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Machine-Made Authors – or How to Write and Publish a book in 30 days…

October 26, 2008

Paul is currently enjoying his holiday/vacation. So, once again, Annie will be filling in the void. THANK YOU ANNIE!

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I recently attended a symposium on Wealth Creation which encompasses speakers from many facets of business. I was very excited to find that writing and authorship featured highly on the line up of speakers and looked forward to that session with much anticipation.

Before I continue, I acknowledge that the speaker is a multi, mulit millionaire with 8 top selling New York Times books and a very successful business. I wrote copious notes and also acknowledge that I found great value in parts of the workshop he headed and will be implementing at least few of the strategies he outlined in my own writing businesses and ventures. However, I was challenged and became concerned about the integrity of the business of writing on the whole during the session and want to air my thoughts here.

I was delighted when the speaker announced that everyone in the audience has a book inside them and that they owe it to the rest of the world to ensure they write it. However this elation soon turned to distress and I found myself pretty challenged when he began to outline the mechanics of how his company assists people in making this a reality. I will note the steps on the process which were taken from my handwritten remarks below my comments . I feel this is not true authorship or writing and feel that this will really dilute our profession and integrity. I am not saying that this sort of things doesn’t already happen though. I found myself angry with the whole mechanics and automation of a craft I believe comes from spirit and heart. I understand that you must generate new ways of promoting your work, but the overselling, the continual sales and advertising would put me completely off if I were on the email list.

The speaker did stress that the books subject area needed to be something close to your heart and not to do it for the money or with the outcome of just making money. He emphasized the point that the subject needed to be something that would improve not only your life – but that of others; things that run true with my philosophy.

However, looking at the positive and up side of this plan, it demonstrates that there are many ways to market an idea and gives a good framework to build a book in a short amount of time. I particularly like the mix of speaking and brainstorming the ideas on digital media. The spoken word and your commitment to it is very powerful.

The plan was relevant for an ebook or a more traditional printed book – though the physical publishing side of it was left out of the workshop discussion. The speakers company neatly packages this whole process for a cost just under US$10K. The only input an ‘author’ needs to do is the initial interview and sound bites. Their company have ghost writers etc who take care of everything else.( and this is when I started to itch) I will now note the steps as per the workshop – love to hear of your thoughts on this……

How to write a book in less than 30 days and develop a massive income stream from it.

Choose your subject – 1 full day masterminding and researching basic topics of interest. Ensure that this is a passion and that you are completely pulled by this subject. Its is the thing you will be known for and be googled by.

  1. Write the topics to cover the subject area – one per A 4 page. 8 -10 topics is enough. Post these on to a physical wall in your office or room. – take 3 hours to complete this
  2. Gather information – take 3 days to complete this – a variety of sources – internet, books, magazines, own experiences – in note form.
  3. Get a digital recorder and stand in front of each topic and speak about it. Make believe that you are speaking in front of a totally enraptured audience. Something magical happens when you verbalize ideas. New ideas come to you , stories and other links – which if you are typing, will slow you down and its hard to keep momentum. (2 days)
  4. Send your recordings off to get transcribed. A fair rule of thumb is 20 mins of talking takes around an hour to type. Generally speaking this will cost around $25 – $30 an hour to transcribe. ( 2 days)
  5. Self edit the document when it comes back. Expand ideas. (2 days)
  6. Send to a professional editor (3 days)
  7. Review and self edit (4 hours)
  8. Send to a different editor for final editing (3 days)
  9. Review ( 4 hours)
  10. Send to a typesetter for professional layout for book. (4 days)
  11. Publish

In the down times ( whilst book in with transcriber or being edited)

Develop a simple 3 page website.

Page one – describing book and offer of a free download ( sound recording of either an interview about the book or a short reading from it) to access download – need to go to page two

Page two – asking for any referrals – anyone who may also like to have this free download or information about the book. Click here for form to capture email address – so wav file or sound file and be emailed.

Page 3 about the author and testimonies which can be sound bites or written.

