If you’re in business you need a book.
There are many great reasons to publish a book—to influence, to teach, maybe even to preach. But there are very specific reasons to write a business book.
Twenty or thirty years ago educators and pundits declared the death of the written word. Television and movies had made reading obsolete, they said. Instead of reading a novel, people would just wait for the movie. Instead of reading a newspaper, they would receive all their news from television.
Then the Internet arrived. Suddenly everyone needed—and wanted—to read again. And while the internet is becoming more and more image-based, it is still, basically, a medium where people read. The internet has become the fastest and easiest way to publish our ideas. That means that anyone with a website essentially is a publisher, putting out whatever information, whether it is real news or “fake news,” that they want. The sheer volume of information available makes it difficult for one businessperson to get noticed.
That’s the first reason why you, as a business owner, need a book. A book brings attention. Attention brings people. People become customers.
Increasing Your Credibility
Increasing your credibility is another reason to write a book. A book with your name as author says you are an expert in your field. One study I read not long ago said the average person believes that the author of a book has more credibility than a person with a Ph.D. As an author, you have the opportunity both to show what you know and to put your individual “spin” on basic ideas. Let’s take business coaching for example. There are literally dozens of books on how to sell more, manage people better, meet goals, etc. Each one has a different way of expressing these ideas, and different methods of achieving business success. Make sure your book tells the reader your ideas on the subject. You aren’t writing a scholarly treatise listing every other expert’s ideas. Your book should tell your potential clients your ideas.
There Are No New Ideas
Over two million books are published each year in the United States. With so much competition out there, you might ask yourself why you should bother. Other people have surely written something similar already. But there really are very few new ideas in the world. Many people have told me that they had a great idea for a book, but gave it up when they discovered that someone else had already written something similar. Don’t let that discourage you.
Scroll through Amazon.com and type in any subject you can think of. You’ll find dozens of books devoted to that topic. You don’t need a totally new and unique idea. That’s pretty difficult when you consider that archeologists have discovered “books” written on clay tablets from as early as 3000 BCE. Don’t give up on your idea just because someone else has written something similar. You don’t need a brand new idea, you just need your own unique take on the subject.
In fact, I would suggest that if you go to a bookstore or do an Internet search and find no books that are similar to your idea, that is the time when you should reconsider. If no one else is writing about it, it may mean that there are just not enough people interested in your subject to want to read about it.
Find Your Niche
The Internet has refined the niche market. It is now much easier to find that small group of people who are interested in a very narrow subject. Before cable television, for instance, there were only a few networks available, all aimed at large, mass audiences. Now, not only are there channels devoted just to sports, there is a golf channel, a tennis channel, a college sports channel and even a cricket and a horseracing channel. The Internet narrows niches even more. Instead of just blogging about football or basketball, for example, a blogger can discuss just one team. Choosing the subject matter for your book is similar. Find your niche, then narrow and target it.
Why Write a Book?
Before you sit down and begin to organize your book, ask yourself these questions. There are no right or wrong answers, but how you answer the questions will help you decide exactly what you want to write.
Why do you want to write a book? It’s a question many people have never asked themselves. There is no right or wrong answer, but knowing the answer will help you to choose exactly what type of book you want to write, or choose between several ideas you have for different books.
- What would you like your book to accomplish for you?
- How can your book help your business?
- How will your book help others?
- What other goals do you have for your book?
Save your answers. When the writing and publishing process becomes difficult, just check back and look at what you wrote. It will help you to remember why you are working so hard to complete your book.