If you believe all the statistics out there, something crazy like 81 percent of our population has a book in them. It could be a memoir, a juicy romance novel, or even a business book instilling a little piece of wisdom they’ve picked up over the years.
That means 8 in 10 people have chosen to put on their bucket lists, or at the top of their New Years Resolution list year after year, the simple desire to write and publish something that in their minds allows them to share a message with the world. And of course the ability to scream to the world, “I did it”!
But here’s the crazy thing. Only a tiny percentage of these people ever do something about it.
Very few people will ever do what it takes to bring a book from concept to published. And fewer still will bring a book from published to success, reaping a profit from the words they’ve put onto paper.
Right now, the book industry is changing like never before. And because of our ease with technology, writing and publishing a book is easier than ever.
While publishers released 215,777 books 2002 through traditional means, that number jumped to 316,480 by 2010. And if you add in all of the books published by non-traditional means (self publishing, ebooks, public domain, etc), that number quickly jumps into the millions.
So with all this possibility, amazing technology, and the ability to get your message out any way you please, why aren’t more of those 8 in 10 doing things to fulfill their dreams?
Because their dreams are actually focused on the wrong thing. They aren’t “dreaming” the right way. And in fact, they are approaching the entire concept backwards.
The Difference Between Someone Wanting To Write A Book And Someone Who Publishes A Successful Book
Ask anyone what is holding him or her back from actually getting his or her book out there and into the public’s hands, and you’ll probably hear something like:
“I have to find the time to get my thoughts organized.” Or
“I have to find the time to write.”
In their minds, the book has to be thoroughly thought about, outlined, written and published before they can move forward with it. Yet that’s not the way most successful authors look at the process at all.
Instead, they work in the opposite way.
- They think of an idea
- They pitch it
- They get someone to buy into their idea
- They “sell” their idea
- And only then do they move forward with their plans
This works both in the traditional and self-publishing worlds.
In traditional publishing, a writer will create a book proposal outlining her thoughts and desires. She will put together an outline containing the purpose of the book, show the chapter names, provide a short summary of the content, and maybe even sample out a beginning chapter. If it’s a novel, she will introduce the characters and prove her expertise as a writer. She may even showcase her marketability, and provide details on how she will help sell the book.
This can all be done in a few pages of text. In fact, the shorter she can make it, the more succinct her thought process, the more the proposed publisher can “see” her vision, the better her chances of getting a deal.
In self-publishing, it works a little differently. If a business owner has new ideas, she may blog about them, be active in her community, and talk to her clients about what problems they are having. She may discover where they need help and what they are most willing to buy from her. She may survey her clients, and dig deep into their hearts to find out what matters most. Then as she discovers different answers, only then will she move forward to select an idea in which to base her book.
Make The Transfer, It Works In The Real World Too
This isn’t unique to the book industry. In fact, you can take this same concept and apply it to just about any industry, any idea out there.
Let me give you an example.
Let’s use the example of Nina, a coach who works with high school students to prepare them for college. She offers personalized coaching, and works with every client on a 1 to 1 basis. She’s wants to create a group coaching program that will allow her to work with more than one person at a time, reducing her facetime while increasing her profits. Yet what holds her back is her lack of time necessary to put the program together.
That’s because Nina is looking at the process backwards. In her mind, she needs to:
- Create a concept for her group coaching program
- Create all the necessary books, workbooks and handouts
- Have a thorough outline of the class ready to go
- Work up the class content
- Practice each session and have each perfected
- Create a new brochure
- Create a new page on her website
- Communicate her new coaching program with her clients, and advertise to bring in new clients
Yet in reality, she would be much better off if she reversed the process. Instead, she should
- Create a simple concept for her group coaching program
- Create a simple flyer for her new concept
- Communicate her new coaching program with her existing clients
- Only if she has interest should she proceed and find a date to start her new program
- Once she has a date on the calendar, only then should she start putting the content together for the class
And even then, the class content can be developed along the way. If she is planning a six week program to occur every Wednesday night, she has six days in between class one and two, two and three, and so on, in which to further develop her content. And if she waits to do it until after the Wednesday class, she may discover additional things that should be taught, different directions she should take, or even new ideas she wishes to implement.
Don’t get lost in the details here. Instead, look at this from your Big Idea perspective, and think about what is currently holding you back.
Do you have an idea, but can’t run with it until it’s complete? Do you feel you need a complete project, product, or service in place before you can begin to sell it?
Its time to think backwards instead.
The most important lesson for any Big Idea holder, any growing business owner to learn is the best way to move forward is sometimes to start from the back instead.
You have what it takes – you have an idea. Now the important thing is to get out there and see if you have willing participants, people willing to buy what you have to sell.
When you find interest, it gives you more reason to perfect your idea in the coming months ahead.