You have great business experience. You have incredible wisdom, a proven track record and a strong message to share. Now you want to write a book.
Here are five steps to writing a business book:
1. Determine Your Message
This is an overarching lesson that you want to share. One way to think of it: If you were lying on your deathbed and you could leave one business message for the world, what would it be? This is the theme of your book.
2. Break It Down Into Topics or Steps
What are the steps or ideas that support your overall theme? One way to figure this out is to draw a mind map. Put your theme in the center of the page and circle it. Then draw spokes radiating from the circle and write down each step or subtopic for each line radiating out. After experimenting, you might end up with five to 12 such topics. Each of these topics becomes a chapter of your book.
3. Add Stories and Anecdotes
People remember stories, and they will remember you when you tell yours. Dozens of other authors have probably written about the topic you have in mind, but no one else has your stories. These can be your business war stories, your mistakes, your successes and your triumphs. You can also include anecdotes or case studies from your clients, colleagues, associates and even competitors. These stories give your book drama and depth, and it’s how readers will bond with you. It is important to include them when writing a business book.
4. Explain Your Method or Technique
Go through the topics of your chapters and explain your method, technique or approach. Your business experience and unique perspective make you an authority on what you have to share. After all, this is why readers will pick up your book — to learn how you succeeded, so they can too.
5. Inspire People
No one goes into business just to make money. Sure, they want to be rich, but after that, so what? People want to have happier relationships, give to their children, travel the world, enjoy more free time, contribute to their communities and maybe even change the world. How does your business book show people they can do that? Inspire them.
Of course, you also need to think about other factors of your book — such as your primary purpose for writing it, target audience, marketing channels and so on. That’s all the business side of a book. But you’re a pro at business, remember?
Now, it’s time to open your heart and share your wisdom. That’s the core of a great business book.
If you need assistance planning and organizing your book, a professional ghostwriter or editorial coach can help.