registered to attend. What Aicha told me was that she found it easier to write the book in English even though there were lots of grammar mistakes. Then she worked with an editor to clean up those mistakes. Later she will have the book translated to Spanish (her first language) but she won’t do that herself. She will hire someone. If you don’t feel like your English is strong enough, you might want to do the opposite!
Virginia from Mitchellville
Q: How long does it take to write a book?
A: Actually typing a book takes about 24 – 48 hours of work. It’s a pretty quick process and it is easier to write a book quickly than slowly because so many of your opinions change over time. There are 2 main requirements to make the book writing process fast. First you have to already be an expert on the topic you are writing about, and second, you have to prepare to write by doing an detailed outline in advance. I teach out to do this in my book The Difference which you can find for free at www.TheAuthorIncubator.com/the-library
Virginia from Mitchellville
Q: How do you do you give back with your book?
A: There are so many ways our authors give back with their books. Many choose to donate the proceeds to charities. Many others choose to give copies away to anyone who can’t afford their coaching or consulting services. And all of our authors give back by showing what’s possible when you put your mind to it. When they shine, they help others do the same.
Clarissa from Carrollton, Texas
Q: I know I’m telling a story, but how do I avoid writing as if I’m writing a diary?
A: Great question! Ain’t no one wants to read your diary. First your story has to have one primary POINT. We call this the reader’s outcome and we ask “How do you want the reader to be different at the end of the book?” Every part of the story that doesn’t lead to that outcome must be stripped out. When you create the outline, think about walking one ideal reader through the journey. Generally, stories aren’t told in chronological order. How will you tell the story so you get the outcome? That’s the question you want to ask. Make sure you have a clear outline before you start writing and don’t look back at any of your diaries or notes while you are writing.
Robin from Houston
Q: How do you best overcome procrastination, resistance and fear?
A: I think writer’s block (procrastination, resistance, and fear) are your inner author’s way of trying to get your attention and share a message with you about your book that you can’t yet see. I use visualizations and free writing with my authors to try to help them receive that message. The key point, no matter what you do, is do not RESIST the writer’s block. You can’t beat yourself up into being in a state of flow. Ask why the procrastination, resistance or fear is there and how it is serving you. I have a whole podcast episode of this which you can hear at www.TheAuthorIncubator.com/3
Perdonna from Colorado
Q: What factors determined your choice for your Ideal Readers problem?
A: 1) The Ideal Reader’s problem is extremely urgent. It is going to get solved in 30 days or less. Probably more like 24 hours. Think of it like a broken ankle. 2) The Ideal Reader’s problem is a problem you have solved and helped others solve. You are an expert in how to solve this problem. 3) The Ideal Reader’s problem is a problem the ideal reader understands they are going to need to make an investment of time and money to solve. It has a value of at least $1,000 to solve this problem.
Fausta from NYC
Q: How does one deal with the Fear of rejection from both publishers and readers of your books?
A: At The Author Incubator we focus on a person we call your ideal reader. This is the person you know in your heart and soul NEEDS this book and these answers. Our authors understand that even the juiciest peach in the orchard is not delicious to someone who doesn’t like peaches. So we write a love letter to our ideal reader and anyone who isn’t our ideal reader we simply EXPECT not to like the book.
Fausta from NYC
Q: When success comes with the books you bring to the world, how do you keep your balance?
A: Since my first book came out 4 years ago, I’ve gone from broke and unknown to running a $10M business and being named to the Inc 500 list of fastest growing companies. Some of my favorite tips for balance are to schedule time with my husband, child, and my own self-care in advance. I also schedule 8 weeks of vacation at the beginning of the year. And I practice meditation daily.
Fausta from NYC
Q: Do you ever tap into your ‘spiritual guides’ while writing? If so, is there a process to aid in forming that connection?
A: YES! We call this your Author Feeling State. There is a very specific process for this which I teach in my book The Difference which you can find for free at www.TheAuthorIncubator.com/the-library Many of our authors channel their books or write them as a co-creation with source with a lot of help from our guides. We use visualization as one technique. I am also psychic and will sometimes call in or communicate with our authors guides in the process for those who are differently attuned. I talk about this on a podcast episode of this which you can hear at www.TheAuthorIncubator.com/4
Mary Jane from Manhattan
Q: What was it like to be in the Author Incubator with your peers?
