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WRITE AND GROW RICH

6 Simple Secrets Of Profitable Writers







Sampson Ukwu

Copyright© 2017 SAMPSON UKWU

All rights reserved



Published by:

Profitable Writers Academy.













Cover Design by SPAKKLEDESIGN

www.spakkledesign.com



Layout by ProfitableWritersDesigns

To





the late Chinenyenwa Peter Ukwu-Ngene

who lives inside the thousands she touched during

her much turbulent visit to our world.





and





Florence Anochili-Ike

who, even after over seven decades in our world,

is touching lives in no small way.





Table of Contents

Foreword

Chapter One:

Answer the Big Question

Chapter Two:

Another Big Question

Chapter Three

Prepare for Battle

Chapter Four:

Activate your Writing Bluetooth

Chapter Five:

Just Do It!

Chapter Six:

Get Down to Details.



FOREWORD



My explorations about life started after I graduated from the university. It looked like I was thirsty because for all the five years in the university, my fixation was on reading engineering books.



It was natural to delve deeper the same way a junkie needs fixes on daily basis. I began to amass snippets of motivation. I read and read and read. So, when the urge to write my first book came, the excitement to see my face and name on a book trumped every other thing. Nothing else mattered. That was how it came to be. My name and picture were on the front cover of the book. Goal achieved.



I never told anyone about the book during the writing stage. To me, it was a baby that everyone would love. That same month of its birth, reality showed up as it would always do.



After a month of shoving, huffing and puffing, selling just 300 copies, sales tanked. I was flattened, exhausted and depressed. I struggled in the coming months, selling some, and giving away the rest.



Reading this book, I did a perfect diagnosis of my past failures and discovered the root. I had cobbled all the snippets I’d gathered over the years, fleshed them up, and voila!





Did I even know the purpose for my writing? I doubt. I just wrote to be called an author. In retrospect, the WHY was critically absent from the equation. That in itself, is a self-sabotaging disaster.



Did I understand for whom I was writing? I simply said to myself, “My book is too cute, everybody will read and enjoy it.” In my typical style, I packed in high-sounding words as an attestation of my writing prowess. It wasn’t a good taste to my mouth to hear readers tell me they kept a dictionary by the side when leafing through the pages.



Chapter 2 of this book completely addresses the issue of audience, providing copious questions to reflect on, a template worth documenting and making referrals each time you commence on a new literary adventure that will culminate in a book that your readers will relish.



Tracing a parallel between writers and soldiers, Sampson drew me into a loving embrace with a paradigm that on the one hand buttresses a belief system I’d always had and strengthening it on the other hand, an injection that all writers must receive if being legendary is the ultimate goal.



Writing is hard work. Writing is a serious business. Writing is a profession. Writing is a calling.



What makes a guy like Jim Collins (and others) sell over ten million copies of his book while others struggle to survive on peanuts scratched from here and there? Their secret is simple: They prepare for the conception and birthing processes like soldiers who are going to battle. Such predilection towards their works is so infectious that it is thoroughly transforming.



I have a cousin who dedicates a portion of his monthly salary to buying books. He was once scared of walking into a bookshop because he’d walk out with empty pockets. He used to be powerless before books, wobbling to his knees at the splendour of displayed book titles that he’d spend everything in his pockets. He read voraciously. Little did he know he was grooming a habit that would pay off. As at the time of writing this, he’s sold more than 10,000 copies of his book.



To be an excellent writer, reading is non-negotiable. To me, it’s spiritual, weaved into the fabric of our existence as writers.



One of the things I found when I began my journey of self-awareness was the “be do have” system that is fundamental if your goal was to live your life purposefully on the earth. You become, you do, and you have.



So, would you want to write and publish? You do!



Do you want to rank among the greats? I hear the whispers of your heart say Yes!

Do you want your written works to penetrate hearts, ferry your words to places unimaginable, and live prosperously? You do!



In essence, you become that person by virtue of means of affirmations and mind reframing. You do what it takes to transform your thoughts into written formats. Consequently, you have your socks filled with goodies that attend to such daring acts.



This book will show you how to do!



Lastly, thrown into the belly of this book are explanations about the externals that embed books into the hearts of the readers. Playing very significant roles are titles, book cover designs, volume, blurbs, and author photograph. Wondering how these affect reception and sales of your books? You’ve just got to dive into the book and swallow all the words to the last jot. I mean to the very last jot.



If there’s a manual that can start you on the path of the legends you adore, it’s this book.

Read it, practice it, and point it to your friends. How best to birth more legends than to do so.

Dive in now!



