How to Write a Business Book

how to write a business bookIf you want to write a business book, you’re certainly not alone. So many professionals get a strong urge to publish a book that highlights their niche market expertise. If you talk to PR experts, they will confirm that having a book with your name on it is a key element to any strategic branding campaign. It’s smart business to write a business book!

However, for most busy professionals the dream stops there. Why? Because writing a book isn’t an easy task. As you can imagine, it will take a few hundred hours to complete the project.

Most business owners don’t have that kind of time readily available. They are already overloaded with the day-to-day activities of operating their companies, working well beyond the normal hours of 9-5, usually an average of sixty hours a week. With little time to spare to write a business book, it gets put on the back burner. I get it.

Let’s see if we can make the process a little easier for you to tackle. And, of course, if you need help from your friendly ghostwriter, please don’t hesitate to write me.

How to begin to write a business book

Well, as Lewis Carroll said, “Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”

While that might sound a little simplistic, there’s a measure of truth to it, because implied in that advice is a drive to complete the project. So, I’d say the first step is to make that commitment: to write a business book, no matter what.

Once you’re sure you want to embark on this adventure, here is my advice on the next steps to follow.

State your purpose

It's time to start writing your business bookYou must know why you want to write a business book if you’re going to succeed. As a ghostwriter, I always ask my clients to reveal their main drive and passion behind the project. I’ll tell you, I’m most eager to help the CEO who wants to share his or her successful actions with budding entrepreneurs. Business owners who are willing to share their advice, to open up and to confide their errors, with the ultimate goal of paving the way for other business owners to succeed, are heroes in my book.

Some people write me with the sole goal of making a million bucks. It’s hard to get behind that purpose. Readers will sense that goal and will not be inspired to read your book. After all, their goal in picking up your book will never be to make you rich. Rather, they are looking for advice and actions that will help them achieve their own goals.

The authors who truly care about their readers will succeed.

The top business books have a deeper purpose than financial gain for the author. When you can reach out to the individuals reading your words on a one-on-one basis, they will respond. Your readers will be grateful for your insight and guidance. They will recommend your book to others, and more will purchase it. Soon you may even have a best seller on your hands.

Know your readership

If you know who your readers are, you can accurately write to them. Consider writing your book as if you were preparing a speech for a group. Wouldn’t you craft your message differently for a gaggle of middle school students than you would for a pride of CEOs or a pod of athletes?

Never write your book for “everyone” on this planet. It will fail. Remember, you are writing to one individual at a time. You’re writing to your reader, so that individual learns and benefits from your wisdom and advice.

Determine your format

Here’s where your homework starts. You need to settle on a style for your book, and the best way to do that is to read a few other business books. It’s OK to skim them. For now, you’re just trying to find a format that appeals to you.

The good news is that you have choices! Here are a few options for you to consider:

  • a memoir format with lots of sage business advice sprinkled throughout
  • a leadership book with many personal anecdotes
  • a step-by-step approach to accomplishing the goals of the reader
  • a workbook format with lots of practical exercises for the reader to do

There is no hard and fast rule here. You can pick the format that most appeals to you and will resonate with your readership. Again, get some ideas from other bestselling books out there and feel free to use that format for your business book.

Now it’s time to write a business book

Once you have the purpose, readership and format decided, it’s time to begin writing. However, there are a few more steps to take before you can begin putting words on pages.

Determine your focus

Determine the focus of your business bookThe first thing to determine is the focus of your book. Identify precisely the problem that you are trying to solve. Pick one. If you try to solve too many, your book will ramble and lose the interest of your reader.

For instance, let’s say you discovered an effective means of retaining customers in your online business. That’s the focus of your book. Or maybe you want to impart how to start and run a small restaurant in a big city. Whatever you decide, really explore the problem in depth, then present a concrete solution.

Create your idea folder

You might find it easiest to just pour out your ideas into a word processing document or a notebook. Don’t worry about order, grammar or anything but the ideas. This part should be fun.

It’s important not to stop yourself from putting a thought into your idea folder. All ideas should go into the file. You can edit them down later.

When do you stop this phase? The answer is a little like the instructions for making popcorn. There is a phase where the pan is heating up and nothing happens. Then the kernels begin to pop. They pop and pop and pop at a tremendous, almost deafening, rate. Then the popping starts to die out until you hear one pop every three seconds. That’s when you take it off the heat, right?

