Maybe you’ve nailed your business model like no one else. Maybe you’ve developed a management style that can’t be beaten. Maybe you just have some fantastic insight and experiences that you’d love to share with the rest of the business world. If you’ve ever thought of writing a book to communicate your thoughts and ideas to others, you’re not alone. To help you fulfill that dream, we went and asked the following question to some of the past authors that we’ve interviewed.
Mike Michalowicz, Obsidian Launch
Being different is a good thing! When I wrote my book, the first thing I looked at was all the competing books. I looked for the common thread… and what it was, for my industry, was that almost every book was an academic read. In that moment I decided to write a book that was any thing but academic. It has paid off tremendously for me. I think every new author should look to be different what is already established in their industry.
Knowing the reasons will allow you to ensure the book serves it’s purpose, for example if you are wanting profit then chances are you won’t make much money selling the book so the book needs to lead them into buying something else from your business. If it’s publicity then it just needs to really position you and your business as being one of the top experts in your topic. And pleasure it would be whatever you are wanting to write about and are passionate about.
One of the biggest things that I see holds entrepreneurs back from writing a book is that they feel it will take too long to write, it’s a big commitment. This definitely can be the case but it doesn’t have to be that way. My first book Red Means Go! took me just 5 days to write, I sat down and didn’t leave my house for 5 days until it was done. I know what you’re thinking 5 days it mustn’t have been a very long book or not very good quality. Red Means Go! is 183 pages which is quite a good size for a book, these days most people don’t want to read a 500 page book they want to get the information quickly and personally I’m a get to point kind of guy. As for the quality I’d like to think, based on the testimonials I receive and that iTunes ranked it #1 New & Noteworthy Business Book, that it has value content and is of high quality.
So here’s an overview of how I wrote Red Means Go! in 5 days, here’s what I did:
1) Chose a Topic I was Passionate about and could talk underwater about
2) Came Up with a Title (yes I chose my title first)
3) Wrote the Outline (essentially the table of contents with dot points under each chapter)
4) Wrote the dedication (to get me in the emotion of who I was writing for and to)
5) Started Writing and Didn’t Stop
The final point I would make is about distribution, a physical book is great especially for building credibility with customers, however remember that you can also release as an Audiobook, and all the new ebook formats like Kindle, iPad etc..
Scott Gerber, Young Entrepreneur Council
Platform. Platform. Platform!!! Publishers won’t touch you unless you have your own tribe of followers eager to pick up your title. Fans won’t buy a self-published book in droves unless they know who you are, why they should be listening to you, and like what you have to say–which means you need to give them the opportunity to get to know you. Before Never Get a “Real” Job, I had already been writing several internationally syndicated columns for outlets such as Inc. and WSJ about young entrepreneurship.
Sure, I might be the world’s most syndicated young entrepreneur columnist today, but when I had no name recognition what so ever three years ago, people were hardly knocking down my door to hear what I had to say. Getting those outlets to believe in me was no easy feat. I had to pitch–in some cases for years–for every opportunity. When I got started as a writer, I didn’t know a single editor, however, as my track record shows, anyone with a relevant point of view, a topic of interest, and a lot of passion and persistence, can go down the same road I did.
Today, it’s easier than ever to start your own platform. Find a niche, demonstrate your expertise by providing relevant content–video, podcasts or blogs–to your followers via various social platforms. Research relevant media outlets where your content might be a fit and slowly begin to pitch members of the press to syndicate your content. Locate editors on Twitter by searching MediaonTwitter.com or emailing them through their email addresses linked to their columns. Trust me, with mass layoffs in the media business due to the economy, editors are starving for relevant, quality (and cheap) content.
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