The Business Book Bible
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The Business Book Bible

Everything You Need to Know to Write a Great Business Book

Derek B Lewis

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eBook - ePub

The Business Book Bible

Everything You Need to Know to Write a Great Business Book

Derek B Lewis

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Brian Tracy said, "This book gives you a proven strategy to write and sell an excellent book on any business subject you know and care about."

Todd Sattersten, co-author of The 100 Best Business Books of All Time, said, "No one tells you how hard it is to write a business book. Luckily, Derek's Bible makes it easier-much easier."

Literary agents, publishers, Fortune 500 consultants-they've all had rave reviews for The Business Book Bible, the only full-length, in-depth book on how to put together a great thought leadership book. There are plenty of writing guides out there for memoirs, general business communication, crime thrillers, or romance novels. But until now, there's never been anywhere would-be business authors could turn to for help. That's unfortunate because business books present a completely different set of challenges.

For example:

- How do you connect with your readers so they trust you and your advice?

- How do you artfully point to your products and services without coming off like a late-night infomercial?

- How do you keep your reader engaged throughout the book, especially if your material is--shall we say--less than thrilling?

No other writing guide can teach you what you need to know...and do you really want to learn the hard way? With writing your book, you want to get it right the first time. Written by a business ghostwriter, The Business Book Bible covers everything you need to know, from framing your authority to picking the perfect title, plus:

- Figuring out how long your book should be

- Winning the battle of writer's block

- Nailing down your real reader (and what to do when they're different than your ideal client)

- Giving away the secret sauce

- The unforgivable sin in writing

- Looking like a pro (and not a rank amateur)

- Acting like a publisher (even if you have one)

...and much, much more. You'll learn how to follow the same 5-step process the author uses to write and ghostwrite multiple books a year. You'll see how to keep your book focused and how to cut the unnecessary material. You'll discover multiple methods of getting your ideas out of your head--and most of them don't even involve writing!

John Spence, voted one of the top 100 business thought leaders in America, said, "As the author of five business books, I sure wish I had read this one earlier in my career. It's would've saved me a lot of time, headache, stress, and money."

Here's a startling example of just one of the great tips and tricks contained in the book: you don't start writing a book by actually writing the book. One of the biggest mistakes first-time authors make is sitting down at their computer, expecting to start with the first word of chapter one, and then write all the way thro