The same concept applies to recording your ideas. Once you allow yourself to put down ideas, they should flood onto the paper. Allow them to. Don’t stop the natural flow at all. When the new ideas dwindle to a trickle, that’s when you know to switch your attention to the next phase.

Tip: you might invest in speech recognition software or simply use your phone to translate your voice into the written word. That way, if you think of a brilliant segment for your book while you’re out, you can just email it back to yourself easily. A lot of my clients love this feature.

Organize your outline

Now that you have most of your ideas down in one document, it’s time to organize the thoughts into an outline.

There are writers who hate to outline. They prefer to write by the seat of their pants (some call them pantsers). If you’re a pantser, that might work well for fiction, but for nonfiction, it’s going to be a mess. You need an outline.

The format of your outline will depend on the format of your business book.

If you’re writing a memoir, you need to put all the incidents of your story in chronological order. That way you can start to see the flow of your story. Check out my article on Tips for Outlining a Memoir.

For most other formats you’ll create a Table of Contents with a lot of subsections. I’d advise you not to make any one segment too long. It’s best to break up each key element into easy to read sections. Once you have these down, simply put the contents of your idea folder into your Table of Contents. Everything should have a spot. If it doesn’t, create a new subhead.

Words on pages

Get the words out of your head and onto the page of your business bookNow that you have your completed outline, the book is practically written…in your head. That’s how it is for me! I know exactly what I’m going to say; now I just have to take the time to write it down. I need words on pages.

Don’t get overwhelmed.

It’s a good idea to set a schedule for yourself. After all, that’s probably how you got to be a successful CEO or entrepreneur. You set yourself targets and goals, then met them no matter what tried to get in your way.

If you’d like some specific tips for completing your book, check out my article: Completing a Book: The Time, the Space, and the Goal.

Treat this project as you would any other. If you really don’t have the time, hire a ghostwriter to help you. Keep in mind that she will probably need to revisit your outline and help you flesh out the details a little more. She might also have suggestions for the format.

Whatever you do, hold yourself accountable for completing your project. Never lose your drive and passion to write a business book.

Why write a business book

I’ve written many business books over the last twenty years and love the genre. It’s exciting for me to help my clients achieve the many benefits that come from such an accomplishment. While you will certainly sell copies of your book, there are other tangible benefits in store for you when you write a business book.

Increased credibility

If you’re a successful CEO, consider the response from your client base when they learn that you are a published author. Having a book with your name blazoned on the cover is one of the best ways to show credibility.

Think about it. Don’t people respond to published authors a little differently? Not only do new and old clients respect you, but your peers look up to you as well.

Write a business book and become an authority figure

When you have a well-written book with many book reviews and copies sold, various people will want to interview you. You will be asked to guest blog, speak at conferences, be featured on podcasts and quoted in other books and articles.

Your visibility will be catapulted into a new realm.

It’s wonderful when, year after year, new people discover your work and write fresh reviews for your book or quote you in their articles. You become a recognized expert in your niche market. This increased visibility will certainly organically increase your client base.

A feeling of peace and well-being

There is no better feeling than helping another. When you write a business book in which you share your successful actions, you might be aiding others who are just starting out and struggling through the problems you have overcome. Or you might be assisting your clients or future clients, complementing the services that you already provide.

Sharing your knowledge in a book will allow you to give advice to a large number of people that you might not be able to help on a one-on-one basis. Instead of helping dozens of people in a week, you can help hundreds or thousands. Take a moment and imagine creating that effect.

Financial gain

Financial gain from a business bookNot only will you make money each time you sell a copy of your book, but your customer base will rise exponentially as your book sales increase. As you market your book, you’ll come up with ways to collect new names and email addresses. Your readers could become new clients and be your best word-of-mouth referral sources.

For some, the money earned from increased sales far exceeds the cash received from selling the book. If you sell a high-ticket product or service, just one new client can make a huge difference.

There are many ways you can make money indirectly through your book. How you channel this resource is only limited by your creativity.

Mike Schultz, president of the Wellesley Hills Group and a well-known marketing consultant, surveyed 200 authors of business books and discovered that 96% experienced a positive impact on their business from writing a book. That doesn’t surprise me. It just makes sense!

