How do I profitably publish six times my just-finished book? (#1 of 10)

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The first thing is to make a step-by-step list, then follow it, unless I discover (or remember) an even more brilliant step I left off my list. If so, I’ll just insert and do it too. There’s no law on how long the list can be. (Nor on how modest I must be. You will decide that with your delete key!)

But now that my book was just written, I also have some time goals: I want some version of this book out and earning within a month. Better, at least two versions out in two to three weeks.

The second is to share the process (and progress) with you. I can’t share much of the process in one, or even five, blogs. So let’s start a blog series and title the blogs THE 10-STEP PUBLISHING PROCESS followed by a number so we can keep it in a sensible order, to use now or later. I’ll try to post one blog a week, occasionally two. They will appear here, at http://blog.gordonburgett.com. (Invite your literate friends to join in too.)

So let’s start right now. This blog (#1) will be a quick listing of what has already been done on my just-finished-final-draft book, plus a pinch of biography as it pertains to book writing and publishing.

The facts:

* This will be my 44th published book. I’d follow the same order if it were my first.

* I typed the last word of the second draft of this book 20 minutes (or one Coke) ago.

* I wrote the first draft on a computer. It contained 28,200 words and took 10 partial days, which is about five 8-hour days (with some lunch in the middle). It’s unimportant how long the first draft takes except that you should put the idea, facts, and content down unedited, like professionals do.

* An adult nonfiction book only 28,200 words is very short. I usually shoot for 45,000-70,000. But there’s a purpose to staying under 30,000 words as I will share in a future blog. For your book, just write it, then let “word count” surprise you. You can always delete or add words later.

* I printed out that first draft, with temporary page numbers on the bottom.

* Then I created a rough table of contents and wrote the seven section themes and chapter numbers on the printed pages where that segment more or less began. (I usually do the table of contents first and write the book to meet the chapters’ promises, but there are no rigid rules on book organization, so long as it does get organized and makes sense to the reader.)

* When I didn’t know something in draft #1 or an item needed more research, I inserted *** in the rough, first draft, put four blank spaces after it, and kept writing. In the off hour I found what was missing and inserted it after the respective *** mark, or I left the item out or rewrote that paragraph.

* I then read the typed first draft slowly and carefully, and I converted that copy into final text by writing all the changes in pen on the printed pages of the first copy (the first draft). Sometimes I moved sections or sentences to other locales, using A, B. C and page numbers to help locate the text later.

* I crossed out anything that didn’t belong in this book. A simple vertical line for paragraphs or pages, a horizontal line for lines or words.

* Then I began the final second draft (which I just finished, four fairly long days later). I expect 95% or more of this final text to appear as is in the final book.

* I called up the first, rough draft on the monitor, put the corrected copy version in a vertical letter-holder, and inserted all of the changes into the computer, chapter by chapter. As I did this I carefully read and reread each paragraph and chapter, and I continued to modify the text until it read the way I thought it sounded best and made the most sense to another reader. When I was done, a short while back, I had finished the second draft.

* That’s where I am right now. What’s next, starting tomorrow?

* I will print out that second draft and read it word-by-word one last time. That may take a day. I will probably change a few words or phrases per page. I’ll insert those changes directly into the text, which will then be my final third draft.

* I will digitally send the third draft to an experienced proofreader who will return it within a week.

* I might also let a friend or two read the third draft for any changes, structural modifications, objections, or other suggestions. Ideally, that is done from the finished second draft, so their suggestions (if accepted) will appear in my final third draft before it’s sent to the professional proofreader. Those special readers are gratefully acknowledged in the book.

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That’s blog #1 of the 10-step publishing process.

My next blog, #2, will be those 10 steps, with comments.

You don’t know what my book is about? Don’t fret. You will soon. Yet at this stage it’s not important since all nonfiction books I write are done the same way.

Your task? Write a book. You pick the subject and format. The first half of my How to Get Your Book Published Free in Minutes and Marketed Worldwide in Days should help, but there are lots of “how-to-write-a-book” guides around. Or if you have the core of a book already done, join me now as we put our books out in at least six selling versions.

I’ll continue this heart-pounding information in THE 10-STEP PUBLISHING PROCESS #2.

Get writing, and best wishes,

Gordon Burgett

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