How to Write Your Book in Just a Couple of Weeks

images-1There are several good reasons why should you write your book in just a couple of weeks.  First, let’s be frank, shall we? Does it really matter that your book took 5 years to write? Honestly, who cares? Stephen King churns ‘em out monthly, and we still can’t get enough. You are certainly welcome to tell people that it took you a year, or even two, to write your masterpiece, but if your book sucks, that erroneous information won’t compel anybody to keep reading it.

Furthermore, if you don’t write it fast, chances are very good that you won’t write it all. In this the Age of Information, someone (just like you) gets tons of ideas every day, and with so many emails to answer and useless gadgets to learn how to use, time is speeding up and it’s getting harder and harder to pen things down, to focus and go the long haul with our literary aspirations.

UntitledNot to mention, at the end of the day, some folks are just talkers while others are doers. If you call yourself a Writer then by all means be a doer-writer. It is infinitely more satisfying to have people at parties comment on you PUBLISHED book, than to hear yourself drone on and on, again and again, about The Book you are eternally working on. You know what I’m talking about. Only published authors command this coveted indulgence.

I am sorry to have to burst your romantic bubble this way, but the fact is, creativity does not have to be grueling and drawn out. It can be lightening quick, engaging and compelling, too. Truly prolific authors know this. Productivity is creativity in motion.

Screen shot 2013-06-22 at 1.51.01 PMNow, there are many long, hard roads to getting The Book (finished and bound with your name on it) in hand and there is only one short route to it. The myriad of long ways involve the stress and heartache of trying to figure out what to write about while waiting for that illusive muse to bring it on, or writing a series of lengthy book proposals to swamped publishing houses and sitting back to wait for that long line of rejection letters to pour in (because you’re an unknown writer) and, worst of all, if you don’t become completely demoralized and lose interest by then, you may take years to finish the original manuscript, if you ever finish it at all.

This article is all about the short way to write and publish your book. It’s about the straight line between two points. If you know anything at all about your subject matter, it should take you a couple of weeks to write your book – in your spare time. I did it and you can too. In fact, many life-altering books were written on airplanes for that matter.

Step 1
I have said this many times before and I will say it again. You have to make an outline. No, you may not skip this step; the whole thing will not work without it. There are many great online articles on how to do this. In the interest of time, remember you must write it fast, I suggest you read my previous post on How to Write a Book outline in Just a Few Minutes mentioned in the Resources section of this article.

Step 2
So Many Books So Little TimeOnce you have the outline in place, change each subject of each Chapter list into a question. For example, if Chapter 4 is entitled: 4. When Cats Bite, and the subjects for each Chapter are:
a.Hormones
b. Breed
c.Discipline
Change these to:
a.What do hormones have to do with cats biting?
b. Which breeds bite more often?
c. How can you discipline your cat to stop biting?

Step 3

Then, start writing by answering these questions. If you did your outline well, the writing part will be fun and easy, just like a game of Connect the Dots. Just take a few moments here and there throughout your day to write quickly and fill in all the spaces listed in your outline. You will be amazed at how much writing you can do if you start by carrying a printed copy of this list around with a pad and pen, and answer one question, each time you find yourself sitting in a waiting room or standing on line somewhere. Becoming adept at a technique of free writing, without thinking (seriously), will allow you to right as much as a page in 5 minutes. This way you can have 200 pages done in 40 hours! That’s 4 weeks of writing just 10 hours per week, 2 hours per day, with weekends off! This way, when you write, your mind and the subject matter is always fresh and you don’t become frustrated or overwhelmed, which would put your entire project in jeopardy.

Step 4
Don’t bother editing it until you’ve written the whole thing!! No kidding. If you persist in doing these cosmetic-touch-ups while writing, before you have committed all your ideas to paper then, 9 times out of 10 your book will never be finished. When you are done, just give it a  quick grammar and spell check. Then reread you writing over and over again until you feel safe enough to send it to a professional editor who will then polish it and shape it to the finished product.

