While anyone can now publish a book, most people don’t. And certainly, most business people don’t get around to it. But for those who do have a goal of sharing their knowledge and publishing a business book here’s a few tips to help you get some focus and write the best business book you can.
1. What are you passionate about?
You’re probably working in the area you’re passionate about (or want to be), so this question is really about getting very specific about the key area you want to focus on.
For example: You’re not passionate about health, you’re passionate about childhood obesity, or women’s health, men’s health, mental health, indigenous health.
The more specific you are the more you can focus your content.
2. What is your specific area of expertise?
What credibility and authority do you bring to your area of knowledge?
List down the papers you have written, presentations you have made, and to who, how long you have been working in your field, key outcomes you have been responsible for/part of, how you have changed a certain practice etc.
In other words, why should someone listen to/read what you have to say?
It may seem like you’re showing off by writing this list down but most people who buy your book won’t know who you are or your background, so you’ll be using a well-crafted version of this list to let them know.
3. What’s the specific insight/knowledge you are sharing?
There’s probably a few people who specialise in your area so what specific insight do you have that makes the knowledge you are sharing in your book different.
I’m sure you’ve been to a bookshop and seen the shelf on the specific topic you’re interested in. Chances are there’s several books, if not shelves of books on your topic area. For your book to stand out, it has to offer a unique insight.
4. What challenges/problems will your business book solve for the reader?
This is one of the most ignored aspects of writing a business book. Most people think about writing a business book to share their knowledge and don’t give much, of any thought, to their audience.
The critical ‘other side’ of writing a book is focusing on who is going to read it and why. People buy business books (and I use the word business very widely here) to gain knowledge and insight into a specific challenge/problem they face. They’re looking for help to solve their challenge.
In order for your book to do this you need to deeply understand just what the specific challenges your target audience has, how often do they face it, how important is it to them to solve and where do they currently seek out information to help them?
Matching up your knowledge with your audience’s challenges
By matching up your unique knowledge and insights with your target audience’s challenge and problems you’ve developed the basis of the content outline of your book.
This process also helps you in terms of working out what to put in the book and what to leave out.
A good way of working through this is to draw a line down the middle of a piece of paper. On the left hand side write down all the key aspects of your knowledge. If you can group them into logical sets. Then, on the right hand side of the line write down the specific challenge/s that this set of insights and knowledge will help people solve.
There doesn’t have to be a direct correlation for everything on the page but there needs to be more than about a 70% match.
You might need to do this exercise several times to work through the link between your knowledge and your audience’s challenges. You’ll probably discard some of the list on the left-hand side and may well rework the challenges.
And, if you get stuck, think about booking in a 15 minutes strategy session with me by clicking on this link.