I am always kind of skeptical of books that talk about writing speed and have exclamation points in their title because it always feels slightly snake-oily but I also feel like, a whole bunch of books into my writing career, it still takes me too dang long to finish a book so I decided to give this one a try. Dan Janal was kind enough to send me a free copy of Write Your Book in a Flash: The Paint-by-Numbers System to Write the Book of Your Dreams—FAST! for review on this site but it’s one of those books that I would have absolutely read and recommended even if I had paid full price.
This is a book for non-fiction writers, mostly of the How-To or business type book variety, about how to prepare to write a book and all the things you can do ahead of time to make it easier when you actually sit down to write. I feel obligated to lead with that information because I agree with several reviewers that the phrase “book of your dreams” in the title makes it sounds like it could be for fiction when that is not the case (as the description makes clear but still).
I really liked this book. And I absolutely have no qualms about recommending it to anyone who wants to write a non-fiction book. It’s easy to read, full of useful tips and really does make the process of writing your book that much easier.
Here’s what I like about this book.
- I like that, right from the start, it manages your expectations, giving you an understanding of all the reasons you might want to try your hand at writing a non-fiction book that have nothing to do with becoming a filthy rich bestselling author (because writing… well, let’s just say there are better ways to get rich).
- I like that it truly does simplify down the process of brainstorming and outlining your book and even structuring your chapters to make it, if not exactly paint by numbers, a much clearer and less painless process.
- I like that it gives you tips for actually getting through the writing of the book itself and, failing that, educates you on what to expect if you decide that the actual writing isn’t for you and you’d rather get a ghostwriter or other developmental assistance.
My favorite tip? The one about naming all your chapters by riffing off an extended metaphor (which Dan Janal refers to as your favorite hobby). I’ve used that one several times since I read the book and it really does work as the perfect gimmick to tie everything together.
I like a book that keeps it short and doesn’t waste your time. With the exception of the last section, which is an extended advertisement for the author’s writing services, there’s no wasted space and the author gets right to the point.
Overall, a quick and easy to read guide that is exactly what you need to build the roadmap that will help you write that book once and for all!