Emeka Nobis

Author, GROW YOUR PLATFORM

www.emekanobis.com



Chapter One





ANSWER THE BIG QUESTION





When Stephen R. Covey died on July 16, 2012, at the age of Seventy Nine, all of us who drank from his deep well of wisdom were shocked. Millions of us all over the world grieved the loss of a great teacher whose research and teachings will remain a powerful force for good even for generations ahead. He was a teacher, but probably, he’ll be most remembered for his books.

Dr. Covey is the author of several acclaimed books, including the highly successful international bestseller, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which was named the Number 1 Most influential Business Book of the twentieth century, and one of the top-ten most influential management books ever. It has sold more than 15 million copies in thirty-eight languages throughout the world. Some of his international bestsellers includes First Thing First, Principle-Centered Leadership and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families; bringing the combined total to more than 20 million books sold.



Twenty million books sold by one man when millions of others struggle to even write their first book, and those who ever manage to write theirs hardly find their way to publish and release their ideas to the world. Twenty million books when most writers who invest thousands upon thousands of dollars, plus hundreds of hours of study and hard work, would count it a major miracle to sell even one thousand copies of their book. (Oh yes! a thousand copies is really a miracle in an industry where over 1 000 000 books are published in the United States alone every 12 months).



If you are like most authors you may already know that the book world is really a tough merciless world. Sorry I am starting tough; but I want to say it as it really is.



I’ve been training writers through my training company Profitable Writers Academy. I know writers want me to tell them that writing is easy and all-fun. They want me to be that kind of guy who stands up to tell them that their first book will surely make it to the New York Times bestseller list in the first 12 months of publishing, (I am not a New York Bestseller myself, yet), that writing and publishing their novel or biography or a how-to-do-this-or-that-book will be a gold mine. But I am not that kind of guy. I will not give you false hopes. I’ve chosen to tell my clients and readers the hard truths about the book world. Hopefully, they will find in my bitter teachings how to carve a place for themselves in the book world.



Most writers dabble into the book writing, publishing, promotion and marketing industry without understanding the basics first. Much like trying to solve calculus without understanding simple algebra. Or building a skyscraper without laying a solid foundation. Isn’t it laughable?



It is true that everybody has a book or two inside them. In fact, any normal human being alive today can become a published author within the next couple of months.



However, I am not writing to that kind of guy who just want to have his ideas within the pages of a book. My trainings and events for writers are not really for those who merely want to have their picture at the back or front cover of a book. Really, my work for writers is aimed at raising writers – anybody for that matter – who are willing to calm down and learn the hidden secrets of the book world. I’ve dedicated myself and one of my companies to unravelling those secrets, formulas, technologies and platforms that were formerly available only to the ultra-rich, ultra-famous authors. I want to make this secrets available to the everyday people of our world who have a story or insight to share with their world – because I am one of them.



I learnt some of the secrets by costly trial and error methods. Oh! yes; I’ve wasted a lot of time and my hard earned money in book publishing. I learnt some of the secrets here by careful study of the industry. I’ve followed all those great guys whose name top the New York Times bestseller list. Some of the popular writers have talked in my writers workshops. I’ve learnt from them. Their secrets are no longer secrets! I’ve done the work of unveiling them for you. Your part now is to learn and apply the wisdom I’ve worked hard to uncover for you here.



Everything I’ll show you here will work for you. You may not end up as a bestseller (I pray you do!), but sure, you will become one of those few fulfilled authors.



So let’s get to the meat of the matter: Highly profitable writers answer the big question. They answer the WHY question! This is really the foundation of the whole writing process. First-things-first! That’s also true in the book world.



I’ve encountered folks who want to churn out books just because they want to see their names and photograph at the cover of books. I’ve learnt that that is a big error!



All those big guys in the book world have really taken time to know WHY they want to introduce another book to the world even when a lot of the ones that have been published have not been given much attention. They know the reason for their effort. They know WHY another book must be introduced to the world. They have the needed deep conviction. They have a hot internal motivating factor. They’ve taken time to answer this often forgotten question:



Why do I want to write, publish and market a book; when the world have not paid much attention to the million – if not billions – of books already written and published?”



The truth is that until you answer the above question, I cannot really help you; even if you were to meet me one on one. My books, trainings, and events cannot help you until you take out time to answer that question. You see, I cannot tell you HOW until you find your WHY!





In early 2016 I read with admiration the stories of the great leader of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew. Reading the stories of his struggles, pain, strategies, sacrifices, mistakes and victories is sure to motivate any keen reader. His books have gone all around the world. His books have achieved that kind of success you and I dream for our books. In his book From Third World To First: Singapore and the Asian Economic Boom, he points to the WHY behind all his efforts to write his really voluminous books. Lee wrote in the very first paragraph of the preface:



I wrote this book for a young generation of Singaporeans who took stability, growth and prosperity for granted. I want them to know how difficult it was for a small country of 640sq.km with no natural resources to survive in the midst of larger, newly independent nations all pursuing nationalistic policies”



Hope you now get what I am talking about. Every great writer I’ve studied knows WHY they are writing. They don’t just write another story; they have a REASON behind every word, every sentence, every advice, every story they write. I see this in all my writing heroes - Stephen Covey, Jim Collins, Larry King, Chinua Achebe, Nelson Mandela, Tony Ubesie, Chinedum Ofomata, Eze Nnaemeka Charles (Nani Boi) and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. They all know WHY.

