If you’re thinking of writing a book to underpin your expertise, here are ten top tips that will help your book be successful.
- Check out the market. What other books similar to yours are out there? Don’t guess or limit your research to the ones you have on your bookshelf, harness the power of the internet and do a proper search. Ideally read as many as you can.
- Establish your USP. What sets your book apart from others in the genre? What makes you/your book different?
- Decide how your book will be published. Will you be looking for a contract with a mainstream publisher or planning to self-publish? Your choice will impact on your budget, control and success of your book.
- Ebook, paperback, hardback or a combination. Your choice of publication method will affect sales and also how you use it as a marketing tool. If you want real books in your hand, either as paperback or hardback, you will need to explore the difference between offset-litho printing and print-on-demand.
- Get your cover and any graphics done professionally. A publishing company should provide the graphics, but don’t approve anything that doesn’t feel right to you. If you’re self-publishing you’ll need professional help unless you’re a graphic designer – check out some of the online resources like Fiverr, elance, etc. Always check out the designer’s previous work before agreeing to work with them.
- Plan first. Invest time in planning the content of your book out. What will each chapter be about? What anecdotes, case studies, quotes, models, processes will you include in each chapter?
- Get your book professionally edited. If you get a publishing contract they’ll do this for you. If you’re self-publishing you’ll need to invest cash in this – but it will be worth it when you’re getting reviews.
- Aim for at least 40,000 words. This isn’t because people won’t read a shorter book, but, if you’re planning for a real book in hand, the spine will disappear into a bookshelf if it’s a skinny little book!
- Don’t wait until your book is published. Marketing is essential and you’ll have to do this whether you self-publish or have a contract. You should be thinking about how you will get your book in front of readers from the moment you decide to write it.
- Don’t stop marketing. To keep sales going you’ll need to keep ‘restuffing the sausage machine’. How will you keep promoting it over the months/years following publication?
Of course, this is a very simple version of a complex process. If you really want to explore the process of writing a book you can get the Pipedream to Proposal document here.