Did you think I disappeared? Did you think I simply forgot to write a blog post on Monday and possibly today, too? Nope. I’ve been busy. (Again.)
As of today, I have sent off three short books to the printer, www.360DigitalBooks.com. I have upgraded my self-publishing activities from a booklet press and will now have perfect bound, rather than saddle-stitched, books to show for it. And guess what? If I can do it, so can you.
One of these is a brand new printed book; it was an ebook previously created out of just 10 blog posts. Yes, just 10–and now it is a 78 page 4″ x 6″ book. The other was a 16-page 8.5″ x 11″ printed workbook created out of several blog posts, e-zine articles and additional copy that is now a 42-page 6″x9″ book. Last, but not least, my Evaluate Your Book for Success workbook, one element in the forthcoming book, has been transformed from 32 8.5″ x 11″ pages into 70 7″ x 10″ pages.
The books were all written, of course, so I didn’t have to take time to compose them. I edited them again. I designed them (some more than once for reasons I won’t go into here). I designed covers, and then had two of the three checked and altered by a designer. And then I sent them off to print. I’m not sure one will make my deadline…but I’m hoping. I may have to change printers to make it happen.
Here’s the thing. It’s really not that hard to do this. I found it quite liberating actually. I may have missed steps. I may have done some things wrong. I may regret some things later, but here’s the main point: I self-published a book (not that the booklets weren’t books). And you can do the same.
Here’s how you start: What do you know? Are you an expert on getting your kids to bed, making your dog behave, teaching your horse to bow, keeping deer out of your garden, writing poetry, creating business plans, working with difficult people, or coaching couples in distress? Whatever you are good at — you don’t need credentials — you can write about. Today, come up with 10 tips about a topic you know well. Then expand upon them until you have a special report or a short book you can publish. Lay it out in MS Word in a small format (like 4 x 6), and you’ll see that you’ve written a short book.
Just get started. See that you can write a short book, and that you can do it today…or in a week.
Get a MS Word design template from www.48hrbooks.com. Use it to design the interior of your book. Or grab one from www.CreateSpace.com or simply set up your MS Word doc to the size you want your book to be when it’s finished. Dan Poynter has some tips on this in his book, Writing Nonfiction, 5th Edition: Turning Thoughts into Books.
Design as you write. You can even find cover templates at some of these sites. I do suggest you use a professional designer to check your work or to design your cover (and interior).
Get started. Do it now! I dare you. You’ll feel so free to communicate your message and to share your expertise! I promise.
(And don’t forget that I have a workshop coming up that will teach you a lot about how to write and produce a short book fast. You can find out about it here.)