How to Write a Book in 90 Days or Less
Getting started with writing a book can be daunting. I know, I've written two of them. But, here's the thing: it really doesn't have to be that intimidating. It's a simple matter of organization and consistency. I used two different strategies when writing my two books. You can use either one, it's really just a matter of personal preference. I will cover both strategies below, but pick the one you think best suits your personality.
Before we dig into the strategies, let’s talk about the benefits of writing a book…
- generate additional income
- be known as an expert
- use it for publicity (getting interviewed on TV, radio, podcasts, etc
- use it to gift prospects
- use it to generate more leads (Free+Shipping funnel)
- use it to get people into your ecosystem
The most common refrain I hear for people not wanting to write their book is because they don't believe they are qualified. Believe it or not, you are most likely already an expert in something. I would guess that you probably have some sort of skill or superpower that you don’t really give that much thought to.
Maybe you’re really good at hiring and training new staff. Maybe you have a great system for scaling a business or getting seed money for a startup. Maybe you are great at a hobby or a sport and could teach what you know to others. So, the book I am talking about you writing here isn’t going to require a lot of research on your part. You basically already know the material, it’s just a matter of organizing it in a way to let you get it out on paper.
So, with that being said, I want to give you the two different processes I used to write my own books, Mastermind Group Blueprint and Kid Capitalist. If you will follow these steps you can write your own book in 90 days or less too. Let’s start with Mastermind Group Blueprint.
Mastermind Group Blueprint
At the time I wrote this book, I was running two paid mastermind groups for up to 6 people each. We would meet once per month for 4 hours, usually from 8am to 12pm and then I would feed them a really nice catered meal. The best part about running these groups is I was basically getting paid to sit in on meetings with really smart people and hear their ideas for growing their respective businesses.
It was really fun to see how the ideas would flow and be picked up by other members, tweaked slightly to fit their business and then implemented. Like once we had a financial advisor in the group and he was describing how he had created this shock and awe package to deliver to prospects and another lady in the group was able to take that idea and create something for her prospects.
Anyway, I decided to write this book because after I had the groups going I had more and more people asking me how to start a mastermind group and I realized that I really did have a pretty good system in place.
I had even put together a checklist that became sort of the working table of contents. I just had to rearrange some things and type them up and then I had a table of contents. For Mastermind Group Blueprint I ended up with 8 chapters total.
So, that leads us to the first step for writing a book in 90 days. To start you just have to create a table of contents. I would recommend having anywhere from 8-15 chapters. More the better, but it is up to you. Mastermind Group Blueprint has 8 chapters but another book I am working on right now has about 22 chapters.
These table of contents should include chapters for an introduction and a conclusion as well. Once you have your chapters lined out in a table of contents I would look at each chapter and try to come up with 5-7 sub-topics for each one. You want your chapters to be punchy and flow from logical idea to logical idea. This will help later when you are writing too. It’s much easier in my opinion to write 2,000 words on 7 sub-topics than it is to write 14,000 on just a single chapter topic.
Ok, now that you have assembled your chapters and sub-topics you can spend a couple weeks on gathering supporting information that you might need. You’ll want to buy a pack of 3X5 index cards and write these things out on each card. This could include statistical data you may need, anecdotes, references to studies, personal stories, stories in general, interviews with people, and on and on.
Once you have all your notes organized it’s time to sit down and start writing.
Now, this is the crucial part to making this work: commit to writing a certain number of words per day. It could be 500, it could 1,000, it could be 5,000. The actual number isn't nearly as important as the act of committing to the number and then sitting down and writing that amount of words EVERY SINGLE DAY. Without exception.
When I sat down to write Mastermind Group Blueprint I made it my goal to write 1,000 words per day. That is basically two pages in Word. Now, I chose 1,000 because a) I knew it was a number that would make good headway if I stuck to it and b) even more importantly, I knew it was a manageable number. I wanted a number that would stretch me a bit, but that I would still feel comfortable doing.
