ZERO TO HERO: How I Wrote And Published A Number One Best Seller Starting From Scratch and How You Can Too
I can’t decide if I’m going to get it on my tombstone or if I should go ahead and just get a tramp stamp now. A lower back tattoo that proclaims my newly appointed status in life. I went to sleep on December 28th as an aspiring author.
I woke up on December 29th as a Number One Best Selling Author and, no matter what happens, I always will be.
Just a few years ago putting 50,000 words down on paper seemed like an insurmountable obstacle and it took me decades to get around to trying. Ironically, it turns out that writing the book was the easy part. Convincing another human being to spend the time and money to read my ramblings. Well, that was a whole ‘nother something.
You Can’t Get Where You’re Going Unless You Start Where You Are
The stats are that only 10% of the people who want to write a book ever actually sit down to start writing a book.
Because writing a book sounds like hard work and our brains will make all kinds of excuses to avoid painful experiences… like work.
50,000 words is a lot of words. So break it down and eat the elephant one bite at a time. I started out writing blog posts. A 500 word essay here a 1200 word rant there. I did this for a long while before I started trying to write anything longer.
It’s amazing what you can accomplish with 25 minutes of concerted effort.
500 words I can do.
Once I had enough of those, I formed an outline of the book I was going to write and I started writing more blog posts to fill in the blanks.
The thing is: just get started. Start telling the story. Start getting the words out there. Out there, where other people can read them. You have to get used to that idea too. You might as well start now. Don’t worry about what anyone thinks because odds are they won’t notice and they won’t care.
The truest thing I’ve learned from all of this came from Eleanor Roosevelt, of all people
‘You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.’ – Eleanor Roosevelt
If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Getting attention takes works. And you have to get started on that now, way before you’re ready to talk about a book.
Build Your Network, Before You Need Your Network
If you’re going to be a #1 Best Selling Author you’re going to need a lot of people interested in hearing your ideas.
Fortunately, within arm’s reach of you right now, probably in your hand while you read these words, you’ve got the post powerful device in the history of the planet for connecting with other human beings and sharing your ideas.
Your smart phone allows you access to an infinite network of social networks. Connect Widely! Follow interesting people and say interesting things. Start telling your story and spreading your words.
I use an app call Rapportive that allows me to connect socially with everyone I with whom I exchange emails. I started from zero on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and grew digital handshake by handshake into the top 5% of all socially connected people in America.
And always be nice. Be a decent human being in the real world and in the online world of social media. Try to make every interaction an honest human interaction because the point isn’t to juice your numbers. The point isn’t to get 10,000 or 100,000 or 1,000,000 followers on instagram or twitter.
The point is to find the people who dig your chili. They’re out there. Keep stirring till you find them.
Keep on spreading your words, even when no one else seems to get it. Even when no one else seems to care.
The other stat is that of all the people who actually start writing a book, only 1% actually finish the book.
The Buddha said there are only two mistakes one can make along the road to the truth not starting and not going all the way.
It’s hard work starting and it’s hard work going all the way and the hard truth is that it’s not worth the effort, not financially anyway.
If you’re thinking about writing a book as some part of get rich quick plan, please do yourself a favor and move on to your next scheme before you waste any more of your time.
Even having #1 seller, it will take me years worth of book sales to recoup the investment of time and money I put into the book.
Best selling author Seth Godin says that book selling is a horrible business to be in.
“The return on equity and return on time for authors and for publishers is horrendous. If you’re doing it for the money, you’re going to be disappointed. On the other hand, a book gives you leverage to spread an idea and a brand far and wide. There’s a worldview that’s quite common that says that people who write books know what they are talking about and that a book confers some sort of authority,” say Godin.
If you’re looking to build a platform to help spread an idea, there is no bigger hammer than a #1 Best Selling Book.
You may not can start your own evening newscast or reality show, but you can start writing 500 words at a time and you can connect with thousands, maybe millions, of people right now on your phone.
All you have to do is put the work in.
Start here. Start now. Start small. Just start.
Terry Lancaster helps salespeople and entrepreneurs create BETTER! lives, build BETTER! careers and grow BETTER! businesses, one step at a time, starting right here, starting right now. He’s an entrepreneur, a speaker and the #1 Best Selling Author of BETTER! Self Help for The Rest Of Us.