Every solopreneur has a story hidden within. It may be the story of their struggle to launch into solopreneurism, or perhaps a plan to help others do the same by learning from their mistakes. If you have ever thought about writing a book for your business, the task can seem overwhelming. But, with some guidelines to help you begin and stay focused, you can produce a quality piece of work that adds value to others and can significantly raise your business reputation. Ready to begin? Let’s go!
The best overall piece of advice most every successful writer will share is to start writing. Although hundreds of thousands of books are produced every year, there are many more that stay unwritten. Excuses and obligations come between us and our goal and fragments of book notes get lost in the shuffle. Doubts about our own abilities assail us and we quit before we actually begin. The secret to writing a book is having a process and trusting it enough to follow it to the end.
Let’s take a look at a proven writing process.
If writing a book for your business as a solopreneur, you will want to choose a topic that resonates with you as well as with your target audience. A book that scratches where others have an itch will catch on and be imminently useful to a wide audience. Such a work will establish you as an authority on your chosen topic and drive consumers to your business.
Great writing is always about something. Likely, you already have a topic in mind or you wouldn’t be considering a book. Why did you choose this topic? Why and how will it grab readers’ attention? Write the basic premise of your book in one sentence. Then, explain it in a paragraph. Very likely, you will discern some natural steps or divisions in your explanation. This will be the beginning of your working outline.
From the explanatory paragraph you wrote above, establish a basic one-page outline. Every story must go somewhere. If you aim at nothing you are guaranteed to hit it every time. If your topic is related to business, most likely it will require a systematic explanation that is easy for readers to follow. This is where an outline is crucial.
After writing out a working outline, construct a table of contents. Each section could be a chapter, or a division with several chapters in each. This is labeled a working outline because, just like your writing, it is a work in progress. As you begin writing you may discover that some sections demand more detail or explanation and will require more space. Change your outline and table of contents to reflect any revisions in the book’s framework.
Writing is a fluid process. As you research, plan, and put your ideas on paper (or a screen), the story may lead you into unexpected areas. Something you had not previously considered may be required for complete understanding. Whatever you discover in the process of writing, write about it. Be sure it is connected to the overall story and helps tell it; if you have any inkling that it could help tell your story, follow the path and write about it.
Later feedback and revisions can cull any extraneous chaff from your story. For now, you don’t know the chaff from the wheat. Sow both together and do the weeding later. Often, one will seem like the other in the process of initial writing. Don’t spend lots of time worrying over whether something should be included. For now, tell the whole story and let the story itself be your guide.
It’s vital to have a structured plan for writing, and even more vital to stick to it. Writing when the ‘muse’ is on you, or in your spare time on weekends, only leads to unfinished works and ‘if only’ recriminations. Here’s a suggested writing plan:
Don’t skip this step. Every business engaged in publishing content should be concerned with the impact of their communications. That certainly includes a book you write as a solopreneur that promotes your expertise. Your writing often forms a first impression for your audience, and you only get one chance to make that pivotal first impression. Don’t leave it to chance. A professional editor can work with you to make your story more compelling and clear. They can help with such things as pacing, structure, and basic copyediting to produce your absolute best work.
Remember throughout the editing process that the final say is yours. The book is your creation. You have every right to argue against, modify, or reject suggested changes to your work if you believe they are not in the best interests of your story. A professional can provide technical expertise; they cannot look into your soul to discern the unique passion and heart that comes through in your writing. As with any advice, weigh it carefully and choose wisely.
I recommend circulating the editor’s suggested changes among some trusted authorities and friends to get their feedback. Sometimes we can be blind to our own mistakes and shortcomings, and do not readily accept criticism. If several trusted sources agree on needed changes, it’s a pretty good indication they should be made. In a multitude of counselors there is wisdom. Use it.
Release your book to the world! Send query letters or copies to prospective publishers, self-publish on Amazon, produce an eBook and make it available on your website, or whatever your chosen venue. But get it out to the reading public and give it a chance to make an impact.
Of course, you must let your audience know it is available once published. Promote the book through email, social media, on your website, and through every possible venue. Consider promoting pre-orders in the run-up before publication, print excerpts on your blog, and run a contest where others promote the book for you and get chances to win a free copy. Get creative and don’t hold back. Once you have chosen a writing process, trust it guide you to excellence, and proudly promote the results to the world! Good luck!
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