A: I asked my returning authors this and they told me The Author Incubator is where they have met many of their best friends and business partners. Writing together not only raises the bar for everyone, it makes the process so much more fun.
Mary Jane from Manhattan
Q: Did you have much written before you began your process?
A: I tell our authors to discard anything they have written before coming to The Author Incubator. Almost everyone writes the wrong book without help. There are some keys to writing a book that makes a difference which new authors just don’t know. Generally it’s easier to just start from scratch.
Sherman from Tennessee
Q: What do you do when you feel stuck?
A: I tell my authors to go shoe shopping. It’s a joke of course but the truth is trying to struggle through being stuck just makes people MORE stuck. I will often say “What if you aren’t stuck and this is exactly where you were supposed to be in your book journey, what would you do next?” And my authors almost always have the answer. When it comes to writing – write the easiest chapter next. And never start writing without a detailed outline.
Adiba from Michigan
Q: How much time should I budget for writing a day/week?
A: The most important part of this answer is for you to know you already have an “Author Mojo”. There is a place, time of day, and number of hours per day where you are most productive. YOU DO YOU. Don’t worry about anyone else’s advice. Get clear on how, when and where you are most productive. I dig into this more on my podcast. Check out episode 7 on Finding the Discipline to Write Your Book at www.TheAuthorIncubator.com/7
Cindy from Rochester NY
Q: I am a fabulous idea person, but struggle with getting it out of my head. How did you overcome that?
A: There is a very specific process our authors go through to get their book out of their head. The first step is to identify who you want to help most with your book. When you get clear on your ideal reader a lot of other steps call into place too. There are 6 steps you must complete before you even write a word to get clear on your book. Check our episode 1 of my podcast, called Why You Can’t Get Your Book Done at www.TheAuthorIncubator.com/1
Nina from Delaware
Q: How can I get passed the Anxiety of if I tell my truth, that it may hurt family and friends or even maybe embarrass them?
A: Nina, I recommend you write your book JUST for yourself. Don’t plan to publish it. When it’s written decide if you really want to share it with the world. Then decide if it really needs to be published. Maybe you just want to write for the catharsis and artistic expression. Alternatively if the book solves one very specific problem and is over service to one ideal reader in solving that problem, then, after you write it, you can share it with your family and friends before it’s published so they have a heads up and you can have a discussion. When you tell them WHY you wrote it (not to embarrass them but to help people like your ideal reader) they might be happy to be a part of it. That has definitely happened in the past. Definitely show them BEFORE you publish and make sure you have a strong lawyer to help with the disclaimer language. Alternatively, if you can’t get them on board, you can change the identifying information and maybe even your pen name.
Nina from Delaware
Q: As a creative expressive, and writer is there ever a point in the process that you feel like confident enough to tell your stories?
A: Nope. Do it anyway.
Nina from Delaware
Q: What if I’m not as good of a writer as friends and family tell me I am?
A: You tell me? What if you aren’t? Do they shoot your dog? Take away your children? I mean what if you aren’t as good of a writer as your friends and family tell you? So the eff what? How exactly does that question serve your or the world. First the only way to get better is why putting your writing out there and getting feedback and taking bigger and bigger risks. Second, if you are terrible, no one is harmed. Do you have a malicious message? Do you write about your secret desires to have all babies and puppies eliminated from the planet? I think you might be taking yourself too seriously.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.
We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.
– Marianne Williamson
Cindy A. from Texas
Q: What have you enjoyed most about writing your book?
A: I asked one of our authors this question and she said what she enjoyed most was knowing if she got off course or missed a deadline or anything that I would be right there to set her straight. Knowing she was going to finish and when was the easiest part.
Cindy A. from Texas
Q: What was your biggest challenge while writing your book?
A: The biggest challenge for most of our authors was getting clear on a specific problem their book solves. So many of the authors you met in our most recent launch came with a ton of book ideas but a lot of them were very general. We insist the book be a specific solution to a problem and for most people doing that work is the hardest part of the journey.
Cindy A. from Texas
Q: What have you learned about yourself while writing your book?
A: One of our authors from the last launch said this best. She said “Writing a book in 9 weeks is something most people think of as impossible. Doing all the editing, publishing, and marketing work to have a book launch 8 weeks later is equally possible. Four months and I’m an author! I made a new year’s resolution and I’m so proud of myself this time I made it happen before July 4th. If I can do this, I know so much more is possible. 2018 is going to be my best year yet.
