Select your target competitors. Writing a book is about focus, you have to have a few books in mind that your book will compete with. For example I knew on day one that Corporate Awesome Sauce would compete with the Four Hour Work Week from Tim Ferriss.
Write less, not more. Initially my biggest fear was "would I have enough content?" Trust me when I tell you, most authors suffer from too many words, not too little. Books are getting shorter and shorter to match our shortening attention span. Write less, then expand later. It is much less difficult than writing too much, and then having to shorten.
Test your chapters. Every chapter I eventually wrote was sound tested in a blog or a series of tweets. We have the tools to see how readers respond to content, use them. For example my blog entry on Networking Like a Ninja was a test for the book.
Hire an editor early. I engaged withEmily Loose after writing only two chapters, this was important for me to see what an editor wants, and how I should write. I then worked with Emily to write then edit one chapter at a time, by the time we got to the last chapter, Emily barely had to do any work!
Get a co-author. The thing about writing is it makes you realize how little you know. And as a result you need to read lots more. Steven King tells us in what I believe to be one of his greatest pieces titled On Writing, that the best way to become a good writer, is to read. A co-author can help you read, and research! Dhar Ramdehal was instrumental in the research and reading needed for lots of the leadership science in Corporate Awesome Sauce.
Hang yourself by the tongue. From the first day I started writing, to the day of publishing was about 12 months (this is short compared to what other authors have shared with me). On day one I started advertising, and as a result I was forced to complete the book or face embarrassment of failing. It holds you accountable when you say it out loud and early, "I am writing a book."
Be the book. This one is easy authenticity sells. Most people, who refer my book to others to read, believe that I am the book. Any crack in authenticity will impede the ability for you to write a book that will sell.
Cover design matters. I did not realize this until I started talking to publishers. Publishers will tell you "what cover designs work in your genre". Don't listen to them; people buy books on looks, sex sells. Red books sell better than blue books it is that simple. Keep the cover simple, and drive intrigue by design. I ditched the editors and went out to 99designs.com to really get the cover I wanted.
Shop around. My first offer for the book was17,500.00. I didn't take it, and I shopped around quite a bit before I found a strategy that worked for me. You have to find the right publisher, and publishing arrangement that works for you. For example, I own all rights, and can re-publish with another publisher if I so desire.
Do not take yourself too seriously. Corporate Awesome Sauce took about 12 months, the last four weeks (1/12 of the process) comprised of cover changes and finding and fixing typos. At some point you have to stop and say "it is just a book" and move on. If I were to keep tweaking the cover, and tweaking words, I could have gone on for another eight weeks!
I write as a labor of love, in exchange I ask that you share this writing if you think others may find value.
Author's BOOK NOW AVAILABLE for purchase (Apple iBooks) or (Amazon).
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter