If you have a lot of free time and determination you can have a book available in 90 days. But life isn’t like that and with the best will in the world - come on - you know, Life will get in the way.
So let's step back here and ….. - be realistic but also determined and set a timeline of 6 months down - don’t worry - you won’t be resting on your laurels but you will have a life - and still be popular with your nearest and dearest - you can thank me later - for the relationship advice.
How many pages - should I write - although this is one of the questions I am often asked - there is no right answer - every book is different - unique - and there are always exceptions - however - I can tell you that the industry sweet spot is around 50000 words for non fiction - and anything between 40000 and 70000 is acceptable.
Who’s paying attention - did I answer the question - hmm - well kind of - I asked about pages and spoke about words . Words are my business and yours matter? because books are unique and depending on the format 50000 words can be a different number of pages and that’s called layout - now that’s obvious to me - but perhaps not to you - but now you know! So we’re learning
50000 words generally generally equates to between 5 & 10 chapters.
First things first - Let me ask you a question
What is your book about and why are you doing it?
You need to outline your concept
My top tips for you are :
- Start with the end in mind - what is your goal in writing a book - what do you want to achieve with the book - for example if you want to immediately create authority - help people - in your given area of expertise - then a book - on the main pain points in your service area - is a good way to attract attention.
- Look at areas where your clients are consistently asking you for help, where their main problems are and these are obvious content indicators for your book to cover.
- If you can write a book that identifies solutions to key areas of pain you will resonate with your clients.
- By expanding on your chapters which are your pain points with key takeaway bullet points addressing them.
How you approach the writing
- Research the pain points of your customers - on social media, through direct conversations, surveys, online articles.
- Prioritise the pain points that resonate with the largest population.
- Raise questions on social media about these plain points to explore solutions and gain feedback.
- Add detail from your own experience with client stories around the problem areas identified and how the problems were solved. - This is very powerful
- Sit down and start to write
- Think about a holding title for your book.
- Give yourself 4 to 5 weeks to write your chapters.
Walk away from your manuscript for a couple of days to a week “let it stew” and see if anything else comes to you, now this may sound a little woo woo or counter intuitive but believe me - ideas appear and when they do jot them down in a notebook - you should have one to hand at all times - you are an author now - other thoughts will pop into your head because you are more conscious - try not to get distracted or disillusioned. It’s amazing how many authors are sure that their idea is completely original and its is - until they walk into a book shop and there’s a book on exactly their subject just hitting the market - don’t get disheartened - there is always room for good books. But you know what that book is missing - one secret ingredient - and that’s YOU - so don’t be put off
- For many - writing a book uncovers the creative spirit, and I’m being straight with you here, the creative spirit is filled with self doubt and procrastination. The term tortured artist may resonate with you once you have stepped away.
- Don’t doubt yourself. Visualise how you are going to feel with your book in your hand.
- What an accomplishment that will be.
- You return to your manuscript and you skim read it from start to finish with no edits. It will take you 4-5 hours.
- Then read it aloud with a pencil in your hand and make notes on changes required.
- Make the changes on the manuscript.
- Pass the manuscript to some trusted pairs of eyes and ask for honest, constructive feedback.
- When you receive the feedback put your ego aside and listen, then ask questions so that you understand what is missing or needs changing or editing.
- Make your updates
- You are now ready to LET IT GO - Your baby needs to run - into the hands of a professional editor and let them provide their expertise.
- There are different types of edits and with that there are different costs, if you have followed my advice and engaged the best eyes in your creation process the edit required should just be at most a grammatical copy edit.
You have a lot of work to do whilst your book is in edit. This is where the work really begins. You need to think about how you are doing to dress your book. By that I mean - you can’t send the manuscript out without clothes. So you want it to exude authority and confidence. Many say - don’t judge a book by it’s cover - but - between you and me - everybody judges not just the front cover but also the back.
You need to think about the jacket. Whatever your title is it needs to be seen from at least 10ft away and resonate to draw them it. This is when you nail that title.
- Give it a blink test - in 3 seconds what jumps out
- Get other books in your category and put your book up against them - does it stand out in the crowd - if not what not?
- Ask your friends what titles have made them pick a book up.
- Lastly and this is a big one - let me ask you a question
How many books do you have on your shelf that you have never read but you bought because of the cover and how many authors do you know of their work from a book cover you noted in passing that jumped out at you or didn’t?
Because your jacket is so important and is the face of your book to your prospective client - In a way it tells a story about you before they have even opened the cover. It sets your tone and what you are about without you even opening your mouth. It needs to tie in with the message of your book and your overall goal and I can’t stress enough how much it needs your focus and if there is one thing you spend your time and money on - it’s the cover.
Your Back cover is what will close the deal for you as an authority. Think of it as your sales page it needs to be cohesive and reflect your authority with an impactful summary of your books content to attract your audience.
How to publish a book to promote your business and get more clients *
Ok so we started this journey to write a book to promote your business and get more clients.
And now you are writing and you are an author but your goal is still the same -You want to establish your authority, help people. You are writing a business book and your book is a reflection of your knowledge, your approach and your solutions. It is your physical magnet for more clients and you can re-use it’s content in many ways to promote your business and gain exposure …..…
You want it to be the best quality book it can be. Up until this point, you may have just spent time but no money.
So now you have to think as you have decision to take and a future to make! How will you publish?
Amazon is a brilliant way to print and distribute a quality physical book for you to leverage for your business and for you clients to keep. It is a canny business decision, this is not about self publishing it is about using your book as a business opportunity . It is your lead magnet. I have used amazon for 18 years from when it was a third party book seller in a shed selling second hand books. It is the most cost effective and efficient way for you to produce your ……………….
Obviously there is a mass market and you can launch yourself into that but lose sight of what you as a business are trying to do. This is a key physical product which could launch you to a wider audience if you market and utilise it well.
It’s print production is cost effective and there’s no payment up front, production quality is good, it’s online, you can link to it from your website, market it on social media. Send it to influencers and use it not only to hold a door open but to open a door.
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