How To Write A Book Without Actually Writing: Rev.com
How do you write a book without actually writing anything?
To be honest, you will be writing, you just won’t be the one doing the writing. A much more efficient way to writing and creating your own book is through a method called dictation. Dictation allows you to speak your book while it’s being recorded.
Dictation is probably much more common in the legal profession than in a therapy practice, but it is something that be used in a variety of professions to create content quickly. When it comes to writing a book, dictating the first draft of the book through a dictation app like rev.com is incredibly easy and not expensive at all. It will dramatically speed up the time it takes to get the first draft done.
Furthermore, if you are like me and the thought of sitting down and looking at an empty page on a computer feels daunting, a dictation app method of writing a book is the way to go! Rev.com is simple. You download the app for free on your phone or iPad. Then you record yourself talking through the content of the book. After that, you upload the audio file and it is transcribed. Usually this takes place all within hours.
When I first started my legal career, transcription was very expensive and hard to outsource, but now it is exceptionally cheap. Rev.com costs $1 a minute if you want to have a human transcribe what you record. The cost goes down to 10 cents a minute if you want the transcription to be done through an automated computer program. The automation is not as accurate as a human doing the transcription, but it is one-tenth of the price.
If the cost of doing this is a concern or your book is very long, this might be something worth thinking about. If you don’t like Rev.com, there are dozens of other transcription apps that basically do the same thing. These apps are all the same. You talk into a computer or your phone and make a recording of what you want the content of your book to be and someone else types out the actual words into a file. Then they email you the file. And voila, you have the first draft of your manuscript that might have otherwise taken you a year to write.
Revise The Book Using An Online Editor
Many people get intimidated about writing a book because of the cost of hiring an editor. When I was researching for an editor for my first book, I saw that some people would spend thousands of dollars to hire various editors to work on their project.
That might be fine if you want to have a New York Times bestseller. However, if your goal is to help as many people as possible by putting a book together on a topic that will really help them, then you don’t need to go through all that. The first draft of your book does not need to be perfect.
All you need is something that looks professionally done and is 95% error free. Most people won’t notice little errors anyway, and small grammatical issues will not detract from the help the book will be giving the readers. Further, over time you can always continue to edit the content once you have “first edition” complete.
There are ways to find affordable people to edit the book. My first book was close to 400 pages (big overkill by the way, your first book doesn’t need to be that long) and I had an editor do an outstanding job of two rounds of edits for less than $1,000. I may have even found someone cheaper if I had taken more time to shop around, or if I only had one round of edits done.
Realistically, I think you could have an excellent book that’s in the range of 35 to 70 pages, and could probably get someone to edit the transcription from Rev.com for a few hundred dollars or less.
When searching for someone to edit your book I recommend using freelancing websites likes upwork.com. Upwork.com has a network of freelancers who do various projects including editing books that are in draft form.
To get started on upwork.com, you just need to create a free profile and job post. You’ll want to add all of the details you are looking for in the description of your job post. If you decide to use Rev.com it would be good to add that in so that the freelancers applying know they need to have experience with that platform.
Here’s a simple job description example:
I am searching for an editor to assist with my 70 page book. This person will need to download the manuscript from rev.com, edit the document, and send it to me when finished. Looking for someone who has editing experience, familiar with rev.com, and can turn around work efficiently. Please submit a proposal if you have experience and are interested in this opportunity! Thank you!
Once you hire someone you will have the writing/editing of the book complete within a few short weeks.
Cover Art Through Fivver/Upwork.com
Now it’s time for the cover art!
When I wrote my first book, I spent close to $800 on having someone design the cover. It looked great, but later when I wrote my other five books I had an equally great cover created for less than $100. I suggest doing something cheaper, simply because you can always get a better cover later. If you really want to treat yourself, spend more, but most people besides you will probably not notice the difference.
Another great website to hire freelancers is Fivver.com. This website is similar to upwork.com, except it has a lot of creative freelancers that are perfect for this kind of project.
When you look on Fivver.com, you will find people who specialize in creating book covers and do them very efficiently. You will also find many of the freelancers offer different package options as well. Whether you are looking to have someone create just the book cover, back of the book cover, book jacket, or all three you can choose an option that’s right for you.
You will also want to have them create the cover as a PDF file as you will use this later when you (self) publish your book.
In addition to Fivver.com, you can also find a book cover designer on upwork.com. The major difference between these two websites is on Upwork you will create your own job post and invite freelancers to it. On fivver.com you search for a freelancer you want to use and purchase one of the packages they have available.
You can be have the book cover created at the same time you are having someone prepare the edited version of the transcription for your book. The cover will probably get done quicker and then you will have something cool to look at. Fun, fun!
Now, onto how to actually create the book. All by yourself. Who knew you were a publisher?
(Self) Publishing: Kindle Direct Publishing
Years ago to publish a book meant that you had to take your manuscript and send a bunch of stapled copies to all the publishing houses, mostly in New York.
You would then hire an agent to follow up with those publishing houses to see if the agent could convince any of them to actually publish what you had already written. Then you would wait.
And wait. And wait. And wait some more. Then, if you got lucky, after more waiting, you might get a phone call to where one of the publishers would agree to publish your book. After another year of more waiting and editing, your book might finally show up in a few bookstores.
Fortunately, times have changed and you don’t have to do it this way anymore. Now, you can simply upload your book online. You’ll upload your finished manuscript as one file and then update the book cover that as a separate file. With a click of a few buttons, you’ll have an electronic version of your book all ready for you to review.
After a few more minutes of filling out information, which includes information to make your book available for sale on Amazon if you want to, your book is finished.
There will be about a day-long period where they approve everything, but I’ve never had a problem with that. Then you’ll get an email that your book is approved, and at that point, you can order your own copies.
The copies are cheap. For my book that was in the range of 50 or 60 pages (the How To Divorce Your Controlling, Manipulative, Narcissistic Husband book) the copies of the book are about $3 each after shipping.
All you have to do is choose how many copies of the book you want to order to give out to your clients and anyone else you have in mind. You’ll be prompted to put in your credit card information and in a few days the books will show up at your office door.
Get Going On This Already
Writing a book and getting it published is not rocket science and you can get it done for under a few hundred dollars with only five to ten hours of your own time involved in the production.
I encourage you to give this a try. I think you’ll find as you go through the process that you feel more confident about yourself as a practitioner. In addition, you are doing an incredible service to the community by making it easy for people to get the information they need to solve very important personal challenges.
Further, once you get the book done, you can put it in electronic form and give it away for free. At that point, you’re really helping people. Of course, this all makes for great marketing as well.
In the next installment of this series, I’m going to cover how to market the book and make the most of the book once you’ve finished writing it. There are a lot of cool things you can do to help people and yourself through this process.
Until then, please don’t hesitate to call me if you want to talk about anything that’s in this letter or anything else that relates to helping you better serve your clients, enjoy your practice, or have a better life.
Please don’t be shy to get in touch. I feel very fortunate that your divorce and family law referrals support a business that supports my family and the family of the firm’s other lawyers and staff.
You make everything possible for my team, so it is my absolute pleasure to help you in any way I can.