The wisdom for you as an upcoming writer is simply to do what those successful guys are doing. Because if you do what successful people do, you will also become successful.



Let me now put the question directly to you:



Why do you want to write, publish and market a book, when the world have not paid much attention to the millions - if not billions – of books already published?”



It’s up to you to figure this out. It may take weeks, months or even years before you arrive at the core of why you want to be called an author. It may be difficult at first, but keep searching. Your success/failure in this our book industry depends largely on your answer to that question.



Here is a list of WHY people write and publish books:

  • To tell a story.



  • To share an experience.



  • To correct an error.



  • To document their experiences.



  • To publicize a discovery.



  • To motivate.



  • To entertain.



  • To make extra income.



  • To inspire.



  • To increase their reach.



  • To share a knowledge.



  • To fight ignorance.







For me, I write to fight Ignorance. This is because I believe ignorance is the greatest enemy to the human race. It’s an enemy more dangerous than Boko Haram or ISIS, more dreadful than cancer or AIDS, more damaging than even sin!



Really, that’s why I teach in schools, do radio programs, organize events and workshops, write articles for my blog, write and publish books, preach, and serve as a guest speaker in a variety of programs. I’ve found my WHY.



My advice: Dedicate the next 2 – 4 weeks to finding your WHY.

Chapter Two





ANOTHER BIG QUESTION





If you grew up in the Akegbe-Ugwu neighborhood where I grew, it won’t take you long to appreciate the game of soccer. The game was at the center of our childhood days. We played it with oranges, melon and any other soft object we could set our eyes on. We’d just come together, remove our slippers, mark out our post and then the game starts.



Although I don’t get to play and see soccer now as before, I still have a liking for it.



The thing that intrigue me now about the game is how we’ll struggle and sweat, and do all the dribbling and throw-ins and tackling just to get the ball within the already marked out goal post. You know, we wouldn’t even start the game unless we mark out our target point. We call it the goal post.



This post is really the heart of the game. It determines who wins at the end of the whole running up and down. It gave us direction and focus. We don’t play the game wondering the direction to face. We don’t really mind the scorching heat of the sun, or a few bruises on our bare feet, as long as the goal post is there.



Writing is pretty much like soccer. We are into the game of writing because we want to win (remember THE BIG QUESTION). It’s that desire to win the writing game that drives the whole writing process.



It wouldn’t take much time before you realize that in writing, just like in the game of soccer, you need to have a definite target. In public speaking, we call it your target audience.



You’ll be fooling yourself if you think you are writing to everybody. Let’s just face the fact: You can’t write to everybody. Your book cannot be for every class of people. There are some races that won’t need your book. Certain age bracket will not find your book meaningful. (Just imagine Adam Smith trying to sell his book The Wealth of Nations to primary school children or Nani Boi toiling to get university professors to become his major readers!)

While certain category of people may need your book, another category may not even care about you. You know why?



People have different information needs. People have limited reading time and so they want to invest that time into the kind of books that will meet their information need. If you ignore that fact, your book will be dead even before you write it.



So let me help you before you make the popular mistake: Deliver yourself from the Jack-Of-All-Trade-Master-Of-None trap. Oh yes! Writing your book for just everyone is a trap. It will trap your money, your time, your ideas and ultimately, it will dash your expectations, and even discourage you from writing another book.



Every book deserves to fly but trying to write your book for just any kind of person will break the wings of your book. Honestly that’s why many well-written, professionally published books are staked in the garage of their writers. Why sabotage your own book?



Remember Lee Kuan Yew. He was clear about who he was writing to: ‘I write this book for a younger generation of Singaporeans...’ My point here is quite simple and fundamental, but many writers will never adhere to it – to their own detriment!



When I wrote my book Welcome to Secondary School, I knew I have no business writing the book for university undergraduates or even WAEC candidates. It would have been foolish for me to try adapting the book to suit everyone. But I narrowed everything down to new entrants into secondary schools. No wonder the book is selling fast.



That strategy of narrowing down to a core audience helped me to know exactly how to market my book and get my money back. It helped me in deciding the tone of my book, the kind of pictures/charts I needed and even the ideal page volume for the book. Therefore when the book came out, I knew exactly how, when and where to market it.



But in writing my book, Succeeding Successfully in WAEC/NECO Examinations, I knew I must be definite about my target readers. So I choose WAEC/NECO candidates. I had to deliver myself from trying to generalize the book to fit any kind of student. With that, the headache of wondering how, when and where to market my book was cured.



