The Book-

Writing Process

The Book Breakthrough from Strategic Coach is a wonderful guide to creating a short, single-topic book as fast as you can. In fact, your part of the process should take just sixty minutes!


If you're in The Strategic Coach Program, please contact your Program Advisor and ask them for a copy of it.


There are also some turn-key paid services for creating a book that are closely tied to this model, like Dean Jackson's 90-Minute Book and Tucker Max's Scribe model.


The idea here is to, as Dan Sullivan says, "delegate everything except genius": You have the ideas and the experience, but sitting at a desk, staring at a blank page or a screen to wring out a book -- that's probably not your thing. And if you're like most people, it's likely to become just another procrastination to feel bad about.


Instead, get that book done and out there! Again, as Dan says, "If you have a problem and the money to solve the problem, you don't have a problem!"


While you contemplate your options, here's what our book process looks like:

1. You have an idea. 

The best book will be one based on a topic you know down to your bones. You've got years of experience applying this concept with real clients and customers.


From that idea, you create an outline of the book -- beginning, middle, end. Again, The Book Breakthrough is a really, really good structure for getting this done quickly.


2. The interview.

Have someone ask you questions based on your outline and record the answers. This is a great help to your writer because they'll have your thoughts in your own words -- and the best writing sounds like you speaking in your own voice!


Ideally, at this point you're finished with the 'writing' of the book.


3. Transcription.

This is the process of taking the audio recording and turning it into written words. That can be done by a person, which is often more accurate, but there are more and more automated transcription services like Otter.ai, which are fast and affordable -- though they do better with non-specialist language.


As technology advances, though, some fascinating new capabilities arise, like Descript, which can edit a voice file just like editing a Word doc -- which in itself is a breakthrough for podcasters, but the really mind-blowing part comes when you train the program with your voice and can add in words -- in your voice -- that aren't in the original recording just by typing them!


4. Writing.

Now the writer can take all your thoughts, organize them, rearrange them, compare them with your original outline, and work to get your idea across with power and style.


This is the part where do-it-yourselfers really get stuck -- sometimes permanently!


Because we learn to write in school, we tend to assume that anyone can write. But there's writing, and then there's writing. It's a particular skill, and, honestly, the actual work of writing is tedious to most people. And, generally speaking, entrepreneurs aren't known for loving slow and fiddly tasks.


5. Copyediting/proofreading.

Proofreading is vitally important, and no, software can't do it, because software doesn't understand context.


Copyediting goes further -- really looking at the deep structure of your book to make sure your ideas progress in a logical manner. (Your outline will be a big help with this, particularly if it's based on a process you use in your business.)


Yes, this is boring to pay for. And yet a mistake in your text is the surest way to instantly undermine all the credibility you've built up in your book to that point.


6. Page layout.

Good page layout and typography make your book inviting and easy on the eyes. For most readers, this is subconscious, but we can all feel the difference when it's done poorly or well.


Your designer will flow the finished and proofed manuscript into a book format. They may even be able to produce an e-book at the same time.


Depending on their skills, your designer may be able to create the cover design for your book, too. Or you may want to hire a specialist.


7. Printing

Now your book is ready to be sent off to the printer!


At Coach, we build lead-time into our schedule so that our books can be printed and delivered in time to be handed out in our workshops. Just because we're ready for the printer doesn't mean they're ready for us!


Another option is "print-on-demand" publishing, which is a cheap, easy, and quick way to create a "short run" of books -- i.e. you pay by the book, which is cheaper up-front. But if you want to produce lots of them, "digital offset" is probably your best bet.


The two leading print-on-demand services are Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing and Lulu.


8. Audio/video recording.

For each of our books, Dan creates an audiobook and videos, too.


This is beyond the realm of "writing a book", but these days it's a generally expected part of your book's life, because today's readers want more from authors. or want to dip a toe in before committing to buy the book.


9. A/V edit & posting.

In this YouTube era, it's perfectly acceptable to record a video on your phone while walking down the street. But when it comes time to edit your audio/video and post it online, you might want help.


A good editor can take out your "um"s and "ah"s to make your point come across more clearly.


Again, the person who posts your content to may be someone else, but it's all part of this same stage: The finished files -- whether e-books, audios, or video -- need to be posted online so your audience can access them.


10. Selling your book.

Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Indigo, Audible -- all the places. Your book is done like dinner, and it's time to share it with the world!

Wait, what about the cartoons?!

So that's what publishing normally looks like. But we're plugging in a separate part -- you working with an illustrator!


The illustration process can begin as soon as you have your outline, and run in parallel, then the drawings get added in at Step 6, Page Layout.


The next section of the site shows you how that illustration process works.

Next: The Illustration Process