2018 Boom & How I Create a Book
WOW ! So a couple of weeks ago, I thought to myself "dammmmmmn! It's Sept 1 already, and I've really got to get to work on 2018 Boom!" If you've purchased the last couple of editions of the Boom workbook, then you know there weren't many major changes from 2015 to 2016 to 2017. Some updating, some enhancements, and improvements. HOWEVER - that is not the case this year. I got an intuitive hit several months ago that this edition would be entirely different from prior editions... so given the amount of time it takes to put a book together, plus the fact that I really had no idea WHAT this edition would be about, I was kinda concerned with the current timeline. But I kept getting "just relax, it's coming." 

And lo and behold, today it arrived!

If you're not aware of my unique method of writing books, here's a quick rundown (please note - this is not normal, I don't know of another author who writes this way, and you if you're planning to write a book, you definitely SHOULD NOT assume that it will happen this way for you):  

Step 1 - Broad stroke idea pops into my head. That's it, nothing more. Usually not even a title or summary at this point, just a vague concept. The some time passes. (FYI, for 2018 Boom, this happened about 10-12 days ago.) 

Step 2 - Suddenly, and often without only seconds of warning, "the bones" arrive in a fast and steady download. I call this the bones because it provides the skeleton of the book itself. Sometimes this shows up as a mindmap, other times it's being dictated chapter by chapter in my head and I just type as fast as I can to keep up.  This literally just happened for 2018 Boom, moments before I started this post - as soon as I typed out the chapter headings and summaries, I was so excited, I started writing this post to you :-)  Now we can expect: more time passes.

Step 3 - The chapters or sections flesh themselves out. Kind of like bullet points or talking points. This usually happens unexpectedly, because I get one idea and want to jot it into the notes for the book, and next thing I know, I'm writing talking points under each chapter heading, and the book is really fleshing itself out, I'm just the channel who is feeling thankful she types super crazy fast. Now some more time passes. 

Step 4 - When I feel the time is right (and believe me, I can't force this - it's on a timetable all its own, the whole thing is, really) I sit down to write, and the entire book writes itself in about 1-2 days. Yeah. It's crazy fast like that, at the end of Step 4 I have an entire rough draft. And frankly, it's not all that rough. It's well-organized and there are maybe a few fact-checking things I need, or an anecdote or two to add, but for the most part, this is pretty damn close to what will become the finished product. 

Now at this point, the rest of the process is mostly on my own timetable. I allow some more time to pass here... sometimes 3-4 days, sometimes months, just depending on my mood and what else I have going on, and how inspired I feel to get THIS particular book out. While this indeterminate time is passing, I'm usually lining up a proofreader and a handful of beta readers, hiring a graphic designer for the cover art, securing an ISBN, and other publishing requirements that I love doing but that would sound boring if I wrote it all out here. Also usually setting a pub date here and a strategy/plan for the launch... and for Boom, this is where I plan/design any add-on packages, etc. 

Step 5 - Editing and tightening the manuscript. Honestly, I always dread starting this step and sometimes put it off longer than I need to, but I actually dig it once I'm knee-deep in it. This is the part where I pull out any bits that feel meh or redundant (there are a few words I tend to over-use), use thesaurus, run spell check, make shit sound funnier than it did the first time (if possible...sometimes that's just not possible b/c it's already so damn amusing), change the order of anything that feels optimal to move, etc. I correct errors, fact check anything I need to, and polish it up. FYI, while writing the draft in Step 4, I insert notes to myself specifically to handle during this stage. Which might sound like [VERIFY:  did I get this from Louise Hay, or Catherine Ponder? Give proper credit & attribution.] So I handle all of that at this point. FYI this step ALWAYS takes less time than I imagine. (Yet... I still put off starting it.) :-P

Step 6 - Once the mss (that's editor-speak for manuscript) is all nice and tight and polished, I start working on the layout. This is a highly detailed and hugely time-consuming step. I have yet to farm out this step because... secretly I love it. There's something satisfying about order and precision and all of that. Not something I'd ever want to do full-time, mind you, but it appeals to the small perfectionist side of me who likes control and excellence. Now, because it's massively time-consuming, I do always allocate funds from the startup to pay myself for this step. Also because I know someday I likely won't have time to do this step myself and you can't even hire a hack to do it for under $1500 (probably closer to $3500 for someone who can do it well and take the time required to do it damn near perfect). So I make sure I "pay myself" for doing this step, and I count it as an expense even though I do it myself. 

Step 7 - Beta readers. I send a digital copy of the mss to beta readers and then not-so-patiently wait till they send me feedback. My beta readers really cover a spectrum - some comments will sound like "I enjoyed the content. Now here is a list of typos with corresponding page #s and paragraph #s." and others sound like "I loved it! There was one part where I didn't get what you meant when you said... " or "I think the stuff on page X should be in a bulleted list instead of paragraphs, but otherwise it was great" and everything in-between. I love the diversity of feedback, it's super helpful to me. And since I'm impatient, I usually make these edits AS they come in, rather than waiting to hear back from all the beta readers. To distract myself in the meantime (since this part is out of my control), I work on marketing materials, launch info, write related articles, and create the add-on programs, follow up emails, set up the page on Amazon, etc. The formatting is usually totally done by this point, as is the cover (after we've usually gone through a couple rounds of cover art edits). 

Step 8 - Proofreading. I literally ONLY ever use a proofreader with a super fast turnaround. Because at this point, I'm usually cutting it pretty close to my self-imposed deadlines. As SOON as proofreading is complete, I make the edits and finalize the formatting, submit to the printer and request a proof. And this is the hardest freaking time to wait !! 

Once the proof arrives, I go through it with a fine tooth comb, note and correct any errors, and depending on how many, either it's good to go or I need to order ANOTHER proof (just depends on whether the formatting changed with latest corrections). 

And there you have it! I'm excited to tell you that Steps 1 and 2 of 2018 Boom are now complete and I'm thrilled by the content in this new book! Plus I am also working on another book - a collaborative effort that I'm spearheading right now, so if you happen to know someone who might be a fit for that, please send me a message and let me know. 

So excited for 2018 Boom!! :-) And of course, the Patreon peeps will be able to order a preview copy BEFORE the book hits the general public ;-) more to come on that soon.... 

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