No matter what you write, do not deceive yourself by writing for everybody. My book How to Perform Wonders with your Mouth is really not for everybody. I know my target. It is for teenagers and young adults having the difficulty of public speaking. With that knowledge I knew, even before going to press, the kind of online and offline bookshops to place it in, the kind of advert that will promote it effectively, the price to ask for the book, the ideal number of pages etc.



You know what? Writing becomes easy when you write with a target group of readers in mind. This entails that you clearly determine the following:



  • The group of readers that needs your book.



  • Their age bracket.



  • Where they always hang out (school, church, club, etc.).



  • What interests them (pictures, diagrams, charts, statistics, stories, historical facts, religious quotations etc.)



  • What bothers them.



  • What distracts them.



  • Questions they often ask.



  • Websites they always visit.



  • Social media platforms that attract them.



  • How they get their money.



  • Their average level of income.



  • The price they could be willing to pay for your book.



  • Their believe system.







If taking time to determine who you are writing that novel, poem, autobiography, prayer booklet, motivational, devotional etc. to is really a big burden to you, then sorry, writing may not be for you!





Remember I am telling you what the big, successful guys in the writing industry do. They simply determine the direction for each of their books. They’re simply not the-Jack-of-all-Trade-Master-of-none kind of people. They know that success in this increasingly competitive book industry depends on narrowing each of your books to a given audience. The message is simple: the Narrower, the Better!





But Sampson,” you may want to scream out, “don’t you realize that narrowing down my readers will limit the reach of my books?”



Look, what I am just advocating here is that you know the direction to channel your books in terms of your target readers. That’s really the way to prevent confusion. Nothing is as bad as being confused on what to do with thousands of copies of your book when your money is already tied up.



Once you have a specific audience, you can easily:



  • Determine the appropriate tone for your book.



  • Determine the acceptable page volume for your book.



  • Determine the acceptable price to ask for your book.



  • Determine where to place your book so they can be seen by those who really need it.



  • Determine the kind of advertisement to use in promoting the book.





Let me now put the question more directly to you: “Who in the whole wide world are you writing to”.



Remember, the Narrower, the Better!!



Chapter Three





PREPARE FOR BATTLE





In this our vast book industry, there are certain authors whose success stories I admire. The quality of their books and the numerous quantity they sell is mouthwatering. One of such writers is Jim Collins.



Jim Collins is author or co-author of six books that have sold in total more than 10 000 000 copies worldwide; including the bestsellers Good to Great, Built to Last, and How the Mighty Fall. Jim began his research and teaching career on the faculty at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1992. He now operates a management laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, where he conducts research, teaches and consults with executives from the co-operate and social world.



Is there anything we can learn from Jim? A writer who have sold over ten million copies? Actually there is something Jim Collins knows and does for his books that has set him and his products apart. You know his secret? Well that’s what I’ll show you in this chapter.



My programs has exposed me to many authors. I’ve encountered both published writers whose only headache is how to sell the thousands of copies of their books packed in their garage. I’ve trained those still aspiring to put their words together. They are also those whose books are selling, but still feel unfulfilled.



You know one of the errors I’ve noticed among many published and aspiring writers? It is that many of us who get into writing come into it thinking that it is a lazy man’s escape route.



After all,” many people will argue, “its just a matter of putting words down on paper, publishing it and then throwing it all out to the helpless public”. Nothing can be farther from reality!



Oh! how I wish writing is as simple and easy as it appears on the surface. How I wish its just a matter of putting my persuasions down on paper. How I wish it doesn’t involve all those research and thinking and study and editing and re-editing.



Let me be blunt here: Writing is not for lazy people. Its not for those guys looking for an easy way to become famous and capture a lot of cash. Writing is hard work! We may not like it but that’s the truth.



I see writers as Soldiers. They are soldiers who fight a war against ignorance. It may be ignorance in business or family life or spiritual growth. It may be ignorance on how to enjoy oversea travels or a vacation in the Bahamas. Or on how to restore a dying relationship. The world is really being tormented by the terrorism of ignorance. We that are into writing are the major soldiers who combat that terrorist.



I need you to know this and please never permit yourself to forget it: Every writer is fighting a war against an ancient enemy called Ignorance, and that enemy is really a strong, smart and stubborn monster.



It is only laughable that we want to fight this battle without adequate preparation. Our books are our weapons, therefore we must take time to plan and prepare.



Many writers ignore this fact to their own detriment. They publish what they think is a nice Holy-Ghost-Inspired book and then realize that no body, except a few of their family and church members, is interested in their ‘nice’ book. They now have to pack their books, published with their hard earned money (or even borrowed money!) in a corner of their room.