An autoresponder program needs to be in place to capture the enquiries and referrals with appropriate sales emails sent out. The speaker suggested that a small sales link or blurb be inserted at least three times in each communication.

Upselling the whole way before the book is published.

One on one phone coaching

  • E classes
  • Workbooks
  • Study guides
  • Affiliate programs
  • Tele seminars
  • Rolling Product launches
  • Membership
  • Corporate seminars and book packages
  • Audios – synopsis or reading the book or author speaking on why they wrote the book etc
  • Online sales details

Thus sales can begin before the book is even typeset and a large list of potential customers generated virally.

This small presentation was a feeder into a much larger weekend seminar but gave me some insight into the huge business of ebooks and online information sales. My skin crawls now with the whole Jay Abraham approach to sales letters and auto responders which have permeated to ad nauseam throughout the sales world. I feel that the market is saturated by these letters and free downloads/ reports. Surely it must be time for something new to be introduced? However, in recognition of Mr Abraham, he is a ba-squillionaire ( no that’s not a word – but you get my meaning)… and I am not …. So who the heck am I to question a practice which is making the people who follow his techniques and strategies more money per min than I make in a year?

Now after digesting all of this- what are your thoughts? There have been some posts in the past about ghost writing – so I won’t go over the same material. Is the new place of a writer simply to churn out the words from another person ideas? Is this the new face of writing – the automated machine made type? Surely the public will recognize something that is written with the tender love of a real writer compared to that from the keys of a dispassionate ghostwriter? Or don’t they care??

Good luck everyone with National Novel Writing Month!

Annie is still playing with all her ideas on how to write a great story………… During NaNoWriMo she’ll be writing her first draft of a Feminist Speculative Fiction Tale Mistress Moon and posting it up (maybe every day?) Please come and encourage with comments!

http://annieevett.blogspot.com   and   http://annieonwriting.wordpress.com

4 Comments
  1. October 26, 2008 2:45 am

    If you go down that road, you’re not actually writing the book. I suppose everyone does have a book inside them if they get someone else to do all the work.

    I can see why some people would want a ghost writer. Some people want to tell a story based on their own experiences, others want to write a story with a strong political or moral message, but they don’t feel they can do the story justice with their own writing. They want to tell their story but need someone else to help do it. Fair enough.

    But I don’t think they should be considered the writers. Whoever took their notes and wrote down the real manuscript is the writer.

    I would never dream of doing something like this. It may have made him a lot of money, but it doesn’t feel like real writing.

    I’ll sit at my computer and turn my thoughts into words myself, thanks. It’ll probably take me considerably more than thirty days (I’ve only just signed the contract for a novel I started writing nearly three years ago) but it’ll be my work, not some ghost writer’s.

  2. October 26, 2008 6:23 am

    Annie – Thanks for telling me that you were guest-writing here today.

    Some of these techniques for brainstorming are kind of neat. . . sending the work off to a ghost writer, though, is not for me either. I’ve written a novel, it’s not published and has earned it’s rightful place in the desk drawer directly underneath this keyboard. Someday I’ll fix this novel, and write another. . . more or less the old fashioned way.

    I can imagine though that if there were some non-fiction work that I felt compelled to share with others and I wanted to be done with quickly that this process might be okay. . . but only if all the authors were credited. (my wife reads all my work. . . this process is somewhat akin to having 6 or so wives at the same time, reading, listenting, transcribing and filling in the blanks. . . No?)

    Some kinds of automation are cool (spell-check maybe). A machine made book, seems like conterfeit – I’d rather just print money.

  3. October 26, 2008 6:43 pm

    thanks guys!!! have a sensational day

  4. zameen permalink
    October 27, 2008 4:28 am

    Annie,
    You are very accomplished.No doubt, one can deviate from some of your ideas, but your skill in writing, I really admire. There is, of coarse, diffirence in opinions and approach to life between regions, but universal truths cannot be denied.
    My focus usually remains on mystery, creativity and the divine and my life activities revolve around it.
    My felicitations for your wonderful variety of experiences and insight.
    Zameen

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