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Weekly Tips for Writing & Publishing Your Bestselling Book

A New Take on KISS: Keep It Short and Simple

Apr 07, 2024

People often get intimidated at the prospect of writing a book, thinking, "Books are big. I've never written anything that long before." 

But I'll let you in on a little secret: A good book doesn't have to be big. In fact, it shouldn't be.

In this modern era, when we have the attention span of gnats, the most successful books are short and simple.

I've reworked the standard advice (which I always found a bit offensive, anyway) KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid – to read: Keep It Short and Simple.


  1. Pick one main idea to focus on. This is what Malcolm Gladwell, bestselling author of The Tipping Point, David & Goliath and other bestselling nonfiction books does: He presents one big idea and backs it up with some data and tons of stories.
  2. Break that idea down into 6–10 chapters. Generative AI (ChatGPT, Google Bard) can help! Ask it to generate a strawman outline or Table of Contents for you.
  3. Think of each chapter as one 3,000 word essay for a college course. If you include at least two personal stories or anecdotes from you and/or a client, customer, or friend, then you're already halfway there.
  4. Add an Introduction and a Conclusion, reiterating your main point.
  5. Ten chapters x 3,000 words per chapter = 30,000 words = one short and simple book. Voila!




If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.

– 17th century mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal


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