Jacqueline from Mount Vernon, Washington
Q: How do I make my writing as engaging as I am in person? I feel sometime my writing is flat and one dimensional.
A: Generally you need 2 things to make your writing better. 1) is more revisions. Our rule is to keep writing forward to get the structure out (it’s okay if it falls flat in that round) and then go back and start to add humor. I’d plan to make at least 5 revisions. You may just not be nurturing your manuscript enough and 2) is a great editor who you have a strong relationship with. Someone who knows you as a person and can bring your voice through.
Tina from Michigan
Q: I think I have one book, but it might be two books. How do you know?
A: If you only have one book I would be shocked. Most people come to me thinking they have one book and it’s really 9 or 17 books. Unless you are Beyonce or George Washington, a book has to focus in on a very narrow area. You have to make sure there is an audience for the book by checking sales of competitive books. But almost always our authors come in trying to combine too many things. One book. One problem.
Leanne from Oaxaca
Q: How do you know you’re the right expert to write this particular book?
A: You have solved this problem for yourself and at least 3 other people using the same steps/framework/method.
Kelly from Pittsburgh
Q How do you make the time to write with a full-time job?
A: How did Barack Obama write a book when he was a senator, commuting back and forth between DC and Chicago, with 2 toddlers? It’s a choice. About half of our authors have full-time jobs. Many of those authors are also moms and many of those also have chronic illness. If it’s a priority you will fit it in.
Kelly from Pittsburgh
Q: How do I know if I have what it takes to be an author?
A: What it takes to be an author:
1) Can type or speak
2) Has something to say (for our books, knows how to solve a problem)
3) Has a servant’s heart (willing to orient the message for the reader not for their own ego strokes)
4) Willing to be uncomfortable
Kelly from Pittsburgh
Q: Can I do this even if I have no desire to be a speaker? I have no talent on that level and I don’t want to be a coach either at this point. I am not good at small talk or speaking to big crowds. I just want to write to make a difference.
A: Speaking is totally optional and just one of many ways you can promote your book. I outline 10 alternatives in my newest book Make Em Beg To Be Your Client which you can get a copy of at www.TheAuthorIncubator.com/the-library
Terri from California
Q: What has been your greatest personal reward from this experience?
A: Knowing I am making a difference for even one person is enough but having my book in thousands of people’s hands who I know are hurting and knowing I am helping people I don’t know and will never meet feels amazing.
Terri from California
Q: What decision did it take for you to follow through with writing your book?
A: When I signed up for The Author Incubator I knew there was no way I wouldn’t finish. I signed up because I knew I didn’t have an option. I had to write my book.
Terri from California
Q: What was it for you that made the time right to write?
A: It was a terrible time actually. I wasn’t planning to write a book. I was just finishing a PhD program and I had 2 little kids and I had just gotten this life coach certification but I wasn’t really practicing yet except for a few things here and there. But I knew if I missed the opportunity I’d be kicking myself. I just had this strong feeling that this was the thing that could dramatically change the direction of my life.
Q: Are women more likely to do well in your program? Are there different issues for men than for women?
A: Men and women do equally well, though men make up only 20% of our authors. We love men though and would love to have more of them. I don’t see any significantly different issues between men and women.
Q: How many books sold constitutes a best seller?
A: Depends on the category on Amazon, and the time of day. All “Amazon best seller” means is that during a specific hour, on a specific day, in a specific category, these are the book that sold the best. The #1 best seller in a category is the book that sold the most copies in that category during a single hour. Our books tend to stay at number 1 for a few days. We’ve seen authors get as few as 350 free downloads and as many as 36,000 free downloads in the first 5 3 days. All our books hit #1 in an amazon category during the free period and most in the paid period as well. Once they transition to paid our books average 4,000 paid sales per book over the lifetime.
Q: After you write the book how do you actually get it published
A: You can self publish it (we like KDP. Amazon.com) or you can find a more traditional publisher. Unless you have 100,000 followers or more, I always recommend self-publishing. It’s pretty easy these days.
Q: Do you think a book about a career oriented person suddenly becoming a homeschooling mom would be worth publishing?
A: Yup! But only if you want to help other career-oriented people suddenly become homeschool moms (or to solve some problem related to that in the book and in a related consulting business).
