For entrepreneurs, publishing a book can be an excellent opportunity to share their expertise, experiences and perspectives with a broader audience. However, for first-timers, the process of writing and publishing a book can be daunting, and they may not know where to start or what to expect.
To help entrepreneurs who happen to be aspiring authors, a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) members answered the following question:
“Publishing a book is a highly effective way for an entrepreneur to share their knowledge and raise their profile as a thought leader, but it can be intimidating for first-timers. What’s one piece of advice you’d share with an entrepreneur looking to write or publish their first book?”
Here’s what these business leaders recommend.
1. Be Yourself
“Instead of imitating other successful authors or writing what you think people want to hear, you should share your own insights and experiences in a way that sets you apart from others in your industry. Authenticity will distinguish your book and connect with your readers.” ~ John Hall, Calendar
2. Share Useful, Valuable Lessons
“If you’re having trouble getting your thoughts down on paper, think back to some of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned on your journey. Instead of writing what you would like to share, focus on what others on the same path would find valuable. What would you tell a close friend asking about your journey? Share insights, failures, successes, guidance, mistakes, stories — make it an authentic guide.” ~ Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker
3. Be Willing to Make Mistakes
“As with all things, jump in and be willing to make mistakes. Your first try at anything won’t be your best, but if you never take the first step, you’ll never get to where you want to be. That said, work on writing your book to the best of your ability and consult a professional editor to iron out any issues.” ~ Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.
4. Discuss Your ‘Messes’
“If you’re looking to write your first book, consider that ‘your mess is your message.’ What messes have you gotten into on your journey? What did you learn from them? How did you feel when they were happening? How did you recover? Discussing your ‘messes’ makes a book powerful and relatable.” ~ Rachel Beider, PRESS Modern Massage
5. Seek Out Honest Feedback
“When writing and publishing your first book, it is important to set realistic goals, seek help when needed and get feedback from beta readers. To begin writing, set a goal for each session, even if it is just a small section or a few paragraphs. When seeking beta readers, look for people who will give honest and constructive feedback, and provide instructions on what type of feedback you want.” ~ Kazi Mamun, CANSOFT
6. Hire a Ghostwriter
“Many entrepreneurs I know work with a ghostwriter. Working with an experienced writer for your first book will allow you to learn a lot about the process and become a more confident writer. Look at your first book, like any other venture, as an opportunity to learn and improve on your methods.” ~ Andy Karuza, NachoNacho
7. Write About a Passion
“The thought of writing and publishing a book may sound like a daunting process, but with so many self-publishing platforms it is easier than ever. Find a topic that you are passionate about and have expert knowledge of. Recapping your company’s existing blogs just for the sake of publishing your book is a bad decision. Think of how you can provide value and build on it.” ~ Candice Georgiadis, Digital Day
8. Determine Your Audience and Their Interests
“My advice is to match your message with your target audience. You may feel like writing about a lot of your favorite topics, but does your audience want to read about them? To answer this, you must find where the needs and issues of your target readers meet your knowledge, interests and experiences. A book focused on this union will resonate with readers and establish your authority.” ~ Vikas Agrawal, Infobrandz
9. Hire a Professional Editor
“One piece of advice I’d share with entrepreneurs looking to write or publish their first book is to onboard a professional editor. You can be an expert in your respective field, but there’s a difference between knowing something and sharing that knowledge with others. Since you’re writing your first book, an editor can help fine-tune your work and enable you to create a masterpiece for your audience.” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
10. Make Local Connections
“There is a high-value attachment to being an author and having books sold in lots of bookstores, but for many first-timers, this attachment can impede sharing their expertise with the world. Instead of relying on traditional mass orders to get your book into stores, introduce yourself directly to local stores and ask if they would be open to selling your book if it is returnable. It works!” ~ Tonika Bruce, Lead Nicely, Inc.
11. Identify the Book’s Purpose
“Why are you writing it? Most entrepreneurs write as part of the marketing process for their business because a book establishes credibility while also improving SEO. When you know the purpose of the book, you can also identify your target audience. It is easier to write when you know the audience because you can be more detailed without fear of alienating some readers.” ~ Bryce Welker, Big 4 Accounting Firms
12. Find a Mentor
“If you’re planning to write a book, start by understanding what message you want to deliver to your audience. Now do your best to explain these points in a strategic way. Decide the structure and get started. You should also have a mentor who can help you through your writing journey, give feedback and help you improve your work for the best results.” ~ Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
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