How To Actually Write A Book And 27 Great Things That Will Happen To You When You Do

How To Write A Book

Writing a book will make you famous. Writing a book makes you wealthy beyond your wildest dreams. Writing a book will make you furiously attractive to the opposite sex.

Writing a book will see you retired to the Caribbean in three short years with nothing but massages and mojitos to fill your day.

Perhaps.

It will certainly do some of those things. Maybe not all. Maybe all of them … maybe more. Who knows?

Not me.

But I do know that at least one of those things happened to me when I wrote How To Get A Grip

Admittedly, I’m not certain I wasn’t already furiously – nay, maddeningly – attractive already, but the added mystique that went with being a metaphorically floppy-fringed author didn’t hurt one bit. Within days of getting published I was swimming in a sea of mailed underwear and indecent proposals.*

So why haven’t you written your book yet?

Or if you have written it, why haven’t you published it yet?

If you need real help with this, from a remarkable young man who’s written and published 5 Amazon best-sellers and found a way to get paid a decent whack every single month, then go right now and sign up for this free video training series from Chandler Bolt:

Self-Publishing School Free Video Course

We’ve all got a book inside of us, apparently.

Christopher Hitchens – the great British wit, author and social commentator – said that “everybody does have a book in them, but in most cases that’s where it should stay.

And although I agreed with him on many things, this one I can’t abide.

If you leave your book inside of you, bad things will happen.

If you don’t write a book, you don’t get a chance to control the conversation about you.

Admittedly, you can’t always (if ever) control the conversation about you entirely. People will say what they will say … and what others think of you isn’t any of your business anyhow. But it would be a great shame – and a wasted opportunity – if you didn’t get any input into the way that you’re seen in the world.

If you don’t write a book, your big ideas will remain small.

The only way an idea gets legs, and is allowed to grow and blossom, is when it’s shared. The voices in your head won’t affect great change. The voices out in the world do that. So get your voice out in the world. Speak up, son!

If you don’t publish, you risk being another also-ran. 

When you publish, you’re STILL in a huge minority. And that’s a minority you want to be in: a minority of accomplished, organized and productive trail-blazers. If you’re writing a non-fiction book, then your book is the proprietary intellectual property that positions you head and shoulders above your competition. If you’re writing fiction, then your book is the fruit of your loins birthed onto the page for eternal consumption.

But if you DO write a book … oh my! Great and wonderful things will happen. Here’s just 27 for starters:

