TMBA 310: A Conversation About Writing Books

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Is it possible to go from being successful blogger to writing a book that tops the Internet charts within the space of a year? In this week’s episode Dan talks to Taylor Pearson, an author who has done exactly that. Tune in and find out how.


Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • Taylor outlines his writing routine. (8:29)
  • How much of the original draft went in the final version. (6:48)
  • Deadlines – how a plane ticket home for Christmas focused Taylor’s mind. (7:24)
  • The benefits of reaching out to your blog readers for feedback. (13:30)
  • Dan and Taylor share some book recommendations. (17:46)

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Dan & Ian

Published on 11.12.15
  • For anyone that stumbles across this in the future, the marketing write up based on my presentation at DCBKK is here –

  • sweet thanks T!

  • I really enjoyed this episode and how you got into the details of Taylor’s process.

    I want to share the approach that helped me complete my book. I took much longer (4 years), but didn’t work on it the whole time: I usually bounce between multiple projects as my interest waxes and wanes. My initial draft took about 2 years to finish. When that was done, I needed to find a way to combat boredom, get some feedback, and make editing manageable. Mentally, it all seemed like such a big mountain to climb.

    My solution was to serially publish my book, chapter by chapter, on my blog. It’s that old adage, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Taylor mentioned that his editing process shrank the size of his book, but for me it greatly expanded it! I went from 33K words in my initial draft to about 100K words in the final version. I discovered many things that needed to be fleshed out, leading to the addition of a lot of new material.

    Pressing the “publish” button on each post, exposing even a small part of my book to the world, really focused my mind. There’s thinking you’re done, and actually being done. With the traditional workflow, you can easily delay these completion conundrums (and associated anxiety) until the very end of the process. As I had to handle these challenges with every post, I eventually became very comfortable with the cycle, and it simply became a matter of iterating to the end. I also liked the incremental feedback, which came in smaller chunks and seemed easier to digest.

    Taylor mentioned that he got 25 people to read and comment on his entire draft—that’s awesome if you can find that many people willing to devote that much time (for free?). For me, I found it was easier to get volunteers to review a chapter or two (i.e., a few blog posts), versus the entire book.

    If you want to see the results of this incremental publishing exercise, you can read my book for free at:

  • hey Jason thank you for sharing!! Taylor mentioned in his presentation that in the future he would have put everything on his blog as you have mentioned!! (I guess he saw many of the benefits you outline here) Great stuff.

  • Thank you both. So interesting to hear how much of Taylor’s first draft was scrapped. You always hear that 1st drafts are far from the final draft; this really put it into perspective. Loved the book recommendations at the end also. Gonna check out Michael Lewis. Thank you. Another great episode!

  • Guys – this was awesome.. I am on my own book journey right now and you actually made me think about the fact that I could get my daily posts all together and start to hash things out. Holy Crap, I have been writing a semi daily journal for over year now and have 70000 words at my disposal.

  • thanks Matt and good luck with the book! you’re in for a year of damn hard work :D

  • cheers thanks Alicia

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