In any endeavour in life, if you’re not learning you risk going stale and becoming outdated in your methods. The moral is – always be learning.

Robert Plank is one of the most prodigious people I’ve come across. He’s quick and savvy at anything he turns his hand to and writing book sis one of them. Now he may not be a literary genius but he does produce a number of books, products and programs and he is financially successful from it. So I’m happy to listen to what he does, why he does it and how.

Today I came across a video session he did on creating books efficiently and effectively. Here’s my nutshell take on his basic method.

  1. Choose a topic or subject – ideally that’s going to be on something you know something about or have an interest in.
  2. Decide to make a book of 7 chapters – usually I aim for ten but I see his logic in seven
  3. Research the competition – go to Amazon and review books on the topic you’re writing about – notice book colours, covers, titles, style eg serious or fun
  4. Review a few of those books – look through their table of contents to see what is commonly covered – don’t copy these down, just use the other books as a prompt for your own thoughts
  5. List 10 things someone needs to do to get from A to B using your research in step 4 – it’s a good idea to have an overarching question to guide you here eg “how can I write a short book fast” – that’s the question in your readers mind
  6. Revise the ten things down to 7 (these become your chapters)
  7. Rearrange these in a logical sequence
  8. Outline – break each of the 7 into 4 parts
    1. Why it’s important
    2. What are you going to c,over
    3. How to do it
    4. What-if (What Next) – what do I need to do to apply this
  9. Dictate – using the topic outlines above, talk for a couple of minutes on each point
  10. Edit – go back over the output and correct any dictation errors or grammar
  11. Publish – don’t let your book languish on your hard drive, get it up on the web where it can sell – get the book out to as many places as you can eg Amazon, Goodreads etc
  12. Promote – let as many people know about it as you can – email, social media, your website – book promotion is a whole topic in itself – get reviews from anyone you can
  13. Refresh – after a while you might want to update the book cover or the content or add some extra material – with Amazon especially that’s easy to do so don’t wait until your book is perfect to publish.

Here’s the full video so you can watch for yourself. The intro is a little long but good explanation of the status quo and the ending is a pitch for Robert’s course as you’d expect. Whatever you decide to do next … just do it!