How to Write and Launch a Book in 2023 (Without Feeling Afraid)

Writing a book seems scary. And this fear triggers 4 major mistakes. How to write and launch a book in 2023 (without feeling afraid)?

The 4 most common mistakes:

  1. Writing alone
  2. Forcing a structure
  3. Unique knowledge points
  4. Focusing on the Big Numbers
Let’s break them down:

1) Writing Alone

The first thing I’ll tell you: Most people think writing a book is an individual endeavor. It’s not. The reality? When you talk to the most successful authors, they all start by talking about other people.
  • How they worked with a group.
  • How they collaborated
  • How they had a ton of help
And this is what I always tell people: Writing is NOT something you do alone. You do the typing yourself, yes. But you DON’T write a book as an individual. No… It’s a collaborative effort.

2) Forcing a Structure.

This is a big one for most people. They think they need: • a table of contents • perfect structure • rigid outlines All this stuff, before they ever start. But I would flip that around. Analogy:
“You start this process with a compass, not a map”
And when I had the chance to interview Daniel Pink (who also happens to be my neighbor), he shared something interesting: He starts with 2 things: 1. A notepad 2. A list of questions And then he thinks about who he can talk to about those questions. As I said earlier… Books are not to be written alone!

3. Unique Knowledge Points

This is for my non-fiction writers. I studied 150+ best sellers and found this: Stories account for 80% of their written content. NOT unique knowledge points. So if you want to write an exceptional book: - Identify - Teach - Tell All through storytelling It’s the proven formula for success.

4. Focusing on Big # ’s

People often worry:
“Is my book going to sell 1,000,000 copies?”
And that’s not the best mindset. Here’s why: Books are sold via word of mouth. You want to find your first 200 fans and friends, and have them help spread the word. It happens in phases. And that’s a good thing ( I promise ).

The 4 major mistakes authors make:

1. Writing Alone 2. Forcing a structure 3. Unique Knowledge Points 4. Focusing on Big Numbers   So let's break this cycle and utilize a community-driven approach for your next book project.

How to Get Rid of Imposter Syndrome & Validate Your Voice

Imposter syndrome means extinction for most modern authors. And it's a shame.

Steal my 3 steps to validate your voice

I'll be honest: I hate the term "imposter syndrome." It’s almost as if you're afflicted with a disease—shunned by society—destined to live out your days in a dark forest. It plagues so many authors.

These 3 steps are the cure:

  • Step 1: Identify Your "Who"
  • Step 2: Create a Pact
  • Step 3: Gather Feedback
Let's regain your self-confidence. I know it's in there...

Step 1: Identify Your "Who."

Engrain this in your mind: You're NOT writing for everyone. When you accept the fact that you can't please every person on the planet, imposter syndrome fades. Normalize selective sharing. You'll also need some accountability. There are 2 types: 1. Professional accountability 2. Peer accountability Professional, you pay for: - Someone from a publisher - A writing consultant - Editors A peer can be a friend.

Step 2: Create a Pact.

The reality is, most writers think in word count. Bad idea. Try thinking in terms of time. But beware of overestimation. Research shows that we often overestimate the amount of work we'll need to do. This overestimation problem manifests as a disappointment problem. Here's an example of a time pact: “I’ve got two hours blocked off to write this week. Can I send you something to read from that?” Here's what you just accomplished:
  • You've limited your feedback loop.
  • You've scoped your deliverable.
  • You've set aside some time.
This loose commitment (pact) will increase your chances of completion. Give it a shot.

Step 3: Gather Feedback.

Here's what you don't want: Accidentally make your imposter syndrome worse. Make sure to ask for feedback in the way you'd like to receive it. Here's how... You probably don't want them to bloody up your book with a rampant red pen.
  • Tell them not to change the text
  • Ask for 1 or 2 things they liked
  • And what you can improve
Then you can go ahead and make changes you think make sense. Bye-bye imposter syndrome!

Depth Over Frequency for Growing Your Brand

If you're interested in growing your brand or amplifying your voice, here's what we found in the research.

Aim for depth over frequency.

