Saturday, July 26, 2008

So, How’s YOUR Book Coming Along?

“Huh? I’m not writing a book,” you say, “at least not my own, anyway.”

Well, why on earth not? What, are you afraid of a little writing? Think you can’t go the distance?

OK, that’s probably enough taunting to get your feathers ruffled a little. But seriously, it’s been said that everyone’s got a book in them just waiting to be written. And as a freelance writer, who better to draw your book out than you?

Let’s be really clear here: we’re not talking about reverting to the old misconception that keeps many potential freelancers out of the game – that the only way to get paid to write is to write a best-selling novel. We’re assuming you’ve pushed past that limiting belief, and that you realize the earnings potential available as a pen for hire.

Instead, let’s talk about five great reasons for working on your own book:

  1. You can share your expertise – and everyone’s an expert in some area. Think your expertise lies only in an area nobody would even care about? Guess again! Whether it’s cleaning (check out Fly Lady’s success), knitting (check out Jill Eaton and a hundred others), or even cooking on the grill (Bobby Flay) – there are hugely successful gurus out there writing and selling books.
  2. You can grow your client base. What’s your writing specialty? Write a mean SEO article? Why not write a little book about your method? You could give it away to clients or prospects.
  3. You can build an info marketing empire. Create an assortment of info products at various price points – from a free report up to a full book or course. It takes time, and some work, of course. But as I’ve said a thousand times before, info marketing is a freelance writer’s retirement plan.
  4. You can leave a legacy. Even if you never market your book, there are people who’ll consider it priceless. Write your memoir. Write a cookbook. Write a devotional. Write a family history. Both of my grandfathers wrote memoirs, and I value these books immensely. One is still alive (at 91 and counting!), but the other is gone. Having their words is precious to me. Do the same, and someone’s going to feel the same about your work someday.
  5. You can pursue your dream. Alright, so I lied – there’s still that thing about writing a best-seller! But you know what? Books aren’t usually written overnight, and if you want to do this someday, you might as well start now and do a bit every day. Just don’t neglect your paying gigs.

The best way to get your book done is the same as the best way to eat an elephant – one bite at a time. Schedule some time every day to chip away at this mammoth task. Set the timer and work without interruption. You’ll be amazed by how quickly your book takes shape.

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