February 19, 2018

What’s The First Step to Writing a Strategic Book?

To succeed against all the odds, it’s essential you get off to a good start. That means taking Stephen Covey’s advice; decide on your goals and diligently create a plan to achieve them. So, let’s plan your first step.

ACHIEVE STRATEGIC CLARITY

Unless you’re gifted, or very lucky, simply starting at line one, paragraph one, page one means you’ll have very little chance of completing your book – you can look forward to procrastination, getting lost or stuck, and finally giving up.

Most authors start with the vaguest of idea of a topic, with no clear idea of who their reader is, or why they would ever want to buy the book in the first place. As a result, they get demotivated and lose heart – and if they do finish, they’ve usually written the wrong book; a book that nobody wants to read!

Having published 29 books already, I’ve discovered that there are seven secrets that every successful author needs to know – but doesn’t.

WHAT EVERY ASPIRING AUTHOR NEEDS TO KNOW

  1. What to write about
  2. Who to write for
  3. Why readers buy books
  4. How to design their book
  5. When to finish writing it
  6. Where to promote it
  7. Which specialists they need

 

Do you think it would be useful to know all this BEFORE you start writing? And, if you did know, how much CLARITY would you have achieved?

What is a Strategic Book?

Strategic books are specifically planned and designed to attract more customers for your business. They act like a brochure or business card on steroids.

If you write a strategic book correctly, you won’t need to waste time promoting it to earn less than £3 per copy – it will promote you instead!

Business authors become more successful when they focus on planning, publishing, and productising a strategic book – a book that becomes a laser-focussed marketing tool because it creates more clarity, credibility, and collateral – but only if it’s done right!

Let’s look at these three strategic goals one by one:

1. PLAN: TO ACHIEVE STRATEGIC CLARITY

One benefit of writing a book is that it often clarifies and focusses the author’s thinking – planning it creates a more coherent set of ideas that are more easily communicated to others. But don’t expect to achieve clarity by accident. Sometimes people try to get by with no clear sense of purpose or direction, but they become swamped and distracted by competing ideas and conflicting pressures. Their heads are continually in a spin and they get overwhelmed. So they procrastinate, become lost or stuck, or eventually become demotivated and give up. Writing a book requires laser-like focus, with clear purpose and direction. Planning ensures that everything you do will directly support your goal. When you’ve planned your book – focusing on the correct topic, promise and structural framework – everything then becomes so much easier.

2. PUBLISH: TO BOOST PERSONAL CREDIBILITY

Publishing a book is guaranteed to boost your personal credibility. So make credibility your primary goal, rather than just trying to make money from book sale royalties. Many business-owners, entrepreneurs and specialists are finding business fiercely competitive these days. It’s difficult for them to differentiate themselves from their competitors, so their prices and fees spiral ever lower. Writing a strategic book turns them into overnight experts in their chosen field – Experts write books therefore authors must be experts! When you’re an expert, you don’t have any competition. Experts charge premium prices for their products and services because they are ‘the authority’ in their field.

3. PRODUCTISE: TO CREATE PROFITABLE COLLATERAL

Most services we provide are intangible, yet potential customers and clients still need things they can touch and feel before making a buying decision. A business card or a brochure is just not enough if you want to charge a premium for your services. Your book provides collateral just by itself – it’s your tangible evidence of competence. Handing your published book to a potential client provides all the collateral you’ll ever need to win more business. After a prospect reads a strategic book, they’ll understand the author’s business much better and are therefore more likely to contact the author, having already become ‘pre-sold’. Productising your book simply means that you extract the knowledge and skill you’ve shared within your book and re-purpose it to provide even more collateral.

Sadly, the majority of authors never get as far as discovering any of this. They simply start writing at line one, paragraph one, page one, then they give up – somewhere between page one and page twenty – when they’ve run out of time, content, self-belief, or motivation. They call it writer’s block!

Why Write a Book?

Stephen R. Covey once wrote, ‘Begin with the end in mind’. In any successful endeavour, a clear goal must always come first. In my twenty years’ experience as a project manager, I’ve discovered that if your ‘reason why’ isn’t big enough then you’ll fail. It’s as simple as that!

There are many possible reasons why aspiring authors want to write a book. What’s yours?

As a publisher, I find that most aspiring authors want to become millionaires on the royalty payments from writing and selling a best-seller. Sadly, they’ll be disappointed. In 2006, Publishers Weekly said,

“The average book title in America sells about 500 copies.”

That’s not going to make anybody rich, especially with average author’s royalties sitting way below £3 per copy. So, unless you’re J.K. Rowling, it’s just not worth it! That’s why authors who are motivated by getting rich from book sales often give up.

The answer, for anyone who is a business-owner, entrepreneur or specialist, is to write a STRATEGIC business book. That is, a book specifically designed to attract pre-sold prospects for your business, whilst simultaneously raising your personal profile head and shoulders above your competitors.