Tuesday, June 25, 2019

You got a book inside you? Get it out

Ann Marie Sabath believes everybody has a book inside of them; all they need are forty-nine targeted tips to get it out. With that as a premise, she's written Everybody Has a Book Inside of Them: How to Bring It Out.

What Self-Made Millionaires Do That Most People Don't: 52 Ways to Create Your Own Success . . .  The Wealthy Gardener: Life Lessons on Prosperity between Father and Son . . . Business Etiquette in Brief: The Competitive Edge for Today's Professional . . .  and One Minute Manners: Quick Solutions to the Most Awkward Situations You'll Ever Face at Work.
Sabath is writing from the inside. Although she's the founder of At Ease Inc. a 32 year-old business courtesy training firm, she's written nine other books including most recently,

Everybody Has a Book Inside of Them, a 177-page paperback, has forty-nine very short chapters, many answering a question: Are you ever too young or too old to write a book? (No.) Why write a book in the first place? (Nine reasons, including sharing your expertise, the book acts as your legacy, it will help you brand yourself, it can help generate additional income, and more.) How long does it take to write a book? (Sabath's answer: writing an hour a day for thirty-two weeks will give you a 180-page book.) How soon is too soon to write your second book after writing your first?

Most of the chapters, however, are common sense advice: How to identify the book inside. The value of a sounding board advisory group. Know your reader. Ways to stay motivated. Six things NOT to do with your manuscript. (Keep the only draft within reach of the dog. Give the only copy to an angry spouse. Give family members easy access to your manuscript. Store your only copy in a spot subject to flooding. Give your only copy to someone for review. Forget where you put the only copy. To which one should add: Don't back up routinely.)

Sabath has heard all the excuses why someone doesn't write her book: "I have no idea where to start." If you're reading her book, she points out, you've started. "I don't have the time to dedicate to writing a book." That's just a way to say writing your book is not a priority. "English was not my favorite subject." So what? "I would feel vulnerable writing a book." Then think twice about your topic. "I don't have the discipline to write a book." Do you the discipline to do other things, like getting to work on time? Paying your bills? Give yourself some credit.

One of Sabath's more interesting chapters (for me) itemizes the contents of her grab-and-go tote: two iPads, earbuds, iPhone, two power cords, a charging base, two pens, a small notebooks, snacks, a bottle of water, and business cards.

One of the few quibbles I have with her book is her chapter on titles. She encourages readers to trademark their catchy title to protect it and the licensing rights, recommending a trademark attorney. She does not point out that trademarking a title—if you can do it at all—is both time-consuming and expensive. She also does not note that you cannot copyright a title, so because there is no ® indicating that she's registered her title you're free to call your book Everybody Has a Book Inside of Them: How to Bring It Out (although why you would so when there's a perfectly good one available is another question).

Also, Sabath says nothing getting your book published. That's her next book: How to Get Your Book Published and Sell It as Though Your Life Depends On It. No kidding. She has a two-page chapter titled "Why the 'How to Get Published' Section Is Not Being Addressed in This Book."

With those caveats, I recommend Sabath's How To to anyone who believes she has a book inside her and simply needs a nudge—or two—to just do it. (Hey, that's not a bad title: Just Do It: How to Free the Book Within You.)

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