Whenever I leave a room, I flicker the lights on and off twice. If any object isn’t exactly where it belongs — a dish, the remote, the clock by my bed — then I need to fix it before I can move on to the next thing, let alone leave the house.
Good writers write what they know. But many don’t keep that knowledge organized. I do, because I don’t have a choice.
I know I have some level of OCD. But at this point, I’m not looking to treat it. That’s because I’ve learned to harness it professionally. Without it, I wouldn’t have written a book during a week-long vacation. I self-published it upon return, made six figure profits within months, and turned down an offer from a major traditional publisher — until eventually selling them the reprint rights.
While most people don’t share my obsessions and compulsions, anyone can learn from the steps I took to write and publish in little time.
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Make Distractions Impossible
A lot of people who want to write books get too busy with other tasks. I gave myself no choice.
My writing process began on a flight from Sydney to Singapore. I was sitting in a bulkhead coach seat, and had no wi-fi.
I hate flying. But when I work, I get into a mental zone in which the task before me has to get done. So I forget I’m on a plane.
I spent all eight hours of that flight writing the outline. Each folder became a chapter. Within the notes for each chapter, I put bullet points and ideas. By the time we landed, I had a 15-page outline.
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Know, And Be Established In, Your Market
Specialized how-to business books of about 30,000 words can do quite well. This is particularly true when you sell a book about selling — to people who sell. I knew this about my market.
Just as importantly, I had established myself as a known quantity within my niche: where sales and technology meet. Through my work at Sales Hacker and the big conferences I was running, I had built up the right connections who would help spread the word. And I had a substantial e-mail list that would make initial marketing a breeze.
In my professional community, Amazon is generally the first place people turn to for books. So I hired an editor to format it and made it available on Amazon, as e-book and print-on-demand.
Soon after, I received an offer from a traditional publisher. But I saw no reason to give another company the vast majority of the money.
Link to the rest at MediaShift