The Scribe Tribe.org/chooserethink.com— October 13th, 2018
When it comes to writing an expert authority non-fiction business book, it’s important to stay in your lane, tell the right story in the right way. After speaking at dozens of author conferences and independent publishing events around the country we’ve met countless numbers of business owners and entrepreneurs that are completely stuck in the process of either writing, publishing or effectively launching their books. It’s one thing to be cautious and quite another to be frozen like the tin man from the Wizard of Oz. If that’s you, here’s your can of oil.
There are a lot of dogs out there looking for the same bones as you so you need to have a strategy to outpace your competitors by running a superior campaign and a better race. The best way to accomplish this is through the intentional establishment of authority. We know this first hand, in addition to using this approach for more than 20 years for clients, we ate our own cooking and launched several expert authority non-fiction business books and leveraged them to stand out in a crowded and commoditized field. The perception of expert authority means that more people will listen to your message and believe in your solutions, they will trust you and they will hire your company to fix their problems.
The most effective way to lead your field and establish authority is authorship – sharing your expert knowledge, your unique experiences, and your insights. Most people look at authors of books as authorities. Right or wrong, there is a perception that if you have enough knowledge to write a book, you must know more than most people.
That perception of authority leads to the reality of increased business. In a Bloomberg study, 96% of the business book authors surveyed said they realized a significant positive impact on their businesses from writing a book and would highly recommend the practice.
Having experiences is mandatory, learning from them and writing about the distinctions and lessons you’ve learned in an effort to help others benefit from your expertise is optional. Simply put, people who write the book on their business immediately get to join an elite club of doer’s and there’s a reward that comes in the form of getting the business and getting a larger portion.
It’s been estimated that 81% of Americans – approximately 200 million people – feel they have a book inside them. But less than a fraction of 1 percent ever writes one. Here’s some general advice as to how to become part of that 1 percent.
WHAT DO I WRITE ABOUT?
Bait the hook to suit the fish, not the fisherman. Many authors make this mistake. They write the book that they want to write and then hope there’s an audience that cares enough to read it. Instead, authors should ask, “What is the yearning, burning problem that my target customer is grappling with?” Then write a book that addresses that.
What you write about has to be of importance to people who have the capacity and the desire to give your business money. What we mean by that is, a lot of people write a book for the masses. The truth is, if you’re writing for everybody, you’re really writing for nobody because niches bring riches. People want specific knowledge not general knowledge.
HOW DO I GET MY BOOK WRITTEN?
Many good writers never complete a book. Not because they’re not passionate about it. Writing a book takes a lot of time and commitment and that can be paralyzing.
It takes, on average, more than three years for a business person to write his or her own book.
Many successful business people and top experts are better at verbalizing ideas than they are at writing them down.
So maybe you shouldn’t write the book yourself.
Consider working with someone who has writing experience and can help you through the process. Working with a third party to create your book enables you to finish the process in as little as six months. (Try to avoid the folks that are trying to have you deliver a baby in less than the normal gestation period. Is it possible to deliver an incredible book in 4 months? Yes, it’s possible but the probability of having that outcome goes through the roof by extending the time to 6 months and in many cases client related delays can add weeks and months to the process, but if you do your part we guarantee a predictable outcome followed by a predictable launch plan.
HOW DO I PUBLISH MY BOOK?
The good news is that it has never been easier to get a book published. The not-so-good news is, because it’s never been easier, it’s never been more important that the book be done correctly. If you have one takeaway make it the fact that your book must be professionally edited and formatted to be received well in the marketplace.
There are three avenues you can take: self-publishing, traditional publishing, or hybrid publishing.
Self-publishing is pretty simple; you do it all yourself. You reap all the benefits and maintain full control. You also have to figure everything out on your own.
The big problem is that 90 percent of books that are self-published look like they’re self-published. If the image your book creates in the minds of your audience is not congruent with the quality you provide, it will do you more harm than good.
The other side of the coin is traditional publishing. Yes, there’s prestige, distribution networks and validation, but this may not be a realistic option for most people. There are fewer traditional publishers and most are raising the bar on what they will accept. Most authors who get those contracts already have an established track record in their platforms.
Other challenges: it takes an average of twelve to eighteen months to get published, the publisher owns the rights to the book, you lose creative control, and there’s a lack of significant marketing help.
Then there’s hybrid publishing. Publisher’s Weekly calls it the ‘third option’ – the gray area between self-publishing and traditional publishing. Hybrid-publishing houses charge a fee to have books written, designed and sold, connecting authors with in-house professional writers, editors and designers. This is the most flexible and beneficial way to go because it leaves you with the most options. Many providers and partners are so attached to their business model and how they monetize the process of helping you with your needs that they can’t act in the best interest of you, the client. If you only have a hammer in your toolbox, then you need everyone or everything to be a nail, and that’s not in your best interest.
It’s important to begin with the end in mind. You have to understand that the aim of hybrid publishing is not to sell books. With the exception being a big push at the time of launch to establish best selling status on Amazon or validation through Reviews and testimony. The benefits don’t come from royalties. The goal is to use your book as a marketing tool – as the ultimate professional calling card. The book serves as the foundation for generating leads, attracting media and booking speaking engagements.
If done right, creating a book is an investment with exponential returns as long as you go in with your eyes wide open.