What do you think your book should do for you? If you’re an author, or hope to be one soon, you should have some idea of what your book will do for you. How will it help you in your pursuits? What results do you want from your book? Getting to the answers takes some serious thought, but trust me, it’s worth the time.
As I coach professionals and entrepreneurs to produce high-quality books, I share that your nonfiction business-building book should be designed to position you as an expert (or enhance your current expert status), increase your visibility, draw people to work with you more closely, boost your brand, and/or help you make more money (in a variety of ways). But there’s one thing your book is not intended to do.
Your book is not intended to prove anything to anyone.
What? Let me explain.
By the time you’re ready to write and publish your book, you should be well positioned in your career (whether corporate, speaking, or otherwise) or in your business (whether coaching, consulting, manufacturing, services, or something else). As an established professional or entrepreneur, you have no need to prove yourself and your knowledge; you’ve already done that through your previous years of building your platform.
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You’ve already received the degree, gained the knowledge, done the work, taken the hard knocks, been through the fire, tried, failed, tried again, and succeeded. Oh sure, you’re still learning and growing and developing new ways to serve people, but in your book, you want to share what you already know to benefit readers who need the knowledge you have or who want to experience the kind of success you enjoy. Your life and your success are your proof points. Your book is part of the service you provide to others.
Author and personal finance guru, Patrice C. Washington, known as The Money Maven, said it well in a blog post for her #iWillEarnMore Movement: “People still ask me all the time why I don’t have an MBA . . . In my head, I say ‘I’ve got Money in the Bank, A**hole! What’s it to you?’ But in reality, I usually remind them to check the facts and the stats. People go to school to earn more money. If I know how to do that, WHY would I hustle backwards? Duh!”
Why should YOU hustle backwards? You shouldn’t. You don’t need to prove yourself through your book. You need to serve others with it. Patrice isn’t proving to people that she’s a smart and savvy moneymaker; she’s already done that by practicing what she preaches. Instead, she’s serving others with her knowledge so they can have the same success she enjoys.
Instead of using your book to prove yourself and your knowledge to others, here are a few productive ways to use your book:
- Establish your expertise
- Share your knowledge, process, or system
- Provide insight, tips, solutions, or resources
- Encourage, support, or inspire readers
- Spotlight others
- Teach a concept
- Tell your story
I could go on, but you get the idea.
What have you decided your book is intended to do for YOU?
Anita Henderson helps entrepreneurs and executives enhance their platforms, and build their brands by becoming published authors. Through her Write Your Life program, new authors overcome the struggles of writing, publishing, and marketing books, and learn to leverage their books to achieve success.
Anita is the author of three books, including Write Your Life: Create Your Ideal Life And The Book You’ve Been Wanting to Write; and co-author of five books including Write Books That Sell Now and Building a Business, Building a Life: Incredible Stories of Women Entrepreneurs. She owns The Write Image, a boutique book publishing services company that created the proprietary Write Your Life book production process. Her freelance articles have appeared in over 25 publications in the U.S. and Canada. Anita is also co-creator of the Write Books That Sell Now online course for aspiring authors, and co-host of the Write Books That Sell Now weekly podcast.