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From Zero to Amazon in 90 Days: First Month Update

A quick update, in case you folks are interested, on how I’m doing with my challenge to write and publish a book in 90 days.

Net: I went bananas.

I’m writing 5 books.

 

  • A Toltec Historical Drama, yet to be named:
    • Around 30,000 words written.
    • First cover concepts received from an incredibly talented Mexican artist, who actually understands the visual difference between the Aztecs and the Toltecs.
    • Brilliant editor found; I’ve asked her to look at the early manuscript and offer book strengthening suggestions.

 

  • A Contemporary Erotic Romance, yet to be named:
    • Around 77,000 words written.
    • I’m totally into it and now writing the last 3-4 chapters.
    • The first 20,000 words or so are being edited by a fantastic, successful romance author. That’s because this is my first romance and I’m feeling kinda shaky.
    • She’s not just editing the work… she’s practically re-writing it for me, sentence by sentence. I couldn’t be happier! It saves me the tedious re-write process, which used to bog me down to a halt before.
    • Found a very good cover artist, who promises to complete the cover by June.

 

  • I’m either authoring, or coauthoring 3 books for children:
    • I started with one simple children book concept and contacted a strong copywriter to help me come up with a name. And what do you know! He suggested so many names that I ended up writing … 3 books. I just couldn’t resist.
    • It’s a good thing that the children books for my target audience (7-9 year olds) are only about 2,000 words long. All are now written, road-tested with my kids, and ready for editing.
    • I’ve found an outstanding co-author, so I didn’t actually have to write all of the texts. I participated a great deal, developed the concepts and gave the text some re-writes, though. Took me only a few hours with this approach.
    • Three illustrators are hard at work producing magic illustrations.

 

  • And, as you may know, we’ve just decided to launch an almanac of the bestest best 55-word wonders:
    • I’ve received great response from the authors who want to be in.
    • Started to compile the list for the publication.
    • Looking for an illustrator who’d do cool, cheap doodles for each story so we can add a whole new dimension.

 

  • In parallel, I also changed the cover for one of my earlier books, because I didn’t like it. Wanna see?
    • Old cover. Maybe stylish. But bland.
    • New cover. I think it’s cool. It also has an adorable cat on it. It was made by the good folks over at 99 Designs. <— this is a special affiliate link with a $50 discount for you and $50 cash back for me. It ends in 1 week. Check it out if you need a book cover.

So here we go. Full report.

If I appear to be slow in my answers to your emails, please forgive me. I’m a little overloaded, what with my 12-hour per day “day job” and with my family; and all this writing.

I thought my family would hate my 90-day writing marathon, but instead, they became massively supportive.

My wife, who got rather alarmed at first, told me to get on with it and have it done.

My 8-year old daughter got so fascinated, seeing me work on my books every night, that she wrote her very own book today. I got to log out now and type it up before she wakes up tomorrow :)

So . . .

I’m starting to develop the 90-day book system that I’ll also eventually write a book about:

  1. Get the idea that blows your mind. That makes you lose sleep. That makes your fingers tremble in desperate desire to touch the keyboard. Get terrified that someone else will write this book before you, because the same ideas tend to come to several people at the same time.
  2. Take several days to outline. Keep re-arranging characters, events and other elements until you get that surge of adrenalin: this is it! That’s the book!
  3. Find a cover artist. I can’t write without working on a cover. When a strong artist works on it in parallel with my writing, I get a massive boost of urgency. And a surge of joy.
  4. Write that first draft as if you’ve gone bonkers. Write in 5-minute breaks. Write over lunch. Write before work. Keep your outline before you, and bang those words out. If you get a fresh idea – don’t go back to rewrite. Mark it down, and keep writing as if the idea is already incorporated.
  5. Hire someone else to help you rewrite. A ton of great professionals out there.
  6. We’ll get to the later stages later.

 

How many words have you written in the last month?

Here’s to our writing success!

  • Dr. Michael Haley

    I have a book in my brain that has yet been put to paper because “I just don’t have the time”. But the reality is, it has to be done. If you are doing this in 90 days… Seeing the goal somehow just makes it easier to see the end result. It’s time for me to take action. Thank you for the inspiration.

    • http://www.austinbriggs.com Austin Briggs

      Hi Michael, it’s not that difficult. I’m now writing 3,000 – 4,000 words per day, writing during lunch breaks / coffee breaks at work, and after my family is asleep.

      Last weekend I got sick, stayed home and wrote at least 7-8 chapters across all my books.

      You can do it. 1st month to write. 2nd month to edit and re-write. 3rd month to proof and publish.

  • Mikhail

    good blog!

    • http://www.austinbriggs.com Austin Briggs

      Thanks for dropping by, Mikhail!

  • http://www.icheapmarketing.com Gina Clayman

    Very useful tips & ideas!

    • http://www.austinbriggs.com Austin Briggs

      Thanks Gina! Appreciate your comment.

  • http://www.icheapmarketing.com Jay Dave

    Wonderful tips Austin, I need to share with my writer friends.

    • http://www.austinbriggs.com Austin Briggs

      Thanks, Jay. Appreciate your support!

  • http://twitter.com/rob_is_it Rob Tee

    Wow that’s amazing 90 days?

    • http://www.austinbriggs.com Austin Briggs

      Totally possible, Rob… it’s all happening.

  • http://twitter.com/designieure M. Kornowski

    many thanks for sharing this content…

    • http://www.austinbriggs.com Austin Briggs

      Thanks, glad you enjoyed it :)

  • http://twitter.com/haroldlgardner Harold Gardner

    That is an amazing amount of productivity in such a short amount of time. The great thing about passion is that it helps keep your energy up through the long hours. Congrats on your awesome accomplishment.

    • http://www.austinbriggs.com Austin Briggs

      Thanks, Harold! July 1 is the target publication date… will see how many of these 5 books make it there.

  • Mitchel Welsh

    The 90 Day Challege eh? Nice. :)

    I think most people who write books need to do this.

    • http://www.austinbriggs.com Austin Briggs

      Hey Mitchel, yep — there will be way more success in the world :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/dlwalker2013 Dustin Walker

    Very Informative and way to TAKE ACTION..Most do not ;)

    • http://www.austinbriggs.com Austin Briggs

      Thanks, Dustin! I agree :) So many folks say, “I have a book in me”… And meanwhile, action-takers like Michael Yu and his 14-year old daughter are killing it with solid sales of children books.

  • Michael

    Wow, and here I’ve been working on my novel for over a year. Guess I’ll have to kick it up a notch or two.

    • http://www.austinbriggs.com Austin Briggs

      My first novel took 10 years to write. Why? Because I was doing it all alone.

      I’m not saying long is bad… but you may enjoy it more if you race against the time, and the actual writing may come out better. When you write fast, you usually write form your heart, not from your mind.

  • Michael

    Even my feature scripts take longer than 90 days.

    • http://www.austinbriggs.com Austin Briggs

      Haha, I can totally believe that.

  • http://twitter.com/JasonWagner1993 Jason Wagner

    It can be helpful to delegate certain aspects of a task, makes sense. And to the other parts of the article, very fun and helpful! Thanks for the post :)

    • http://www.austinbriggs.com Austin Briggs

      Hi Jason, I agree. You know, as writers we’re traditionally taught a massively boring routine. Write, re-write, chase agents. It all takes years … So lower the expectations.

      I like to approach this as business: bring the best team to help you, research the market, create the best product you ever can, market and sell. Doesn’t take too long this way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beccabarray Rebecca Barray

    Great job getting so much done! I could never function on that little sleep. Looking forward to reading your erotic romance on July 1st. ;)