How to write a book in 30 days or less

books writing Mar 13, 2024

When I was in 8th grade, one of my teachers asked our class to come up with a list of 50 things we wanted to do before we died.  I don’t remember everything I wrote on my list, but I do remember the main things.

I remember writing about getting married, having a family, buying a home, and a few things that fit within the framework of family life.  I also remember writing about how I wanted to be a radio deejay, which I eventually had the privilege to do early in my adult life.  One of the other things I distinctly remember writing down was that I eventually wanted to write a book.  I have always been an avid reader, so the idea of writing a book greatly appealed to me.  Thankfully, that’s something I have had many opportunities to do.

It has been estimated by some researchers and anthropologists that most people want to write a book.  Less than ten percent of people will ever do so, however.  I think that’s rather sad especially because it’s easier to write a book now than it has ever been.

So if it’s easier to write and publish books in our generation than it was for the generations that came before us, why do so few people bother to do so?  I think there are a few reasons, but even as I list them, let me promise you that each of these obstacles can often be easily overcome.

Some people never write a book because they aren’t self-disciplined enough to do so.  Some don’t write because they don’t have the proper motivation.  Others fail to write a book because they don’t understand that the purpose of a book is to provide value or solve a problem.  Some don’t understand how to break their content down into smaller sections.  Others don’t understand that if you come up with a good outline, your book will practically write itself.

You may think it would take you forever to write a book, especially if you’ve never done so before.  But I think you could write a book, from scratch, in less than four weeks.  In fact, I think it might be possible for you to write something in half that time.

Keep in mind that books come in all shapes and sizes.  Not every book needs to be hundreds of pages.  In fact, one of the books I just assigned to a class I’m teaching at a local university is small enough that it could be read from cover to cover in less than an hour.  And in this era of low-priced e-books, you may find that a large portion of your potential audience actually prefers shorter books.

So let me issue a hypothetical challenge and then give you some suggestions on how to meet it.  Here’s the challenge:  Publish a book sometime in the next four weeks.  Crazy, right?  I don’t think so.  

If you’re willing to take me up on the challenge, here’s what to do.

1.  Start with content you already have on hand.  For example, if I wanted to publish a book in the next four weeks, I would begin by scouring my files for content I’ve already written.  In my case, there’s tons of unpublished content on my computer.  I have lessons, speeches, sermons, and a whole host of other things living in my files.  I think I could put together a short book just from that content alone.

2.  Curate your blog.  If you have a blog, you’ve already got lots of content you could pull from.  I write several blog posts each week, and if I wanted to, I could put together ten to twenty of my best-performing posts and reformat them into a small book.  Truth be told, that’s what I’ve done with several of my currently existing titles.  Those books came together from blog content.

3.  Don’t write a book.  Write blog posts.  Maybe you don’t already have a lot of existing blog content to pull from.  That’s not a problem.  All you need to do is come up with at least ten to twenty blog ideas, write them out one at a time without overthinking the content, and then post them publicly so you get a little feedback on them.  Attempt to write one a day in your free time while cutting out TV or other brainless activities.  Incorporate the feedback you receive into your posts by updating them as the feedback arrives, then format your posts as a short book.

4.  Outline what you’re planning to write.  If you’re going to write a book from scratch, start with a detailed outline.  Begin by coming up with a problem that you can solve.  Then write out ten to twenty incremental steps to solving that problem.  These will be your individual chapters.  Then go back and add sub-steps, stories, examples, and words of encouragement to your individual chapter outlines.  Once that’s complete, put some meat on the bones by writing out your paragraphs.  I have often said that when I outline a book like this, it feels like the book writes itself.  I don’t have to figure out where I’m going with my content.  The outline serves as the roadmap.

5.  Some books are easier to write than others.  Please keep in mind that people are looking to read all kinds of material.  You don’t have to write the deepest, most insightful book that’s ever produced.  Some of my favorite books are collections of quotes, short stories, personal memoirs, and Scriptures arranged by topic.  Ironically, some of the content I have personally produced that falls into this category sells better than some of the books I’ve written that took a lot of time, thought, and research.

6.  Look at what’s trending.  If you’re still unsure what to write about after thinking through this list, take a look at some of the subjects that are trending.  You’ll typically discover that books that talk about health, wealth, and relationships tend to be popular.  Is there a subtopic related to one of those categories that you’d be interested in writing about?  Do you have personal experiences in one of these popular categories that you could elaborate on in a short, non-fiction book geared toward an audience of people who are a lot like you?

Writing a book truly isn’t as difficult as many people fear it might be.  Ironically, you may have already written it (via your existing content) without even realizing it.  And if you want to learn more about this subject, along with other platform-related topics, let me invite you to take my Launch Plan Course at

Note:  The Launch Plan Course is included for free when you join our membership community.

© John Stange, 2024

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