Q: I just lost my daughter, age 38, on April 17th, in a tragic car accident. I want to write a book helping other parents grieve through this process. How long should I wait before I start writing this book and how long should it be?
A: First I am so so sorry for your loss. I highly recommend 2 of our books Life from the Ashes by Shari O’Laughlin whose son died in a plane crash and Grief Interrupted by Corey Stiles, who lost her 17-year-old daughter in a car crash. My advice is to write for catharsis and self expression but before you make this a book, you need about 10 years and to help at least 10, but ideally 100 parents through their grief and to make sure it is your calling to help those parents. Writing can be therapeutic but don’t rush to write a book.
Q: Ok, main question I have is, from start to launch of the book, how long does it usually take with your team?
A: Four to Five months (not usually… always. More time makes it harder)
Q: How do you stay motivated?
A: At The Author Incubator we focus on a person we call your ideal reader. This is the person you know in your heart and soul NEEDS this book and these answers. We write a love letter to our ideal reader and when we are not feeling motivated we spend a lot of time thinking about how we are writing it for our ideal reader and if this person was in front of me in pain, I’d keep going even if I wasn’t feeling motivated. It’s about having a servant’s heart and not doing it for fame or to gratify your ego.
Q: I have so many topics to choose from… I know that you have mentioned previously to start specific and then go back for more. Is this always the case? Do you need to catch the reader’s heart and attention for 1 book before you would even attempt a series? Thanks so much for your time, expertise and advice.
A: A couple decades ago there were 350,000 books published a year. Now there are 350,000 books a month. What that means is to stand out you need either to be a very famous celebrity or politician. OR you need to solve a smaller, more specific problem with your book. Definitely start with 1 book before you do a series if you are talking non-fiction. For fiction it’s best to write the first 3 books in the series before you launch. But with non-fiction writing more, short books that solve a specific problem is the key to gaining traction.
Q: How did you find the right publisher?
A: I did a podcast episode on this very topic you can listen to at www.TheAuthorIncubator.com/2 In this episode, I explain how the way you publish can influence the outcome you get with your book and we review how to select the right method of publishing for you and an outline of the options that are currently available to non-fiction authors. In my book Make ‘Em Beg to Publish Your Book, I talk about how to get a good publishing deal (hit, you want at least 100,000 followers and fans before you try) and when it makes more sense to self publish. You can get a free copy at www.TheAuthorIncubator.com/the-library
8 thoughts on “Your Book Writing Questions Answered”
How does one figure out what to write?
Is that something that is figured out together based off of the bio we write about ourselves?
Hi Hector! I’ll answer your question with a question… If you were to write this book, what is your desired outcome, both for your reader and for yourself? Who are you trying to reach? that’s a great place to start!
Thank you for answering my questions! It was so beneficial to read the question and answers everyone else had too. They asked questions I didn’t think of but definitely wanted to know and benefitted from. I loved the excerpt from Marrianne Williamson as well. Thanks again!
Thank you, Adiba!
Bless you, bless you for your sage advice and free offerings on topics where authors are stuck. I am wanting to understand better the LOGIC of your marketing approach, as it sounds quite alternative to traditional publishing. Specifically, I would like to understand your logic as to the new author’s career trajectory – why do you have the authors initially offer their book FREE (as ebook?), and then later offer it as a paid (e?)book through Amazon? Is this to obtain an email list, or visitors to their website — what does the author GAIN by offering their first book for free? Doesn’t that mean that their paid sales will be drastically less? It seems counterproductive, but I know you are a very sharp cookie, and you must know something the publishing companies don’t, because look at your authors’ repeated success! I calculated that even if an author only made the 4,000 paid (e)book sales you mentioned, at just $10/book on Amazon, they would still net about $37,000, and that’s a great return for a first try.
Thanks for the thoughtful question! First I’de recommend checking out my video comparing traditional publishing with self publishing, which goes through some very interesting numbers when it comes to comparing financials. “Smart Authors Don’t Spend Their Own Money To Publish” https://youtu.be/IvIw4Nan7tM
Also, remember our authors are trying to spread their message of hope, healing and transformation and reach the people their story touches. Through their book they are generating clients for their coaching or consulting business where they can make a huge difference.
How do I go about remaining anomymous throughout the entire book writing process?
Thanks for the question! Can you clarify what you mean? Are you saying you may want to use a pen name?