One of my favorite authors was killed on Monday in a car accident. David Halberstam was truly a revolutionary journalist and writer and he will be missed. Roy P. Clark of Poynter.org wrote a very good piece on him here.
If you're on the fence about whether or not you have enough expertise or knowledge to write a book, the only way to really know is to get the hell off the fence and start writing! To aid you - here are the "top ten reasons you should write a business book."
1. You have an expertise that stands the test of time.
2. Your clients and peers are always saying they wish they could carry your wisdom around with them.
3. It would make your Mother proud.
4. Business books are often filled with drivel, but yours would be different.
5. You want to change the world with your ideas and are willing to work hard to engage people about them.
6. Your book would be a guidepost to others who want to succeed from your hard-earned lessons.
7. You're dedicated to promoting conversation and authentic exchange in your peer arena.
8. Your own bookshelf, desk and floor is littered with "other people's business books" and the only one missing is yours.
9. You're willing to pack up all those aforementioned books and put fingers to keyboard and write a page a day...starting today.
10. You understand that writing a business book is not about becoming a milllionaire author but more importantly about empowering yourself and others to raise the bar and do more.
Here's a list of ten things your publisher might not tell you about the marketing of your book:
1. We have 100 other books to market this month and only three full-time PR folks.
2. We mail your book out with the press release folded inside and never use a personalized letter or book packet.
3. We're trying the best we can but you can't possibly expect us to send the books to the bloggers for review too? We don't know that many bloggers.
4. We like you, we want you to succeed, but you have to market the book yourself to really have it be a success.
5. Put out multiple press releases about your book covering different topics from the book.
6. We would like to help in creating and repurposing content out of your book for amazing sites like Changethis.com and others, but we really don't know where to start.
7. We thought a virtual book tour was a ride they offer at Disney.
8. Always send hand-written thank you notes to anyone who talks, reviews, or quotes your book.
9. Spend the extra few dollars and buy some postcards that have your book logo on them and definitely have a web site devoted to your book.
10. Treat the book as you would your own child and don't let a day go by without introducing it to someone new who could possibly review it. Be willing to send a free copy of your book out to lots of folks.
I regularly consult with potential business book authors and help ghostwrite book proposals and one of the main things we always tackle first is the sticky question of, "What really makes a good business book? "
Business books have changed drastically from the old days and people want to be enthralled, engaged and enthused about what they are reading.
Business books can be amazing vehicles for actionable learning. You want your readers to have many "aha" moments while reading your work. After the "aha" moments pass, you want readers to feel as though they've been armed with a new way of looking at their business and how to empower it.
The more you weave a story throughout your book, the longer shelf life your book will have. It will also have what I term the pass it forward factor. What that means is your book should always compel folks to pass it on or strongly recommend it to their employees, peers and even customers.
The pass it forward factor is espescially useful when it comes to bloggers and their readers. Bloggers are voracious and conscientious readers and they truly will pass it forward if they feel the book is of great value to their readership.
Business does not have to be boring, dry and verbose and neither do business books. The best business books bring great ideas in focus and engage new ideas through the wisdom they impart. They engender insightful and creative methods that help the reader identify any business challenge and gain the tools to overcome it.
There is a great blog post on how a book gets to best-seller status and a good cautionary tale about making the "best-seller" claim by Tanya Hall of Greenleaf Publishing on the Big Bad Book Blog. Go andread it!
Come on! Deep down inside you know you've got at least one great short story in you and you're just not pushing yourself to write it. So here's a superb way to put it on paper in a 24 hour period and maybe win a prize as well!
Spring 2007 24-Hour Short Story Contest Now Open for Entrants The Spring competition will be held on April 21st, and is limited to 500 entrants. Contests usually fill up, so don't delay if you want to participate. You can see the list of prizes (first prize is $300, second is $250 and third is $200 - plus 82 other prizes!) and sign up here: http://www.writersweekly.com/misc/contest.html .