If your business model relies on having your own product/s to either sell or offer as giveaways to build your profile then you need to find an easy way to do it.
What I like about this model is that it is chunkable, that is what seems an onerous task can be broken down into doable bits, and, it is replicable: a one-book wonder isn’t going to give you as much credibility as having a range of books and this method can be utilised again and again to write books.
I’m not sure who originated it, but I first came across this method from Sean Mize, or maybe it was Robert Plank. Either way, it is reasonably well known but not often practised! I don’t know why not, because it works. It works whether you want to produce a physical book or a digital one. And one of the advantages of this method is its flexibility. You’ll see what I mean.
The method is the 10×10 model.
Simply, identify the area or niche your book will cover.
If you have an area of expertise from your previous career then this will be obvious for you. For example, if you were a motor mechanic then you have knowledge about vehicle mechanics and that may be your topic area. If you were a neo-natal nurse, there’s your area. If you were a cleaner, that’s a big area you can cover. Nearly any job you’ve ever held will have a body of knowledge that you probably take for granted but which others may want to know about.
Maybe your professional life doesn’t excite you to build your business around, or, maybe there isn’t a big enough market in your niche to make decent money from. (By the way, don’t assume this – test it and research it).
You can look beyond your career to your interests, hobbies and pastimes. For a lot of people that’s where they can immerse themselves and never get sick of the topic! Think music, bridge, action gaming, raising chooks, dancing, ukulele, ancestry, history …. you get the picture.
Just be sure that the area or niche you choose is (a) marketable ie in demand and (b) something you’re happy to spend a lot of time on and want to be known for.
For example if you’re a trainer, coach or speaker choose your broad area of expertise eg personal development, project management, whatever. This is important to be able to brand yourself and become known as an expert in that niche.
Once you’ve chosen your area or niche the rest falls easily.
Now, make a list of ten topics within your area or niche. Note: you don’t need to be the expert right now because you can research the bits you don’t know, but by the time you’re finished you’ll be seen as having specific knowledge 🙂
Next, for each topic, create a list of ten sub topics. Don’t panic if you can’t come up with exactly ten for each. Do what you can and research the topic to find extra subtopics to cover. And don’t worry if you come up with more than ten subtopics in some topics: pick the most homogenous ten and reserve the rest for a follow-up product. For now, just write down what comes into your head as sub topics for each topic.
Once you’ve completed that, have a rest 🙂 You’ve done well. You’ve now sketched out 100 things to cover in your book. OMG, I hear you cry, that’s a lot of content to create!! Not really. When you break it down you’re going to cover 3-4 points per sub topic. That gives you a page for each subtopic for a one-hundred page book.
All you need to do now is go to your favourite word processing program, type up a working cover page, type up each subtopic on a separate page, type up 3-4 bullet points for each subtopic and save it.
Then, schedule when you will write. Most people will be able to write 5-10 pages a day and it helps if that time goes in your diary as a non-negotiable appointment with yourself. Do it in one stint each day or spread your writing throughout the day eg 3 pages first thing in the morning, 3 at lunch and 4 at night.
The trick is to reserve writing time as writing time, not research or pontification or procrastination time! When you sit down to write be ready to write with your subtopics and key points written down and ready to expand on. That will enable you to write more easily and quickly. Because your structure is in place you’ll find it easier to write.
Begin with any page you like. Some might tackle the hardest first so will start slower as they’ll need to do some preliminary research to find those key points. Others might start on the pages where they really know the content well and can get words down quickly. The beauty of this model is it doesn’t matter. All you’re doing now is filling in the blanks to create one page of content for each subtopic.
Here’s a tip: just write. Don’t edit or second guess yourself as you write. You’ll need to edit your book once all one-hundred pages are done but please don’t make the mistake of editing as you go or you’ll get disheartened by how long it takes you to produce your content.
If you can write 10 pages a day, you’ll have written your book in ten days.
Add another week to finesse the title, create a cover and do proofreading and editing.
Then you can publish 🙂
Keep that rate of production up and you could have 10-12 books in your product line within a year. How feasible does that sound? You can always go a little slower and you’ll still publish say 5-6 books.
Oh, that’s part of the flexibility of this model. You can also adjust to say ten subtopics for five topics and that will give you a decent book. Or maybe your book doesn’t fit the straight jacket of ten and ten but maybe some topics have 5 or 7 subtopics while others have 12 or 15. Use the model as a guide but the principle is to create a workable structure that simplifies the creation process. The more you stick the 10×10 the easier you will find the method flows for you. It’s about systematising the process. And we all know a system makes any task foolproof and duplicable.