Writing a book can be a great strategy to establish your authority in your industry, share your knowledge and attract more clients.
Yet many business owners find the prospect quite daunting.
Luckily though, it’s not usually as difficult as you might think.
There are lots of different ways of going about the book writing process to make it easier and more achievable.
So, let’s take a look at how you can write a business book.
Why write a book for your brand or business?
Having a book is often said to be like having a ‘business card on steroids’.
This because, when it’s done right, it serves as a symbol of your authority.
Everyone looks up to anyone who manages to write and publish a book. Everybody knows it’s not an easy process. When you mention you’re a published author – all of a sudden, people become more interested, really quick.
Author = Someone who knows some serious stuff!
Once you have a book, all of a sudden, you have extra credibility, expertise and an affordable method for people (clients) to get to know you.
Often, a book is the first way potential clients or customers DO get to know who you are and how you can potentially help them.
It can then help you upsell clients into higher paid offers.
Other benefits include:
- More visibility – particularly if you publish on Amazon and Booktopia.
- More PR and Media attention.
- People are more likely to want to invite you onto podcasts or as a speaker at events.
- It positions you as a thought-leader.
How to write a book
A little note on publishing
We’ll be covering this in more detail in ‘Part 2 – Publishing & Promoting Your Book’, but it’s handy to start with a little bit of knowledge, as it’s the number one thing that new authors worry about.
Firstly, there are now three ways of having a book published.
- Traditional Publishing
- Self-Publishing (Alone)
- Self-Publishing (With an independent publisher)
Traditional publishing is the one you’re possibly most familiar with AND the most daunting.
This is where you have to pitch your book or the idea of your book to a traditional publisher such as Penguin, Hay House, etc. – and they will either say yes or no.
In this model, if you get a yes – you may get paid a certain amount of money as an advance on your ‘royalties’ and then you get paid a small percentage of each sale.
The two major problems here are a) they have to choose you and you have very slim chances of being chosen if no one knows you and b) they own the rights to the book and control everything (marketing, production, design, etc.), including what you get paid.
Sometimes, you don’t get much input at all.
Self-publishing is generally a lot easier, as you don’t need anyone else to choose you or your book – you simply decide you want to publish.
You have full control over how you price, print, design, distribute, market, sell and write the book. And, you get the majority of the book sale income.
But that also means you have to figure out how to do all of that!
Self-Publishing (With an independent publisher and/or book coach)
This is where you officially ‘self-publish’ but go through an independent publisher who has a team who does all the book production legwork for you.
This can be quite affordable or quite costly, depending on the publisher.
But it certainly can be quite a good idea if you have no clue how to publish by yourself.
HOT TIP: If this is your first time and you have the budget, choose to self-publish with an independent publisher. You pay them – they produce the book, but you retain the rights.
If you DON’T have the budget and doing this on a shoestring, give publishing on Amazon a go. It’s really quite simple, you just read the requirements, format in a Word Document as best you can, and follow the instructions to upload and publish. It’s free to do this!
Types of books
If you’re writing a business book, there are several approaches.
You could write something:
- Inspirational or motivational
- Factual or step by step
Or a combination of both.
Both can work well, and it just depends on your aims and your style as to which you choose.
Length of book
Traditionally, many books were between 40,000 and 80,000 words.
Writing that length of book, however, can be incredibly daunting. It’s a lot!
These days, shorter reads are becoming more and more popular – so you can get away with 15,000 – 20,000 words without a problem. Particularly, when publishing purely on Amazon.
In fact, even 10,000 words can constitute a book.
Most people are so busy these days, that they really respond well to quick wins and quick reads.
Something that gives them something actionable, within a couple of hours, is perfect.
If you’re wanting to print it in physical form however, do be aware that shorter titles may look a little thin and light on.
Choosing your topic
The best place to start when deciding on your topic – is by basing it around your core work, service, or message.
Make sure you’re really clear on what you want to stand for, who you want to target and why you’re writing the book.
Think about what step you want readers to take, when they finish reading it.
And what they would need to know to get to know you and what you offer.
If you want your book to be successful, your book topic (and title) needs to be really strategic in attracting the right people to you and funnelling them into the next step to potentially working with you.
Think about how you might incorporate it into a sales funnel.
Something along the lines of ‘Book’ > ‘Paid DIY Course’ > ‘One-to-One Service’.
Planning out your chapters
Planning out your chapters is a really solid idea, to ensure you’re covering the right information.
Without any planning, you can tend to simply waffle on in your writing, and not meet your books objectives.
So, here’s the process we recommend:
- Brainstorm every topic or main idea you could include under your main book topic.
- Pick out any themes that could be grouped together.
- These themes might either emerge as chapters or even sections in your book.
- Once you have your chapters – write 3 – 4 main dot points of information you wish to cover.
Keep in mind, the number of chapters you might have could range from 8 through to 12 – or even more.
They just need to relate to your book topic, incorporate your unique processes, systems and expertise and have a logical flow between them. So, if you’re teaching someone about how to do something, Chapter 1 would be Step 1, Chapter 2 would be Step 2, etc.
The writing process(es)
By now, you could well be thinking “This book stuff sounds great, but I’m a terrible writer.”
And that’s ok – there are ways around it.
Firstly, if you can write or wish to write it, that’s great. Even if you think your writing may be a little rough – its amazing what a good editor can do to polish it up.
But you can also:
- Speak it into a voice recording device – and get someone to transcribe it and then edit it.
- Get someone else to ‘ghost write’ it for you – where they write it on your behalf.
Which way you choose, will depend on whether you’re better and more comfortable with speaking or writing. Or, simply how much time you have.
Editing and proofreading
Once you have your raw manuscript written, it’s time for editing.
And it really is worthwhile engaging a professional book editor to do this for you – as it’s amazing what fresh professional eyes can achieve.
There can be different types of editors and proof-readers however, so make sure you’re clear on what you’re getting from anyone you engage.
Ready to publish
Hopefully now you have a good overview of how you might be able to write a business book to enhance your credibility in your industry.
It really is a fun process to go through, once you get into it.
And it’s the best feeling ever when you finally get it finished, published and available for sale.
If you need a little guidance on whether writing and publishing a book might work for you and your business, feel free to get in touch.