Scribe Book School FAQs

Here we answer all the common questions we get about Scribe Book School.

Have a non-Book School question? Visit our FAQ page that covers all of the other Scribe services.

Scribe Book School

Is Scribe Book School free?

Yes. And always will be.

Where can I find the templates & resources referred to in the video?

You can find all course materials here.

What is a Vomit Draft?

A Vomit Draft is the first draft of your manuscript. We call it a Vomit Draft because nobody cares what they look like when they’re vomiting — they just need to get it out. You should have the same approach with your first draft. Don’t worry about what it looks like, just get it out.

Should I edit as I write?

No. We recommend writing your first draft—what we call a Vomit Draft—all the way through without editing. Then, you will go back and edit. This will feel hard, but trust us, it works.

What is the difference between a non-fiction or knowledge share book and a memoir?

A non-fiction knowledge share book is any non-fiction book you’re writing primarily to help people solove a problem or create a transformation. It can be a business, personal development/self-help, or a how-to book. A memoir tells your story to move or entertain the reader.

How long should it take to write a book?

It depends. Some people finish their first draft in a few months, while others take a year or more.

Should you have a lawyer look at your book before publishing if you're worried about being sued?

Yes. But you don’t have to worry about this until you’re ready to publish. For now, just write your draft.

How will I know if my book is original?

The truth is, nothing is completely ‘original’ — everything is based off something else. What is original is your interpretation of what you know and how you speak to your audience.

What type of tools do you recommend to assist in writing a book?

We find that people get far too distracted with tools when it comes to writing. Don’t get caught up on this — a simple Word processor or Google docs will do if you’re not already using something else.

How do I know if I should write a book?

If you have unique knowledge about something you want to share, feel like you have a story in you that you need to tell, or want to get more clients & improve your career, then you should write a book.

Should I write a book if I'm not sure I can sell a lot of copies?

Absolutely. In fact, the odds are you won’t sell many copies. There are many other reasons to write a book. Like sharing your knowledge, impacting others, boosting your career, and becoming a thought leader in your field.

Can writing a book help boost my career?

Absolutely. We’ve seen hundreds of authors get more paid speaking opportunities, more clients, and more revenue after their book boosts their status and credibility in their field.

How can I tell if my target audience is niche enough, or too broad?

First, identify the niche. Then, ask yourself: who are the dominant players in this field/market/subject? If you can’t name anyone, it’s not saturated. If you can name one person, there’s room for a second. If you can name three, you probably shouldn’t go into it. This is a general rule, though, and can be broken.

How does it work getting illustrations into my book?

You hire an illustrator who has experience in the type of illustrations you want. Preferably, choose an illustrator with book experience.

How do I decide on a book cover? Who can help me with the design?

Remember this: Your book will be judged by it’s cover. We recommend that you hire a book cover designer and be ready to share who your target reader is, have a few book covers that you like as samples, talk about what you want your cover to feel like, discuss the signals you are trying to send to your audience, and if you can, discuss the emotions you want your reader to feel when they see he cover.

What are the different types of non-fiction books?

There are Memoirs & Knowledge Share books. Memoirs which consist of: personal story, autobiography, & family legacy. Knowledge share books consist of: how-to, business, personal development, & self-help books.

When do you recommend doing research for your book?

You shouldn’t assume you HAVE to do reserach for your book. In fact, we’ve found many people get far too caught up in ‘research’ and use it as a way to procrastinate actually writing their book. If your book requires heavy research, do some beforehand. As you start writing your Vomit Draft, though, we recommend making notes on areas that require more research. Then, you can come back to those areas and fill them in when you start the editing process.

Here’s a great article on the subject.

What are the most common stumbling blocks people encounter when trying to write their first book?

It’s normal to hit stumbling blocks — everyone does. The most common are different manifestations of fear (my book won’t be good enough, I don’t have it in me), not using a process that works, and not being held accountable.

Is there an approximate length a nonfiction book should be?

It really depends on the book. However, 50% of #1 Bestsellers in recent years have been in the 250-350 page range. If you want a full break down on how long your book should be, check out this article.

Is there an approximate length a memoir should be?

Length doesn’t matter for memoir—what matters is getting your truth out in the way you need to.

How important is the book title?

It’s really important because people do actually judge books by their cover. Just like companies that spend millions on naming new products, and media companies that spend time testing different titles for blog posts, you should spend substantial time and energy finding a great title.

This is a very important decision, one you need to get right to ensure your book has the best possible chance of success.

Here’s a great resource if you want to learn more about choosing a book title.

If my book is too niche, do I risk losing a larger audience?

Actually, no. Although it may sound counterintuitive, ‘the riches are in the niches.’ You don’t want your book to be for everyone. Instead, you want it to be for a specific group of people. The best book positioning — like the best branding — not only attracts the right people, it repels the wrong people.

How many chapters is a good rule of thumb for a non-fiction book?

There are no “rules” for how many words you should have for book chapters.

I’m terrified my first draft will be garbage. How do I manage this?

That’s okay, it’s expected that your first draft isn’t ‘great.’ In fact, we like to call it a Vomit Draft because it’s just about ‘getting it out’ and not how ‘good’ it looks. You’ll go back and edit it later.

What are the biggest mistakes people make when choosing their book audience?
  1. They make their audience broad, instead of niche. A niche audience is narrow and deep while a broad audience is wide and shallow. Same rules apply when digging for oil.
  2. They don’t know why their audience will care. Remember, readers don’t care about your book but what your book will do for them. If you don’t understand what it is they care about, they won’t care.
How can you tell when a niche is too saturated?

First, identify the niche. Then, ask yourself: who are the dominant players in this field/market/subject? If you can’t name anyone, it’s not saturated. If you can name one person, there’s room for a second. If you can name three, you probably shouldn’t go into it.

What do I do if I'm worried my memoir will upset my family?

Write your first draft while not thinking or worry about it. Then, when it’s time to edit, go back and edit it in a way that feels good to you. However, remember that writing a memoir is about writing your truth. Sometimes, the truth may hurt.

Do traditional publishers do marketing for their authors?

No. Whether you publish with a traditional publisher or self publish, you will be responsible for your own marketing efforts.

Is it better to have a writing schedule or just write when I'm feeling inspired?

We suggest sitting down to write at least 250 words per day. You can always write more, or less, but we’ve found setting an acheiveable daily goal is the best way to stick to writing every day.

Where should I write my book? Is there a place that is the most conducive to writing?

Wherever you get writing done. Consider ambient noise, temperature, view, comfort, and isolation. A universal “correct” place to write doesn’t exist. If you write well in coffee shops, do that. If you write well at a desk in your basement, do that. Wherever you are most creative, most functional, and most confident, write there.

What book writing software do I use to write?

It doesn’t matter what book writing software you use. Just don’t get fancy. Use what you know and what is easiest.

What if I want to get my book translated?

Sell your translation rights to a foreign publisher who will translate and release the book in their own local market.

How do can I make an audiobook after I've written my book?

The most important thing to consider with an audiobook is file quality. There are strict standards for file quality that you have to meet or Audible will not accept your finished book. You can choose one of three paths: Record and produce yourself, record it and hire a professional producer, and hire out from start to finish.

For my audiobook, can I hire someone to narrate it?

A professional narrator can make a world of difference to the quality of the final audiobook. Most narrators who specialize in audiobooks will offer a start-to-finish turnkey solution, charging per hour. That means they do everything. You send them a manuscript, and they send you back an audiobook that’s ready to uploadto Audible/Amazon and iBooks/Apple.