Writing a book is a monumental undertaking that can leave many aspiring authors feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. By now, you’ve realized the book will not write itself, but you may be getting the sneaking suspicion that you also will not be able to complete this task alone.
There are several compelling reasons to write a book, particularly for business professionals. Writing a book can establish an individual as a thought leader in their field, provide value to their target audience, and help position them as an expert in their industry. But, writing a book is a complex process that requires a great deal of effort and expertise to complete successfully. Writing a book is hard. The process of writing a book is much more challenging than it appears and it takes a lot more than simply having a great idea to get the project across the finish line. After attempting to start writing a book without professional help, many authors realize that they need guidance and support to accomplish their goal.
Writing a book is a challenging yet rewarding process for business professionals seeking to establish themselves as thought leaders and industry experts. However, it's crucial to seek professional help and guidance throughout the writing process. Developing a strong concept, creating a detailed plan, and finding the right support and accountability are all essential steps in writing a book successfully. When following a free writing book template is not getting the job done, it’s time to seek the advice of experienced professionals who can help you with your goal of writing a book that resonates with your target audience and positions you as a top expert in your field.
When you’re ready for help, there are three critical concepts to consider which are too often overlooked. They include a critical evaluation of the content, the audience and the process. We break it down here for you to take yourself on this journey of discovery.
Critical Evaluation of the Content
One of the most critical steps in writing a book is developing a strong concept. It's not enough to have a catchy title or an interesting idea; authors must ensure that their book's content will appeal to their target readers. This involves testing the idea with an unbiased third party to get an objective perspective on the book's potential.
You need a professional and unbiased third party to help you test your idea, preferably someone who has helped other authors successfully evaluate their book idea. If you’re going to invest time and money into getting a book into the world, you need to have more than a hunch that your ideal reader would be interested in what you are saying. This involves not only sharpening a title idea for the book you think you are ready to write, but also could include someone who could, ever so gently (read: forcefully), steer you in a different direction if the book concept you have is not going to hit your mark. It also involves waking up to the reality that even if you get your book into the world, you need a positioning statement and most advice online about writing a book completely ignores this step. You have to ask questions like:
"Where does this book belong in the world?"
"Who will read it?"
"Why should they care?"
Sadly, so few resources on book writing cover an in-depth process for book positioning—yet positioning is the most important part of writing a nonfiction book. Book positioning is the process of getting clear on why you are writing the book and what you want to accomplish with it. If you don’t answer these questions before you start writing, at best, you’ll end up writing the wrong book (in that it doesn’t achieve what you want), and at worst, you’ll write a book that makes you look bad.
What typically passes as “book positioning” is that the author has asked their ______ (insert \relative title here) if they think this book is a good idea.
“I love it, honey!” says your mom.
“You’ll make a million dollars from it,” says your uncle.
“Speakers get a lot of money for keynotes from their books,” says your precocious and social media-savvy niece.
It’s not that you will not need these people’s support along the way of writing a book. The problem is that these people have a role in your life, and typically that is to support and encourage you unconditionally. This will not help you understand how to position your book to achieve your goals. You may be thinking, “Well, at least these three will buy my book.” But let’s be honest, they all are going to take credit for your accomplishment and exepct a free signed copy. We’re not wrong.
Critical Evaluation of the Audience
An essential part of a brand positioning statement includes a review of the audience. But it is such an important step it needs time for stand-alone evaluation. Of course, at Little Bird Marketing, we know a thing or two about ideal client personas. But what works for brands also works for writing a book designed to inform, educate and delight an audience. The moment you decide, “My book is for everyone.” you have sadly just taken the first step toward your book being for no one.
The critical evaluation of the audience includes not only make sure there are enough of them out there to buy the book (Note to self: Reject the title of 101 Ways Left-Handed People can Enjoy Underwater Basket Weaving), but also that the tile is specific enough to actually appeal to someone (Note to self: Reject the title of My Journey to Business Success).
Thinking about the intended audience, dear reader, is a critical step to be taken before a single word is written. To visualize this concept think of yourself on a stage staring out into an empty theatre. Now one by one, you’re going to describe the person who is going to be seriously excited about listening to what you have to say. Imagine them shuffling in, jockeying for the best seat and even encouraging those around them to get seated and “shhhhh!” already so you’ll come out and talk already! You want to write your book for a full auditorium of these most ideal people.
Critical Evaluation of the Process
Another essential aspect of writing a book is creating a detailed plan that outlines the writing process. Many resources provide vague tips for writing a book, such as setting a daily word count or creating an outline. There is a lot of talk out there about the value of locking yourself in at an undisclosed location for a week and somehow emerging with a book. However, a more structured writing plan is necessary for success. A writing book template can be helpful in this regard, providing a framework to guide the author through each step of the writing process, but what happens when you get stuck?
Instead, maybe it’s time for a chat.