Monday, March 23, 2020

Write Your Book in a Flash by Dan Janal – Book Review

"No one cares how many words your book contains. They care about reading the right content."

Write Your Book in a Flash by Dan Janal is a great book and reference for anyone planning to or working on a book but struggling to finish the first draft or later drafts. The book comprises tons of tips and you can easily go through it.

I'd recommend you read Janal's book either while writing your book or before you start. It's a reference book. I have a book I want to write so I'm planning to reread Write Your Book in a Flash as I write it so I can apply the tips mentioned inside.

"Confused readers don't buy books."

Janal references a ton of books in his own. As a book mentoring coach, he's read a lot and therefore shares much of what he's learnt and what he has used to write his own books (he gives examples from his works and others').

The first important question Janal asks the reader, and potential author is: "Why do you want to write a book?"

While Write Your Book in a Flash primarily deals with writing non-fiction books. That said, some of the advice can be applicable to fiction; like starting where you feel comfortable and how to edit your book.

"People want information. They know they aren't reading literature. If you solve their problems, you're a hero. If you don't help them, you're a zero."

Some honest tough love there with the above quote but Janal is 100% right. As opposed to reading novels, short stories, and poetry, people reading non-fiction and self-help books have desires and ideas other than wanting to be entertained. They pick up a book because they want to learn something and/or solve a problem.

My problem? Writing my books, whether fiction or non-fiction. The sitting down and getting started. I've picked up several hints from Janal's book for either categories.

One of the things I liked about Write Your Book in a Flash was Janal's promise in the first chapter that he would teach the reader how to "overcome procrastination and conquer your limiting beliefs so you can write and finish your book" and goes on to deliver on that.

One of my favorite pieces of advice in Write Your Book in a Flash is Janal saying "Don't get married to your title." As a copywriter, I know what it feels like when you write a title that just wows you and you try to stick to it but then things don't go as planned.

I like how Janal uses his own books as examples. Regarding the "don't get married to your title" advice, he says that Write Your Book in a Flash was originally named How to Create an Outline for Your Book.

"Ugh!" he says about his former title. "That title told me what the book was about but it wasn't catchy. It also didn't convey the benefit to readers. Why would they want to write an outline for their book?"

Here's another tip about writing titles: "To find out what your prospects think of your title, you must ask them."

I must note that it took me a while to start Janal's Write Your Book in a Flash, which I got as a review request last year, because I had this fear of reading self-help books. But I have overcome that fear (to an extent) and I'm working on reading more non-fiction books as a means of self-learning and self-development.

I like Dan Janal's brutal honesty in the book. As writers, we are often afraid of how we will be received or when simply tell others we're working on books. But Janal's honesty comes like a reality check. He's been there, done that, and he's giving you the important tips and the more important "don'ts."

"Who do you think is the worst person to ask for feedback? No, it's not your mother. The worst person to ask is YOU, because you are NOT the target buyer of your book."

See what I mean? :)

There are tons more tips and quotable bits in the book but that would make my review much longer.

So overall, I think Write Your Book in a Flash is a must must-read. It's a book you can easily read once, twice, or several times. Think of the book as your tutor before and while you're writing. I highly recommend it and plan on reading it again once I start working on my non-fiction book.

Overall rating for Write Your Book in a Flash by Dan Janal: 5 Stars

It's worth mentioning that Write Your Book in a Flash was one of my top books of 2019. There's a list that I just updated with the new review. (I finished reading the book in December 2019 but just posted it in March 2020).

Note: I received a free copy of Write Your Book in a Flash from the publisher in exchange for a review. This did not affect my review in any way.

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