If this isn’t a rude question, what’s special about your business book?
I’m not trying to trick you, honestly. I mean, what’s the point of it?
‘Well, it’s about the four main elements of leadership’, you say. Good! That’s a start, but do you know if your readers are interested in the topic? What’s in it for them?
‘Ah, I see where you’re coming from. OK then, it’s about the four main elements of leadership and how they help you become a better leader’.
We’re getting closer, but what’s the draw for your readers? Why would they want to buy it? They’ll become better leaders, but there are lots of books about that subject already. Why yours?[Getting a bit miffed now] ‘Well, because I’ve developed these four elements through years of working with the kind of people I want to read my book, and I’ve seen the results they’ve achieved. I’ve got a big message to get out to them, which is that without those four building blocks in place they’ll not get the results they want’.
Better still. So let’s see. Your book’s main point is to help your readers become better leaders by addressing these elements. But what’s in it for you?
‘I hadn’t thought about that too much. But I guess I want to show people what I know so they might want to work with me in future’.
Great! So we might have something like this going on:
What you want to achieve with your book needs to overlap with who your ideal readers are, so your big message (in other words the point of your book) hits them between the eyes and delivers a return on investment to you.
It looks easy because it is
Sounds simple enough. But what is your big message?
Here’s a handy way of working it out. Just fill in the blanks:
I want to help [your target readers] to [your expertise] so I can [your why].
Here’s one I made earlier:
I want to help people who find leadership difficult, to learn the four main elements of it so I can help more people become great leaders and sell more of my leadership development programmes.
Can you summarise your book’s main point in one sentence like this? If you can’t, your readers will have a hard time working out what it is you’re really saying underneath all your tips, advice, and opinions. If you can, they’ll come away with a crystal clear understanding of what makes your expertise so unique to you.
So your next step is to create your own big message statement. It’s a simple but essential step to take before you write a word of your business book. In fact, it’s the fourth step; you can read the first three here, here, and here.
Your book should answer the question your readers are asking
When we buy a non-fiction book, it’s because we want to learn something. It might be a ‘how to’ topic, or it might be just because we’re interested in what the author has to say.
Either way, we have a big question, and your job as an author is to answer it.
‘I want to know how to be more confident’.
‘I want to understand how the internet is changing everything’.
‘I want to learn how to recruit the right people into my business’.
Does your book provide the answers your readers are looking for? Or is it just about what you want to say? The two aren’t always the same. Think carefully about this, because it’s a common mistake to make.
Is your book a business booster?
When Bob came to me in despair because he’d spent two years writing a book and just couldn’t seem to finish it, I asked him what he planned to do with it once it was done. His answer told me everything I needed to know.
You see, Bob was a furniture store owner and he’d written a book about business strategy. He had a great business as a result of his fantastic business planning, and now he wanted to pass the knowledge on.
This sounded cool, but the problem was there was no financial incentive for Bob to get his book out there. He had no interest in becoming a business strategy consultant and selling his services off the back of the book, and so he knew deep down he wouldn’t get a return on his investment.
Result: a mysterious lack of drive to complete it.
So knowing your book’s big message isn’t quite enough – it has to work for your business too.
Now you know what to do to get your book working for you, your business, and your readers. Each are equally as important as the other.
With my template to get you going, it’s never been easier.
So don’t wait – give it a go. Make sure you understand your book’s purpose, so your readers get it too.
And if you’re not sure how you’re going to do that, you could consider my book coaching services to help. I’ve never been known to miss a point yet.