When you’re at your next conference, networking event or seminar, while everybody else is handing out business cards, how would you like to be handing out copies of your professionally-published book? Too hard? Think you can’t write well enough? Don’t know where to start? Not moody enough to call yourself a writer? Don’t worry, none of these things will stop you. In this article I’m going to squash some of the common reasons people use for not writing and publishing a book.
The most common reason I hear is, ‘I wouldn’t know what to write about’. When discussing book ideas with business people, I’ve never had a person who couldn’t come up with a number of ideas for a book once they were given some direction. In fact, with some guidance, people usually go from struggling for an idea to having to choose between the 17 brilliant concepts they’ve come up with. Find yourself a writing coach; buy a book about how to write a book; sign up to a website; find a friend who’s published a book; hire an editor to help you through this stage; do a short course – there are all sorts of ways to sift through the mountains of information in your head and find what will work.
If you’ve been working in an industry for even just a few years you know enough to write a book about it. The reason people forget this is they spend all day dealing with other people in their industry and they forget the value of what they know. I spend all my time talking to authors, designers, printers, editors – people who know about writing and publishing. That’s just my normal day. But I’ve spent many an evening at a dinner party talking about nothing but publishing all night because I’ve sat down next to a budding author who was dying to hear about this stuff and didn’t know where to start. So, don’t underestimate the value of your knowledge and how keen people are to hear it.
Another common problem is not knowing where to begin the publishing process. The most common publishing avenue for business authors these days is to self-publish. You don’t have to wait for a publisher to accept your book, which may or may not happen. Self-publishing usually takes about a quarter of the time compared to traditional publishing. You have full control over the process. There’s a lot to like. Of course, you have to pay for these benefits, but this is a worthwhile investment in your business that will be returned many times over if you put in the effort. And there are many talented businesses and people out there who can help you produce a top-quality book, so there’s no excuse!
If you’re concerned you can’t write well enough, a good editor will sort you out, or a ghost writer if you really have trouble putting words together in order right to make them good sounding kinda.
I also sometimes hear people worry that they don’t have a high enough profile to write a book. This can be a difficult concern to overcome, so here’s my best suggestion to build your profile: write and publish a book. Once you’ve written and published a book you’ll become more well known in your industry (and beyond), you’ll develop new contacts, build your reputation and business, get speaking engagements and radio interviews, and – maybe – television appearances.
Then it’s time to start on book number two…