The Process

Step 1: Research

I’m writing your words, but I need a certain general knowledge of your topic to inform our conversation. This means I will research. I’m comfortable writing on a topic if I’ve read at least 5 books about it. You will recommend these 5 books to me in addition to other useful resources like videos, blogs, or podcasts. I will learn so we can have an intelligent conversation about your topic.

Step 2: Extract and Outline

I will come to you or we will go away together for a few days [sounds romantic doesn’t it?]. This is an intense period of examination. What do you know? What events have formed your knowledge? What is the context of your life that would bring you to where you are now? Who are the characters in this story? We will examine the various levels of both the story and your core message. The extraction period is critical. It will set the stage for the rest of the process.

Step 3: Interviews

Now I’m ready to write, but we need to keep digging deeper so we can share your best knowledge with your audience. We must skim cliché off the surface to uncover your compelling vision. Your unique message comes from the stories you’ve lived and witnessed. The interview period provides space to find your truth. These conversations will add texture to my understanding, which ensures we create a unique product with a unique message.

Step 4: Drafting

My research and our interviews have have resulted in me typing furiously at my keyboard. I follow our outline in my writing, but we remain open to new facts and stories entering the plan. We race through the first draft, because we know half the battle is getting to the end. Most first drafts are only about half as good as our end product. We don’t worry about that because we know we’ll be editing later.

Step 5: Reader Feedback

Being a consummate professional and expert you have developed a network of like-minded people. These people are rare in that they can intelligently and constructively criticize your work. We seek out constructive criticism, because it makes our ideas sharper and our product better.

Step 6: Rewriting and Editing

“Books aren’t written – they’re rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it.” ~ Michael Crichton

Step 7: Design and Layout

Everything the big publishing houses used to do can now be done using world-class freelancers. Your book will receive a professional design and layout treatment, just like it would if it were produced in a big publishing house — book blurbs, copyright page, and all the trimmings.

Step 8: Marketing

The difference between a big success and a mediocre success is in the marketing. We must give your book the full weight of our marketing efforts if we are to get it in the hands of as many people as possible. Marketing starts early requires almost as much effort as writing the book.