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You’re Probably Too Lazy to Be a Best Selling Author

You’re Probably Too Lazy to Be a Best Selling Author2In a past post I argued that blogging your non-fiction book makes sense because it affords you feedback on your content while simultaneously growing a platform and an opted-in audience. I call the process Book 2.0.

Ignore the fact that blogging your book will help you create the book your audience wants in the style they prefer. On a more pragmatic level, blogging a book works because it compels you to actually pen the beast.

My former boss and best-selling author Roy H. Williams once posed the question: “Chris, what do you think is the most important factor in creating a best-selling book.” Without a hint of irony I said, “writing a book.”

Before there was such thing as a blog, Roy would dutifully pen his “Monday Morning Memo” each week, to be faxed in the wee hours of Monday morning to a consistently growing list of fans. I recognized early that one of Roy’s many talents is a relentless capacity to move forward – even if just a smidge – every single day. That drive, and its application in the form of his pre-blog faxes, had Roy creating book after best-selling book without having to face the monster of creating an entire manuscript. (http://www.mondaymorningmemo.com/?ShowMe=Home)

Its that monster that keeps most of us from writing the book that’s inside.

Piecemeal plans for book writing abound. “Write for an hour a day.” “Write 5 pages a day.” “No matter how you feel, just write.” The trouble with these old tricks is that they still rely on you. They require a self-motivation that, if you’re like me, can simply disappear from time to time.

But when you blog you have – or will have – an audience. They’ll be expecting another entry. As their numbers grow, so will their gravity, compelling you to post another blog. Good bloggers don’t want to let their fans down.

Surely in the weeks and months to come, there will come a sunny, lazy day which will accost my resolve to dutifully move forward with my writing . On my own, I’d surely fail to show up. But while I imagine that there is even one body out there hoping to skim my scribblings, I’ll likely suck-it-up and blog. We’ll see, right?

Sure, there are thousands upon thousands of non-fiction books written each year. And certainly only a few hundred make best-seller status. But those tens of thousands are dwarfed by the huge number of books rattling around in the heads of would-be authors.

If you’re like me, you’re probably too lazy to write a best selling book.

I’m gonna blog mine. What about you?

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4 Responses to “You’re Probably Too Lazy to Be a Best Selling Author”

  1. Anthony James Barnett - author November 19, 2008 at 2:55 am #

    A good post. Well done and thanks.

    Sometimes I find myself wondering what to put in the blog today – yet there’s always SOMETHING to write about, something to ‘push forward’.

    Anthony

  2. Terry Whalin November 19, 2008 at 12:08 pm #

    Chris,

    Interesting post and it’s a good idea to use blogging to get the information in your head on to paper–but for a book understand that you are just getting your “first draft” out. To turn that blogging material into a real honest to goodness bestseller will take lots of rewrite work to make it a cohesive package, then hire an editor to make sure it’s really good–then get it out into the market.

    Also remember that 90% of nonfiction books are sold on the basis of a book proposal and a few excellent sample chapters–not a manuscript. Agents and editors don’t read manuscripts–we read proposals.

    Good starter material and the devil is in the details.

    Terry
    Author of Book Proposals That Sell

    The Writing Life

  3. Chris November 21, 2008 at 11:57 am #

    Terry,

    You should read the previous post. You’ll see I’m not talking about roughing out a book at all – although I agree that one’s blogs will need a bit of polishin’ and connectin’ to get the content book-worthy – but that’s the point. As you’ll see in that post, and in the weeks to come, my conception of blogging a book is detailed, directed and testable, and is designed to create a highly opted-in audience and platform by the time the book is published – which experience has taught me is the most important thing in non-fiction proposals. Give a publisher a detailed a marketing plan and an audience receptive to it, and you’re way ahead of the game.

    My partner, Mike Drew, has pushed his last 48 client’s non-fiction books to the bestsellers lists by doing just what I’m talking about. What I’ll get into in the weeks to come is how to use your blog as god-head of rich content in order to take advantage of the opportunities afforded one on the interweb.

    Stick with me.

  4. Gwyn Teatro January 25, 2009 at 8:05 am #

    Yep, I too am probably too lazy, too distracted or too self-doubting to be a best selling author. But blogging I can do.

    To be accountable to even one regular reader will mean that I will continue to plug away at it. Will there be a book at the end? Who knows. I'll enjoy the process and see where it goes:)

    Thanks for a great post and a great reminder that there is more than one way skin the proverbial cat!

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