Read the Exciting Journey Of Dr Jagdish Chaturvedi on how he finished a bestselling book in 20 days
Writing A Bestseller In 20 Days
I am an Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon and a serial innovator of 18 medical devices. My book – Inventing Medical Devices: A perspective from India, took 20 days from idea to the market (for the first edition) by using a structured process that can be applicable to any innovation. Within 3 months of launching the book, it climbed the charts to become the #1 Bestseller in Medical Technologies on www.Amazon.in with over 1000 copies in sales.
It all began, after delivering a talk on the 4th of November 2015, at a premier cancer institute in Bangalore on ‘Opportunities for clinicians to invent new medical devices in India’
When my mentor, guru and professor of ENT and head-and-neck surgery, Dr. Ravi C Nayar, came up to me after the talk and said “I think it’s time for you to write a book, you can’t keep giving talks”. Few other clinicians who attended the talk echoed the same advise and felt that this information can really change the way clinicians think about inventing new medical devices.
That was what really made me think about writing this book. I wanted to follow a structured process for writing the book and hence applied the process I follow for invention of new medical devices. After all, this book also addresses an unmet need and is designed to solve a specific problem.
The problem and the need
Doctors in India face clinical challenges and feel the need to create solutions that address these challenges, but they have limited understanding about the processes involved. This restricted information and the lack of accessible platforms that enable multidisciplinary team development is a reason for decreased Medtech innovations in our country. Hence the need for an effective way to increase entrepreneurial activities among clinicians and engineers for the development of new medical devices in India.
Validation of the need (Duration of this phase – 3 days)
I have been receiving feedback (telephone, email, and personal interactions) from clinicians after talks and workshops that I have conducted over the last 6 years (over 50 so far). Clinicians have felt that the know-how regarding inventing medical devices in India, has been very valuable for them and strongly support the need for this information to be spread among other clinical peers. Hence, resulting in a trail of workshops and invited talks on this topic, which signifies a demand that clinicians indeed want to know in a simple manner, the process to develop new medical devices in India.
I carried out discussions with friends and senior clinicians to bounce this need with them and they all seemed to agree that there is a need for awareness among clinicians regarding the process of inventing medical devices. On the format of providing this information (at a concept level), I received mixed feedback on whether this modality should be a formal text book or a book on informal opinions based on my experiences, or should it even be a book at all, and why not a video series?
Forming a team (Duration of this phase – 3 days)
The team that supported me consisted of a product designer (Pranay Arun Kumar, who created the caricatures), a mechanical engineer (Basava Kumar, who created templates, info-graphics) and an electronics engineer (Shrushti Chakki, who populated the appendix). Clinical inputs from other doctors were involved during the development of the book.
Concept generation and selection (Duration of this phase – 2 days)
Keeping in mind the target audience as medical students, clinicians and wantrepreneurs (want-to-be entrepreneurs), a solution criteria was generated. The concept approach was to build awareness regarding medical device innovations in India to address the gap “clinicians want to contribute to new inventions on healthcare but either don’t know the process or assume a method that is not compliant with an accepted path for medical device development in India”. The format of a book was chosen so that it can be a source of information that can be carried and referred to during the development of a device.
A video (even though easier to watch) is generally not found to be an easy-to-refer guide every time it is required. In a book or an ebook, information can be searched and referred back to easily—tables, examples, appendices, etc. Textual content within the book also come up on internet searches and is therefore easy for the target audience to search, find and read.
Videos do not come up on searches easily with respect to content within them, they only show up based on their titles and descriptions.
The final concept for the format of the book was selected to be informal, experiential and easy to read. The content is superficial, with caricatures and tables, so that very basic information regarding all the aspects of medical device innovations in India are covered in a simple manner. The tables and case examples are tabulated for easy reference.
It was felt that a text-book format with greater depths of information may not be suitable for two reasons: first, the target audience we are trying to reach are those who want to explore this field. Text books are generally referred to by those who are already engrossed in the field and want to expand their knowledge. Second, the MedTech ecosystem is still in its infancy in India and my experiences are not yet prolific enough to substantiate text-book worthy information.
As a clinician in the field of medical devices, I have always wanted to learn about experiences other inventors have had in India and felt I should share mine through this book. Maybe this will encourage others to write more about their experiences, improve our resouces and encourage cross-entrepreneurial learning for the betterment of our ecosystem.
Writing the book and creating the first proof-of-concept
This book was written in one week to generate a quick proof-of-concept. Inputs from clinicians and engineers was taken during the writing of the proof-of-concept. By 15th of November 2015, the book was ready for testing.
Testing the content of the book
The first draft of the book was shared with clinicians, investors, and engineers from the MedTech industry to provide their feedback and inputs. These inputs were incorporated and the revised draft was sent to a professional editor for proofreading, editing and formatting.
Funding for this book
It has been completely self invested and about INR120,000 has been spent to get this book from an idea to a published book, ready for sales within 20 days. There were options where crowd funding, sponsorship or investor co-authorship could be explored. I decided not to do so, in the interest of having better control over timelines for generation of the book. This was a personal decision due to all the other clinical and entrepreneurial responsibilities that I also perform.
This book in its final, edited version was published on 24th November 2015. Some principles of the process followed in medical device inventions were applied to generate this book. The process was applied wherever possible and applicable.
Performance in the market
To my pleasant surprise, the book took off really well and was well accepted in the market. I had to move over from an international self publishing platform to an Indian one to meet demands and further reduce the pricing.
With author royalties that can barely be considered sustainable, I had a complete return on investment in the matter of three months.
This book was on the bestseller list on Amazon.in under the Medical technology category and has received more than 40 positive reviews from readers across the world.
Writing the second edition
I have received a lot of feedback since the book launched online and was made available in most eCommerce websites almost a year ago. The most constant and prominent feedback was to include some step-by-step guidelines on how to actually implement the process so that this book can also serve as an instructional guide for entrepreneurs who want to find a need and develop a prototype. This instructional segment would also help engineering and design students as well. Therefore in the second edition a “How I do it” section has been added which gives a step-by-step guide on how to execute the process right from forming a team to developing a proof of concept. The rest of the content and appendices have been appropriately updated. The effort to upgrade to the second edition took two days of writing and one day of formatting.
Writing a bestseller in 20 days is very easy, first, identity a problem, validate the need, form a team (if need be) focus on the process, write, then published.