Business books serve a specific purpose that must be clarified before the writing begins. A business book can be a helpful aid in marketing a business by illustrating the expertise and potential benefits to customers. Some business books are written as “How to” guides designed to help other business leaders to implement best-in-class processes or systems. Many of the more famous business books tend to be based on a unique perspective about some aspect of business or leadership. Yet another group of books is the business memoir, the story of a business or business leader as he/she rose climbed the ladder to success.
If you are running a business and believe that a book can help to promote your business, plan the work carefully and be prepared to dedicate time and effort to the project. If time is a serious constraint, consider hiring a ghostwriter to reduce the burden on you. If you have a service-oriented business, you may find that much of the content already exists in presentations, proposals, blog articles, workshop outlines, procedure manuals and other materials commonly used in the business.
Don’t be tempted to simply throw together ready-to-use content like a batch of blog articles and publish that as a book. As a series of blog articles, each one is potentially useful and interesting to a group of readers. A book serves a bigger purpose and it is crucial to make sure that the content delivers on that purpose. Using existing content in a book requires that you transform and even rewrite the content along with additional information not previously provided. A published compendium of blog articles will make a poorly received business book.
Research other books in your category to make sure you are not about to invest a lot of time and effort only to duplicate what already exists. Finding other books in your category doesn’t mean that you should not proceed with your book. What it means is that you must ensure that your book has a unique perspective or different method for accomplishing something, other than the norm as described in other books or as experienced in business practice. You may have unique intellectual property that you are sharing with others, or an improved method based on your experience.
Essentially, your must find a compelling reason for someone to buy the book. Clarify for them how their business will improve, grow, or become more profitable after learning what you have to share. Before you begin writing, develop a simple summary to help clarify your book’s value proposition. Start with the subject of the book – what is the book about? Clarify the purpose and outcomes that a reader should expect from reading it. These benefits will be the primary reason for someone to buy the book. Finally, identify your target market – who is the specific audience for the book?
Armed with this information, your writing efforts will be focused correctly and you can easily determine the appropriate content and the optimal approach and writing style for communicating it. The book will help you to share a lot more of your true value to potential customers. Make sure that it represents your business with the highest quality and integrity to protect and promote your brand. You already know your business value, now make a plan for your book and write on!