Writing a book can be a great way to establish credibility with your potential clients especially if you have created a proprietary system of solving serious business issues. There are many resources available but Mark Silver does an excellent job of recapping them and adding a step by step action plan on how to actually write your book. I highly recommend Mark’s website and newsletter as he has a very socially conscious approach to entrepreneurship.
There’s a lot of hoopla about becoming an author of your very own business book. The promise of fame and fortune is very alluring. Yet your book remains perpetually ‘about to be’ written. Or, you’ve sequestered yourself for weeks or months to write your book, only to come out with something you feel luke-warm about.
The purpose of a novel is to entertain. The author takes you out of your reality into a world they’ve constructed or described. To do that, many fiction authors do go on retreat, or sequester themselves in some way in order to immerse themselves in their created world.
The purpose of your business’ book is… why do you want to write a book, really? Besides the fame and fortune ;), I mean why do you need to write your book?
You need it for many of the same reasons you need a website. It allows people to enter into the world of your solution, without betting the farm.
Never mind if they’re too shy to make your workshop, or not ready to hire you for whatever it is you do. They can, and will, get your book.
The secret: You’re not writing a book.
Your business solves a problem of some sort. Your product or service helps them solve this problem. Your ‘book’ should tell them how to do it.
Your book gives your readers and customers what they need in order to solve the problem on their own. It gives them an accurate description of the problem. It gives them the process of how to face and solve the problem. It gives the philosophical foundation, if necessary.
Those exercises evolved into handouts. Which evolved into multiple handouts. Which evolved into workbooks.
Then I taught several different workshops, and with each one I went through the process of handouts to workbooks. Then I beefed up each of the workbooks a bit, in response to folks who weren’t clear about what I had written.
After a few years it dawned on me: hmmm, I have about 150 pages in five different workbooks. Over about four months, with the support of my wife and my master mind group, I went through those workbooks so they could stand alone, and added an introduction and a conclusion.
The result: 300 pages and tens of thousands of dollars in sales, because the book is solid, and actually applies to real life. I didn’t dream it up on retreat, far from the people who would be using it.
Are you getting the drift here? Your book should be written while immersed in your business, with your customers, with the problems they face, and the questions they ask you.
Keys to Writing Your Book:
- It can be short, to begin with.
- You can keep expanding it later as you need to.
- You don’t need a publisher.
For your business, forget about a publisher. Even if a publisher picked you up, what would happen? They would leave you the responsibility of doing 95% of the marketing anyway.
This is a bigger subject to be addressed, but believe me when I say that you can be very successful without a publisher, going the self-published route.
It’s not your book, it’s your FIRST book.
You might be tempted to never finish your book, because you keep learning and growing, and thinking of things to add in.
Use your heart, and look at it from your reader’s perspective. Where is a natural stopping point? Then, you can save the rest of your material for your second book. And your third. Believe me, once your finish your first book, it’s addictive, and you’ll start writing others.
Getting a book written doesn’t need to be a mysterious or artificial process. Let your work with your customers organically pull it out of you, then polish it off. Then write your next one.
Copyright © 2007 Mark Silver