Step 5
Now back to the romantic stuff: contact an online Self-Publishing Company and go to press! As soon as this part is taken care of, you can start organizing your book tour of local bookstores and radio station and get back to plugging your book with friends at parties. It is not uncommon for conventional Book Publishing Companies to want to “pick up” a book that has moderate sales success at local booksellers and Amazon. If you know you’ve got what it takes, go for the self-publishing. No one need know the difference and you can have the chance to prove your mettle through online sales and reviews.

Tips & Warnings

* Keep your day job, please. You’re going to need a lot of patience and dedication, many followup novels, and/or a solid speaker’s platform to become a full-time author.
* Do not write and edit. If you do, you’ll never be done.
* Ask yourself this question: If you choose to ignore this advice, will your book be done any time soon?
* I went from earning $25,000 annually to over $300,000 (Yep, that comma is in the correct place) within 18 months of writing my Best Selling Real Estate Book. I wrote it in just 2 weeks and had the first printed copy in hand 3 weeks later. No joke. I did it and so can you.

For a detailed directions on writing a winning book outline read part 1 in this series:

* How to Write a Book Outline in Just A Few Minutes

 

 

Do Q&A Interviews of other Authors on your Blog

qa Free promotion is a thing loved by all authors. Do a Q&A interview of other authors in your genre on you website or blog. Don’t be afraid to share the spotlight, people like a website that is all encompassing. It is very easy to do. Contact a few authors and see if they are willing to participate. Then send them several questions and ask then to include a head shot and their book cover images. Other authors might return the favor.

Join Online Forums

forums Participating in online forums is a great way to connect with the online community and promote your book. As always, you wouldn’t spam forums with book ads but contribute to the conversation and if the opportunity arises modestly mention your work. Here are some ebook related community forums: Kindleboards.com, Nookboards, Goodreads, Ebookgab.com and Mobileread.com. If you write romance, check out the All About Romance message boards at http://aarboards.com/

Have a copy of your book at all times!

Urban Fiction Editor Author Advice   This is a absolutely excellent technique if you frequent public transportation such as the subway, taxis, etc. Someone is bound to ask you what you are reading and Bam! You have just added someone to your social network.

Also, have a supply of your business cards to pass out to everyone you meet. You do have a business card! Don’t you?

 

No Business Card? No Problem! Urban Fiction Editor has you covered. For just $100, you get 1,000 (yes you read that right) full color double sided business cards in 3 days!

How to Write Your Book Outline in Just a Few Minutes

500_F_63093124_NUetPLgt4cJ5BPAyjI9tIy8SyJrHw8b9Are you ready to write your Best Seller but are unsure where to start? Are you spending more time day-dreaming about being a guest on Oprah than you are writing? While the day dreaming will certainly get you far by projecting your desires into the universe, the saying goes: writers write. This means that as long as no words go on the page, your possibilities of making your dreams become reality are nil.

Why aren’t you writing more? Why does what you write not come out the way you imagined? The answer to these questions may surprise you. The answer is that you don’t have the right tool for the job.

What is the right tool? Assuming that your writing skills are fair to fantastic, the tool your looking for is called an outline. Every successful writer uses one. Embrace the use of outlines for all your projects. All prolific Writers know that you need a road map to go somewhere you’ve never been before, unless of course you want to get lost.

Screen shot 2013-06-22 at 2.01.12 PM

Certainly, if you had a uncomplicated outline you’d be doing more writing than dreaming. With these easy step by step directions,  you will have your complete book outline in place in just  a few minutes.

Step 1

First, Lets break it down. Lets say, for the sake of this article, that the average book is 200 pages in length. This translates to 20 Chapters, at an average rate of 10 pages per Chapter. Can you see where I’m going with this? Before you start writing chapter headings, move on to Step 2.

Step 2

Now, make a list of 2O main Subjects you want to discuss in your book. Use no more than 3 Words for each Subject.
Such as: 4. When Cats Bite.

This will be what each Chapter is about. You can worry about impressive titles and names later.

