As challenging as it might seem to first-time authors to write a book, you can simplify the process by thinking of it as just another form of project management.
To show you what I mean, I selected my favorites among the 140 bite-sized insights found in THINKaha’s #Project Management Tweet, written by Himanshu Jhamb and Guy Ralfe, the co-founders of Active Garage. I then tweaked each of them to relate to book development (at least, according to my perspective).
The numbered advice comes from their book, with my offerings (LA) in italics underneath:
#1: Project scoping is like a belt. You need that to keep things together!
LA: Complete the sentence: The question that I answer with this book is__________________________________ and scope your book to relate to that!
#3: A Golden Rule to Remember: It always takes longer and costs more than you think.
LA: Writing a quality book is like renovating a house. Enough said!
#20: 7Ps of Project Management: Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
LA: Take time to thoughtfully prepare an outline of your book to avoid the low quality stream-of-consciousness offered by many authors.
#21: You can have the best plan, but if you don’t have the right organization you don’t have a prayer.
LA: Without organizing your material with the reader in mind, your book doesn’t have a prayer of being readable – or remarkable.
#22: You can learn the theory and distinctions of Project Management. But knowledge is only gained through experience.
LA: Reading a book on how to write a book is a poor substitute for learning to do so guided by someone with years of authorship experience.
#43: Even the best plans cannot cover all scenarios. Accept that as an inherent risk in projects.
LA: Don’t be too rigid in forcing your book to be what you want it to be. Allow your book to become what it wants to be.
#67: When monitoring your project, make sure you use metrics (e.g., 20 new issues) and not opinions (e.g., we had a good week) for making assessments.
LA: To make solid progress on your book, stick to quantitative measures, e.g.: “I’ve written X thousand words or Y chapters this month.”
#72: At the end of the day, the success of the project is determined only by the results; nothing less, nothing more.
LA: When your book is done, judge the results by how many books reached the hearts and minds of your intended readers.
#90: A team is always better than a single person, no matter how competent that person may be.
LA: A remarkable book always involves a team of people contributing specialized expertise.
#138: Pay close attention to the subjective criteria for measuring project success, such as quality.
LA: For us to be a good fit, quality needs to be at the top of your subjective criteria list.