How to Write to Your First Book (In 5 Steps)

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Have you ever heard the phrase, “We write the book that we needed to read.” My entire life I have been drawn to self-help books. In fact, some of these books have truly changed my life. As a result, I have had a burning desire to share my knowledge through writing a book. However, the process to get started was anything but simple. In fact, it was more foreign than I would like to admit. We all have at least one book in us that speaks to the above quote. At some point in your life, when you are ready to write your first book, use the below 5 steps to help make it happen.

Step 1: Read Books on how to Write Books
First, I read several books on how to write and publish your own books, including Write, Publish and Marketing Like a BossThe Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published5,000 Words Per Hour30-Day Author, & The Write Way. And I rewatched a course I did 7 years ago with best selling author Michael Michalowicz, on the secrets to writing a top selling book. Use these as a starting point to give you inspiration and focus. 

Step 2: Find the Right Software for You
I learned about a software called Scrivener that makes organizing your thoughts 10x easier than just using a word document. The software was pretty complicated, so I then purchased a course for $39 on how to use that software correctly. Once I had the first draft,  I started working with an editor, and we then moved over to Google Docs. However, if I had started first with Google Docs, it would have been much more complicated for me to get my thoughts down.  

Step 3: Find an Editor/Publisher
I found an editor who is also a publisher (see Highpoint Publishing) through a random conversation with a coach at an airport. In addition to random conversations, you can use a site called Reedsy, which my friend Kyle used to source his editor when writing his first book. 

Step 4: Write, Write, & Write More
Finally, my job was to write. Sounds easier than it is, but that is what I did. First, I read through 600 pages of old journals and categorized them to find common themes of mental walls I could not break through. I made a list of the main take-aways from my favorite self-help books that I have used over the years and mixed it together with research, advice from coaches, and my experience as an entrepreneur. One year into writing the book, I made progress but I was stuck. I then turned to my editor to ghost write the rest of the book from conversations I had with him, and he spent another two months putting it together. He finally sent me the final draft and I hated it. Not so much that it was his fault, it just was not my voice and he could only work with what I gave him. 

Step 5: Edit, Re-write, & Revise
I went back to the drawing board and started rewriting the book. I went to Starbucks at 6am in the morning on weekends, and hand-wrote stories (like I am doing now). Then someone from Upwork would type it up for me. Instead of rewriting the entire book at once, we decided to do one chapter at a time. I was lucky to have also hired Bryan Wish to help me get ready for the marketing of the book. I read that most authors make the mistake of thinking about marketing the book after it comes out instead of 6 months before. He shared with me this podcast, which I’d highly advise you to listen to, on building a platform before you launch – so you can make work that lasts.

The timing was perfect because Bryan was just building his business and he was doing whatever he needed to grow it. Therefore, he readily agreed to read each chapter and give his feedback. My editor, Bryan and I made a great team, as we quickly sped through each chapter. I was then ready to give it to my wife and parents and get final edits. After some more structural feedback, I knew we had done it. Within 60 days, it was published for the world to read on Amazon and all major sites.

Now it is your turn!