27 Great Things That Will Happen When You Write Your Book

  1. You’ll no longer be an expert … but you’ll be THE expert in your niche. Choose it carefully. It’s a label that will stick.
  2. You’ll get invited on TV shows and radio shows: it’s much easier for a booker to justify the appearance of a published author on their morning talkshow than “some guy who says he knows a lot about something.”
  3. You’ll always have something to talk about when you meet strangers. Get introduced by fawning friends as “Joan, who wrote an interesting book on branding your badger” and that’s the next 45 minutes of small-talk taken care of.
  4. Your opinion will count for more: all things being equal, you will become more equal than others. That means people will court your opinion more frequently. After all, they can reference your publication date in parentheses after every quote.
  5. You’ll be taken more seriously. Further to the above. You prove yourself more worthy than the armchair sportsman or the opinionated asshole when you’ve got research to back you up. Even if your research is your own original work, that weights every argument more heavily in your favor.
  6. You’ll get more clients. See point 1 and 5 above. Whatever it is you do, if you’re “published” then prospective clients will seek you out more avidly and engage more readily.
  7. You’ll get more speaking gigs. If you want to be up on stage, then there’s nothing that says “this person is a safe bet” more than 288 pages of type to your name. After all, you must know what you’re talking about, right?
  8. Your second book will be easier to write. And so will your third. And your fourth. Giving birth to a book once is tough. A second and third time will be a walk in the park. This is a blessing. The first time you do anything is the most difficult, and writing a book is no different.
  9. You’ll get invited to new and interesting places. As a more interesting person you’ll start to receive invitations to cocktail parties and embassy soirées and exhibitions and shit. You may even get your photo in the society pages alongside other bastions of the establishment.
  10. You’ll learn new things. From dealing with publishing and distribution to typesetting and the new economy of the self-published author, you’ll gain new book-writing-specific knowledge. What’s more, you’ll learn a lot about yourself as you squeeze out the final chapter on the fourth re-write. You might not like yourself more, though.
  11. You’ll meet interesting people. You’ll be more attractive (see below) more frequently quoted and more frequently invited places: a great opportunity to meet with and sleep with interesting people. If you don’t want to do either of those things, you’ll be forgiven, as writers are frequently cited as being “antisocial” or “eccentric”, so play it up.
  12. You can charge more for whatever it is that you do. Get published, triple your rates and finally charge what you’re worth. If you’re anything like me – which I hope you are (although not too much) then you’ll be more inclined to fork out a little more for a true specialist, whether it’s a dentist or life-coach or an architect.
  13. Your bad reviews will give you endless mirth-inducing anecdotes. You’ll appear sophisticated and bulletproof as you laugh off what the haters are saying, supremely confident in the knowledge that you are right, and they are beardy and anonymous.
  14. Your name will become known. This is useful for getting tables in restaurants and otherwise difficult-to-acquire luxury opportunities and invitations.
  15. You’ll receive – and get to write – interesting correspondence. There are still many people in the world who want to start pen-pal relationships with the people whose books they have enjoyed. It’s a blessing and you will make new friends. Some people will be weird beyond belief. Don’t worry about them. You’re just an outlet.
  16. You’ll become instantly more attractive. Everybody knows that the only thing more attractive than confidence is skill. It doesn’t matter what you look like, what you sound like or how you dress, the minute you’ve exhibited a concrete competence that you’re enthusiastic about, you’ve upped your sexy factor by a metric ton.
  17. You will receive unusual gifts. Some of these will be welcome: like whisky in the mail. Others will be less welcome: like herpes.
  18. You will get free books. All the time. When a writer writes a book, and just before it’s published, it’s not uncommon – in fact, it’s VERY common – that galley copies will be sent out to other writers for cover blurbs and reviews. If you love to read, you should write a book. You’ll become one of the other writers who other writers write to (with books).
  19. You’ll be quoted. People who don’t like what you’ve said will quote you, and people who love what you’ve said will quote you. Which means that …
  20. Your SEO rankings will go up. If that means anything to you, then it’s probably important to you. But the more people are talking about you, the more backlinks you’ll get. The more backlinks you get, the more you can grow your list. The more you can grow your list, the wealthier and more insouciant you become.
  21. Free drinks. Frequently. From people who have never read your book but are just happy to be in the company of somebody who has done something interesting. Writing a book is an interesting accomplishment.
  22. You’ll have the first part of your legacy sorted. Leaving your mark on the world is tough if you haven’t codified the mark you want to leave. Buildings topple, fashions come and go, but words on a page or a screen will be here for time immemorial. Next up, a library with your name on it.
  23. You’ll have a much better business card than you had before. While the other guys are dishing out their cards, which are rapidly discarded and forgotten, you’ll be able to dole out copies of your masterpiece. And what kind of monster throws away a good book?
  24. Your keynote speech is ready-made. Repurpose what’s in your books for the stage. Repurpose it again for a workshop. Then repurpose it for an online self-study program. Michael Port wrote Book Yourself Solid almost a decade ago and it’s still the foundation for all the business he does, all the classes he teaches and all the speeches he gives.
  25. Automatic credibility: who’s going to argue with the gal who literally wrote the book on it?
  26. An enormous sense of well-being. Don’t discount this one. It’s not tough to write a book, but it does take a little bit of nous, self-discipline and tenacity. The reason that most people’s books lay dormant inside of them is that they feel they lack the resources to birth them. That’s not you. You did something good. So have another drink.
  27. You’ll become a better writer. The editing process and the writing process, when repeated, will make you a better writer. This is never a bad thing.

