Although the idea of writing a book may, at first, seem insurmountable, it’s actually quite doable. The efficient process I use allows any author to write and finish their book within six months.
Here’s how it works.
Preliminary Coaching: Here we define your VISION, OUTCOME, and PURPOSE. Why do you want to write a book? What passion is driving you to do it? As an entertainment-oriented memoir, to include a great variety of celebrity stories, what do you most want to convey to your readers? What are the main themes? What will the book accomplish? What tone do you envision for it? How do you see it in your mind? How long will it be? What will it look like? How will it benefit you?
Creation of the Story Board: This is a detailed outline of your book’s structure, ideally created in story board format with banner chapter-by-chapter titles and a sequential, detailed outline of the topics for each chapter that guide us in performing the ‘download’ in step three. Like a screenplay, we create the most dramatic, effective ORDER for the topics to be included in the book, which creates a compelling narrative for the reader. Remember: Illustration rather than explanation is always a more effective technique for drawing the reader in—which is why so many successful memoirs are packed with detailed narrative and descriptions. With this in mind, we compile the best stories and anecdotes possible to illustrate the themes of your book.
Dictation: This process involves you being interviewed for at least 30 hours over a period of approximately 45 days, i.e. TALKING your book from start to finish, using the story board as the guide. In the give and take process of the interview, all the content you want included in the book is thoroughly covered. Secondarily, interviews with other people key to the story or close to you can also be conducted. This includes key family members and professional colleagues. The interviews are transcribed by a professional transcription service.
This process also includes creating chapter titles and subtitles and any needed research to make the chapters complete. For certain books, some authors like to include questions, exercises, tables, graphs, diagrams, quizzes, or illustrations at the end of each chapter to demonstrate their points and/or to help ‘train’ the reader in their techniques.
Editing Process: Five edits of the material follow: I first perform a Restructure Edit. This process involves taking the raw transcripts, notes, and all other supporting information and structuring the material in a way that makes logical sense. Next is the Initial Edit: This second edit involves two parts. Part one is to choose a book structure. Part two is to create scenes, scene sequences, dialogue, transitions, and conflict. Next is the Polish Edit: This third edit involves developing the narration, voice, tone, and pace of the book. Note: At this point, after this draft of the book is completed, or as each chapter is finished, I submit that draft to you for review and correction; or if your schedule allows, we can review it together. Before going further, we make all necessary revisions, corrections, changes in nuance and meaning, together with needed structural changes. After a chapter has been reviewed, it is then revised with all changes made.
Final Editing: Once all changes are incorporated into the text, next is the Line Edit: This forth edit is a word by word reading of the text to correct or improve readability, grammar, spelling errors, and inconsistencies of characterizations. I outsource this edit to professional line editor. Finally, there is the Proofread Edit: The final edit involves proofreading the manuscript by two separate proofreaders, correcting grammar, word usage, or any other errors and comparing the pages to the line editor’s copy, making sure corrections have been made. I also outsource the proofread edits to two separate professional proofreaders. Once all these changes are incorporated into the text, the book is submitted as a finished product. There is a separate process for the Book Proposal, a 40-page summary of the book necessary for sale to a traditional publisher, which includes the 6-page opening pitch, a sample chapter, chapter summaries, and a marketing and demographics overview.