Darren M. Palmer
THERE’S MORE THAN ONE WAY TO WRITE A BOOK
Updated: Jul 10, 2020
A book requires a significant commitment of time, money, and energy. It’s easy to start and not finish because it is so resource-intensive.
Do you have a greater mission tied to your book? For example, is your business helping people get in shape? Do you have a message around health and fitness that the world needs to hear? Perhaps you want to help families build more wealth, so kids aren’t accumulating massive student loan debt before they are 20 years old. Or, possibly, you want more people to know about your business and you know a book is a great way to spread the word about what you do.
Whatever the reason … just be sure there is a bigger reason. That will get you out of bed on the mornings you have to write before your family is awake and it will keep you going when the editor suggests reworking three chapters when you thought you were done.
After you develop your WHY — you may want to consider HOW to write your book. Yes, I said how! Because you don’t have to write the traditional route.
Do you want to write faster? What if I told you that there's more than one way to write a book? Before typewriters were invented, people wrote by hand. Once the typewriter/computer was created, the number of words and pages you could type by the hour and page became faster and more effective.
But guess what? Typing is not the only way to write a book. I find authors all the time talk about how they aren’t great writers, but they have a message to share! I get it.
What if I told you that you could write anywhere from 3,000-5,000 words in an hour? Do you know how quickly you could write the book that you’ve been putting off? It could definitely be within the window of 30-90 days!
It’s possible! Let me introduce you to the magic of writing yours by dictation! Now you can step away from your laptop and write your book in the car, on a walk, wherever. This is one of my favorite writing tips that I share with aspiring authors.
Simply put, it eliminates excuses! (This is another blog by itself!)
Before I go any further, I want to share some fun facts about the different ways to write. Let me give you some numbers!
Dictation Per Minute: 150 words
Typing Per Minute: 30-45 words
Writing Per Minute: 13 words
Dictation Per Hour: 5,000 words
Typing Per Hour: 1,500 words
Writing: 700 words
There are two main methods of dictation I’m going to share:
(1) Voice to text in real-time (Voice Typing)
Use a microphone to dictate straight into a text program, and the words will appear on the screen as you go. You may also be using voice commands to do other tasks e.g., open email program, send messages, and more.
(2) Dictate now, transcribe later
Use a recording device to record your words now and later have them transcribed. You can send them to a transcription service like Speechpad.com or upload them into Dragon Transcription or another program. Some of our clients use ZOOM. At the end of this blog, I will share some Andriod/iPhone APPS you can use to record yourself.
*This does not mean that you need to download the app and start recording. There is still a necessary process; outline, chapter details, organization. I do not advise anyone to skip these steps.
There are two main reasons why someone struggles to write a book after they’ve started. They either haven’t done enough research or are not really clear on their writing topic. A clear outline fixes the second part of the problem and will highlight the work that needs to be done in advance on the research.
Words can add up quickly when it comes to dictation. I want to share a few reasons you should consider using dictation if you don’t consider yourself a great writer.
I think this tip is pretty obvious, so for time’s sake; I’ll keep it brief! Simple fact. Your typing speed is slower than your speaking speed.
Eliminates Your Inner Editor
Editing while writing is an issue I have seen with many writers. If you are reviewing every line, you aren’t going to be typing very many words! The stop and go process won’t get you very far. Not only are people correcting punctuation and grammar errors, but they also head over to Google and research a fact. Consider it chasing squirrels. By the time they look up, an hour has passed and they’ve only written two paragraphs. All of this slows you down and frankly isn’t very productive. When you use the traditional process of typing to write, your brain gets occupied by the trivial task of editing.
In contrast, recording your words can help slay your inner editor. You simply can’t edit while you are dictating. There is no easy way to stop and review what you wrote.
Which has another benefit…
Captures Spontaneous Ideas Better
Because you are speaking faster and aren’t stopping to reread what you wrote, you can capture all those spontaneous ideas that come to your head.
I don’t know how many times I’ve thought of a great idea in the middle of typing another and by the time my fingers have materialized the words of my initial thought, my second thought has dissipated. Recording your thoughts can help eliminate this.
Dialogue Sounds More Natural
Most great books involve dialogue. Writing language is different than speaking language. In conversation or dialogue, we use less formal language. We insert more colloquialisms. We drop off vowels and other sounds.
By recording your dialogue, you can get a more natural-sounding tone. This can be especially true if you unleash your inner actor and actress and record your conversation as if your characters were speaking to each other.
I do have a spoiler alert. Once you have dictated all of your chapters — that you incorporated from your outline — you will need to make sure that you record in an mp3 or mp4 file so you can get it transcribed. Transcription is taking the audio and converting it into a text. I will add that you probably won’t record your entire book in one sitting, so make sure that you save each file — using the name of the chapter.
The transcribed version will be your rough draft, so you will have an opportunity to go back in and clarify some of your points. Then once you clean up the rough draft, you will submit it to an editor to be edited.
The way Self Publish -N- 30 Days’ process works is that the author will review the manuscript once it's been transcribed. We do this because you know what you are trying to say. It’s much easier than having our editors mark up your manuscript because some things are unclear.
Keep in mind; these will be your words and your story, so you will need to thoroughly participate in this part of the process. (This is true for every step!)
Recording your words instead of typing them will take some practice, but the benefits are worth exploring this new technology. Just as the methods of writing have changed over the centuries, we as writers need to adapt.
As evidenced by the influx of Siri likes on our phones and Alexa in our homes, the next significant input method is voice. Dictation is a practical skill for the future, just like learning to type better was an essential 20 years ago. If you don’t start embracing voice now, you could be left behind. Or worse, never get the book published.
I know I shared numbers previously, but I also wanted to share a few more numbers with you, especially if you are thinking of writing a book. While we share with our authors not to get caught up on the number, you may be curious to know what size the book will be and this gives you a way to guide how much work and commitment we are required during the writing/dictation process. The read times for the word count is just an average.
• 10,000 words = a pamphlet or business white paper.
Read time = 30-60 minutes.
• 20,000 words = short eBook or manifesto. The Communist Manifesto is an example of this, at about 18,000 words.
Read time = 1-2 hours.
• 40,000–60,000 words = standard nonfiction book / novella. The Great Gatsby is an example of this.
Read time = three to four hours.
• 60,000–80,000 words = long nonfiction book / standard-length novel. Most Malcolm Gladwell books fit in this range.
Read time = four to six hours.
• 80,000 words–100,000 words = very long nonfiction book / long novel. The Four-Hour Work Week falls in this range.
Read time = five to seven hours.
• 100,000+ words = epic-length novel / academic book / biography. The Steve Jobs biography would fit this category.
Read time = six to eight hours.
Dictation APPS for iPhone
Transcribe - The simplest one.
Speechy - The most complete.
Voice to text Pro - The straightest to the point.
Translate - The international.
Transcribe - The most effective.
Voice recognition - More simple, you die!
Dictation APPS for Android
Transcribe - Speech to Text
Speechnotes - Speech to Text
Speech to Text