Writing can be tough. Below, you’ll find the quick and dirty guide to how I wrote my pithy and brilliant masterpiece, but the instructions are scant. If you need more, and want to find out how to get your book not just written in the next 90 days, but also published and sold as a bestseller, then I recommend you check out this course from Chandler Bolt:

Self-Publishing School Free Video Course

Here’s how I wrote my book, and how you can write yours, too:

Barbara Cartland, at her most productive, would write a book every fortnight. Her technique was attractive. She would lie on a chaise longue and dictate, off the cuff, to a secretary who would transcribe her vivid and slightly raunchy thoughts in short-hand, which would then be typed up by an army of stenographers.

I didn’t do that (I will do next time, just trying to source a chaise-longue). Here’s what I did instead, so you can copy:

1. Braindump

Purge everything you might want to say from the bowels of your mind and into the open air. You can use pen and paper, index cards, a text file, a dictaphone, a Word document or mind-mapping software. I prefer to use mindmapping software, because it makes the next step a lot easier.

There’s a ton of software you can try out. I like Xmind. It’s free and easy.

2. Organize your thoughts.

Organize your thoughts into “folders”. These are your chapters. Once you have your chapters, you have your skeleton – the bones that support your literary flesh. If you’ve braindumped into mindmapping software, this bit is easy. Otherwise, it’s scissors and glue.

3. Learn to type

This is the SINGLE most important technique for rapid writing. If you can’t type, learn now. It won’t take you more than an hour or so a day for two weeks to train your fingers to find the letters unaided by your eyes.

There’s free tools available. Start here.

4. Write until your fingers ache

Don’t worry about WHAT you’re writing, just write. Editing comes later. Turn off the spell-checker. Clear away distractions. Dose up on coffee and typetypetype. I used to sit at my desk at eight in the morning and wouldn’t get up again until I had 4000 words on the screen.

I type at an average speed of 70 wpm (words per minute), so in theory, 4000 words only takes an hour. Only it never does. Sometimes it took two hours, sometimes four. It depends on the presence of the muse and the incoming flow of inspiration.

(You can test your typing speed here.)

5. Take a break

Slack off, shoot some hoops, eat some pizza. Go easy on the beer.

6. Edit

Go over what you’ve written after a break. The break should be long; preferably overnight. Tweak, correct, shine and polish.

Two weeks later you will have 50.000 edited words. Result.

Now, your results might vary, but that’s it in a nutshell.

It’s easy to be overwhelmed.

But as you know, overwhelm isn’t a result of having too much to do, but a result of not knowing what to do next.

That’s why I’d like you to check out this course from my friend Chandler Bolt:

The Self-Publishing School Free Video Course

It will cost you an email address and, if you like what he has to say, he’ll offer you the chance to upgrade to his premium offer. That choice is yours, but if you’re serious about writing something and selling it in the next 90 days, then this is a course that has my highest recommendation.

Just think: three months from now we could be sending each other our books for mutual blurbs and backslapping.

Now, it’s possible that you don’t want to write a book. In which case thank you for getting this far in the article: you are indeed a glutton for punishment.

But bear in mind: if you can write quickly, you can be free. If you can churn out 500 half-decent words in half an hour, then you’ve become your own publicity machine.

Write and be free, brethren. Write and be free.

MK

*I may have used some artistic license here. But it’s ok: I’m an author.

The No-Friends Facebook Strategy: The Anti-Social Approach To Facebook That Made It Useful Again

No Facebook Friends

I made some drastic changes to the way I use Facebook.

These changes have completely changed the usefulness and interestingness of my feed.

Facebook is now a productive place for me. It’s a place that is going to reap positive returns for time invested, rather than the sinkhole, clickhole time-suck it had become.

I’ve been active over there for about 8 and a half years. For the first couple of years it was revolutionary.

I mean that. For the first time in a decade I was able to catch up with old friends. I got to know old school friends, colleagues and forgotten lovers again.

Most of those experiences were positive. I rekindled old friendships, remembered birthdays. I watched friends’ kids grow up in real time.