Now is the best time to write a business book

Now that you know the value of a business book and have an inkling of how to proceed, it’s time to take the plunge. The best thing to do is to set aside a dedicated time every day when you write a business book. It may take a year to get it done, depending on the amount of time you spend on it. But like the story of the Tortoise and the Hare, it’s the steady progress that will get you to your goal.

But if you find the project overwhelming or just don’t have the time (or desire) to write a business book yourself, it may be time to consider hiring a professional ghostwriter.

A ghostwriter will interview you and assist you in all aspects of creating your book. She will collect your notes from your idea folder. She will help you find your focus, determine your readership, outline your book, and then write it for you.

Keep in mind that you’ll still be a part of the project and will need to dedicate a few hours a week to it. You’ve basically hired a silent writing partner who will do all the legwork for you. Still, you’ll need to review pages, give feedback, and answer questions from time to time.

I’m passionate about helping people create an engaging book with useful information that readers can’t put down. I have a special spot in my heart for entrepreneurs as I feel they are artists.

Would you like me to help you write a business book? If so, please contact me and share your idea. I’m here to help!

Additional articles you might find helpful:

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Help! Help! I Need Help Writing a Book

Who Typically Hires a Ghostwriter?

Some people think that only celebrities and political icons hire ghostwriters. That just isn’t true. We are actually contracted by many different kinds of authors. My clients have held various professions, and each person has their own goal. Having written nearly three dozen books for a variety of authors, I can tell you that no two are alike. So, who hires a ghostwriter? Well, I’ve found they usually fit into one of five categories.

Business people hire ghostwriters

Entrepreneurs and industry leaders often hire ghostwriters to establish that they are the expert in their field. In addition, they often wish to author a book in order to strengthen their brand. It boosts their credibility to a new level. A book with their name on the cover will get them noticed, and it will help them expand their business.

Interestingly enough, selling their book is only one profit center for a business owner. I’ve found that most entrepreneurs write books in order to expand their clientele. For some, one new client means thousands in profit, so ten new clients can recoup the cost of their ghostwriter.

After talking to many busy executives and entrepreneurs, I’ve learned they usually don’t have the time to sit and write a book without a score of interruptions. Also, the average business owner is usually unfamiliar with the book writing process; it takes years of practice to hone that skill. Most don’t have the time to develop that expertise.

Someone with a niche market

If someone has a particular expertise, they might hire me to write a thorough how-to book, so that they can help others flourish in that field. Someone who started in poverty, who now owns a half dozen thriving businesses and is worth tens of millions of dollars should really tell her story, so that others might follow in her footsteps.

Or, if someone has a particular ability or skill set, he really should share that information with others. Maybe you’ve learned a new approach to gardening or have discovered new photography techniques. It would be a shame if that information were to be lost forever. I enjoy helping clients share details on how to start a variety of businesses.

Family historians hire ghostwriters

Most families have at least one person who is in charge of the collective memories of the family. They are the one you can go to when you’re trying to sort out the family tree. They are the person who remembers all the details of the stories that are told from generation to generation.

Family historians often come to me when they wish to preserve their family history on a permanent basis. Some choose to share these events with the world, while others simply want to let their grandchildren know how life was back in their day. I love to help families preserve their unique stories.

Fiction writers

I think this category surprises people the most. “You mean people hire you to write novels?” Why, yes, they do! Sci-fi, drama, fantasy, young adult, etc. See, a lot of people have a nugget of an idea and need help fleshing out the story. Some clients approach me with a rough outline and the biographies of a few characters worked out, but don’t know how to tie everything together. A few clients have a hundred pages written, but the story doesn’t seem to flow from one scene to the next. They are detailed notes rather than a manuscript. Whatever the issue, I can help sort it out.

Memoirs authors

The most common request I receive as a ghostwriter is to write a person’s life story. Clients wish to share their memories in a riveting, engaging way. I must say, I love writing a memoir, as it often has the qualities of multiple genres. A memoir is most like a novel, in that follows all the same rules (you must develop your characters, create entertaining and realistic dialogue, etc.). It also often features a businessperson’s successful actions, sharing their niche market advice. And many memoirs succeed in preserving the family memories.

