Write A Book – and Get It to Best Seller

If you missed it – step one was last weeks blog – all about running successful events. You can read it here. And I love events, but if you know me at all you will know that my first passion is writing.

There are few ways more guaranteed to position you as an expert than to write a book, and especially a bestselling book. Where the younger generation love celebrity, everybody (and especially the plus 35’s) love an author. Many people want to write a book. Most never do, because they don’t know how and they maybe don’t believe that they can. That’s simply not true. I believe anyone can write a book. It may not be natural for you, however, if it isn’t, there are people who can help. You can hire ghost writers and editors and book cover designers and a host of other people who can help you turn your dream into reality.

Most importantly being a published author is valuable, but being the author of a bestselling book is even better. None of that works though, unless your book gives value. Your book should inspire people in several ways. It should position you as an expert in your field, and also give the reader an insight into you as a real person. We live in the age of Gogglebox and the Big Brother House. Reality TV is the order of the day and therefore people also want an insight into who YOU are. They need to feel they know you intimately.

One way to do this is to write your book as if you are talking to just ONE person. Avoid using phrases like – “some of you…”. There is no “some of you”. One person (at a time) is reading your book – always speak to one. And never use “we”. I know in corporate land you may have been taught to use “we” as it is seen as being ‘collaborative’.

Personally, I believe that is wrong – both when speaking and writing. YOU are the leader in this situation. Using “we”, implies that you are still in the place your reader is in – of not knowing enough and searching for answers. But you’re not. As you are the one writing the book, then the reader will hope that YOU are the answer to his or her questions/problems/uncertainties. Does that make sense?

And – since you want to write a readable and engaging book – it should be the What and the Why but not the How. What I mean by that is – your book should tell people what they need to do to be successful at (whatever your subject area is). There are people in the world right now who want the information that to you is second nature.

If you are an electrician you might think wiring a plug is child’s play – but there are people – a lot of people – who don’t know how to do it. If you are a HR professional, it might be a no-brainer to you to put together a sickness policy or an employment contract. If you are a social media company – it might be so easy to you to change the colour of someone’s twitter account to their brand colours that you forget that other people don’t even know that is possible.

Now – I am not suggesting you should write a book on wiring a plug – you might want to do a YouTube video about that – but you might want to write a book about how to run a successful electrical business or HR practice, or social media business. Or you might want to write a ‘behind the scenes’ book full of humorous examples.

Your book should also tell the ‘Why’ – why is the ‘What’ is important. Whatever you are talking about, if you don’t tell people why it is important then the points you make will lose impact. People buy on emotion and justify with logic, so remember the ‘why’. For example, one of my ‘What’s’ about having a proper social media plan, is that you need to know how to engage with your followers on Twitter. And here comes the Why – because if you DON’T know how to engage your followers then all the hard work and effort and hours, you have put in to build your tribe of followers, will all be a waste of time, effort and money, because unengaged followers go away.

So the What and the Why – but not the How, OK? When I say not the How – I caveat that. You definitely want to give a little bit of ‘How’ for 2 reasons. Firstly, you need to showcase your expertise and add value to the reader. If you can give them some strategy which they can implement right away, they will want more. And they will also know that you know your onions.

You don’t want to give away too much though. And the reason for that is also two-fold. Firstly, you (presumably) want them to become customers. If so you need to leave them with incompletion, so that they want to know more. If you give it all away then they don’t need to buy your next book, come to your seminar, buy your programme.

The second reason why you don’t want to give it all away is that if you an expert in your field then you know a lot. If you write about everything you know in detail, your book would be huge. No-one buys huge books that look like an encyclopaedia.

The third reason is that you don’t want to overwhelm them. If you go into minute detail about your subject you will lose the ‘bigger picture thinkers’ and the detail people will like it but may not have all the techniques or experience to actually implement it, and will then think that it is too complicated. I remember reading an article on quantum physics which really captured my imagination and seemed to answer a lot of the philosophical questions I had.

So – I went to Amazon and I bought 2 books on Quantum Physics. They arrived and I proceeded to devour one book which put all the very complicated concepts in simple terms, using metaphors and examples that a non-scientist like me could understand. It was still a challenge to read and understand – but it was a challenge I relished and (as a bigger picture thinker) enjoyed. The other book was the polar opposite. I guess if you had a degree in quantum physics the book would have been understandable and maybe enjoyable, but I didn’t get past page 28. There was way too much detail for details sake and by page 28 I still had no idea where the author might be going with his writing.

For me, he needed to chunk up a level and put things in simpler and more interesting terms. As ‘an introduction’ to quantum physics – had I not read the other book first, I think it would have put me off ever reading anything else about it. Think of it like this. Talking to your daughter about passing her driving test and the freedom she will have once she can drive herself to her friends houses or the shops, is engaging her at the level she is at, and the things she is interested in. Talking to her about the detail of driving a specific car and the benefits of having a specific type of tyre, or engine oil, is just TMI (too much information).

As mentioned above, your book should position you as an expert in your field, so as well as the ‘What’ and the ‘Why’, your book should tell your story of zero to hero. Your reader needs to know you not only understand their pain but have ‘been there and done that’. Your understanding of where your audience is now, will show them they can trust you to help them get where they want to be. Your book should include case studies of clients your solution has helped, and detail the results achieved. You don’t have to give all the ‘how you did it details’ but you DO need to inspire your reader with your evidence of success.

We recently implemented some strategies – through social media and other strategies – to get one of our clients to best seller status on Amazon.com on the day of her official book launch. Do you think that will help her to gain credibility in the eyes of her potential clients?

So – if you want to stand out – write a book. Or preferably, more than one.