I think I should repeat it again: Writing is not a game for lazy people. It is for determined, dedicated, patient, teachable and open minded people. It is for people willing to learn the tricks and pay the price.





Lets return to Jim Collins. A guy who’s sold over ten million copies. 10 000 000 copies of books in an industry as competitive as ours! There must be something he and other authors like him know about writing that a host of mediocre writers don’t know. Their secret is simple: They prepare for battle.



Jim Collins is probably remembered more as a writer of well researched business books. He wrote Great by Choice with Morten T. Hansen, a book which is also an amazing success by any standard. Jim tells us the secret behind his great success as a writer:



“We began the nine-year research project behind this book in 2012... This led us to a simple question: Why do some companies thrive in uncertainty, even chaos, and others do not?...



“We labeled our high-performing study case with the monitor ‘10X’



“We spent the first year of our effort identifying the primary study set of 10X cases. From an initial list of 20 400 companies, we systematically sifted through 11 layers of cuts to identify cases that met all our tests.



“We then performed a deep historical analysis of each pair companies. We collected more than seven thousand historical documents to construct a clear understanding of how each company evolved, year by year, from founding through 2002.



“We systematically analyzed categories of data, including dynamics, founding roots, organization, leadership, culture, innovation, technology, risk, financial management, strategy, strategic change, speed, and luck”



Finally Jim said,



“We (meaning Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen his co-author, with a team of more than twenty researchers!) developed the concepts of this work from data we gathered, building a framework from the ground up. We followed an iterative approach, generating ideas inspired by the data, testing those ideas against the evidence, watching them bend and buckle under the weight of evidence, replacing them with new ideas, revising, testing, revising yet again, until all the concepts square with the evidence”





I had to take you through that long line of analysis just to let you peep into the kind of thinking, study, time and research that went into the writing of a single book. Just one book!









Patience and dogged preparation is a pattern I see in all the Jim Collins books. I see it in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s books. (In fact I watched an interview of Chimamanda where she revealed that in writing her book Half of a Yellow Sun she had to research and study like one preparing for a major academic paper).



Here is the key I want you to take out from all this: Prepare for your book.







TWO KINDS OF PREPARATION.





I teach that every writer should embrace both passive and active preparation for writing their book.



By passive preparation I mean continuous-never-ending-general learning. Learning should simply be a lifestyle for everybody interested in writing.



By active preparation, you engage yourself to read and research information relevant to the current book you are writing. If you are writing, say, about tourism in Ghana, then you will need to focus your study on Ghana. You will need to read up everything you can find on Ghana, especially as it relates to tourism.



The Golden Rule for writers is: BECOME A VORACIOUS LEARNER. BECOME A HUNTER FOR RELEVANT IDEAS. I’ve dedicated the next chapter to help you in this area.



Chapter Four





ACTIVATE YOUR WRITING BLUETOOTH





How do you determine a successful author? For me it is that guy who writes great books, that are published in a great way, read by numerous great people who drive great testimonies from reading the book; and then as a result, the author achieves great satisfaction, receives great opportunities, meets great people, receives greater insight to write and share his stories and persuasions with an increasing circle of readers. Peter Daniels have met all those criteria:





He has written many great books that are published in great ways. His books are read by hundreds of thousands of people all over the world who attest to the effectiveness of the ideas Peter shares through his books. He have achieved the kind of success all of us pray for.



Peter Daniels came from a poor dysfunctional background and suffered from ill health and dyslexia (meaning he has a learning disorder from birth!). In fact he never passed one grade at school. No wonder one of his school teachers always told him that he would never amount to anything.



The rise of Peter Daniels was painfully slow; commencing fulltime menial work at thirteen years of age until he became a bricklayer and stonemason working piecework sometimes from 6am to 8pm seven days a week. He became born again in 1959 in South Australia.



In pursuit of his life dreams he purchased three dictionaries to understand words, and practiced pronunciation and speech by listening to British broadcast on radio. Without a tutor or mentor he studied economics, politics, modern and ancient history, theology, law, philosophy and business.



He soon discovered that the human mind was like a muscle and could be developed, and has now personally read over 5 000 biographies.



He has authored over twenty books and authored numerous business education programs that are distributed worldwide in many languages.



Everybody interested in writing needs to know this rule (this is the secret of Peter Daniels): Writing is for readers. You should never expect your book to be read if you are not willing to buy and read the books already written by others. Helen Hayes said that when books are opened, we discover that we have wings. Peter Daniels was able to overcome his limitations because he opened books.



Reading is a personal thing. We all have varying ways of acquiring the information we need. Yet I’ll offer the following guidelines:



  • Make Reading a Lifestyle: Reading is simply not negotiable if you are serious about writing. You can’t survive without it. If we all dedicate ourselves to constant study, then we will experience little or even no prolonged writers block. In fact writers block in most cases is an indication that you need to draw back and read more. Prolonged block can be avoided if you embrace reading as a lifestyle.



