Do You Want to Write a Book?
Four Questions, Four Actions, and Four Commitments
If you are a leader who has been considering writing a nonfiction book to share your expertise with others, you may want to consider the following questions, actions, and commitments as you sort through the right timing, content, publishing approach, and promotion plans.
What unique experiences and ideas do you want to share?
Because there are millions of books on Amazon, the more you can differentiate your ideas from others, the more likely you will be to gain interest and attention. Sharing your own stories and unique perspectives can make your nonfiction book more captivating. Incorporate as much of your authentic voice as you can.
Action: Take a few minutes to consider how you can craft a book idea that is different from others on your topic.
Who is your existing audience?
The most successful authors build an audience in advance of writing a book, which makes promoting the book much easier. If you aren’t sure who your audience is, or you haven’t developed a following, consider taking a few steps back before moving forward to write a book so you can take time to grow an audience who is interested in buying and reading your book.
Action: Instead of writing a book now, start sharing content in other ways, through a blog on your own website and on social media platforms to grow an audience first.
What do you hope to achieve?
Writing and promoting a book always takes more time, energy, and money than people expect, no matter what publishing approach you choose. Staying connected to what writing a book means to you and the difference you want to make in the world can fuel you through the unexpected challenges you face along the way.
Action: Write down a mission or vision statement for your book. “I want to write a book… because… in order to…” Once you develop this statement, put it in a prominent place and refer to it as needed to remind yourself of why this goal matters to you.
What does success look like?
While you may be clear about why you want to write a book, you may not be clear about how you will know the book is a success. Do you expect your book to advance or change your career in some way? Do you anticipate it will create new opportunities? Are you seeking to make money on book sales? Do you hope it transforms readers’ lives in some way?
Action: Consider how you will measure the success of your book. Choose one or two measures you will use to track your progress.
Make these four commitments.
In working with authors and thought leaders over the last decade, I’ve noticed that authors who are successful have made the following four important commitments. First, they provide value to others through their book and other content. Second, successful authors are dedicated to sharing the content and value in their book consistently through digital marketing, PR, and other opportunities. Third, they share their work generously through ongoing free content on their social channels and website. Finally, successful authors commit to a long-term view of creating impact through their work. Before you write a book, consider making a commitment to value, consistency, generosity, and longevity with your work.
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