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The Art and Science of Authorship

Why Write A Book

  • Second best credibility source (IF commercially published)
  • Established a brand with great effectiveness
  • Creates a “downslope” for continuous publishing
  • Forces you to connect and configure your own methodology
  • Outstanding source of passive income
  • Ego and fulfillment
  • Ongoing learning (understand what you don’t know)

How to Write A Book

  • First have something to say, or don’t read on
  • Think of the reader and audience, not yourself
  • Don’t just whine-offer solutions and hope
  • Focus on the pragmatic, not esoteric
  • Use memorable language, phrases, metaphors
  • Do not emulate others’ success (Chicken Soup for the Turkeys)
  • Discipline, structure, and planning:
    • Create calendar time
    • Create contingency time
    • Undisturbed and unmolested, but above all comfortable
    • Use a framework (e.g., 10C/20P÷5PPC)
    • Use variants (mini-interviews, case studies, whackos)
  • Don’t write everything you know, write what the reader needs to know
  • Attribute meticulously, but don’t borrow too much
  • Write conversationally

How to Commercially Publish A Book

  • Create a treatment
    • Theme (title and purpose)
    • Table of contents
    • One chapter in entirety (any chapter, 20+ pages)
    • Two paragraphs about all other chapters
    • Half-page on your unique credentials
    • Several pages on competitive marketing analysis
    • Description of primary, secondary, tertiary audiences
    • Description of unique marketing assets you bring
    • Distinctions of book (e.g., interviews, self-tests, etc.)
    • Estimated length and delivery time
  • Choose an agent or acquisition editors by name
  • Write cover letter and submit treatment
    • Multiple submissions are fine
  • Don’t jump at contract
    • If no agent, use a good lawyer (not cousin Louie)
  • Understand that you will have to promote
  • Beware of advice from others
    • 1 book is an accident, 2 are a coincidence, 3 are a pattern

    © Alan Weiss 2005 All rights reserved.