In the South, where I’m from, we use the expression “more than one way to skin the cat.” It refers to catfish, which are skinned before they’re eaten. I bring it up because I think it’s a great analogy for all the different ways that you can “create” an income-producing book.
You see, it took me more than 50 years to write my first book, mostly for the same reasons that most people have. Too many responsibilities…not enough time…kids, work, etc.
But the real reason it took me so long is because I didn’t believe I could do it. I just imagined, from everything I had heard, that it was a tough process. All I could picture was Hemingway hunched over his Corona typewriter for weeks at a time, stopping only occasionally to slug down a martini.
When I finally made up my mind that I was going to do it one way or another, I did a lot of research on the book business. What I found was amazing and very encouraging.
For instance, many of the big-time celebrities appear as the author for their books when in fact they were written by ghostwriters.
This is true for William Shatner, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Richard Branson, and many others. Two of my personal best-sellers, and five other best-sellers without my name on them, were written for me by ghostwriters.
So one way to skin the cat is…don’t write it. Hire someone to do it. And today you’ll have your pick of tens of thousands of highly qualified writers, many of whom you can hire for as little as three to five cents a word.
Two of my best-sellers were “spoken” into existence. For instance, you can create an outline and record a presentation like you were speaking to an audience. Then have it transcribed and turn it over to a freelance writer/editor and have them organize the information into book form.
Self-improvement legend Brian Tracy, who has more than 50 books published in 38 languages says, “Dictating your book is one of the most powerful exercises I have ever discovered, and dramatically increases the speed at which you create your initial manuscript.”
I’ve used this method to literally write a book in a weekend. And the faster you can create it, the faster you can start earning royalties.
One of the first books that gave me some income was one I took from the public domain. What if I told you that Walt Disney built the foundation of his multi-billion-dollar business on freely-available, public domain books written by other people.
You’ve heard of Snow White, Pinocchio, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid. Blockbuster Disney movies, right? But before that, they were public domain books written by other people.
Disney’s recent mega-movie, Frozen, which has grossed $1.3 billion was based on a public domain work by Hans Christian Andersen published 170 years ago.
There are still millions of books in the public domain that haven’t been used or re-published since their original publication. It’s still a strategy I use to create dependable book income and so can you.
These aren’t the only ways to skin this cat but there’s at least one way that will work for you.
Image © iStock.com/mactrunk
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