Last week I spoke to author Bill O’Hanlon on what he calls the Three Tasks of the Author. You can listen to the entire podcast here.
Now, Bill should know what he’s talking about. He’s written 35 books and all have been traditionally published. Bill’s appeared on Oprah to talk about his best selling book ‘Do One Thing Different’ and I’ve transcribed some of the best bits of the podcast interview, so let’s jump in.
1: Bring Your Raw Energy and Unique Slant
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a musician, a writer or a producer of content the fact is record companies need you, publishing companies need you. They need creative content. If book companies could write their own books with artificial intelligence, I guarantee you they’d be doing it. They’d automate the process and cut you (the author) out.
But they can’t. They need your human creativity, and your raw energy and the unique slant that you have on your topic, your fiction or your non-fiction. Nobody else is going to write it like you. If you can truly find your raw energy you will smash it.
Now, there are 4 kinds of energies.
Blissed – What do you love?
Blessed – Who sees something in you or encourages you and says, “…you ought to write a book about that” or “…that’s a great idea!”
Pissed – Are you so pissed off about something you want to write a book about it and change the world?
Dissed – Where have you been hurt or disrespected that makes you sensitive to some topic?
Some fiction writers write their books from being dissed. A good example is well known thriller writer, Lee Child. The reason he started writing was that he was so pissed off at his bosses at Granada Television who had fired him and undermined him that every time he kills somebody in one of his Jack Reacher books, he’s thinking of his old management, his old bosses. So he was not only pissed, he was dissed, disrespected.
So that’s the first task of an author. You’ve got to bring your raw energy and your uniqueness to your project.
Nobody else can the write the book that you can write – Bill O’Hanlon
2: Get it Organised. Write it and Edit it
You need to find your writing rituals, find how to outline a structure. Then you need to turn up and do the work. When Australian best selling author Bryce Courtney was asked how he writes so many books he replied:
…Bum glue. I glue my bum to the chair and I write – Bryce Courtney
There’s no other magic, you have to sit down and write. Then you have to edit and re-write. Most writing is re-writing. What comes out on the raw page is what you need to get out because you have to have something other than a blank screen or page to work with. Then you can begin to rewrite it. You’ve got to edit it to make sure its the best it can be. It’s sounds simplistic, but that’s how it really is. Get organised, write, edit and rewrite. Do the work.
3: Get Yourself or Your Book Visible and Get it Published
Most new writers don’t like this task but it’s essential. You need to learn about the publishing process, whether it’s eBooks, published print books or finding a publisher or agent and to do that you need to build a platform.
Imagine you’re being in a room with 100 new authors and you were able to stand on a platform. If a publisher or a reader walked in they could see your head above the crowd right away. They’d notice you more than they’d notice somebody else. So, your job is to build a platform which is basically anything that makes you or your book more visible. It’s doing podcast interviews, it’s doing a blog, it’s going out and doing a speaking tour or a book publicity tour, it’s putting a video on Facebook everyday, with your thoughts on some topic that’s related to your book or something that you’re passionate about.
You also need a great proposal if you’re getting published by a publisher. You need to know the pitch. You need to be able to sell the premise of your book in 25 words or less.
You need to get the clarity before you write the book – Bill O’Hanlon
It will make your book easier to write, faster to write, and it’s going to make it easier to sell to your readers if your doing an eBook or to an agent or a publisher if you’re doing a published book.
Bill’s got a lot more to say on the podcast. You can listen to the whole interview right here on my eBook Revolution Podcast. The three tasks are simple on the surface but all are essential.
Right now, Bill is taking students for his Get Your Book Written and Published Course. This is a deep dive hands on course that really can tease that book out of you and give you a roadmap to getting it published. If you are serious about taking action and getting your book written and finding a publisher, then check out Bill’s video on the link below.
What do you think of the three tasks? Please leave a comment below.