So far, so warm and fuzzy.

The second stage is when it became useful for forging new relationships.

You meet up with somebody once. You do a little surreptitious background-checking (or stalking). Then you use Facebook as a convenient way to speed up the growth of a friendship.

And sure, I was spending a lot of time over there, but it was time well spent. You’ve got to invest in your relationships, right?

But – at some stage – things started to shift for me.

I’ve got little self-control at the best of times. It’s never been a strong point.

Combine that with the lure of clickbait-y headlines and “active follower engagement” and it gets messy. Or it did for me. I was losing far too many minutes in far too many hours to mindless clicking and scrolling and asshattery.

I made a point of accepting almost every friend request.

(Chris Ducker told me that he’ll accept most requests if he has more than ten connections shaed with the requester. It seemed a good strategy. I adopted it.)

Which, in turn, meant that my feed soon became full of strangers.

So … I started unfollowing (not unfriending – that seemed far too harsh) more and more people.

Not because their updates weren’t joyful – or miserable – or funny – or thought-provoking. But because they were irrelevant to me.

My breaking point came yesterday. I got seven birthday notifications for people I knew NOTHING about. I couldn’t even tell you where they lived or what they did for a living.

Time becomes more precious as it starts to run out – especially when you have kids – and I made a drastic change that has, in a short time, dramatically improved the quality of my (reduced) time spent on Facebook.

Here’s what I did: read more…

Condoms, Minibars and Last Chances

Condoms and minibarsWhen I checked into my hotel room in LA a couple of weeks ago – jetlagged and discombobulated – I should have alerted the reception desk as soon as I noticed that the condoms in the minibar had been used. 

There was an empty box where a full box should have been. 

Had I immediately got them on the phone and said “I’ve just checked in, and I want to let you know that there’s an empty condom box in the minibar” I would have avoided the embarrassing predicament the next day of having to explain that I wasn’t trying to avoid paying for condoms I had used myself. 

In an entirely cack-handed effort to preempt the accusation that I was trying to get something for nothing, as I approached the reception desk I made the dubious choice to lead with: 

“So, I had a wonderful night, only I didn’t get laid.” 

At which point the receptionist – male, probably gay – stuttered awkwardly. 

“It’s just that your cleaning staff will find an empty box of condoms in the bin. And I didn’t use them. I didn’t have sex last night.” I added, for unnecessary emphasis. 

“Well, sir,” he replied. “I, er, you, we … just … what exactly can I do to help?” 

“Oh,” I said. “I just don’t want to pay for them. Seeing as I didn’t get to use them. Nope! No sex for me last night!” 

[pause] 

“I’ll make sure you’re not billed for them,” he said, uncertainly. 

When I bumped into him again the next day he apologized to me. “I’m sorry, sir. I thought you were hitting on me.” 

+++ 

When I put together the School for Selling earlier this year, many of my teachers told me that it was priced too low to be taken seriously. 

Finally, I’m listening to them. 

At the end of the year it will be pulled from the market, upgraded, refurbished and re-released at a considerably higher price-point. 

Grab it today and you’ll be comped into the all future upgrades. 

Get the School for Selling now before the substantial price increase

There’s over ten hours of original material on how to sell more, and precisely no advice on making awkward situations less awkward. 

Should I Offer A Guarantee? A Definitive Answer

guarantee

I get a lot of questions about whether or not to offer a guarantee.

In the bad old days of selling timeshare, when I sweated and swore and quite possibly broke the law, we used to have a mandatory 10-day cooling off period built into the sales contract.

That meant that the buyer could change their mind and get their cash back after the sale.

The only thing was, our bosses (one of whom had a pet baseball-bat) wouldn’t let us mention it.

If our be-swimsuited prospect asked about it, we’d say:

If you’re even asking about this, that tells me you’ve not been listening to a word I’ve been saying[1].

If you’ve not been listening, then you’re not yet convinced[2].

And if you’re not yet convinced, then I won’t let you sign this contract[3].