Screen shot 2013-06-23 at 12.01.07 AMStep 3

Now, next to this, make another list of the 5-10 important things (list single words only please) that you want to mention about each Subject/Chapter.

Such as, Chapter 4: When Children Bite

a.Hormones
b. Breed
c.Discipline
d. Trauma
e. Emotions

Step 4

Next, switch this list of important things around in order of importance. Put the best stuff that you are most passionate about first, the not so great stuff in the middle and the medium-good stuff last.

Step 5Screen shot 2013-06-22 at 1.56.38 PM

This goes for the entire 20 Chapters of your book too, take a moment now to resort the overall flow of Chapters into this Best, Not the Best, Good order as well. This will get your readers hooked from the first page enough to coast through the middle and keep reading when they find it picking up 2/3 through the book.

Step 6

Screen shot 2013-06-22 at 2.05.27 PMVoila! Your outline is done and there is nothing standing in your way from writing that book. You have a complete and clear outline to make it happen. You now know fully well what goes on each page from beginning to end. Do this for all your books from now on. Do not try to write your book without finishing the outline first; it will only frustrate you more and put more time between you and the fulfillment of your dreams.

Congratulations. See you on Oprah.

 

For more help writing that book read my followup post:

How to Write Your Book in Just a Couple of Weeks

 

Using Microsoft Word Track Changes in Word 2002, 2007, 2010 and on a MAC!

Editing your manuscript is a job that requires a lot of tools and revisions.Fortunately, Microsoft Word offers a Track Changes function that allows authors to keep track of the changes that have been made by reviewers/editors.

These changes appear as redline markings on your manuscript, while keeping your original manuscript intact, and making changes more distinct and easier to view and understand. You also have the option to accept or reject the changes that have been made, saving you the time to rewrite and re-type the reviewed manuscript handed to you by your editors.

When you’re in the Track Changes mode, every change made, by default, will appear as red marking like these.

Sample of insertion.
Sample of deletion.

But you can personalize and change their appearance with the color or number of strike-through that suits you.

To indicate places where changes have been made, a black, vertical line at the left or right margin of your document is shown. A line with no obvious red markings may indicate that a change in formatting was made on that part of the manuscript.

This tutorial will cover the following:

Activating Track Changes: Learn how to activate Track Changes on your MS Word
Customizing Track Changes Appearance: Learn how to change the way tracked changes appear on your computer.
Adding Editor Comments: Learn how to view, insert and delete comments.
Viewing or concealing Tracked Changes: Learn the different types of views when you’re in Track Changes Mode.
Accepting or rejecting Edits: Learn how to easily implement any changes editor’s have made or suggested.

Activating Track Changes

You can locate the Track Changes icon by navigating to Microsoft Word’s REVIEW tab. For 2002 version or older you can locate on this by clicking Tools and navigating through the dropdown items.
Activation

Click here to read the rest of this Tutorial…

Do Q&A Interviews of other Authors on your Blog

qa Free promotion is a thing loved by all authors. Do a Q&A interview of other authors in your genre on you website or blog. Don’t be afraid to share the spotlight, people like a website that is all encompassing. It is very easy to do. Contact a few authors and see if they are willing to participate. Then send them several questions and ask then to include a head shot and their book cover images. Other authors might return the favor.

Join Online Forums

forums Participating in online forums is a great way to connect with the online community and promote your book. As always, you wouldn’t spam forums with book ads but contribute to the conversation and if the opportunity arises modestly mention your work. Here are some ebook related community forums: Kindleboards.com, Nookboards, Goodreads, Ebookgab.com and Mobileread.com. If you write romance, check out the All About Romance message boards at http://aarboards.com/

Reach readers with Twitter

Screen shot 2013-06-22 at 1.51.35 PM

If you’re not already a member of Twitter, please head to the nearest computer or mobile device and JOIN NOW! Twitter is a micro-blogging site, that you should update very frequently (at least a couple times a day). Your posts are restricted to 140 characters. Many people think Twitter is pretty ridiculous when they first hear about it, but it is actually one of the greatest tools of social media, especially when self-marketing.

