3 Questions You Must Answer Before Writing Your Business Book It isn't as complicated as you might think to set yourself up for success from the beginning.
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The term "authorpreneur" has become more common recently. Many entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants, attorneys, psychologists and other experts are grabbing on to this trend. Writing and publishing a book (whether through a traditional publishing contract or by self-publishing) is a great way to stand out as an expert in your field. But without a good plan in advance, you risk all of your hard work becoming nothing more than a really nice business card. (You also risk not finishing your book at all.)
1. Do I have a clear idea of who is my ideal client?
Most service-based entrepreneurs and experts can't get away with being generalists nowadays. Before spending time (and possibly money if you need a qualified book or writing coach, not to mention things like book covers, editing or proofreading if you're self-publishing) writing a book, carefully consider who is your ideal client. Because this person is usually also what I call your ideal reader.
Why is your ideal client so important? Because you want to make sure everything in your book speaks to this person. You want to speak to their pain points. And, without being sleazy or sales-y, explain how you can resolve their pain. (Just a pro tip: you're going to have more liberty to do this when you self-publish.)
For example, I help entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants, attorneys, psychologists and other experts increase their visibility, credibility and market reach through the power of writing and publishing a book. In my writings, I address things like folks staring at a blank page, not understanding the nuances of publishing and feeling like they can't write their expert books because they didn't go to school for writing. I share stories, testimonials and concrete steps to help people get those books out of their heads and into reality.
What pain points do your clients mention? Listen carefully. You can even use a social audio app such as Clubhouse and listen to what people are discussing in different rooms.
2. What is your goal for your business book?
While there's nothing wrong with writing and publishing a book for the sheer pleasure of it (crossing that line off your bucket list if you will), most entrepreneurs and other experts have bigger goals.
You may end up making six figures in just book sales, but this is often the exception rather than the norm.
What's worked well for my clients is to use the book as a platform for getting more speaking gigs (where they can pitch their products or services), use the book as another way to gather leads or use the book to get more media interviews — the list goes on and on.
For example, for every 1,000 books you sell, you will probably get 100 people reaching out to you (if what you had to say spoke to them).
Depending on your sales process, 50 of them will likely book some type of call with you.
Now, your success here will depend on your conversion rates and price points — but let's take an example from one of my clients.
Her conversion rate is 50 percent. She sells a $3,000 coaching program. When 50 people book a sales call with her, she closes 25 people.
That's $75,000 for every 1,000 people who read her book.
Some people have lower conversion rates and price points; others have higher price points or higher conversion rates — but the possibilities are endless.
So that's why I cringe when I see so-called book coaches with no writing experience saying that an authorpreneur's claim to fame is selling as many books for as little as possible as quickly as possible.
Yes, book sales are important — but it's even more important to use that book as a way to drive more leads to you and increase your credibility in the eyes of conference organizers and the media.
That's why it's so important to sit down and look at your overall goals before diving into writing and publishing a book.
3. How much time do you have to write?
Some would-be authorpreneurs come to me afraid they don't have time to write, but I promise that you do. Even 25 minutes a week is better than nothing at all.
Learn how long it takes you to write 1,000 words. Now that may sound like a lot — but that's the size of an average blog post.
If you want to dictate your book, the average person speaks about 150 words per minute.
While those using the dictation method of writing a book will definitely need an editor to help clean it up, the average American English speaker uses over 1,000 words in seven minutes.
Seven minutes for 1,000 words — consider that. Many entrepreneurs I've met consider themselves better storytellers than writers.
It's all the same thing, it's just the medium.
If you choose this method and set aside 15 minutes a week, you could have a 20,000-word manuscript in about 10 weeks.
Want to go deeper than the minimum required to create a good-sized print and digital book?
Then about 30,000 words will take you roughly four months.
As you can see, it doesn't take months, years or decades to write an amazing book that will draw more clients to you. While you will need to organize your thoughts into chapters and go through other steps to publish your book (this is where a book or writing coach can really help you out), writing the first draft is not as complicated as a lot of folks think.
The key is to start!