“How do I write a book my clients will read?” is a question I get when speaking to business people. Some have never written a book and others have written many books. The answer to the question is the same nonetheless. For those who want to write a book and haven’t yet, please let this post be a cautionary tale to learn from.
The burden of reaching clients and keeping them on the hook to read a book falls directly onto the shoulders of the writer. To start with, goals must be wrapped up with clarity about who the reader really is based on factors such as age, gender, education, geographic location, and socio-economics, to name a few.
When I’m approached by someone who has written a book who says, “My book didn’t get me the result I wanted.”
I ask, “Can you help me understand exactly what results you wanted?”
Sometimes the answer comes in the form of stunned silence. If the writer can’t explain the expected goals to achieve when they wrote the book, how can they say those goals weren’t met?
Sadly, it is no wonder the book didn’t achieve gains in business, open doors to speaking events, or raise funds for the non-profit. If these goals were not set up front, with confident clarity, the book was not written with focus to attract the attention for achieving any goals.
Often writers say, “I want to write a book to ____,” but the step-by-step plan from start to finish doesn’t include how to do exactly that.
Here is one example to accentuate the point:
The client is very well known and sought out in industry ABC as an expert in ___. This client wants to take that same skill set and expand into teaching the process to industry XYZ. A book is the perfect way to increase visibility, and build credibility in order to access the new target market. When the client uses case studies to explain the process he/she developed, the case studies must be applicable and written so there is no guess work on the part of XYZ industry as to such application and benefit to using this newly introduced process. If the author uses case studies from ABC industry, only ABC industry is going to pay attention.
The bottom line: It’s the writer’s burden to create a book the right readers will read and put down only to contact you for your expertise. The only way to do that is to be clear from step one who the writer is talking to, who the writer is trying to reach, and how best to speak to them—all impacting content decisions.