After you open a free account at twitter.com, Twitter asks you a simple question, “what are you doing?” Answer the question, and you just tweeted. To send messages to other Twitter users, you can post, “@username, message…” For instance, “@johndoe, Hey check out my website at [insert site link].” Your friends, family, fans and basically just about anyone can follow your activity (unless you make the profile private, which is not recommended for self-marketing). You can also follow other users by visiting their profile and clicking “Follow.”

On your Twitter profile page you are able to construct a short bio where you should explain your work and list links to your website, blog and other social media sites “Twesume.” http://www.mattselznick.com/2009/01/16/twesume-your-twitter-resume/

Your success of Twitter depends largely on your participating in the Twitter community. Follow users. Post “Tweets”. Make sure your Twitter page is always active and lively. Also, feel free to tweet some personal information, like what you are doing that day. Followers like to feel involved in users everyday activity. You can also tweet about appearances, book signings and other things of public interest.
The larger your Twitter community the better but remember to start following people who you want in your network. Follow other authors and publishers so that you can be involved in their network.

twitter

Tips on Twitter etiquette:

Begging – DO NOT tweet at people and ask them to follow you. This is one of the most annoying twitter actions a user can make. You should earn your follows, not beg for them.

Spamming – Don’t spam your timeline with tweets only about your book.

Quality, not quantity – Every time you tweet, ask yourself, “will this tweet inform or entertain my followers?” This is a very important point to consider. You don’t want people to start ignoring your tweets.

We could talk about Twitter all day. Although it may sound confusing now, it is very simple to catch on. Sign up today and see for yourself.

Song Lyrics in Urban Fiction Novels. 5 steps to Getting Rights.

images-1While editing a manuscript of soon to change the game writer, I am noticing more and more heavy use of songs in Urban Fiction books. That makes sense because, like our music, our books are a pivotal part of our culture. That got me wondering how many Black self-published authors are fully informed about legal ramifications of the unauthorized use of song lyrics in Urban Literature.

While in the past, some books may have been overlooked through self-publishing, ineffective marketing, or low sales, that’s all changing as urban Lit grows up. Some of the chaos and messiness that the genre has experienced on its 20 year road to adulthood is slowly going the way of Hip Hop- mainstream.

Songwriters are writers too. Therefore, their lyrics are protected by Copywrite laws; and, as the game elevates, so will the stakes. Musicians will begin to start to want payment for lyric usage.

Urban Authors can save themselves a lot of headaches by seeking permission to use song lyrics before printing. This is an editor’s job. Traditional publishers do this for you, but Self- published authors with fewer resources may not use reputable editors and might overlook this. Don’t assume your editor will know this or even do this for you. Ask.

If your editor stutters, hesitates or you don’t feel confident with the answer you receive, its up to you to get the knowledge that will give you power.images

Just check out this great article from Anne R. Allen’s blog that tells you how to get the rights to use lyrics n your Urban Fiction novel. It’s called So You Want to Use Song Lyrics in Your Novel? 5 Steps to Getting Rights to Lyrics.

“This week the bookosphere saw something of a teapot-storm when a formerly indie author—now signed with a Big 5 publisher—got an odd notice from Amazon. It said her readers had been asked to delete their old versions of her book and get the new Big 5 version—at the author’s expense.

It sounded like some nasty author-bullying to me—until somebody on a writing forum said the first version might have used pop song lyrics without getting proper permission.

But why would it be such a big deal if the original indie book contained a few song lyrics? Isn’t there some kind of rule that you can use a couple of lines from something without worrying about copyright?

Yup. It’s called “fair use.”

Thing is: fair use doesn’t apply to songs. That’s because songs can have very few lines to use—fairly or otherwise.” You can read the rest of Anne’s article on her blog here….

Does your novel use song lyrics? If so, how did you handle that? I’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions on this. If you are an editor, do you check for song lyrics?