Some memoirs are fictionalized for a variety of reasons. However, most stick with the factual events and just include some embellishments. Either way, it’s my job to make the story a thrilling read, capturing the readers’ attention from the get-go.

Many different kinds of people hire me to write books for them. I’ve worked with retired people, business icons, medical professionals, business owners, entrepreneurs, and many others. They all want to either tell their story or share their expertise. It is my honor to assist them.

If you’re looking to hire a ghostwriter, please contact me. Check out the fee on my pricing page, so we can make sure that you and I are indeed on the same page.

Entrepreneurs Make Great Authors

If you’re an entrepreneur, it makes good business sense to write a book. Entrepreneurs make great authors.

You are so brilliantly unique and wonderfully essential to our society. We need more of you in our world, continually enriching us with your creativity and productivity.

I’m fully aware that you live and breathe your product or service. You give of yourself wholeheartedly and rarely live by the clock, because you love what you do.

After talking to many self-created business owners, I understand the challenge involved with building a client base. There are many techniques, but success always seems to boil down to entering the tricky world of sales.

Entrepreneurs and sales

Let’s be real, what entrepreneur can make a living while attempting to elude sales?

It’s safe to say that you must bite the bullet and embrace the inner salesman within you.

Now, please don’t get me wrong. I’m not taking about becoming a greedy, aggressive, pushy person who tries to force things on people they don’t honestly need. No, I’m talking about honing the intricate art of interesting people in the product or service that you provide. It’s just good business sense.

That’s where ghostwriters come in.

That’s where I come in.

How many potential clients could you interest if you authored a well-written book about your niche-market expertise?

Write the book on your niche subject!

“Well, Mrs. Prospect, funny you should ask. The fact is, I wrote the book on that subject!”

There are only a few things that impress people more than this statement. And it holds true for so many types of business. Whether you’re selling gluten-free cupcakes or specializing in commercial real estate, do you agree that you can draw in more clients if you’re a published author on the subject? After all, entrepreneurs make great authors!

Chances are, if you are successful, you could write this book yourself. You have the necessary talent and creative ability, but let’s be realistic…

Entrepreneurs rarely have time to write a book

Writing a book takes hundreds of hours. That’s why most successful entrepreneurs find it cost effective to hire a ghostwriter.

The next question becomes: Am I able to afford to hire a professional writer?

Only you can answer that question!

Basically, as with any business decision, it comes down to finances.

The first step, the first calculation, involves figuring out how many new clients you’ll receive when you author a book. If you hand your book to a prospect, they’re more likely to become a client. Bottom line, you’re certain to gain credibility and earn respect, which should translate to new business.

I’m not here to talk you into this idea, but if you’ve read this far, you must like the concept.

The next step is to calculate what sort of income you can expect from those new clients. Don’t forget to factor in your expenses associated with this new business. Let’s keep it real and be conservative.

Now balance that with the cost of hiring a ghostwriter, $50,000 for a 200-page book. Plan for the project to take you a year or more to complete then add in another six months to a year to publish and market your work. Give yourself time. It’s not an overnight process.

If you’re ahead financially after five years, is that a promising investment for you?

If not, consider writing a shorter book. Most ghostwriters charge by the word, so that will cut down on costs.

So, what did you decide?

If you’ve determined to use good business sense and want to reach out and hire a ghostwriter, please email me. I’m interested in hearing from you, learning about your project. Please include your budget and time line, so that I can fully understand your needs.

Invest in yourself and others will be more likely to invest in you!

I’m telling you, entrepreneurs make great authors!

Would You Like to Write a Business Book?

Learning from the rainforest; share your knowledgeAre you sitting on the fence, wondering if you should write a business book? Most likely you’d have a lot to say about your field. Perhaps you could even make a difference for others. However, I get it, your hesitation. It takes time and money to write a book.

You’re successful because you consistently put many hours into your business, every day, every week. More than likely you don’t take many vacations and you probably rarely get eight hours of sleep. And if you’re anything like me, you laugh at the concept of working nine to five.

Am I right?

Share your knowledge

Okay, you don’t have a lot of spare time, but there’s no getting around the fact that you’re sitting on information that others need. Most likely you’ve created a niche market in your industry, and figured things out that others just haven’t.

So, then, when you retire, who will learn what you know? How will you pass on your knowledge? If you don’t write a book, and share your knowledge, the next generation will flounder in that particular area.