In a recent Facebook post to writers I said: Writers don’t read books. That’s for ordinary souls. Guess what we do? We eat books!!



My rule is that you must have read at least 30 books in any field you want to become an authority in. Just determine the things you need to know and then search and get the relevant materials.





  • Create a Reading Time Table: Although most of us who are already immersed into constant reading may not necessarily need a time table, I still think it descipline and strict time management. think its important; especially if you are just forming it as a new habit. This requiresis important; especially if you are just forming it as a new habit. This requires discipline and strict time management.



No matter how you choose to go about your reading journey (remember I said it is a personal thing), always remember that the quality (in terms of how much benefits your readers will be able to drive from reading your book) and the quantity (in terms of the number of pages you will be able to write) of the books you write will depend less on a flash of book inspiration and much more on the quality and quantity of information you have regarding that flash of book inspiration.





In as much as your book writing centers on an original insight, that flash of insight is always only a skeleton, which when written down, can hardly fill one page of a notebook. If you just depend on that tiny flash of book idea for the story and discovery you want to write about, then you may be better off writing pamphlets.





Why? Real book writing is exclusively for voracious readers.







  • Factor in Book Purchasing into your Monthly/Yearly Financial Budget: I said earlier that it won’t just work if you expect others to spend their hard earned money buying your book while you refuse to invest your own penny in buying books written by others.





Whether you buy online or in your favorite brick-and-mortar bookstore, you will still need financial investment if you are really serious about establishing yourself as an authority in the writing world.





Its just common sense. Decide on a percentage of your monthly income from your job, business or even royalties from your already published books that must go back into buying capacity building materials you need (books, tapes, paying for trainings, mentorship classes and seminars).



But Ah! Sampson, I am always busy,” you may want to scream loud at me, “I don’t even have the time to read the ones I’ve got”





The strong truth is that if you are too busy to read books; then you should better start thinking of other things because writing is certainly not for you. You cannot thrive in this our ever competitive, content-driven, efficiency-demanding, always-changing writing world without a hunger to learn and learn and learn again.





  • Weave in Capacity Building into your everyday Activities: Just be creative and consistent about it. Maybe you really don’t have all the time to read the books, but you can listen to audio books or talks from your favorite authors or mentors while in your car, especially if you are not driving. You can read while in the car, especially when trapped in the middle of traffic.



You can search the internet and research topics while in the car or the mall or even during work break.





All this is to say that you’ve really got no excuse. Just find your way to weave in capacity building into your everyday activities.





If you can’t read physical books, read them on your device as an eBooks. If reading the book will take much of your time, then listen to the books as an audio book. Attend seminars and workshops. If you don’t have all the resources to attend an event where your favorite author/mentor will be speaking, then go to YouTube and download the video later. Join an online community were other writers share there experiences.





If you cannot discipline yourself to do any of the above, then simply close this book and walk away. Writing is not for you!





I guarantee that you will always have something relevant to write if you always find something valuable to read or watch or listen to.







It worked for bestselling author Peter Daniels. Its sure to work for you and I.









Chapter Five





JUST DO IT!





Writing is much like traffic; if you wait for all the lights to turn green, you’ll never move. You may even wait forever.



We writers know that there is nothing as miserable as having an idea bottled up in you without doing anything to release it. Instead of releasing the idea, most folks just cage their idea (which could be worth millions), waiting for the perfect time.



Can I be frank with you? There is never a perfect time to do anything. There is never a time when all the pieces will fall into one place. Never a time when success is absolutely guaranteed. Never a time when all the risk factors are eliminated. Never a time when the success of your book is absolutely guaranteed. Never a time when you are assured you’ll not lose money. Never a time when you’re 100% certain that your writing venture will not turn out to be a waste of time.





Let’s face the fact here. Many people have the idea. They have passed that elementary stage where they lacked what to write. They have abundance of ideas, they have done their homework, they have studied the industry, they even have two or more great mentors; and by now they should have written two or more books. But they have done nothing. Their fears have caged them. They are still waiting for all the lights to turn green.



When J.K Rowling wrote her first Harry Potter book, life was hitting her hard. She was then unemployed and lived on state benefits. Also then she was diagnosed with clinical depression. She also suffered from insomnia. She was also then divorced from her first husband.





As though all those setbacks were not enough, when she eventually wrote her original Harry Potter manuscripts, twelve publishing houses rejected her book. Little did anyone know it would become the bestselling book series in history. Her seventh and final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows broke sales records as the fastest-selling book ever!



Despite all the odds against her, J K Rowling just went ahead to release her ideas; and the world has been better for it. In 2000 she was awarded the Order of the British Empire in Queen’s Birthday Honours. All these were because she went ahead to write without waiting for all the lights to turn green.





