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  • 12th Jun 2024
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How to write a book that could boost your business. Spoiler: it’s easier than you think

By Sophie Milliken

Lots of people have authoring a book on their goal list, but what does it actually take to get it from idea to bookshelf?

Writing your first book makes you an authoritative voice on a subject and creates loads of exciting opportunities. I’m about to publish my third book and not only do I enjoy writing them, but they have also generated multiple prospects for my business.

Case in point – when my first book was released, I was offered a magazine column, two TEDx talks and an ambassador role for a national charity. I turned the video interviews from my second book into a podcast that still generates regular downloads. Both books sold in bulk on their own, or alongside speaking engagements, and I’m hoping my new book generates some magic of its own…

Even better, you don’t need to secure a book deal with a publisher or spend loads of money on publishing. One of my friends wrote a book in a weekend and uploaded it to Amazon himself. He has a solid following on social media, and it’s now sold thousands of copies and has over 200 reviews.

So, how do you do it?

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Plan out your book

The prospect of writing a book might feel a bit daunting but it’s easier than you think, and there are people out there that can help if you really don’t know where to start.

Some authors find it helpful to brainstorm topics around their idea and then write mini articles on each one. With each of my books, I came up with a working title, then topics which I grouped to become sections, giving a framework to work from. The average business book is between 30,000-40,000 words. In my opinion, about 36,000 is the sweet spot. Any less and the book feels light, any extra and bulk printing becomes expensive.

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Stick to a schedule 

Some people love to write early in the morning or late at night. I have friends who have taken themselves off to a country house for a week. Whatever works for you, commit to it. I find a deadline for the book to launch is effective, as you then work backwards to identify key milestones.

Allow time for the cover design, copy editing, proofreading and formatting. If you do this yourself, don’t underestimate how long each stage takes.

Get published

There are different options when publishing your book.

You can approach a traditional publisher and pitch the idea of your book (there’s guidance online which will show you what to include). The publisher is likely to be impressed by your audience size, so if you have a solid following then highlight this in your pitch. Without a following, you’re likely to find the traditional approach challenging. Working with a traditional publisher can bring kudos and a marketing plan.

At the other end of the scale, you can self-publish. This method is quick, giving you full control of the content and allowing you to retain all profits. The downside could be the quality, and you might still choose to seek support for the cover design and proofreading. Your book represents your brand, so you don’t want it to be poor quality.

There is a mid-option of working with a hybrid publisher. This has a cost of either a one-off fee or a fee plus a percentage of future royalties – so check the terms to understand the full commitment. The advantages of this approach are that you should end up with a good quality book to be proud of, that retains much of your original content and gets from idea to bookshelf quickly.

With my first two books, I worked with a hybrid publisher that charged a fee and a percentage of royalties. My upcoming book is published via Moja Publishing, a professional option with a one-off fee.

Promotion 

Whichever way you publish, you’re going to need to promote it and you could use an agency to do this. If you decide to do it yourself, consider including the following in your strategy:

  • A book launch party
  • A book tour
  • A PR plan to target local and national press
  • Approaching podcasts to appear as a guest to tie in with the publication date
  • A social media plan

Send copies to any influential people you know, as they will hopefully share on their socials – time this around other launch activities for maximum impact.

The benefits of having a book last for years. You can send it out to prospects or parcel it up with any speaking engagements. Get creative and let me know if you come up with any ideas I’ve not yet thought of.

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Want to get started but need some help? 

Check out Moja Publishing for more information.

From Unknown to Unforgettable: How to build a personal brand that goes beyond the bio

Inspired by Sophie’s podcast ‘Beyond the Bio’, this book will ensure you have clear strategies that you can implement right now to supercharge your personal brand, with lots of ‘take action’ activities along the way.

The eBook is available for preorder now on Amazon.

Paperback and Audible will be available from 17 August 2024.

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Laura Kingston
Founder and Editor

Laura is the Founder and Editor of High Life North. She had the idea to set up an exclusively digital women’s magazine after feeling there was a gap in the market in the North East. With over 10 years of experience in marketing and PR, Laura had a very clear…

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