They say everyone has a book in them. However, as entrepreneurs, we need to be more precise in order to write a book that will benefit our business and bring it the grow that we rightly expect from the time investment that we are putting into it. The ROI is not in terms of revenues, as books rarely of themselves bring massive income, but in terms of exposure and reach. Entrepreneurs who are aspiring authors need to have five elements laser clear in order to achieve that ROI. Let’s examine them one by one.
First element: Genre
There are three main genres (and hundreds of sous genres but we won’t go into that): fiction, non fiction and memoir. We can agree that apart from a small number of cases, fiction is not a genre that is suitable for business owners to write unless they are fiction authors. So that leaves us with non fiction and memoir.
Most entrepreneurs believe that in order to grow their business, they need to write a non fiction book. And for the most part they are right. The issue is that they then tend to go for for a “how to” book, whereas the power to create know like and trust AND to stand out in a crowded market is to write a big idea book. What is the difference? Suppose you were a gardener, a non fiction book would be how to grow tomatoes. Simple, easy and to the point. That is a how to book. But if you want to stand out and be known for something bigger, you would need to write a book about how to be self sufficient in a small London flat by growing your own tomatoes. It’s about niching. Or maybe you could stand out by selling an audio book about growing tomatoes so that people can listen to it whilst they are pottering in their garden. That would be different. Big idea books that have made their authors famous (and richer) are for example: Start with Why by Simon Sinek, or the Five Second Rule by Mel Robbins. Simon Sinek’s book main idea is that in order to be good at selling what you do, you need to find out why you do it. Mel Robbins’ book main idea is that you need to act within five seconds of getting an idea in order to prevent your inner critic from killing that idea. These are powerful books that bring a fresh approach to a common problem. My book The Journey of the Slim Soul rests on the idea that you can slim without dieting, without scales and without strenuous exercise.
Now let’s talk about memoir. A lot of business owners I know simply cannot see how writing a memoir is relevant to them and yet it is a powerful genre. But first, let’s define memoir as this is often the reason why entrepreneurs don’t get it. A memoir is not a biography. A memoir is a slice of life that illustrates a powerful idea. For example, the memoir I am about to launch called My Father Who Art in Heaven, is about the fact that it is never too late to make peace with your Dad. As a transformational book coach, this is ideal because I demonstrate that I walk the talk. This is the power of memoir. It also helps your audience understand where you come from which in turn helps them decide why they would want to work with you. Memoirs are awesome at creating powerful know like trust factors. Memoirs are also incredible tools to understand yourself better and connect the dots. It increases confidence in oneself and enables the author to heal parts of their pasts so that they become more confident business owners.
Second element: Topic
If you are like me, you probably have more than one book in you. The trick is to chose the one that needs to be written now. There is an art to deciding this and I love to help my clients clairvoyantly to make that choice. You could use your intuition to make that choice. Or perhaps just listen to the market. What are your clients talking about the most? What do they come to you for? When I was a clinical hypnotherapist, I had a string of clients for several months that came with issues around weight. I took me a while to notice the trend and then shortly after that the Journey of the Slim Soul was born.
Novice writers tend to want to cram as much as possible into their books as possible. They believe that it will make their book more desirable. This is a mistake. You want to chose ONE underlying idea for your book. Cramming as much as possible into your book will confuse your reader and a confused reader does not finish a book and as a consequence will not want to work with you. So your job is to define that one idea. I have mentioned four in the section above. What is yours?
Third element: Length
I used to believe that a book had to be 50,000 words (publishers never measure lengths of books by the number of pages) to be a proper book. This was a false belief. In the world of entrepreneurs, any length will go. What matters is value. And I would say don’t hold back. Share your best content. Give it all. First, this increases the know like trust factor, but more importantly, people do not get results by information only. They need to act on it. And in order for this action to be efficient, they will come to you to implement it. They might be able to do it on their own, in which case, they will probably recommend your work, but for the most cases they won’t and you will be the first person to pop into their mind when they realise that they can’t.
Fourth element: Format
There are three main formats for business books: e-book, print book and audio book. Before we go any further, ebooks handed out as a opt ins are rarely read because the expectation of your lead is that it will not contain much value. So if you are going to write an ebook, have your lead pay a small price for it. More generally, In order to decide which format to choose, try to find out what your ideal client likes to consume. Audiobooks are extremely popular as it allows people to listen to your book whilst driving or doing chores. I would say it is an option to consider seriously. However, it needs to be written as a word book first and all of the rules of book writing apply. I have recently discovered a brilliant book that can help you in your audio book recording venture: Storyteller by Lorelei King and Ali Muirden. If you have a lovely voice, do it yourself. This increases the know like trust factor.
Fifth element: Publishing route
The most natural route of publishing for entrepreneurs and business owners is the self publishing route. As a book coach, I want to warn you against the seven pitfalls of self publishing:
- publishing a poor quality book as it can damage your reputation
- Expect the book to bring you success and write it at the wrong stage of your business
- Overspending on your book project
- Not having proper foundations for your wiring journey (this is something I help aspiring authors with in my signature programme)
- Taking a sabbatical from your business to write your book
- Thinking work is finished when you finish your book
- Believing that book marketing is the same as business marketing
Traditional publishing is also a route that you could pursue but it is for very advanced businesses that have such strong processes that they sell from their website and email lists. Memoirs also benefit from being published traditionally.
If you want to write a book, follow Mel Robbins’ advice: act on it now before your inner critic convinces you that it is the worst possible idea you ever had and finds very convincing arguments to supports its case. Go and buy a notebook and start jotting down ideas. If you need any help, I would love to be there for you. I have VIP packages but also a signature programme to help you set up the foundations of your writing journey. The next round of Get Started with Your Book Starts on the 23rd of April 2019. Click here to find out more.
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(c) Ange de Lumiere 2019