We were hanging out at Gavin’s house when we started thinking about how good it is to write a book to promote a personal or corporate brand.
I remember saying to Gavin “yeah, but just the thought of writing a book is enough to make me want to procrastinate. Does it happen to you, too?”
A book can increase your brand’s presence, get us on more stages and help you build your personal brand. We knew that, but as simple as it might seem to just get an idea and start writing, taking the first step is just a different thing.
But Gavin had one of these outbursts of enthusiasm that he frequently has and said “Bro, why don’t we just do it now?”
He learned that instead of writing a book, you can just speak it. There are AI programs now that can help you write it, as long as you have a cool idea and give it a little structure. It makes it so much simpler.
In this article, you’ll see how Gavin Lira, CEO of The Empathy Firm, took an idea in his head and turned it into a book, via a simple process you can follow, too. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear path to getting this item finally done.
First, start with a topic you know a lot about.
Gavin started with a topic he’s an expert at. “I will write about how to build networks and connect people. You already know this, but I love to connect my friends and partners with each other and see how they end up doing great things together.”
So, stop right now and write down what topic you’ve got great skill in.
Gavin explained to me that the best thing is to pick just one thing, the narrower the better. “Usually the first thing that comes to mind is the best choice if you’re struggling to decide what to pick.”
Second, write an outline of 10 key bullet points.
He wrote an outline of 10 points which he could talk about for 5 minutes each. He also made sub-points for more detail, “I think that’s enough structure. We’re trying to avoid writing, so we don’t need to write a 10 page essay.”
I did the same thing for a webinar I’m doing. I jotted down 8-10 phrases on a yellow sticky note. Another way you can do it is to do an “interview”, where you write down a list of common questions and have a friend ask them to you.
Gavin looked over his outline and added a story to each major point so he could explain first and then give the example. I recommend you do that too.
Third, consider who your book is for.
“The idea is to solve a problem, not only to help people, because that way the book will be interesting to them,” he said.
Now ask yourself what is the result from people who have completed reading your book. You’ll want to speak about this in your introduction and also mention it again at the end for reinforcement.
Gavin said “people will know the mindset they need and the ways they can reach out to people and build a relationship, and after that, connect people; and the ways they can offer value to their connections.”
Now we needed to pick a title that encapsulates the big benefit. In Gavin’s case, he chose “You’re Just One Connection Away”, since he’s witnessed first-hand the impact of reaching out to people to build connections —actually, the reason you’re reading this article is because he reached out to me on Facebook to offer value first before ever attempting to sell anything.
Fourth, get your phone out and start filming.
Basically, we could just have opened up the voice recorder app in our phones, but we like video, since we can pull out snippets later, so we recorded with his phone’s camera.
If you want to get fancy about filming with a nice camera, microphone, and lighting, you can. We have a whole course on this called “Setting up a video studio for people who suck at video”. But don’t let technicalities stop you from filming.
Lucky we were together. We’ve found that having a colleague there while you’re filming increases the energy level and accountability, plus gives you someone to bounce ideas off. Anyway, in the past I’ve filmed many solo videos just fine.
Gavin suggested pausing for 2 minutes in-between each chapter. “That way we can calibrate what we want to say.”
Of course, he went off script a couple of times because he realized he wanted to cover new things that weren’t in his outline. “The outline, anyway, is not a rigid path to follow, but a general framework for your thoughts,” he told me.
Fifth, upload your video for transcription.
Now it’s time for the behind-the-scenes work.
We happen to like Descript (which is a pro-level tool for people who create a lot of content), but you can also use Otter.ai, Rev, or even just have someone on Fiverr do it. Figure it will cost you 10-50 cents a minute up to a dollar a minute for the expensive services. So your 60 minutes of filming might cost you $30 to transcribe.
We needed to cut out the filler words, there were many “ums” and “ahs”, lol.
The good thing about using Descript is that it can automatically cut them out, clean up your sound, eliminate gaps, and so forth.
Conversational language usually looks strange when converted to written text. So Gavin suggested that maybe we can have an editor on Fiverr clean it up, “it costs about $100.”
Also, you could run it through an AI writing tool like Jasper that will retranslate the sentences.
Since I’m paranoid about losing files, I pay $10 a month to iCloud to keep all the photos/videos from my phone backed up, and I pay $10 a month for the same thing from Google and Amazon, too. Plus another $30 a month to Dropbox. I know, I know, but better that than get mad later for losing something important.
Sixth, get a designer to make your book cover.
“We could have the entire book instantly assembled via a tool like Designrr or pay someone on Fiverr $20 to get it done,” I told him.
For more details on how to find the best freelancer, go here. Or just find a few book covers you like and get your designer to mimic those.
Seventh, get your friends to write praise for your book.
Gavin explained that most won’t read the book, but are happy to say nice things about it. Your friends and other connections will do this for you, since you’ll do this for them, just like recommendations of all types.
Eight, publish the book.
Gavin told me “the trend nowadays is to self-publish instead of going to a publisher. The internet makes distribution and promotion easier, plus cheaper and faster.”
You could upload to Amazon, pay for an ISBN, and attempt to be a best-seller in a category you desire. But most of us just want to say we have a book, not try to make money directly selling a book.
Ninth, print and promote the book.
“There are many places where we can print the book,” I told him.
Based on some research, we found out it is safe to say a book has half as many pages as minutes you speak, so a 90 minute video is about 45 pages for a 6×9 paperback. If you add in diagrams, testimonials, pictures, and other bits, it could be more.
“Let’s assume about 5 cents per page black and white. So a 45 page book with a normal paperback binding is about $2 each, which is $4 shipped in the US,” he said.
If you want to write a fiction book, I’m afraid we can’t help you there. But if you’re a service firm or professional, I believe this is a great option for you to consider.
Tenth, now tell all your friends!
Finally, we gave our closer friends and clients the physical version and our “casual/distant” friends the Kindle or ebook version.
You can use the common book promo technique of making it a penny or free on Kindle for a pre-launch and then switching to $7 for paperback at launch. More on this in Chandler Bolt’s book Published.
And if you want to promote your book and snippets on social media, use the Dollar a Day strategy to get the word out.
Well there you have it! Step-by-step. I guess you wouldn’t think it’d be that easy.
Are you ready to publish?