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Monday, January 10, 2011

Your Idea to Amazon in 14 Days

By Guest Blogger, Marnie Swedberg

How long will you spend writing your next book? It’s a question you should ask, because minutes matter!

My first book took four years from idea to publication. It was published by St. Martin’s Press, enjoyed three printings and major media. I wouldn’t trade a minute of that investment.

I have gone on to write several books, my most recent taking four months from idea to publication. Again, that time was well spent.

In January of 2010, the director of a regional library system asked me to pinch hit for a trainer who was not able to fulfill his 3-day, 7-city speaking tour on the topic, “How to Write an eBook.” The events were scheduled to begin 16 days after the call and during those two weeks I pulled a team together, researched, wrote and published a book entitled, “eBooks: Idea to Amazon in 14 Days.” The book is the journal of every step I took in order to achieve that goal.

Now anyone can do it, including you.

I’ll be sharing more of my process during my interview with Felice on Information in a Nutshell, but here are a few tips:

1.    Write for Two Audiences. Write your manuscript for your target (niche) audience, but also write it with a publisher in mind. If you can answer the questions an acquisition’s editor will ask, you will be well on your way to having a marketable book. At that point, you can decide whether to self-publish or seek a publisher.

2.    Surround Yourself with Talent. If you plan to publish a book fast, you’ll need a team. Mine included researchers, editors, formatters and a graphic artist. I mostly rely on outsourcers, which is a new concept for many people, but saves me thousands of dollars each year.

3.    Turn on a Dime. As soon as you identify a roadblock to progress, shift, take a hard right or eliminate that element completely. The key is to keep writing.

4.    Get Unstuck Fast. When I get stuck, I hire a coach for 5-15 minutes to help me see what I am missing. My book, eBooks: Idea to Amazon in 14 Days, is like having me sitting next to you, coaching you through many steps of writing, including getting your ISBN, using waivers and obtaining a website. If you need additional help, hire a coach. Arrange to receive “laser coaching” versus ongoing service. You are on a deadline: You need quick answers instead of weeks of hand-holding.

5.    Prepare to be famous. OK, you might not get famous, but it’s important to think ahead toward what it would be like if you were. Just today I completed 20 questions for a Celebrity Interview website. I love it when they send me questions and give me time to “wordsmith” my answers and have it all edited. More often you will have to answer questions on the spot – on TV, radio or for a print interview. Taking time to ask yourself the questions first is really helpful. (The book includes all the questions I was asked during my blog tour for its release.)

Publishing an eBook or book in 14 days may sound outrageous, but the shortcuts I used to accomplish that feat may be the catalyst you need to finish your book this year rather than next year or than never. 

Learn more of my stress-busting strategies for authors, speakers and other super busy women at

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