So I’m Reading Brad’s Book…

I’m reading the Brad Gosse book, “Chronic Marketer.”

This is a great book, but if you want a review, go to Amazon. I’m digging into some guts here.

I see a lot of people saying they just can’t write a book. It seems like an insane amount of work.

Let’s get real, people.

Brad’s book is 248 pages and contains 32 chapters plus acknowledgements at the end.

Of these pages, 15 are blank on both sides and 18 are blank on one side. That’s 48 pages, dropping the actual written content to 200 pages. And it’s not hard to figure out that 33 pages – the last one of each chapter and the final page of the acknowledgements – are likely to be incomplete pages. So it’s productive, since it may be anywhere from a near-full page to just a couple lines, to count those as half-pages, reducing the page count by another 16. 34 additional pages are completely taken up by images. There are five pages of “excise” – title, copyright, ISBN, contents. That sort of shit. Stuff that isn’t actually the book. Which leaves us with 145 pages of actual, you know, content.

That’s not a slam. That’s just reality. You can do the same thing with most books. The number on the last page isn’t something you can use to do math. And all that stuff up there has value – the contents, the pictures, the blank pages for layout. I mostly want you to understand that the supporting material of the book, what folks in the design world call the hygienic factors (without which the book would suck and you wouldn’t want it), is damn near half the fucking book.

So what’s on one page of Brad’s book? If we take just the writing on one page, what do we find?

Each page contains thirty-two lines, for one, of which three to five are blank between paragraphs. So call it 28 lines per page. Those 28 lines each contain ten to twelve words; call it eleven. These are normal, sensible amounts for a modern book.

They also amount to roughly 300 words a page.

Think about that for a moment. Really think about it.

This blog post is already longer than one page of Brad’s book. You write blog posts, too, don’t you? Or articles? And aren’t most articles more like 500 words?

I know I shoot for the 500 word mark. And if we do the math on 300 words a page across 145 pages… we get 43,500 words.

That’s eighty-seven 500-word articles.

If you put your mind to it, you can write ten to twenty 500-word articles in a day. That’s about the limit of productivity for article writing – beyond that, quality starts going down the toilet.

That means you could write a book in less than two weeks. Ten articles a day for nine days. Fifteen a day for six. Twenty a day for five. The amount of work isn’t the limiting factor – it’s the big idea your book is going to be about.

It’s all about the planning. What are these articles? What are they about?

Give me a while to get back to you on that. Maybe a couple weeks. Right now, I’m putting my big idea and plan together on a book of my own. I’ll tell you what I learn in the process.

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