We all need to learn from Rowling. Right now you need to make a commitment to start writing your book because that’s just the way to start. (I don’t mind if you drop this book right now and pick up your pen and paper or your laptop to start writing that story you’ve always wanted to write. Of course I’ll be here patiently waiting for you to return!)





Every other thing I’ve shared with you in this book will not help you unless you bend down and write down those ideas God have planted in you.





My way of doing this is simply getting a notebook and making an outline of the book I have in mind. I write down the chapter topics and then I begin to develop the topics one after the other. I see my outlined topic as a bony skeleton. By developing the chapters, I give flesh to each chapter.





This stage in developing my book may take months depending on the number of chapters to work on. Certain chapters may take me only two hours to develop while another may take weeks or even months in some cases.





A lot goes into developing a chapter. Sometimes I have to research, surf the internet, study the stories of men and women that will help illustrate what I want to talk about, visit friends to get their perspective on my story, or even read a whole book just to develop a single chapter.





Remember I said writing has its own form of hard work. It requires a lot of researching, surfing the internet, asking questions and then arranging everything into a logical, coherent and understandable book.





My author-speaker-O.A.P friend Uma Uche Gabriel (U.C D M.C) of Solid F.M writes his books by typing directly into his laptop. For me I prefer writing on my notebook. Writing is just personal.





So make a commitment to start writing. Go out now and buy a notebook. Open a new folder on your computer if that is what works for you.





Make a commitment to someone who will keep reminding you of your vow to write. Maybe your spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, mum, dad, classmate or your mentor.





Mike Murdock is a man I consider to be the wisest man on earth today. (That’s my opinion.) He’s produced over 1 400 books. In fact, at a time he was writing and publishing one book every single week! One of the things I’ve learnt from him in this area of writing is how he motivates himself to write and publish such number of books.



At the beginning of the year, he would print twelve book covers and paste around his office. That’s one new book for every month. Remember these are book covers of books he has not even written!



One more thing for you to note on this: Never wait until you have a perfect idea for your manuscript. In fact, there’s nothing like a perfect manuscript. Who will know if you write and cancel what you’ve written?



The important thing is just to do it. Just write it. It may not be perfect now, but don’t despair. Write it. Cancel or delete it if you must, but just keep writing, every day, every week, until you get to that point where you feel you’ve poured out your message or story in the most clear, coherent, persuasive and reader-friendly manner.





Why? Because that’s what writing is all about.





Excuse me Sampson,” you may want to say, “why should I write when I don’t even have any penny to publish?



Well, who told you that you need money to publish? Just follow my advice. I will show you in my book Publish and Grow Rich how to have your books published and available all over the world without spending any kobo!



So just do it. Write it. Now!!

Chapter Six





GET DOWN TO DETAILS





Molodie Ramone is one of those fiction writers many aspiring writers would want to be like. She has published several books including Glimmer, Burning Down Rome, Lights of Polaris and the popular After Forever Ends.



I found a long quote from her that captures a lot of what we’ve been saying:



Write it. Just write it. Write it on receipts in the car while you wait for your kid to finish their piano lessons. Scribble on napkins at lunch with friends. Type on crappy typewriters or borrow computers if you have to. Fill notebooks with ink. Write inside your head while you’re in traffic and when you’re sitting in the doctor’s office. Write the truth, write lies. Write the perfect spouse. Write your dreams. Write your nightmares. Write while you cry about what you’re writing, write while you laugh out loud at your own words. Write until your fingers hurt, then keep writing more. Don’t ever stop writing. Don’t ever give up on your story, no matter what ‘they’ say. Don’t ever let anybody take away your voice. You have something to say, your soul has a story to tell. Write it. There is never any reason to be afraid. Just write it and put it out there for the world. Shove it up a flag pole and see who salutes it. Somebody will say it is crap. So what? Somebody else will love it. And that’s what writing’s about. Love. Love for the art, love of the story, and love for and from the people who really understand your work. Nobody else matters. Love yourself. Love your work. Be brave. Just write.”





Her statement is so on point that I would want you to pause and return to it. Read it aloud, twice. You can even read it aloud anytime you notice yourself withdrawing from writing.



By now you already understand that the genesis of your success will depend largely on you lifting your pen to write. As those fresh pushy book ideas start flooding your mind, just write them down. This qualifies you to enter the next stage in the writing process.



The book outline you make serves as the skeleton of your book. Developing each of the chapters is like giving flesh to those bony skeleton. But even at that stage, your book won’t fly until you dress it up. This involves paying attention to details.









TITLE



Pay attention to the tittle you give your book. Your book is your baby. Don’t give it a dead, mundane, irritating, easy-to-forget title. I don’t care how good your book is; if it has a blunt tittle, nobody will look at it.



