How to write a book in three months.

Two summers ago, I decided to write a textbook on Entrepreneurship and Innovation.  I gave myself the summer to write it (three months, part-time).  My publisher ( De Gruyter ) thought I was crazy… but I did it.  Here’s how:

Step 1: Make a Deadline

Without a deadline, how can you hit it?  I set myself a deadline of three months, and I fully intended to do it.  Would it be perfect, no, but would it be finished, yes! So few people will actually set a deadline for a project like this, but it really is the most important step.

Step 2: Break it Down

Realizing I had three months, I decided I wanted to have 12 chapters so I could write one chapter per week.  So I made an outline for the book that broke down the content into 12 clean chapters.

Step 3: Make a Schedule

I also had a full-time job while I wrote the book, so I had to find time to write it.  I created three weekly time-slots into my Google Calendar for writing, and one for reviewing. That left me 4×4 hour blocks for writing (evenings and weekends).

Step 4: Outline the Chapter

I made an outline for the chapter first, sorting out what I wanted to cover, and the order in which I planned to present it. One important trick was to make each chapter follow a similar pattern.  I opened with a story, then covered 2 or 3 main points of learning, then closed with a story.  Each chapter also had at least 1 figure and 1 “assessment” guide to help the reader assess what they learned.

Step 5: Write

I did NOT focus on writing well, just getting it all out.  I used the chapter outline to stay organized and on point, but otherwise wrote almost free-form (deciding to add references and such later).

Step 5: Edit

In the final 4-hour slot, I finished up, edited, added quotes and figures, etc.  Re-reading what I wrote was really helpful in making the book come together.

Step 6: Publish

I sent it on to the publisher and their editor was shocked.  Not only was the book done ON TIME, it had very few mistakes or edits. {partial credit to my wife who also pre-read and edited the final version for me}.



In short, yes. The book made the Bestseller list for the publisher in the first year, and continues to sell quite well on Amazon and in certain bookstores.

If you get a copy, I’d be happy to sign it! 


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