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“Good writing does not come from fancy word processors or expensive typewriters or special pencils or hand-crafted quill pens. Good writing comes from good thinking.”
A LOCAL CELEBRITY ONCE CONTACTED ME because she needed to write her business success story. She was an “accidental entrepreneur”: after Hurricane Katrina, she stumbled into an opportunity and was a business owner in her own right before she even realized what was happening. Today, she is a recognizable face around New Orleans and has even garnered international press in her industry.
The impetus for her book was a call from Hollywood. After the success of Louisiana-based reality shows like Swamp People, Cajun Pawn Stars, and Duck Dynasty, some producer wanted to film yet another one, this time featuring a resourceful Crescent City entrepreneur. Planning to write her book before getting caught up in filming was a good decision. By the time the show finally aired, we could have found a publisher and had the book ready for immediate release. The show could premiere simultaneously with her book hitting the bookshelves. In the end, she decided to go it alone.
When I spoke to her a few months later, she informed me she had bought “The Pen”: a gorgeous $1,500 Mont Blanc screw-top fountain pen with which she meant to write her memoir. She laughed about her extravagant indulgence and I ribbed her about it a few times over the call. In the end, though, I again encouraged her to share her inspiring story with the world.
The last time I checked, she had yet to write the first word.
Are you doing the same thing? Do you keep thinking and talking about writing your book without ever beginning? Have you been gathering ideas and stories without ever committing them to paper? Are you trying to figure out what to say before you sit down with a pen?
You will never get your book written until you start writing.
Don’t wait. Don’t look for someone to give you permission. Don’t look for a sign from heaven. Don’t wait until you know more or until the stars have aligned. Don’t wait until you have read the right book or bought the right pen. Don’t wait for anything to begin.
If something in you tells you that you need to write a book—do it.
“You must have experience to write a good nonfiction book, so please do not write a book on how to get rich unless you are already rich.”
I received an email from a gentleman in Croatia who asked for help in putting together a book on nutrition and fitness. He wanted to establish himself in the US market via a book first, followed by a business venture later on. He had a great idea. Business books are, hands down, one of the best, fastest, and most cost-effective marketing tools you will ever have. He started off on the right foot.
Too, he had done his homework and identified the US weight loss industry as a lucrative market. Again, he displayed good sense. He even went so far as to profile his ideal demographic and target audience. Kudos for his sensible approach.
The only problem was that he was not an expert in nutrition nor fitness. His experience was nowhere in the area. Not even close. His idea was to hire someone to research enough to write a book on it so that he could claim it as his own.
Now, not every business book is an “expert book” based on the author’s expertise in a field. Plenty of great business books have been written by journalists or others who penned a manuscript based on their research and writing skills rather than their own experience. The Power of Habit and A Whole New Mind stand out as two examples. But before Duhigg and Pink wrote their respective books, they spent hundreds of hours doing their homework first: reading, distilling, cross-referencing, interviewing, arguing, and more reading. Even though they were not the authorities on everything in their books before they actually wrote them, they still had to learn enough to become true experts on the subject matter before they knew enough to write a whole book.
You absolutely should write a book…but you should wait until you know enough to write it.
“The best way to become acquainted with a subject
is to write a book about it.”
Check that.
You should wait until you know enough to publish it. You should absolutely start writing your book today, even if you don’t know enough to release it yet.
One of the best ways to learn a subject is to teach it. Writing takes it to a whole other level. Trying to put a series of cohesive chapters together forces you to learn the topic to a degree you can’t imagine until you do it yourself. It forces you to know enough on a subject to—well, to write a book on it.
Client after client of mine tells me that authoring a book about their business helped them reach a new level of understanding. It’s not that they did not know their stuff. Most of them were already thought leaders. But1 having to organize their knowledge into a book and explain it in satisfactory detail made them get quite clear about it.
In a question-and-answer interview with me, my client Greg Short put it this way:
The process of writing has been incredibly valuable in helping me think, talk, and deal with these complex concepts at a whole new level. Going into it, I thought I was an expert in the topic area of my book. I came out as an “expert plus one” because of my newfound capability in articulating that knowledge.
You should wait until you know enough to publish your book, but start writing ASAP.
“I have never met an author who was sorry he or she wrote a book. They are only sorry they did not write it sooner.”
One of my favorite fiction formats is epic fantasy, such as The Lord of the Rings. If J.R.R. Tolkien’s publisher had released all three books in just one volume, it would have been massive. It would be too unwieldy, resembling a dictionary more than an enjoyable novel. It did not make sense to force the entire story into one book.
By the same token, you do not have to cram everything you know into one massive volume. I’ve heard more than one author declare that their book will be their magnum opus: the great, all-encompassing work of their lifetime. Your book does not need to be an encyclopedia of everything you know on the subject. It should suffice for the purpose at hand.
Professors with decades of research and study behind them can crown their achievements with a final masterpiece. But business changes so rapidly that a thought leadership book might be out of date in just a few years.
What about the year after you release your book? Don’t you think you will have learned a little more? What if the industry shifts or technology renders much of your advice moot? Your masterwork is suddenly insufficient.
This is why textbooks have multiple editions. It is why authors write new books that compete in the marketplace with their older ones. Even business “greats” like Napoleon Hill and Dale Carnegie, whose books have endured for decades and who have inspired legions of followers around the world, released multiple works and editions. It is okay if your book does not contain the depth and breadth of your knowledge.
I wish I could give everyone who wanted to write a book a card with this inscription:
Business authors of the world, I hereby give you permission to write more than one book.
You need not feel as if this book were your final word on all things related to the subject. You have the freedom to write about things that may well be rendered obsolete within just a few years. You hereby have the liberty to write an entire series of books cente...

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