Should I write a book? How does writing a bestselling business book work?
We get asked these two questions all the time by curious entrepreneurs sticking their toes into the pool of business authorship – trying to decide if the water is safe enough to swim. Answering the first question is simple – writing a business book is a no-brainer.
A well-written book is a game changer for any business leader or entrepreneur with a message or value to share with their audience. It helps to establish you as a thought leader, authority, and expert in your field. The public is more likely to trust a figure with experience and expertise – a well-received and well-written book helps to demonstrate this and provide your audience with a taster of what it is like to work with you.
The main issue that I come across from aspiring would-be authors is that writing a book can feel intimidating and overwhelming if they’ve never done it before. The good news is that writing a book in just 30 days is entirely possible! The trick is to commit to it and prepare yourself properly first.
1. Planning your book
A first-time author can often underestimate the sheer amount of thought, planning, and preparation that should happen before even writing the first word of their new book. Taking the time to structure and develop your ideas can be what makes the difference between time wasted on writer’s block and having an efficient and focused writing experience.
A key tool we use during the planning phase is our Business Book Brief™. This document allows you to plan every aspect of your book. By taking just an hour or two to consider the questions and fill it out in as much detail as possible, you will be in a position to start writing with focus and direction.
How do I know what to write about?
Everyone has an area of expertise and a story to go with it that could fill at least one book. The issue is that we often aren’t sure about how to start. Helping our clients through this process is the first thing covered by the Business Book Brief™.
There are three parts to consider: the topics that you are comfortable writing about, who you are, and who your target reader is.
The topics you are comfortable writing about
If you are writing a business book, this is straightforward. Write about what you know and what you’re doing. If you have a specific concept or idea which you find interesting or helps define the niche you operate in, then likely you will find having a book on that topic helps to establish you as a thought leader in your field.
If you want any more guidance on this, check out our recent article on writing thought leadership posts.
Who you are
Once you know what you are talking about, the next step is to think about what makes your specific perspective unique and valuable. How are you contributing a perspective that is both new and fresh? What is your authority on the topic?
Your book is going to need to stand out from the crowd – there are a great many business books out there. The best way to make it a book that is clearly head and shoulders above the rest is to make it indisputably your book on a topic only you can talk about with such authority.
After all, which book on leadership would be more valuable? One written by a manager who has never managed a team of more than four people or one written by a former CEO with a bestselling course on a leadership approach they pioneered?
Your target reader
The question “so, what do you do for a living?” is always a tricky one to answer. As an editor, I find that my answer varies from “I am professionally English!” or “I work in publishing”, to a more detailed description of my role depending on who I am talking to. I target the answer depending on what they’re interested in learning.
Knowing who you’re talking to (or in this case writing for) means you can pitch your content directly to them, making your specific take and perspective as valuable as possible. Having a specific and focused niche for a book is just as valuable as it is for a business.
You have already established that you are writing a book based on your business niche and presented using your personal experience and authority. This means your target audience is mostly likely going to be the clients your business is trying to reach and serve. Who else is going to be as motivated to learn about the perspective and ideas which make you a thought leader?
When considering what to include in your plan, our Content Developer Ivan has a wealth of tips and tricks he uses to guide someone through the planning process. A key insight is considering the opportunity, the audience’s desire, and your new mechanism. Having them in mind when you plan helps ensure that the book you write is more likely to deliver these things – making it a book that is valuable to your readers and one they’ll recommend to everyone they know.
2. Writing your business book
Writing a business book in 30 days is an entirely possible task – but it requires a full-time effort. As an example: someone writing the first draft for their business book might aim for a word count between 40,000 and 50,000 words. This sounds like a lot, so the trick is not to focus on this number – break the project down into bite-sized chunks first.
Once you have your “big idea”, you can split that down into shorter chapters. Each of these chapters will cover a specific and focused aspect of the general topic. You might explain a particular concept in the theory or dive into one stage in your innovative framework.
One of our top tips to maintain your focus is to ask these two questions as you’re writing each chapter: “What perspective can I uniquely share?” and “What will make this relevant and appealing to my readers?”
Once you have broken your big idea into chapters, you need to make a habit of writing a little every day. If you were to write 1,500 words a day for a month, you would have 45,000 words by the end – more than enough!
Writing your business book is the most crucial stage – it is where you bring your book into the world. After writing, there are three more steps: editing, proofreading, and design. These are all vitally important and they are not all steps which can be done alone – a good editor, proofreader, and designer all bring their own expertise to make sure your book is a winner.
3. Getting the support you need
We believe everyone has a story and a book in them. It’s just a question of committing to getting started. Hopefully, this blog has made those first steps less intimidating.
That said, not everyone enjoys writing quite as much as I do. You don’t have to make this leap alone – having someone to help and support you through the process can be a game changer. Imagine having someone who can make your book a reality, using your message and ideas. With the right support, you can actually author a book without having to write a word yourself.
You can generate a wealth of transcripts and recordings by speaking your content, which a skilled editor can polish into a book for you. If you need a hand to share your message with the world, our team of experts can help!
Book a Clarity Call today to find out more about how you can create a bestselling business book and share your value with the world.