My life experience is that everything looks easy until you have to do it. That’s when you discover all the details and difficulties. That’s when you say to yourself, “If I’d known it was going to be this hard, I might not have started.”
That’s certainly true for people who show up with me for coaching to help them write a book. They imagine a simple process. They write the book and then, almost magically, it gets published and boosts their career. But, of course, if it were that simple and easy, everyone would do it.
Writing a book that makes a difference in your life and in the lives of others is hard work. It also has a lot of stages. Let’s review.
First, You Have to Write the Book
Writing the book isn’t one thing, it’s a collection of things. You must plan the book and think about how it will fit into the marketplace. You must plan to make it both helpful and distinctive.
Then you have to write. Writing usually takes several drafts. Your book will probably be better if you send it out to beta readers and use their feedback as a guide to make even more changes. But, you’re not done yet.
You Need A Professional Edit
Professional editors save you from yourself. They catch errors that you’ve made in your manuscript. They make sure the style is the same throughout and conforms to publishing norms. Usually, editors make suggestions about changes that you should consider before you move on, because, you’re not done yet.
You Have to Publish Your Book
Writing your book is great, but it won’t do you any good until you publish it. Publishing has a lot of moving parts.
Books don’t magically happen, there’s work to be done and trade-offs to be made. You’ll need a cover design and a design for the interior of the book. You’ll also make choices about format – hardcover or softcover? Do you want an e-book? How about an audiobook? Guess what? You’re not done yet.
You’ve Got to Sell the Book
You may want to believe that because you’ve written a better book the world will beat a path to your door. You may subscribe to the “field of dreams” theory that if you write it, they will come. Don’t count on it.
You can write the best book in the world, one that will make a difference in people’s lives if they read it and apply it. But if you don’t do anything to sell it, what you’re going to wind up with is a lot of unsold books. That’s not much of a return on the money and time you’ve invested.
The marketing process should start well before your book is published. That’s because the choices you make about your title, keywords, basic description, and cover all have an impact on selling your book. You’ll want a landing page for your book, and maybe an entire website. All that should be done before your book is ready for sale. But then, you’re not done yet. You need to sell the book.
There are three parts to that selling process. When you first release the book, you can have a marketing campaign to launch it. Then, there should be drip marketing that goes on all the time. Add to that some regular “mini-re-launches” and you’ve got a lot of work to do. But you’re not done yet.
Besides Selling Books, How Will You Make Money?
Very few business book authors make money from their book alone. If you want your work and investment to pay off, you need to look for ways to make money from your book that go beyond simply selling it.
You’ll probably think about raising your fees because your book has positioned you as an expert. And, if you’re like most of the authors I work with, you’ll want to add some speeches and training to your portfolio.
Think about the products that go with your book. They can include workbooks, study guides, courses, and audio and video products.
Are you done yet? Probably not. If your book is a big success, the product development, marketing, and sales could go on forever. And if your book isn’t a success, it may be the time for a new book project.
Creating a book that you can be proud of and one that will make a difference in your life and the lives of others is a project with a lot of moving parts. You must plan it, write it, edit it, publish it, promote it, and sell it. You need to develop a variety of revenue streams around your book. The fact is, you’re never done with a successful book and that’s a good thing.
If you’d like more details on the process of writing and publishing a business book, download my free white paper, “Do You Want to Write and Publish a Business Book? How to Go from Your Idea to a Book You’re Proud Of.”