How to Write a Book – The Short Honest Truth by Scott Berkun

May 4, 2012

I’ve just recently become aware of Scott Berkun, thanks to catching an excerpt from his “Confessions of a Public Speaker” book. I’ve since read that book, and it was wonderful (more on that in a separate post). I’m now following Berkun on Twitter, where he frequently Tweets older posts. One of those that I found to be particularly on the nose was “How to Write a Book- the Short, Honest Truth“. I get asked about publishing a lot (and recently had a long email conversation about this, which I’ll also share separately), and thought Berkun’s posting is quite valuable on the subject.

In the post, Berkun distinguishes between three aspects of writing a book:

  • Anyone can write a book (i.e., you can write one right now, without needing anything else)
  • Getting published (which is a separate issue from writing a book)
  • Becoming famous and wealthy

I know there are some people that would like to write a book as an experience, or as a way of sharing what they’ve learned. And some others like the imagined prestige and riches that come with writing a book. I’ve done quite well over the past decade, having written 22 books and sold over 350,000 copies, but I can verify that the prestige and riches aren’t all that you might imagine (I recently discussed the economics in a newsletter). That being said, I’m quite happy that I’m making a decent living doing something that I always dreamed of doing. I’ve been working for myself for 13 years now, which is something.

In any case, if you’re interested in the topic, check out Berkun’s post. It’s short, and well written. At the bottom, you’ll find links to more good articles on writing, if you’re not too discouraged by that point! His “Why You Fail at Writing” is pretty good for helping you accomplish that goal of writing a book.

If you have any questions you’d like to ask me about what it means to be a writer, just let me know!