November’s been a good month for 100 Days. (Not least because it’s been a slow month for my other work.) Huge improvements, but the big news is the main text is now hitting 100,000 words… which means I’ve found the edges of the jigsaw.
Why that matters:
In any large project – from a thriller novel to a house build – a big part of progress is “finding the edges”. Recognising where the parameters of the job stop and start. And for most of the last four months I was trying to define them.
The basic ten-part, fourteen-week structure of the book’s been clear since I started writing in July. But the fine detail within it – what the reader does each day, and how those actions slot together in sequence to deliver the broader objective of a £100,000 income – was much harder. Now, after many sleepless nights of blood, sweat, and toil, I believe my jumbled mass of actions and outcomes (over 400 pages of scribbled ideas) is starting to become an orderly series of information and instructions a non-marketer will find useful. And completed chapters are starting to fly out.
Originally I thought 100 Days would be a tract of 40-60,000 words. (After all, it started as just a blog post and Buzzfeed listicle outlining the idea!) As it turns out, there are two sub-audiences: the techie who knows the tools, and the freelancer who’s expert in his own field but not necessarily at marketing himself. The best way to cater for both is to separate informational (concepts) and instructional (methods and tasks) content. So each chapter now starts with a set of information and ends with a list of tasks that put them to use, coming together in a “Do you understand/have you completed” checklist. (Savvy marketers only need the methods; other experts will do the daily Tasks.)
This means an increase in wordcount, and the total’s now likely to break 200,000 words and 1,000 pages. A side effect is that I’ve changed the publishing format: the paperback edition will be US Letter-sized, 21.59 x 27.94 cm, so people have plenty of room to scribble their notes in the margins.
(The ebook editions, as a happy byproduct, now look a lot better! With full-width tables and diagrams and better formatted text and lists. I’m testing the e-version on both an ancient Kindle Keyboard and a swoopy new Voyage and it looks great.)
The mailing list is growing, although there aren’t any updates yet; I’ll be sending out sneak peeks at chapters and diagrams as they harden. Head down again – see you next month!
I put a listicle on Buzzfeed about the habits of Kindle owners. Anyone who knows a heavy reader will understand…!