With this nonfiction writing prompt I want to make you an author. And I don’t want you to accomplish that goal in six months or in a year. I want you to do it in a month or less. In fact, I’d love for you to do it in a week.
No more aspiring author, just published author.
Refer back to my last post to learn about writing a short book fast (if you haven’t read it already). Then move on to the prompt.
Nonfiction Writing Prompt #24: Write a Short Book Fast
To complete this prompt, choose a topic you can write about in short form and write the whole manuscript in a week. Publish it in a week (in a month) as well.
How short should your project be? Under 100 pages, but to do this in a week I suggest 50 pages or less.
To make this go a bit faster, decide what type of book you want to write and for what reason. Will it be a book to help you build you mailing list or to become part of a larger product, for example? Or will you sell it at the back of the room when you go speak or give it away at your workshops? Will it be an ebook or a printed book or both?
Remember this is not your “big book” that will make or break your career. It could help you build platform or your business, though.
Start with an outline or table of contents. Chunk your down into small pieces, such as into subheadings. This can make your writing go much faster. You might look around for some content you already have written. This will give you a jump-start on the project. Repurpose it, and add to it to create your manuscript. Decide how many words or pages you need to write per day to meet your goal.
Also decide what form your finished book will take and plan ahead for the production period. You can produce your short book as a booklet (saddle stitched), and print it at your local commercial print shop. You do need an interior design, but booklets can easily be designed in Word, for instance—even written into a format. Commercial printing, especially on a booklet press, is the easiest way to publish a short book (other than as an ebook), and it takes only a day to print. You’ll then have to distribute it yourself; sell it from your site and mail it to buyers. For wider distribution, load it up to CreateSpace in a day to produce a print-on-demand book.
Go ahead and submit your book to Kindle and Smashwords as well so you give readers the chance to buy it as an ebook. Or for a really quick book, produce it as a PDF. You can still say it’s an ebook, or call it a special report if you prefer.
Be sure you have your book edited and proofread—and build in time for this, and have a cover designed as well. You can get one done quickly and inexpensively at Elance.com, Odesk.com or even at Fiver.com. However, I’ve seen some booklets—even ones sold at large bookstore chains—with nothing but type on the covers (see the photo above). Even you can do this!
Have you produced a short book fast—or did you because of this prompt? Tell me about it below or share your tips.
For more information on how to create nonfiction book ideas that are marketable and that support your writing goals, join the NFWU. When you do, you’ll receive this month’s Nonfiction Writers’ University (NFWU) homework assignment, which contains more exercises and information on this topic. Plus, you’ll have access to the growing archive of past homework assignments and NFWU teleseminars as well as some introductory gifts worth more than the membership! Join here at the low introductory rate!