Over the coming months we will publish interviews with book authors, focusing on the process of actually writing the book, launching and promoting it. Many of these authors are not professional writers and are publishing their very first book, which should provide valuable insights for people aspiring to do the same.
David Hauser is a successful entrepreneur who cofounded Grasshopper, a telephone service company that was sold for $170 million. “Unstoppable: 4 Steps to Change Your Life” is a book about the science and facts behind nutrition and about how you can optimize your eating habits and choices to have a better and healthier life.
1. Why did you decide to write the book?
After going on a 5-10 year journey and in the latter years losing 35lb+ a lot of people asked me what did you do how did you do it. After having many of these conversations it became clear to me that people were really asking something different. Each person wanted to know how they could create the change they wanted, not what I did. So the framework that I built was actually much more important than just the specifics of what I did. With so many people wanting to be healthy and make change but being stuck, frustrated and not getting results I felt a book would be a perfect way to live my core purpose of empowering others.
2. When did you decide to write it, when did you actually start writing it, and when did you finish the first draft?
I decided to write Unstoppable about 2 years ago and I finished the first draft of the book that was released about 1 year ago. It took far longer than I expected and editing and then run up to launch much longer than I expected as well.
3. Was the process easier or harder than you expected?
Much harder and took way more of my time than I expected. I had a ghost writer that worked with 100+ hours of interviews after spending at least 50 hours in meetings during the outlining stage. This does not account for the many times reading and rereading while editing the book.
4. What were the main obstacles?
The biggest obstacle for me was getting my voice and thoughts on the paper. I could talk about this for hours with friends or on a podcast but getting it on to paper was a challenge. I worked with 3 different writers until I found someone that could accomplish this and even then editing took months.
5. What strategies or tricks helped?
The outlining process was critical. It gave me the time and thought process to get everything out in bullets and questions and then organize around that. The whole structure of the book changed after that process and for the positive.
6. How long did it take from the moment you finished the first draft until the book was published? How was the process?
About 6-7 months from the final final draft to launch.
7. How did you promote the book? What worked and what didn’t?
Tried all sorts of things but the most effective was building my own email list and asking friends and contacts to help promote it. Did lots of the “standard” things but did not move the needle much. Did a giveaway with AppSumo that was great for exposure.
8. Any other tips for someone who wants to write and publish his first book?
Budget way more time and start thinking about promotion very early on. Also never expect to make money from a first book, it is just so rare. So have other goals and reasons for a book.