For my latest book, I researched over 6,000 individuals named to the Forbes 30 under 30. I wanted to see what stood out about them. It wasn't the schools they attended, the graduate degrees they help, or the companies they worked at. It wasn't even the companies they started.
Over 85% of them had a "Creation Event" -- a substantial, public project that they used to demonstrate their expertise, credibility, curiosity, and competence.

Nearly all of them 'went deep' on something outside of their job or work.

We found 9 creation events among these individuals, including:
  • hosted an event series or conference
  • hosted a podcast
  • created a video series
  • organized a concert or exhibit
  • published original research
  • wrote a book
  If you're looking for a path to elevate your voice or enhance your personal or business brand, focus on depth over frequency. OR, start with depth, and then add frequency based on the depth. Invest in a Creation Event. The best investment is an investment in your own growth. What's the most impactful creation event in your career/life?

5 Tips to Find Your Writing Focus

Writing can be a painstaking process. And after launching 2,000+ authors and books of my own...

5 tips to find your writing focus:

With steadfast focus, you're unstoppable.

Steal my 5 tips:

1. The beautiful art of freewriting 2. Always write in small chunks 3. Find yourself a writing rival 4. Find stress-free activities 5. Discover a community Eggcellent, let's crack the shell. Shall we?

1) The Beautiful Art of Freewriting.

Set a timer for 10 minutes and write whatever comes to mind. Transfer all your: - Musings - Emotions - Negativity Onto the paper, or through the keyboard.

2) Always Write in Small Chunks.

This is a PSA for my modern authors... You don't have to: - Write 10,000 words at once - Put off your obligations - Pull all-nighters Try to write in smaller chunks, but do it more frequently.

3) Find Yourself a Writing Rival.

You guys have heard me say this before: "Writing is NOT something you do alone." Find a fellow author, then: - Challenge each other - Set some nice goals - Utilize rewards

4) Find Stress-Free Activities.

You have SO many options: - Walk - Do yoga - Lift weights - Listen to music Find something to relax your mind.

5) Discover a Community.

With a group of like-minded individuals, you increase the likelihood of (actually) sitting down to write. Not only that but: - Accomplishing your goals - Improving your craft - Fulfilling dreams That's what we're after, isn't it? Folks, this chapter has come to a close. What's your secret to find your writing focus?

How To Leverage Creativity in Writing: Insights From Austin Kleon

Pablo Picasso once said:
“Good artists borrow, great artists steal.”
So I sat down with Austin Kleon, author of “Steal Like An Artist” to talk about creativity and writing.

These are the 10 best takeaways:

1) Exploring and Collecting.

Having a system for exploring and collecting ideas is vital. The best creators: • Explore the world • Capture its essence • And share the result

2) Input to Output Ratio.

Inputs: • Reading • Learning • Inquiring Outputs: • Writing • Ideating • Creating The ratio should be at least 1:1 If not 2:1, input to output.

3) Thinking in Verbs, Not Nouns.

Don't become too attached to job titles or nouns. Instead, focus on the verbs. The actions you take. The stuff you really enjoy. The things others respond to.

4) Authenticity and Frequency.

Authenticity and consistency are KEY. Try to set: • Goals • Deadlines • Aspirations This will help maintain frequency which will turn into consistency.

5) The Role of the Reader.

A book comes alive when the reader picks it up. The reader's interpretation and engagement with the work is a crucial part of the creative process. So pour out your heart and soul.

6) Making Yourself Interesting.

To create interesting work, you need to be an interesting person. That doesn't mean: • Outlandish • Eccentric • Flashy Just be genuinely interested in the world. And make it interesting to others.

7) The Importance of Fun.

Writing should be fun. If it feels like work, not play, it's hard for the reader to enjoy it. They feel what you feel. (That's the beauty of writing).

8) Stealing Like an Artist.

This doesn't mean plagiarizing. Rather, you should draw inspiration from existing works and add your own spin. Everything's already been said. But maybe not by you...

9) The Power of Visuals.

Austin Kleon's creative process often involves visuals. When there are more pictures than words, creativity thrives. As they say: "A picture is worth 1,000 words."

10) The Value of Notebooks.

As a writer, you NEED a notebook. Not only will it help capture thoughts and ideas, but you can also revisit them. You'll see your evolution over time. How do you cultivate creativity in your writing?