Books about how to write books

Over the last 2 years, I've been writing 2 books.  REMEMBERSHIP is at the printer and I just signed the proof this morning (May 13, 2011).  It should be done by the end of May.

I'm particularly excited about my next project.  The working title, for now, is Business Tips from Experts You've Never Heard Of.

I've been reflecting on what it took to get to this point - a lot - especially as so many friends and colleagues have inquired about the process.  While most of them are curious to know how it is that I have enough to say to fill a whole book, I find that my favorite questions are about the business side of self-publishing.

  • "Are you really paying for your own printing?"
  • "Did you have an editor?"
  • "Who designed your book and cover?"
  • "Why on Earth would you give your book away for free?"
  • "Is it hard to get on Amazon?"

There are many myths about self-publishing.  I'm far from an expert in publishing, but I've been researching content production (of which books are one form of output) since 2002.

One myth is that self-publishing is expensive.  It's not.  (If you're looking for reasons not to write a book at all, this is a lazy reason.  For more on this, check out The Domino Project.)  Lulu.com priced my book at more than $4 per copy, but my local printer (who happens to specialize in book printing) beat every huge national book printer's quote to bring my project down to about $1.50 per book.  I've met a few authors who are printing runs that get their per-book price down to about sixty to seventy cents each in paperback, but they are putting up a ton of cash in printing and warehousing to do this.

But print is just one way to produce a book.  There's Kindle, PDF, audio and email (yes, email!).  Some trade-writers will sell their book by email subscription.  For a fee, the book content is delivered once a week, just like episodes of a television program.

Remembership will be produced in several forms:

Here are a few things that have surprised me most about this project.

  1. It's easy to get on Kindle.
  2. Editors and proof-readers are everywhere.
  3. Book production is information marketing, nothing more
  4. I get writer's block, but not speaker's block
  5. Once the book is written, the real work begins
  6. A finished book is not the end of project, it is the beginning of a project.

I'll be writing more on this topic.  I'd like to see more smart people write books so I can gain from them.  The digital era is producing great content, but digital publishing isn't about the web.  I believe it's greatest strength of self-publishing is the low cost of distribution, putting your content in more forms and more places than ever before.

// Kyle Sexton is an award-winning marketing strategist and international speaker. His innovations have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, and his book, REMEMBERSHIP - New Thinking for Tomorrow's Membership Organization, is fueling transformations in membership organizations throughout North America.  He can be reached at 888.899.8374 or get his free resources at KyleSexton.com.