In fact, I won’t let you sign this contract until you promise me that you’ve got NO intention of coming back in here in a few days and asking for your money back[4].

[1] power play/disruption: we’ve built a friendly relationship over the last several hours and now we’re threatening to take it away.
[2] it’s your fault and you’ve got to rectify it.
[3] authority (“I won’t let you”)
[4] consistency (“you’ve said you’ll do it this way, so you will”).

The only reason we did this, of course, is because we couldn’t, in good faith, stand by our product.

We wouldn’t have sold it to our grandmothers, so we shouldn’t have been selling it to anybody.

Since the School for Selling went live, 134 people have become students.

This week the first refund request came in.

It said;

Reason for refund –
I was not satisfied with the product. / Product did not meet expectations.

So we followed up:

So sorry, of course you can have your money back. Was it something we did or said?

And the reply was:

It’s not so much “didn’t meet expectation” (that was automatically completed!) but there is a change in what I am doing and I no longer need that training. I loooove Matthew’s stuff and will continue to follow him. It’s just the approach of the training is no longer appropriate for me in the moment.

And that is an example entirely valid refund request, for two reasons:

  1. It’s honest.
  2. It’s within the no-questions-asked 60-day guarantee period, which trumps any single other argument.

There are good kinds of refund request and shitty kinds of refund requests.

The only shitty ones come outside of the guarantee period. Everything else is ok.

  • “It wasn’t for me.”
  • “The product was defective.”
  • “It was the wrong size.”
  • “I didn’t use it, so I want my cash back.”
  • “I need the money.”
  • “I changed my mind.”
  • “I made a huge mistake.”
  • “I don’t like you.”

All of these are valid provided you’re treating the vendor with the same respect as you’ve been treated by them AND you’re within the guarantee period.

Guarantees: the definitive answer

As a vendor, if you can’t offer an unconditional guarantee for a limited time-period, then you need to go back to the drawing board and work on selling something that you can stand behind.

The School for Selling has an unconditional, no-questions-asked, 60-day guarantee period.

And a refund rate of 0.75%

Become a student today for lifetime access (including exciting future upgrades).

MK

PS I realize that by drawing attention to the guarantee period I might be enticing you to buy it for the wrong reasons. Heck, my refund rate might go up. But I’m confident it won’t, not in a meaningful way. That’s because my customers – you – are chock-full of integrity, generally.

My Top Ten Business Books Can Be Yours This Weekend

BusinessBookGiveawayI’m doing a giveaway.

Here are my top ten business books.

In honor of Labor Day, which Wikipedia tells me is “dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers” (as a Brit I had to look that up) I’m giving them away to enhance your own social and economic achievements.

One person will get all ten books delivered to their door. There’s also complimentary access to the School for Selling included in the bundle.

(If you win and you’re already enrolled in the School for Selling then you’ll get something else. Possibly something liquid. Definitely not a kitten.)

These ten books contain some of the most important lessons I’ve ever received. They are slanted towards the psychology of selling. I recommend you read every single one of them multiple times.

But you gotta be in it to win it.

It’s one of those fancy multi-entry things: the more you tell other people about it, the more chances you have of coming out victorious.

Click to enter

I hope I get to send you a big box of books in the next three weeks. I hope you have a great long weekend. I hope we get to hang out soon. I hope that one day my children will sleep for longer than 90-minute stretches at night.

MK

PS from a “marketing” point of view (because that’s what I’m interested in) this exercise is designed to “build my list”. I hate that phrase, but it is what it is. I’ll report back on the results in the near future. If you know somebody who’d be interested in getting in it, please share it with them.

PPS here’s the list:

The books are Book Yourself Solid Illustrated by Michael Port, You Can’t Teach A Kid To Ride A Bike At A Seminar by David Sandler, How To Get Rich by Felix Dennis, The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, Life’s a Pitch by Philip Delves Broughton, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini, 80/20 Sales and Marketing by Perry Marshall, Unstoppable Referrals by Steve Gordon, 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Ries and Trout, and How To Get A Grip by some dude called Matthew Kimberley.