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6 Steps for Successfully Writing and Publishing Your First Book as an Entrepreneur Here are the key steps an author can take to successfully write and publish their first book.

By Chad Willardson Edited by Chelsea Brown

Key Takeaways

  • Follow these key steps to write and publish your first book.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Stepping into the world of authorship as an entrepreneur is an extraordinary journey that can catapult your brand, authority and influence to unprecedented heights. Having walked this path, I can attest to the countless opportunities that emerge once you've transformed your expertise into the written word.

But how does one begin this journey? Below, I'll guide you through key steps to ensure your journey into book writing is both fulfilling and impactful.

1. Identify your audience and their pain points

The first and perhaps most vital step is to have a clear vision of your audience. Who are they? What challenges are they grappling with? By understanding your target readers and their pain points, you can tailor your content to provide solutions, insights or even just a new perspective that resonates deeply with them.

For entrepreneurs, this isn't an unfamiliar concept. Just as you'd pinpoint a target market for a product or service, your book needs an audience. Surveys, interviews, client case studies (names retracted, if necessary) or even casual conversations can be invaluable tools for gaining these insights.

Related: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Writing a Book

2. Know where you stand out

While it's tempting to tackle a vast array of subjects, it's essential to hone in on areas where you hold genuine credibility and expertise. Ask yourself: What topics can I discuss at length with real authority? What experiences or learnings do I have that can provide real value to my readers?

Remember, your readers are investing their time in your book; it's your duty to offer them value in return. If you're a tech entrepreneur, delve into the intricacies of the tech world. If you've excelled in marketing, guide your readers through its maze. Own your niche.

3. Bringing in other voices

Even if you're an expert in your field, there's value in diversifying the voices in your book. Consider collaborating with other industry leaders or even clients to share their stories and experiences. Not only does this enhance the richness of your content, but it also provides varied perspectives, making your book relatable to a broader audience.

For instance, if you're discussing the challenges of scaling a business, while your experience as an entrepreneur is invaluable, including stories from an investor or a first-time employee of a startup could provide a more rounded view. I always include real case studies and quotes from other experts in each chapter of my books.

4. Structure and flow

Before diving into writing, sketch a basic structure for your book. Outline the primary topics you want to cover, and under each, list out subtopics or key points. This serves as a roadmap, ensuring you don't deviate too far from your main message.

Regarding flow, it's crucial to maintain a logical progression. Even if the insights you provide are groundbreaking, if they're presented in a jumbled manner, you risk losing your reader's interest. In my four books, I've stuck to a subtitle that includes a list of seven or eight principles. In my experience, readers like to know the structure and get a sense for how far along they are in the story. You certainly don't need to stick to a specific numbered list, but having structure and progression with your main points will make your book easier to digest.

Related: Top 7 Questions About Publishing a Book That Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know

5. The writing process

For many entrepreneurs, the actual writing process can be daunting. Here are a few tips to smooth the journey:

Consistency is key: Dedicate specific times in your day or week solely for writing. Whether it's an hour every morning or a full day every week, being consistent helps you build momentum.

Overcome perfectionism: Your first draft doesn't have to be perfect. In fact, it should not be anywhere close to perfect. Write freely, and know that you can always come back to edit and refine. Get all of your thoughts and ideas on paper.

Hire an editor: Once your draft is complete, having a professional editor review your work can make a world of difference in the final product's quality. They can pinpoint inconsistencies, grammatical errors and areas that need further elaboration.

6. Publishing and marketing

After all the hard work of writing, you'd want your book to reach its intended audience. Consider both traditional publishing routes and self-publishing options. While traditional publishing can offer wider distribution and an established name, self-publishing gives you greater control over your content and profits.

As for marketing, leverage your existing entrepreneurial platform. Use your social media channels, blog or even your business website to promote your book. Consider collaborations, guest posts or even hosting webinars to discuss your book's themes.

Writing your first book as an entrepreneur isn't just about sharing your expertise — it's about contributing to a larger conversation, inspiring others and establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry. While the journey may be challenging, the rewards, both tangible and intangible, are well worth the effort. So, pick up that pen (or, most likely, that laptop), and let your entrepreneurial journey inspire countless others!

Related: How to Get Your Book Out of Your Head and Into Reality

Chad Willardson

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Founder of Platinum Elevated & Pacific Capital, 5X Best-Selling Author

Chad Willardson is the Founder and President of Pacific Capital, a fiduciary wealth advisory firm serving high-net-worth entrepreneurs and families. Alongside being one of the top wealth management experts in the country, Willardson is also a three-time best-selling author.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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