Today, anyone can be a best-selling author. But what’s the best way on how to write a book as a coach or a consultant. The internet allows anyone to publish and distribute their own non-fiction book that shares their expertise with the world. We no longer have to deal with the “gatekeepers” of the publishing industry. You can reach your readers directly and manage everything yourself for maximum reach and profit. With all of the benefits of creating your expert book, there’s little reason not to:
- Having a non-fiction book (or books) available online for purchase helps to establish your expert credibility. You’re now an officially published author. This shows people who meet you or come across your website that you have skills and knowledge to share with the world.
- Books bring clients and customers. Your published book also allows you to charge more for your services. You’re no longer a struggling small business, trying to gain a foothold in your industry. With a book under your belt, you can show potential clients that you offer true value that’s worth paying for.
- Like your other online efforts, your books help you acquire leads. There are more opportunities for people searching for your products or services to find you. Each place your book is available online leads more people back to you.
- Your book publishing can lead to other opportunities to share your expertise. You can use your books to score speaking engagements, which helps you to further share expertise, raise your value in your potential clients’ eyes, and acquire leads. Book publishing opens doors.
- Naturally, your book publishing will also earn you profits and this is one way to build a passive income so that you don’t have to keep working for every penny you make.
- Your story can help others and potentially change lives
What are the 5 steps on how to write a book
There are five basic steps to writing a non-fiction book that teaches your audience and shares your expertise.
1. Choose Your Topic
It all starts with a good topic but this can be challenging if you’ve never written a book before.
Start by brainstorming topic ideas by considering:
- What you know about
- What you’re passionate about
Whether you realize it or not, you’re an expert. Through your business, you’ve probably been doing something for years most people haven’t. Your customers often ask you questions about your work, and it’s because you know it deeply. Brainstorm a list of common things your customers ask and/or things you know deeply about that most people don’t.
It’s important also for your topic to be something you’re passionate about. This will make the writing process much easier. If the topic is dull for you, it’ll be a chore to crank out the content. But if it’s something you feel like you can talk about all day, the words are more likely to come pouring out.
There’s just one more thing to consider as well. Your topic should be something there’s a market for. You can write books about your obscure interests and have great fun doing it, but if there isn’t a hungry market for your book, it won’t work to spread your expertise and bring you leads.
2. How to Write a Book by Leverage Your Existing Content
Before you start writing, you should look over the material you already have on-hand to see if any of it can be used. The writing process can be arduous if you’re not used to it. If you already have content you can repurpose or reformat and use again, this will cut down on work and time.
Go through your existing content. Look at old articles, blog posts, speeches, scripts, and so on. Also look at non-text material such as videos, audio podcasts, interviews, and infographics. Any type of content can be useful in creating your new book. Look for content that’s related to the topic of your book.
Be careful also not to get carried away packing too much content into your book that you don’t need. As you look over old stuff, there’s a tendency to start adding more and more to your book, just because you have the old content and think it’s useful. Make sure every bit of content you’re using is totally relevant to the book at hand, and also keep in mind the next step…
3. Research Additional Materials You’ll Need
It’s quite unlikely that your old content will be all you’ll need for your book. You can repurpose your old content to make a few shortcuts, but you’ll need to research your topic and find new information as well.
You may know your topic so well that you don’t feel you need to do any research. This could be the case, but a book must be thorough. Plus, it can’t hurt to find some new information to add to your book as well. One example is data or statistics. You might have to supplement what you know through experience with data from the real world.
As you research, look for the information you can use in your book, and be sure to save the source of this information. If you’re using an article with some statistics, for example, you’ll need to cite this source in your book. This also helps your credibility. It shows that you bothered to find actual facts and you’re not just making things up.
4. Create an Outline
The fourth step is to create a detailed outline. From all of the information you’ve collected, create chapters and start filling in the details. You may have some ideas for chapters when you first choose your topic, but here you’re going to make a very detailed outline so that when you write, all you need to do is write.
The outline is important because if you just start writing off the top of your head, you’ll get stuck along the way. You’ll think, “Where do I go next?” And it’s likely that the resulting book will be a jumbled mess. Outlining not only helps you write smoothly but also creates a book with a coherent flow where one section moves naturally to the next.
For structuring chapters, the best way to think about it is that you’re creating sub-chapters within them. Break down each chapter into its own sections and parts, and if you need to, break those down even further.
If you’ve written your own articles and blog posts, there’s an easy way to think about this. If a standard blog post or article is 500 words, you can just keep breaking down your book into 500-word chunks, and then each one is just an article or blog post. When you look at a whole book, it seems overwhelming and hard to structure. How do you write something that’s so many pages long? But if you think if it this way, it’s like an organized series of articles or blog posts bundled together.
Now it’s time to actually write your book. You may find yourself sitting down to the computer with your outline in hand and thinking, “How do I get started?” Everyone has their own way of writing that works for them, but here are some tips and ideas on how to make the process smoother and easier.
- Schedule your writing time. Decide how much you’ll write each day and set aside the optimal time to do it. For example, you may decide that an hour a day is the best way to get it done while still taking care of your other work responsibilities. Through experience, you may find that the time when your mind is sharpest for writing is late morning. Put this into your daily schedule.
- During this writing time, eliminate distractions. Turn off your phone notifications and get off of social media. You may want to create a physical writing space, like a quiet part of the office, or the dining room table. Writing is all about creating and practicing good habits.
- Fashion your outline so that you don’t have to go back and look anything up. If you’re writing about the benefits of blogging, for example, list each benefit and write down notes for what you’ll say. If you do this, you’ve kind of “pre-written” your book and then all you have to do is write when you write.
- Set achievable goals and deadlines for writing your book. There are many people who start books but few who finish them. You want to be among the latter. Decide when you want the whole thing to be finished, and set milestones for each chapter. This will help you stay on track and make sure that the book gets done.
- Prioritize your writing. Don’t let daily work or more pressing things squeeze out your writing time. It’s easy to put off writing, especially when you have urgent business. But sometimes, if you don’t prioritize it, it won’t get done. If you’re a freelance service provider, make your book one of your “jobs.” Treat it just like you would if it were client work.
- Edit your book after it’s written. It’s often hard to write when you’re fussing over wording or trying to get it perfect as you go. Instead, focus on getting your ideas down in a clear way. Once the writing is done, do a big editing and read it as a reader only, not as a writer.
It’s really that simple and it can take a remarkably short period of time to write your first book and publish it. The great thing about this process is that after you do it once, you learn how to do it better, and you can apply what you’ve learned to the next book. If you make it a regular part of your business operations, you could soon have an online publishing empire of your very own.
If you’re a coach or consultant, writing a book can be a powerful way to position yourself as an expert in your field and reach more people with your message. Become an author and write a book. The five steps we outlined are a great starting point for getting started on your own book project. If you need help along the way, get in touch – I’d love to work with you! Feel free to get in touch.
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