Your number may be different. It may only be 100 words. That’s ok. I mean, it’ll take you longer than 90 days to complete your book, but that’s ok. At least you are working towards it. But think about this. If you spend about 30 days organizing and researching your topic and then commit to writing 1,000 words per day for the next 60 days you’ll have a 60,000 word book. About 120 pages or so. That’s a perfect sized book for someone to grab and read in a weekend or or on a long flight or whatever.
At this point the bulk of your work is complete. The next thing you’ll want to do is get your cover designed (which really could be done during the writing phase) and submit your writing to a professional editor. Trust me on this. You want another set of eyes on this book. And I’m not talking about your mom or your friend. You need a professional editor to help you tighten it up and make sure you aren’t making foolish errors or typos. So, don’t be cheap here…spend a little dough on an editor. Once you get it back from the editor you’ll need someone to layout the book in the proper format. This will include all kinds of stuff like dressing up the overall styling, adding in any images you are using, aligning the margins properly, designing how the sub-chapters look and so on.
If you go with a publisher, they generally have graphic artists, layout artists, and editors that they use. If you are self-publishing through Amazon’s Create Space program or something similar, the you’ll need to jump on Upwork or e-lance and find those folks yourself.
That’s pretty much it. Pretty simple when you break it down that way, into manageable chunks. Just remember, the most important part that makes this whole thing work is making sure you are writing every day and hitting your goal number.
Ok, let’s talk about the second way to write a book. I wrote my book Kid Capitalist this way. It’s very similar to the first way with a slight twist. But first, let me give you a quick overview of the book…you may even consider picking up a copy or two for your own kids if you have any.
(You can get a free copy of this book; all I ask is that you cover the shipping cost: Buy Your Copy Here)
When I was 12 years old, my grandfather passed away from cancer. He was just 55. And he was a very successful entrepreneur in his own right. He built a thriving finance company in Monroe, LA, where I was born. They made small collateral loans to people. You’d come for $300 or whatever and my grandpa would loan out the money and take your lawn mower as collateral, or whatever it was.
Anyway, the real tragedy of his passing didn’t hit me until I was an adult and I realized that he had died with all that knowledge and all that experience that he had acquired still inside him. He was very quiet man, introverted, did speak a lot. He was a lot like me in that regard. I love having my extended family over for the holidays and having them there but I’ll go into my office and read when they are there. I want everyone there, I just don’t want to interact with them…just one of my many eccentricities I guess.
But thinking back on my grandfather’s life got me thinking about my own life and my own experiences and my own knowledge and I decided I didn’t want that to happen to me and my kids and grandkids. So, I decided to write down all the lessons I had learned in business up to that point in my life to pass on to my family. I wasn’t necessarily intending to sell this book or make it public in any way, but I believe the lessons there are important. It’s not really a “how-to” book at all, it’s more just life lessons from an entrepreneur. I talk about being responsible with money, and how to be a good leader, and treating customers, employees, and vendors with respect, and how you should always be willing to deliver more in value than what you are receiving, and that kind of stuff.
Anyway, like I said, the process I went through to write this book was a little different than how I did it with MMGB and so what I did was, instead of physically writing out the chapters, I took the table of contents along with my sub-topics and gave them to my publisher. And she wrote out 5-7 questions or so for each topic. Then we sat down together and she interviewed me, which we recorded. I took that recording and went onto Fiverr and found someone who could transcribe the interview for me.
From there I just went in and cleaned it up a bit to make it sound like a book instead of an interview. After that was done, I gave it to my editor and just followed the other steps I talked about earlier to get it completed.
Doing it this way made it so much easier and faster. I think I got this done - and when I say done I mean completely done from start to published book - in about 60 days. I give this book away to prospects, friends, family, acquaintances all the time. It has been a huge help in creating some really lasting relationships with people I may not have had access to before.
So, those are the two processes I have used to write two books so far with more on the way. I can guarantee you that if you’ll follow these steps you can write your first book in way less time than you ever dreamed possible.
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