Most of my clients have never written a book when they come to me for the first time. That means they don’t know what they don’t know.
Most of us seek professional help when we know a project exceeds our abilities or the time we want to invest in it. I pay an accountant to file my taxes and he asks me questions that need answers. He explains things to me, so I understand my options. When painting exceeds the limits of our DIY skills, we hire a professional painter. Bill knows a lot more than we do about paints and brushes and equipment. Not to mention the fact that he is a meticulous craftsman.
Here are some places you should consider getting help when you’re writing a book.
You May Need Help to Write Conversationally
If you’re writing a business book, you don’t want to sound like a writer. You want to sound like a friend. A ghost writer can fill this gap for you, and so can a good editor or a writing coach.
You May Need Help Structuring Your Book
Many novices are stunned to discover that you usually can’t “sit down and write the darn thing.” You need to pay attention to the order in which you present your message. You must pay attention to how the different parts of the book work together. And you must think about how key themes weave their way through the book like red threads.
A good editor or book coach can help you sort this out. You can get some understanding of the issues by just starting to write your book and experiencing some structuring issues.
You May Need Help Maintaining a Brisk Pace
Readers get bored easily. Their minds wander. One way to hold their attention is to maintain a brisk pace so they want to move on to what’s next. When you’re writing, you must keep in mind the reading speed of your reader and what we know about attention spans. You must keep things moving so the reader stays with you all the way to the end.
A good editor or book coach can help you use what we know about reading speeds and attention spans to maintain a brisk pace.
You May Need Help Selecting the Features That Readers Like
Your readers want you to help them put the content of your book to work. They love tips.
Give them tips. Provide chapter summaries. Consider analysis questions and exercises. A good book coach or editor can help you decide which tools to use.
You May Need Help Staying on Track
My clients are successful mid-career, midlife professionals. When they come to me to help write their book, their calendars are filled with business, personal, and family obligations. Their biggest challenge is to find consistent time to write.
Most need some kind of accountability partner. Sometimes a friend or colleague performs that service. Sometimes I do the job as a book coach. I also help them figure out the best ways to secure solid writing time without going crazy or shredding their relationships.
You may need help to write conversationally.
You may need help structuring your book.
You may need help maintaining a brisk pace.
You may need help selecting features readers like.
You may need help staying on track and staying sane.