Let’s face it: we’re all crunched for time. When you’re trying to build your blog or business, especially if you’re still working elsewhere, every minute counts. It can be really hard to find time to write your book. But, you know becoming an author will be worth it—you’ll bring new eyes to your content and your brand, and you’ll ultimately add a tremendous asset to your platform. So what’s a busy entrepreneur to do? Implement these three tricks to help you make your path to authorship much shorter.
— USE AN OUTLINE
It’s a lot harder to write a book without a plan. You waste time writing paragraphs or even chapters that ultimately never make it into your book. Plus, you’ll probably spend a lot more time staring at a computer screen with a blinking cursor, wondering what you should write about.
A detailed outline will help you bring focus to the time you spend writing your book. If you know exactly what you need to write, writing goes much faster. For example, when I sat down to write this blog post, I knew the three points that I wanted to cover. If I’d just started with a general idea that I’d like to blog about how you can write your book faster, I’d probably write a lot of unfocused copy that ultimately wouldn’t make it into the post.
Writing an outline might take you an hour or even two, but the focus it will bring you will save you countless hours. Take the time to not only plan out the general chapters you’ll include, but also plan out exactly what will be in those chapters. The more detail in your outline, the easier it will be to actually write your book.
Sometimes it’s easier to talk things out than it is to type them out. Some people’s brains naturally work better with spoken words than written words. And, most of us can talk much faster than we can type. Unless you absolutely can’t organize your thoughts if you’re speaking, dictating parts of or even your entire book can save a lot of time.
You’ll probably have to spend some time editing your transcription, depending on the voice that you plan to use in your book. I tend to use a slightly more formal voice in my books than I do while speaking, so I always edit transcripts to match my writing voice. But, even with the time I spend editing, it’s much faster to dictate than to simply type out what I’m writing.
DICTATION TOOLS AND SERVICES
If you decide to try dictating, you can either use software to transcribe things yourself, or you can hire someone to do the transcription for you. If you’re a Gmail or G Suite user, you can use the Voice Typing feature for free. (It’s located under Tools.) I’ll warn you—you have to speak pretty slowly to get Voice Typing to give you an accurate transcription. I’ve also heard good things about Dragon software, although I haven’t used it personally.
If you’d prefer to have someone else transcribe your audio (or even video!), I highly recommend Rev. Their rates are very reasonable and I’ve had great results working with them. You can also find transcriptionists on sites like Fiverr and Upwork.
REPURPOSE YOUR CONTENT
Reusing the content you’ve already written is the best and fastest way to get your book written. I was able to write my first book in under a month by repurposing blog posts that I’d written. I personally don’t simply copy and paste my blog posts into the book without editing and adding to them. I provide more examples and more information in my books. But, even if you simply copied and pasted your exact blog posts into a book, you’re still providing additional value by putting all of that information in one place.
Want to save even more time? If you do a lot of video, you can transcribe the videos, make them into blog posts, and then repurpose the blog posts in your book. (Pro tip: you definitely should be using Live Video if you’re working to build your platform and brand.) Not only is this a great way to create a lot of content for several channels at once, but it’s also a huge time saver!