Writing A Business Book? Do These 4 Things First
Content was originally published on Inc.com on May 21, 2019.
Have you ever thought about writing a book? If you are like many business owners, the idea has crossed your mind a time or two. You have knowledge to share and you know that others out there could benefit from that knowledge, but you don’t know where to start. There is often conflicting information or just a general lack of quality resources surrounding the actual process of writing a book — so you stall.
I am just about to release my twelfth book this fall and I recently sat down with Christine Kloser, transformational author coach and mentor to some of the world’s key business authors to find out what she thinks are the four things that you should do first when writing a book. And many of these things I have done myself in my own writings.
1. Ask The Quadrant Questions.
Before you start writing your book, it’s important to lay a solid foundation to build on. Begin the writing process by brainstorming in a quadrant format. Lay out the four author quadrants early on in the process to avoid putting the “cart before the horse.” These quadrants are based around four key questions.
- What do I, as a business leader, want to get from writing this book?
- What transformation do I want my reader to experience after reading this book?
- What transformation do I want this book to bring to my business?
- If everyone who needed my book read it, how would that affect the world?
Once you have a good handle on these four questions, the book itself will start to fall into place and you will be able to write from a place of authority and purpose.
2. Identify The Problem That You Are Trying to Solve.
Christine has seen this step skipped all too often when her clients begin writing, “Having mentored hundreds of authors through this process, I find the biggest challenge someone has when writing a book is in defining a problem beforehand. Many authors think too broadly and try to solve too many problems. The key is to solve one problem, really well.”
Think about your audience and the problem at hand and take the time to understand the various facets surrounding the problem, and then offer up a concrete solution. The best authors have a laser focus on the problem at hand, and will write until that problem is solved. Unable to solve a problem? Consider another book topic.
3. Narrow Down Your Audience.
The third suggestion has to do with your delivery. You want to spend some time narrowing down your audience. The goal is to write your book as if you were trying to solve a problem for one person, not a thousand. When you write for the masses, you lose the personal touch that differentiates a good book from a great one.
4. Write Your Most Important 250 Words First.
A new author will spend a great deal of time working on their manuscript. But the most important copy you’ll write never makes it inside your book. The most important 250 words you write belong on the back cover. So, focus your time and energy into writing this copy first if you want your book to be a success.
If you have always wanted to write a book, stop stalling and start planning. With these four tips from Christine, you can get a solid foundation put together to get your idea off the ground and start working towards becoming a published author.