How to craft a crowd-pleasing book and attract more clients and speaking engagements than you ever thought possible

What a great starter kit for a budding author. I have been around the book business for a few years, and I likely know it better than most, it is brutal place. I have lost count of the number of disillusioned first time authors that I have interviewed. The dissolution though is of their own making. Writing a book is like any other endeavor that you might set out on. If you were taking the family to Disneyland you would likely book flights and a hotel. Well the writing of a book also has steps that a budding author needs to understand.

Some are minor, some are major, but you do need to be aware and prepared for them. Although Doing Business By The Book is aimed at people who wish to write non-fiction business oriented books, much of the sage advice offered is relevant to anyone you is a would be author regardless of genre.

As Sophfronia Scott points out a crucial step is to determine the publishing route you are going to take, traditional or self publishing (Print On Demand). Both have advantages and disadvantages. It is hard to break into the traditional publishing houses, that is a ‘for sure’. A story like to tell authors when this subject arises is that Tom Clancy spent two years hawking The Hunt For Red October before a publisher agreed to carry it. He had a file cabinet of rejection letters. A good friend of mine Ian Coburn spent 6 months writing a short book, and six months trying to market it, he had so many rejection letters he used them to decorate his office walls (well he is a stand up comic by trade).

Self publishing or POD removes many of the obstacles, but also contains its own hazards, many of the checks and balances such as editing are at the discretion of the author. There may also be hurdles with distribution. Forewarned is forearmed. Knowledge is power, and if you understand the issues you can make informed decisions and there are no surprises.

If you are writing a business oriented book, Sophfronia has many more tips for you, a key component is what I like to refer to as ‘Value Added’. Your book may sell for $15 but if the reader perceives extra value through access to additional information online, or a companion CD, or a free seminar, suddenly the reader is getting something for nothing. And who doesn’t like free stuff? I know I do.

Sophfronia also runs through the mechanics of constructing a non fiction business book, what to include and how to include it.

So, by hook or by crook you have given birth to your creation, you have a copy of the book in your hand. It is at this point that many authors think they are done, they are wrong, now the work really starts! You have to sell it.

You need to learn about Press Releases, Press Kits, and the dreaded Media. Are you going to employ the help of a publicist or do it yourself? What is your budget for publicity?

One great way to get attention for your book is to get it in front of reviewers eyeballs, but how do you get the Simon Barrett’s of the world interested? In fact even finding the Simon’s is a job by itself.

Another great vehicle is being interviewed, but are you prepared? I am a gentle interviewer, and indeed I use the same technique that Sophfonia mentions in her book.

…Dr Phil likes to tell his guests “You know I’m not going to ask questions that I don’t already know the answer to.”

Yup, I am the same way, I have already spoken to my guest before we we go on air. If your interviewer has not taken this step, take the lead and ask, most interviewers are happy to oblige. If they don’t, they should not be in the business!

I like this book a great deal, it should be on every would be authors list, you will gain some great insights into the sometimes murky world of publishing. There are a myriad of reasons that people write a book, some do it to make money, some do it solely for the bragging rights. Some do it because they have an important story, and some do it purely for fun. I recently did some work with a Canadian author, his books are delightful romps into high adventure, and he could care less if anyone reads them. He writes purely for his own enjoyment, and I admire him for that.

A common saying is that everyone has a book in them, I do believe that. So get a copy of Business By The Book from Amazon, grab a pen and a pad of paper and get writing! There is also a companion web  site.

Simon Barrett

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