410.235.7070 Join Our E-Letter
businessGPS Taking You From Where You Are to Where You Want to Go.

How to Write an Book for Your Business in 90 Days (Part 2)

How to Write an Book for Your Business in 90 Days (Part 2)

May 14, 2015

     In an earlier e-letter we expounded on the many reasons why having your own book is a huge boost to your business. As a book author, your credibility is enhanced; it builds your brand and serves as the ultimate business card. A book secures your status as “the expert” and, with today’s rapidly increasing emphasis on content marketing, what better way to utilize content to market your business than with a book?

     This week, I’m going to give you some of the steps to help you actually start writing a book...

Five Steps to Get You Started

     In part 1, we talked about writing down, in a word or two, all of the topics you could think of within your area of expertise – these are the ideas for your chapters. For example, a wedding planner could talk about selecting the venue, food selection, how to choose the best photographer and so on, creating a long list of chapter topics in which he or she is an expert. Now let’s go a few steps further. 

To explore if you should or shouldn't write a book and discover what is best for you and your company call us today at (410) 235-7070 or jgoldman@brandlauncher.com .



     1.  Generate Plenty of Ideas
Once you have your general topics for chapters, it’s time to break those topics down one more time. I like to write down 18 ideas per chapter and then narrow it down to the best 15. You may only come up with 12 and narrow it down to 10. The point is to think about each chapter and all the possibilities. A landscaper, for example, would start making a list of ideas for Chapter 1: Design Elements, followed by a list of various ideas for Chapter 2: Planting and Trimming, and so on. As the expert, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your ideas will come pouring out for each chapter topic. Funny thing about being an expert is you don’t realize how much you know until you start writing it down. Most of us are surprised at how many ideas we can come up with.  

     2. Turn their Problems into Questions
It’s easy to talk about what you do, but your readers want to know; what’s in it for them? Therefore, you want to look at their problems and turn them into questions. Imagine your customer asking you about each item you’ve written down. Like a journalist, you want to focus on the “who, what, where, why, when and how” questions. Your job is to then answer their questions as you write.
If you’re an expert on retirement planning and you’re writing a chapter on tax-free investments, a problem might be deciding which type of IRA to choose. Therefore, the question you are answering is “How do I choose the right IRA for my retirement needs?”   Answering each question illustrates your knowledge in a manner that benefits the reader and makes you their “go to” expert.

      3. Set Your Tone to fit Your Audience  
When comedian Gilbert Gottfried recently stepped up before a panel of business executives on television’s Celebrity Apprentice, and rattled off sex jokes, viewers were immediately reminded of how important it is to know your audience… and Gottfried was fired. Being inappropriate is akin to shooting yourself in the foot.

Know the audience for your book. Will they appreciate a light or even a glib tone? Or do you need to be friendly and casual in your approach? Should you be authoritative? Academic?  Sophisticated?  Clearly, if your business provides clowns, ball-pits, bouncy houses and video games for kid’s parties the tone will be quite different than if you are an expert on catastrophe insurance or estate planning. Know your target audience, select the appropriate tone (and material) and speak their language. Also, keep in mind that each of us knows a degree of “expert-speak,” or industry jargon. How much to include depends on the level of your readership. Are you marketing to professional landscape designers who are versed in such jargon or private home owners who may respond to more general terminology? 

     4. Deadlines, Milestones and Accountability
Let’s be honest…without a deadline we all procrastinate. This explains why most of us waited until Sunday night to do our homework, unless mom or dad made sure we did it sooner. The only way to get yourself motivated to actually sit down and write is to create your own deadlines. Then, appoint a friend, family member or business associate to hold you accountable. 

On your calendar include your deadlines and milestones, such as a chapter a week for 12 weeks. Then find two hours in your day to focus on writing.  This may mean delegating other activities during business hours, working during lunch and/or skipping a television show at night.  If you write just 500 words a day for 80 days, you’ll have 40,000 words with ten days left over to edit, rewrite and even include acknowledgements to the people who held you accountable.

     5. Open like Raiders of Lost Ark
The first 12 minutes of Raiders of the Lost Ark are absolutely spellbinding. You are at the edge of your seat! https://vimeo.com/46951183 for 12 minute opening) Like Raiders, you want the opening pages of your book to grab your readers and captivate them so they won’t want to put the book down. This is a little trickier in a non-fiction book than it is with an action film, BUT, if you know what your readers want, you can set the stage by giving them a titillating taste of what’s to come.    
This doesn’t mean that you should sit around waiting for some incredible inspiration before you start writing. Just start writing - you can always pull out the juiciest material later and move it up front.
Beyond the Writing
Writing a book is not a formidable task, especially if you break it up into chapters and sub-sections as described in the steps above. In fact, once you start writing, you may, like me, find it a lot of fun.

Of course, writing a book is only part of the battle. Beyond the writing comes getting published and repurposing the content from your book.  In fact, in the third and final part of our trilogy on writing a book, we’ll discuss the idea of repurposing your content. There are so many places to utilize content that you should definitely know about.

To explore if you should or shouldn't write a book and discover what is best for you and your company call us today at (410) 235-7070 or jgoldman@brandlauncher.com .

Taking you from where you are to where you want to be,