Booking It

I’m going to write a book!

I’ve never written a book before. I’ve written lots of other stuff, often in a professional context, though I’ve never “written professionally.” So this is very new to me. I’m going to do a quick SWOT analysis and then lay out my plan.

STRENGTHS

  • I’m not going far outside my wheelhouse – this is a topic that’s close to my heart and that I have a lot of expertise in.
  • I know how to plan and organize a project like this.
  • I generally have pretty strong writing chops.
  • I know a lot of published authors, which means I have a lot of contacts to ask questions about that when I’m ready.

WEAKNESSES

  • I’ve never written a book before. I’ll make plenty of missteps.
  • I don’t have a huge amount of extra time laying around, so carving out the hours in the week to tackle this project will be a challenge.
  • The book will involve a lot of research on my part, and I may be underestimating just how much. It might be more intense than I anticipate.

OPPORTUNITIES

  • There do not appear to be any widely-read or -circulated books on this topic. I think it’s an important topic that not enough people are talking about.
  • Self-publishing these days is easy if I decide to go that route!

THREATS

  • It’s entirely possible that no one will care about this topic, or they’ll care about the topic but I won’t have the background to sell it. However, I don’t particularly care about that; just like this blog, I’m primarily writing this book because I want to.

The Plan!

I’m going to dedicate a four-hour block of time once per week in September to write an outline that will include the subjects I need to research. By the end of the 4th block I’ll have a complete outline, including estimated lengths of time to do both research and actual writing. When I write I usually write quickly, but I think the research portion may take upwards of 6 months total. Hopefully less, but I also anticipate making a lot of mistakes that will cause setbacks, and I want to plan my failures in advance.

I’ve been looking for a good reason to learn Evernote better, and this sounds like a great one. I’ll plan to use that as my primary memory bank.

Once I have the outline done, I’ll come back to the planning stage and schedule out blocks of time to write each part and do the research I need done. Then I’ll tackle editing and layout. Then I’ll learn about publishing.

This article was incredibly helpful (even though the site had about every possible chatbot plugin you can stick on a website, ugh), so I’m sure I’ll be returning to it often.

Part of the process of outlining and writing over the next several months will also include budgeting for some things like an editor/proofreader, artist/graphic designer, and quite possibly a (minor) advertising budget. I’m not sure how much of a budget to plan for, but it seems like I could easily spend a few thousand dollars on this (and I’m pretty much planning on not making any actual money back – I want to write because I want to write, not because I expect a huge ROI), so I’ll be setting aside money with that in mind.

I’ll keep you posted as I go!

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