Successful business people who have specialized knowledge definitely have a responsibility to record their information, so that others can benefit. You can’t let your knowledge die with you. It just isn’t right. Write a business book.

Learning from the rainforest

When my husband and I visited the rainforest many years ago in Queensland, Australia, we took a number of guided tours. I was struck by the abundant life that grew all around us. It was thrilling! And I was particularly fascinated by the culture and knowledge of the aboriginal people. They could heal the body of most ills with the plants they found growing in the rainforest.

One tour guide told me that he was able to learn a lot from the aboriginals, but that they wouldn’t share everything with outsiders. Although I could understand their viewpoint, and respected it, I still felt sad to know that certain medicinal remedies would be lost forever as a result.

The same could be true for your business, your specialized knowledge. So, why should you share it? Why do you have an obligation to our children’s children? These are questions you really can only answer for yourself.

Writing a book is good business

It is good business to write a book! Allow me to offer some compelling arguments to consider. For instance, wouldn’t you like to be a published author in your field? It gives you undeniable credibility with your clients and peers, not to mention, it’s a great feeling to say, “I wrote the book on that subject!”

In addition, ask yourself if you might gain new clientele if you could hand them a book you’ve authored. Might that sway them toward you over your competition?

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you really do want to write your book, and that you do understand the urgency to share your information with others. You most likely find an indescribable joy in helping others and would like to take the next step toward seeing your book in your peers’ hands.

And I’m here to help!

However, keep in mind that come January 1st, many people will be writing me, asking for help with their books. I think writing a book is probably a top priority on many peoples’ New Year’s resolutions lists!

So, write me now and we can talk about what you need to do to write your business book!

Additional articles you might find helpful:

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Ghostwriter?

Seven Tips For Writing A Great Memoir

Why Should I Hire a Ghostwriter?

A Ghostwriter’s Fee: How Do They Charge?

Working With A Ghostwriter – What Steps Should You Take?

 

Eight Reasons Why You Should Write a Book

Eight reasons to write a bookDo you have a book idea that you’ve been mulling over for years?

Maybe decades?

Do people routinely say to you, “You should really write a book!”

If so, consider taking the first steps to writing and publishing your book now. Why wait? If you have a great idea, but don’t know how to begin, contact me. I can offer you advice on how to get your ideas on paper.

If you need a little convincing, here are eight reasons to write a book:

You can say, “I wrote the book on that subject!”

If you’re an expert in a field and have valuable information to share, you should really write a book, so that others can learn from you. People are always looking for successful examples from experienced professionals in their industry. Plus, it is fun to point to a book jacket and say, “I wrote the book on that!”

There is nothing like a book for gaining credibility

Writing a book takes a lot of time, energy, and knowhow. If you complete and publish a book, people will take notice. As long as your book is well-written and contributes something to society, you will gain credibility.

You will become a published author

You will have the suffix published author attached to your name. It’s a bit like a royal title. What better calling card, regardless of the business you’re in.

You can cross that goal off your bucket list

Just completing a long term goal is reason enough to venture into the world of writing. It is very satisfying to have accomplished a task that has occupied so much of your attention for so long. Let’s mark it as DONE!

You will be helping others

By sharing your story or giving others your secrets of success, you will help various people that you’ve never met. It is immensely satisfying to receive reviews and emails from readers, letting you know that you have bettered their lives in some way.

A new business path could open up for you

All authors become entrepreneurs to some degree. If you market and promote your book properly, you could make money on into the future through sales.

Once you’ve finished one book, the next one will be easier

When the first book is up on amazon.com and selling well, you will find the second book you write will probably take less time and will click into place faster. Plus, if you’ve had success with the first book, you’ll have gained a readership, who will buy your subsequent books based on your reputation.

There are many more reasons why you should write your book, but I hope I have inspired you with these eight. I can tell you that waiting for any length of time is a bad idea. Historically, the people that contact me and then put off starting their project, never actually publish a book.

If you’d like a consultation, email me and we’ll set up a time to talk! I’d like to help you get started now!

Additional articles you might find helpful:

Seven Tips For Writing A Great Memoir

Why Should I Hire a Ghostwriter?

A Ghostwriter’s Fee: How Do They Charge?

Four Different Ghostwriting Methods

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Ghostwriter?