When writing a book, why do most people decide to cut corners?

People who want to work with me say, “I need to share my experience. I need to teach people what I know, and they’re going to love it.” 

I think, “Great, if your information has got value, if you’ve got a system that works, then let’s share it. Let’s make other people’s lives a bit easier and give you some kudos along the way.”

For me, writing a book is like a dinner party. You want to create this wonderful experience that’s memorable and rewarding for people to take part in. You want the book to give them those nuggets of information that they need and those pieces of the puzzle that they really want, and that’s like creating a delicious starter – something that makes life fun and enjoyable.

So often people say to me, “Yeah, I want to be this big-named chef kind of thing. I want to create a fantastic dinner party experience (through my book) for people, and I’m itching to help.”

Never cut corners with something you create to boost your credibility

Then, we’re about to get going and they say, “Actually, what I’m going to do now is I’m not going to make the main course from scratch anymore, I’m just going to get a ready meal and ping it because I can’t be arsed (to do the work to make it good).”

That’s a metaphor for making sure the book is good quality – putting in the leg work makes all the difference.

Fact checking is super important.

As the author, it’s your responsible to fact-check your book.

It’s not the editor’s responsibility and it’s not the proof reader’s responsibility to fact check your book.

It’s your responsibility to make sure that it’s accurate, because how can an editor know what you know?

They can make what you say sound better.

Could they write what you know? No, because you’re the expert and that’s why you’re putting the book together. They can look at basic things for example if you say there are four ways to do something and you’ve only explained three, or you explained five, then they can spot that sort of factual error.

But other things, based on the in-depth expertise, they’re not going to know.

You have to check it.

I get exasperated with people when they think, “ah you know… whatever… let’s just ping the main course.”

No, let’s not ping the main course.

Let’s make sure it’s error-free, well-done, and easy to understand.

Don’t cut corners.

If you’re trying to create that wonderful experience for people and they look to you as a thought leader and an authority and somebody with high-level expertise, don’t ping your bloody main course.

Put the effort in.

Make sure the book holds water.

Make sure it’s correct before you give it to anybody else, otherwise it’s going to be a let-down for everyone.