Make enquiries. Go to bookstores and look at winning book titles.



When I originally wrote my public speaking guide, the title I had for it was Every Teen can Speak in Public; but after research and asking questions, I had two titles to choose from: How to Perform Magic with your Mouth and How to Perform Wonders with your Mouth. I was really confused so I went to my students and had them vote for the two titles. How to Perform Wonders with your Mouth won the election; and that became the book title. (Left for me I would have chosen How to Perform Magic..... I just like the word ‘Magic’!).





BOOK COVER



The cover of your book is another thing you must pay attention to. Don’t just take anything your designer bring out for you. The book cover should be able to capture the essence of what your book is all about. It should be captivating. It should be able to stir curiosity within anybody whose eyes fall on your book. It should be able to stick to memory.



I don’t encourage you to design your own book cover, except if you are a pro-designer.



I suggest you show your cover to friends and critiques to look at. My method is to just show the cover and ask “What do you think a book with this cover should be talking about”. If the answers you get does not agree with what your book is talking about, then return to the drawing board, because you’ve not gotten the cover your book deserves. What will it profit a writer if he writes the best book only to dress it up in an ugly cover?



Another thing to keep in mind about book covers: Keep it simple. You don’t need to cluster it with many colours. Placing a lot of diagrams will kill your book cover. Keep it as simple, captivating and professional as possible.





CHAPTER TITLES



Your chapter titles must be well developed. You build your message like a master brick layer; one word at a time. Use simple words. Don’t fall into the temptation of using far-fetched vocabulary, difficult charts and irrelevant statistics. Nobody has the time for all those headaches. Your readers deserve something simple and smooth.



Master how to use relevant quotes and stories. This will hold the attention of anybody that open your book.



Each chapter must agree with other chapters. Imagine somebody telling you in Chapter One about the recent U.S election only to come down a few lines below to tell you about irrigation at Nyama River!



Run away from writing very lengthy, verbose chapters. This will chase away your readers. Break lengthy chapters into smaller ones.



How do you get me to read Chapter 2 of your book after reading Chapter 1? The key is to keep me in suspense. Don’t tell me the end of the matter in Chapter One. Find your way to keep people in the dark. This will keep them reading until they get to the last page.





BOOK VOLUME



Should your book be voluminous? Well, it depends on a lot of factors; the most important being your audience.

Are you writing a book for kids? Then keep it simple, with as few pages as possible.

Writing a story book for teenagers? Then don’t waste their time. Don’t give them a 1 500 page story. Keep it simple. Else they will flip your book away and buy the latest movie. Just get to the point!



Is your book for professionals? Then you can get away with your book being voluminous and full of charts and statistics.





USING PICTURES



What about using pictures? This is very important if your book is for kids and teenagers. Cook books, travel guides and geographical publications also need graphic illustrations.





BACK COVER



You must pay great attention to your back cover. The rule that applies to the cover also applies here. Keep it as simple and professional as possible.



Most authors just write a captivating summery of their book. Others simply put a simple quote that captures what they’re talking about in the book. Some others write down what celebrities or their editors and reviewers said or wrote about them and their book. A few others just leave the back cover plain.



I don’t have any hard rules here. Go to your favourite bookstore. Look around and choose what works best for you. Also, I always advice that you seek the advice of your publisher.





AUTHOR PHOTOGRAPH



I don’t always encourage unknown authors to place their photograph in their book. But if you must place your picture, ensure the picture is simple and professional. Your local photographer should be completely out of this!



You want those who pick up your book to think of you as a professional who knows what he is doing, who is not tattered or a village champion, who is not poor and frustrated. You want them to perceive you as someone who can help them.



Go to a professional photo studio and explain what you want. You may spend more money but they’ll always give you a better photograph than those other cheap guys.








All I’ve tried to show you here is how to trim your book and give it an excellent and professional style. Your readers deserve the best. They will reward you with their time, they will give you their money, they will convince their friends to buy your books, they will go out of their ways to write you beautiful reviews on Amazon or any other e-Bookstore where you place your book, and they will be eager to buy your next books. That’s how to write and grow rich.





You want to connect with SAMPSON UKWU?



That will be really cool!

You may be surprised to know that I studied Computer Engineering in the university. Those five years was really war. It was like I was a square peg in a round hole. I felt like a dove in a cage; for five long years!

Thank God I am now free to spread my wings and fly.

I fly through my books and students. I move from state to state organizing Public speaking and Writers workshops.

I am an ardent believer in books. I literally live within the pages of books.

My goal is to raise the competence and profitability of anybody seriously interested in mastering the art and business of writing and public speaking.

Some clients say my products and services are expensive. Well, they always come back after our first deal. They even refer their friends and invite me to speak in their events!



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