The Secret to Writing a Book is to Build an Incredible Team
When I heard successful author Gregg Hurwitz speak around a year ago, he made one comment that surprised me. I used to think of a successful author as someone who sits in front of a computer and types all day. Almost magically, I pictured the perfect story just pop out of the computer. All the writer had to do was hit print and the perfect story appeared — typed, printed, and bound. But I was wrong.
Gregg writes one book each year. He’s kept that pace for 20 years. Here’s what he said that surprised me.
He said that he can only produce as much great content as he does, because he has built an incredible team of people to help him. Editors. Publisher. Agent. Lawyer. Publicity.
I used to think of writing as a completely solitary experience. Now one of my favorite authors was telling me I was wrong.
When I heard Gregg, I had written a first draft of my own book. It was a children’s book. But I didn’t have a team. I was the solitary writer, who was hoping something great would appear as soon as I had typed a few words. Now, as my first children’s book has been released, I realize that Gregg was right.
Steve Jobs said something similar, when asked about Pixar and its success. Pixar, he said, “depends on collaboration.” Each successful movie was not the work of a single person.
My book started with an idea: what if Cinderella actually picked up her slipper instead of losing it, and left something else for the prince to find instead? What if she tooted, and all the prince had to find his true love was the smell of her toot? That was the idea that I had one night when I was telling my kids stories before bed. The kids loved the story and wanted to hear it every night for months. CinderToot was born.
There’s a huge difference, though, between having an idea for a story and creating a children’s book that is available for purchase. The main difference is the team of people I needed to help me. Each person had a unique role that could not be replaced. Here’s the team that I built to bring my book CinderToot to life.