Even with all the talk of books dying and people not reading anymore (both misconceptions), by far the best way to get credibility quickly in any area is to write a book on the topic. I did it and my book helped get me into Harvard and onto the speaking circuit. Many others have done it and have had tremendous success with it as well. I recommend this method over anything else when trying to establish yourself among the experts in your field.
When it comes to writing essays, articles, and books, the name of the game for the first draft is speed. Quantity of words are more important than quality at this stage. Spend 15 minutes creating a basic outline and then blaze through a rough draft at rocket speed. Ignore all grammar, spelling, and formatting problems. It doesn’t matter if any of it makes sense or even if one part doesn’t fit with an earlier part.
The only thing that matters in the rough draft is getting SOMETHING on that paper. You will have a much easier time editing and revising the worse written manuscript in the world than you will a blank sheet of paper. It’s rewriting where the magic happens. All writing is rewriting. Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way to help you get started:
- Lack of Time: Don’t say you don’t have time to write a book. Go read my article, don’t underestimate yourself and then come back.
- Time Management: Learn to write a little every day. Don’t wait for inspiration to hit.
- Write Horribly: When writing your rough draft, do not worry about spelling, grammar, or even if what your writing makes any sense compared with what you’ve already written. The more you try and fix any of those things the less likely you will ever finish the book. Rough drafts should be nothing more than “mind dumps.” Every word will eventually change anyway, so who cares?
- C.A.S.E. Method: Copy And Steal Everything. Do not be afraid to copy and paste the work of others into your rough draft chapter in order to get you started. Anything is better than a blank page. The work of others can inspire you as you create your own take on things. By the next draft everything you borrowed will be gone and your own words and ideas will remain.
- Experience: You do not need any experience in writing to write and publish a book. While researching, interviewing, and writing the book, you will get all of the experience you need.
- Knowledge: You do not need deep, in-depth knowledge of the topic to start writing your book. Use Google, interviews with others, and the library, to research what your missing.
- Credibility: You do not need previous credibility to write a book on a topic. The book will become your credibility. In order to add even more credibility to your book I suggest interviewing current experts. Because they want to promote their own books and speeches, they will often agree to a short interview with– well, just about anyone.
- Book Type: Nonfiction creates credibility, fiction is for fun. Although publishing a downloadable “e-book” may be easier than self-publishing a “real” book, it will not help you gain credibility. You must self-publish a physical, paperback, nonfiction book. You must be able to hand it to someone of influence and sign it. This commands instant respect and credibility– e-books cannot do that (although you could have an e-book version of your real book, which is also recommended.)
- Self-Publish: Don’t waste your time seeking agents and traditional publishers. Neither of those are needed in today’s world. By self-publishing you retain complete control of your book and will pocket 50% or more of the profits, rather than some pathetic royalty. This is also not difficult to learn anymore. Read up on Lulu, CreateSpace, and Lightning Source.
- Fiverr.com: There are a lot of great resources online to help you and Fiverr.com is one of the best there is. You can get services done for you for five dollars ($5) such as editing, book cover designs, logo designs, promotional material design, and just about anything else in the world. You don’t really think all of those unknown people that suddenly got a million Twitter followers and Facebook Likes did so by luck do you? However, I do not advise using those services as the risk is not worth the “reward” IMHO.