Writing your own book has become an increasingly popular way to position yourself, especially if you’re a service professional or business owner looking to increase your personal profile.
But is positioning enough of a reason to write your own book?
The short answer: no.
And now for the longer answer. Writing a book can put you in the spotlight, but no amount of publicity will make up for a book that has no significant reason for being.
Just like your business, your book needs to satisfy your readers’ needs. In other words, have something to say, not just a business to promote.
Readers love war stories. They love to hear how you’ve made mistakes and got out of jams, how you’ve conquered challenges and helped others to do the same. They like to be inspired, uplifted, educated and valued.
With business books, they’re also looking for tangible takeaways they can put into action. They’re looking for revolutionary ideas that will flip their thinking.
When you empathise with their concerns you’ll earn the right to transcend your expert status and become an authority. They want nuggets of knowledge, not pages of self aggrandising advertisements.
The irony is, if you give your book integrity it will stand out. And sell out. Look at the success of the Flying Solo book, the E Myth series of books or Stephen Covey’s books on the habits of highly effective people. These books have all sold well because the stuff between the covers has made the real difference.
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Here are tangible takeaways I discovered in publishing, promoting and writing my own book.
- Start writing. If you don’t have the big idea yet, just start writing. The ideas will come. Ideally the big idea will come. If you’re really stuck, write a list of all the problems you see your clients challenged with right now and then write a response that gives a solution to each of those.
- Research your topic on Amazon. Is this a hot topic right now? What are others writing about this? What’s your unique angle? What fresh insights can you bring to your readers?
- Once you start writing, keep writing. No matter how stuck you feel, write weekly. No matter how bad you think the writing is, keep writing.
- Create a folder, give it chapter dividers and give your chapters names. Make a mock up of your cover to make the book real. Much of this might change, but it’s easier to change something once it’s made than it is to keep debating it in your head.
- Write as you’re writing. That is, once you’re happy with the idea and you’re ready to road test the content, blog about the book and share it with your social media channels. You create a community around the book and gain PR momentum before it’s released.
- Take the time to create a good title and an outstanding cover that are both on brand for your business.
- Hire the best editor you can find. Wrestle with them, but most of all listen to them.
There are many more ways to make your book stand out, such as getting quality testimonials from prominent people in your field (which I highly recommend), but you won’t get them unless the book is worthy to begin with.
Do you have a book waiting to be written? If so, what are you going to give your readers? Share any tips on how to write your own book below.