You would think finding the right topic for your book would be obvious, right? In most cases, you’re going to be writing about what you do for a living, more specifically, how what you do for a living can help your potential clients, whether it is live better lives, make more money, or master a certain skill. When people come to me to ask about writing their business book, I start by asking them two questions. This post explores the first: What do you want your book to do for you?
Begin with the End in Mind
The first step is to consider what you want to accomplish with your book. Do you want to generate leads? Teach people a process? Create credibility and establish yourself as an authority in your field?
These are three different books with three different angles. You may be able to accomplish two of the three from one angle, but trying to cram all those variations into one book will result in a mediocre book (at best) with no clear message.
Your business may have several different “entry points” – that is areas where people seek you out. For example, if you are a life coach, people may come to you for help with their career, or losing weight, or organizing their time to create life balance. All of these things may be causing stress, which is another entry point.
If you wanted to do lead generation, you might do a book (or series of books) focusing on each entry point, giving a certain number of tips to help people in these areas. You can even narrow it down to your preferred target market. For example, The Busy Mom’s Guide to Balancing Life and a Home Based Business. Your book could include a certain number of tips, along with charts or checklists (the downloadable versions can be found by visiting your site, of course!). You would have several links in your book driving them to your site to get more information or to sign up for your newsletter, allowing you to collect people’s names and email addresses.
If you’re teaching people a process, you might teach a process that is fine on its own, but is even better as part of a bigger picture. Think about books on selling. You’ll find separate books on prospecting, cold calling, negotiating, persuasion, closing, follow up, referral marketing… every piece of the sales process. You’ll find books on the entire process that are more of an overview than a step-by-step. You’ll find books on different sales strategies or even philosophies. The type of book you write and the topic you choose depends on what you want your book to do for your reader and for you.
The End Goal Determines Your Type of Book
What you want your book to do for you (and, by extension, your business) will determine the type of book you write and the angle or slant that you use (often called the hook). Take some time to think about your end goal. You may realize that you need more than one book. That’s not a bad thing. Think about it: if one book creates authority and credibility, two or more books give you even MORE authority and credibility.
Once you know what your goal is, it makes it easier to decide what type of book to write: top 10 tips or mistakes, a how-to process book, a book filled with affiliate links to generate income, etc.
Having a clear goal for your book will help keep you on topic, making your chances for success much more likely.
Part 2 is now available. CLICK HERE.
Need help choosing your topic?
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