I had a conversation with agent and author Michael Larsen last weekend about my blog and forthcoming book, How to Blog Book. Mike wrote How to Get a Literary Agent and How to Write a Book Proposal, necessities for all aspiring authors who want to become traditionally published.I told him blogging a book represented the fastest way to write a book–at least the first draft. He liked the idea a lot–even asked me to come speak at the upcoming Eighth San Francisco Writers Conference.
Mike then told me about two blog posts he’d recently written–one that offered reasons why aspiring authors should write a book fast and one that offered reasons why they can’t write a book fast. I asked if I could republish them here. He, of course, agreed. Here is the first post.
8 Reasons to Write Your Book Fast
By Michael Larsen
In skating over thin ice, our safety is in our speed.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
Timing can be a crucial factor in a book’s success. Publishers try to release their books at the most advantageous time of year. They also want their books written and published quickly. Here are eight reasons why you have to write your book fast.
- You can’t assume you’re the only person who has your idea. The omnimediasphere we all inhabit inspires all of us. Unless you’re writing a memoir or have a unique idea, you have to balance speed and quality.
- Your publisher will want to start recouping your advance asap, so they’ll want to publish your book as soon as they can.
- You want to start earning royalties and subsidiary-rights income, another incentive to write quickly.
- Information can soon become outdated, so if you’re writing nonfiction, you want to minimize the time between when you write your book and readers read it, and update the information online and in your ebook as well as writing new editions of your book.
- If you’re test-marketing your book online, you want to minimize the time between when interesting readers in your book and when they can buy it.
- If your book will help get speaking engagements, you have another reason.
- The sooner your book comes out, the less competition it will have.
- The sooner your first book is published, the more quickly you can write and publish your next book.
The next post will have six reasons why you can’t write your book fast.
About the Author
Michael Larsen is a literary agent and consultant to nonfiction writers. He and his partner Elizabeth Pomada are co-directors of the San Francisco Writers Conference and the San Francisco Writing for Change Conference. He is the author of the third editions of How to Write a Book Proposal and How to Get a Literary Agent, and coauthor of the second edition of Guerrilla Marketing for Writers: 100 Weapons for Selling Your Work.
The Eighth San Francisco Writers Conference / A Celebration of Craft, Commerce & Community / President’s Day Weekend, February 18-20, 2011 / Mark Hopkins InterContinental Hotel on Nob Hill / Keynoters: Dorothy Allison & David Morrell / Pitch your book to agents and editors / Free feedback on your work / www.sfwriters.org / firstname.lastname@example.org / blog: http://sfwriters.info/blog / Open to anyone: a day of in-depth classes on Monday, February 21 / Free MP3s at www.sfwriters.info / New! San Francisco Writers University: Where Writers Meet and You Learn, a project of the San Francisco Writers Conference / Laurie McLean, Dean / www.sfwritersu.com