Back in the day at CWNP, we published five IT textbooks and a WiFi dictionary as self-study prep materials for our high stakes certification exams. I can honestly say that creating, outlining, planning, writing, editing, and publishing a book, no matter how big or small, is a daunting task. So why on God’s green earth would I want to do it again? Because I can! And, more accurately, in an effort to expand the reach of Pitch Practice, a foundational book was the next logical step.
A Marathon, Not A Sprint
At CWNP, we would build our tactical calendars around the 12 months it took to create a book from scratch. It took the same amount of time to update any of our books from version X to version Y, because going through 600 pages to find what needs to be changed is ridiculously time-consuming.
Writing “Practice Your Pitch” has been just as time consuming, though I can’t say it took a year. In fact, it’s taken over 4 years! As the old consulting adage goes, that’ll be $2.99 for services provided plus $9,997.01 for the knowledge of which services to provide. I couldn’t have written this book 4 or 3 or 2 years ago. We hadn’t learned and codified all the lessons that new entrepreneurs need to know when they craft their pitch.
Creating the Outline
For about 70% of the raw content, I re-read every blog post I have ever written that was remotely related to Pitch Practice. Once I had done that, I still wasn’t really firm on an outline, a form, a structure for the book.
Then it hit me. Every week, we walk through the six points of the Pitch Practice structure: name, organization, problem, solution, customer, ask. Bingo! I then began the arduous process of assigning each blog post to a point in the structure, 1 – 6. A couple of points came up very light on content. And, a lot of the blog posts just didn’t fit, for one reason or another.
I had to rework most of the relevant blog post content, and then create about 30-40% new content. Looking back over the process, I may have been better off – more efficient anyway – just starting from scratch. The text is now in the hands of an editor, which most likely means many more hours of reworking content.
“Practice Your Pitch”
The end result will explain 21 lessons that I’ve learned from leading Pitch Practice for more than 4 1/2 years. These lessons are covered over and over each week and in dozens of different ways in dozens of blog posts.
My goal for “Practice Your Pitch” is to reach more people than can fit in the Pitch Practice Boardroom at ATV. My belief is that if more new entrepreneurs can learn these lessons earlier, they will have a higher probability of succeeding. That would be a win for everyone.
Next up: cover design!