If you’re an entrepreneur or a business owner, it’s competitive out there. There are hundreds of coaches, consultants, fitness experts, and service providers.
How do you let people know you’re an expert and get a competitive edge? You’ve put in the hours of studying, gained years of experience. What next?
One proven way to do it is to publish a book, helping establish yourself as a professional authority in your field. For example, imagine you are a consultant pitching to a potential new client, you will be seen as the one who wrote the book on the subject. This will help you move from a project-based consultant to a trusted advisor.
Publishing a book as an expert will help you win more work and charge more—boosting profits and letting you be more selective of the projects you do. Some expert fields where self-publishing your book is proven to be a powerful marketing tool include marketing consulting, financial advisory, physical trainer, health coach, investment advisor, life coach, and business advisor.
In the past, when the only option was traditional publishing, you had to jump through many hoops. Luckily, today self-publishing is simple – and you stand to collect more of the royalties and have more control over the marketing of the end product—your self-published book.
Just look at Hal Elrod – author of the self-published sensation ‘The Miracle Morning.’ His brand exploded after the success of his first book, and he’s since published many more. Self-publishing can be an excellent springboard to success.
The fact that there’s no gatekeeper doesn’t mean you should just throw up any old book, however. If you want to set yourself apart as an authority in your field, then your book needs to be every bit as polished as a traditionally published book.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a book you can self-publish proudly.
Decide on Your Angle
Unless you’re an expert in a very niche field, there’s probably more than a few books written about your area of expertise. Make sure your book has a unique selling position and angle to set it apart. What makes you and the information you have to share different?
Almost everything has been written before. Unless you’re a scientist who has made an amazing new discovery, then chances are you have nothing to write that is going to be entirely new – but that’s ok!
The key to writing a successful non-fiction book is finding your unique angle. It’s about how you position the information in a brand new way for your audience.
Know Your Target Audience
Speaking of audience – you need to know who you are writing to reach. Even though you’re writing a book that could be read by thousands of different people, you should be writing as though it is for one person. That person is your ideal client. They’re the person that needs this information most and will be most likely to need and purchase your services in the future. For example, if you are business coach targeting startup entrepreneurs, that is who your book should be written for. Even better, pick your ideal past client and write the book as if it is specifically for them.
Identify who your ideal client is. Know what they enjoy doing, where they hang out, what their favorite TV shows are. Then write your book as though it were just for them. If you make references to popular culture in your book, make sure they are ones your ideal client will identify with and understand.
While it’s crucial that you get your unique personality across in your book, remember that you are not writing it for you. Unless you happen to be your ideal client – which is very rare – keep that ideal client avatar in mind at all times while writing.
Write Your Outline
You know your ideal target audience. You know what your unique angle is. The next step is to create a detailed outline. Lay out your introductory chapter, and break down the book into logical chapters, ending with a concluding chapter and a bibliography.
This step is where the majority of the research happens. Identify any key facts or statistics you would like to include, and make sure you fact-check them. Collate the bibliography and references as you research, to make it easier to add when the book is written.
Consider how long you want your book to be and make sure your outline reflects this. The standard length for non-fiction is around 35,000 words, so that’s a good number to aim towards.
Try not to go below 15,000 words, or above 60,000. You want the sweet spot that’s long enough to establish your knowledge on the subject but not so in-depth that your readers become bored.
That said, don’t get too hung up on the word count. What’s more important than the length of the book is that it contains valuable information in an easy to read format.
Write the Book
This is where the real hard work begins. If you have excellent writing skills, and enough time then you can write the book yourself.
Some great ways to speed up your writing are to dictate the first draft and use speech-to-text software or to employ the Pomodoro method where you set a timer and write as fast as you can, without distraction for a short burst of time.
You can hire a ghostwriter if you don’t have the time or skill to do it yourself. It’s very common for experts to hire ghostwriters to complete their books. Just make sure you see lots of sample work before you hire one.
A good ghostwriter will take the time to understand you, your target audience and that one ideal reader that you want to write it for, so that they can get the tone of the book just right.
Decide on a Title
Most books have a working title while they are being written. However, that’s not always the title they are published with. Your title must be clear, easy to fit on a book cover and easy to remember. It should also ideally contain one or two keywords that you want to appear under in searches.
Try and make the title straightforward. Without a large marketing and PR budget, or a large following, being specific is better than cute or clever. The reader must know immediately what your book is about, or they’re likely to scroll past it.
Create a Cover
You have two options here. You can hire a designer to do this, or you can create it yourself. If you have the budget, an experienced book cover designer will be able to create you the best cover possible. A good designer isn’t usually cheap and hiring a cheap designer can be a false economy, so make sure you see lots of samples before you choose one.
If you don’t have the budget, or you really want to do it yourself then do your research first. Look at bestsellers that are on the same or similar topics. What are their covers like? Do they have images or just plain text? What kind of colors, images, and fonts are they using? Where is the text placed on the cover?
Identify key themes that overlap and incorporate them into your own cover. Throw away any pre-conceived ideas of what you think makes a good cover. If you want to sell your book, the cover should signal to the casual browser what it is about immediately.
To actually create the cover, Canva is straightforward and easy to use. There are also some templates you can use, for those with minimal design skills.
Write A Strong Blurb
Writing a good blurb is essential. Along with the cover and title, it’s a key element that your readers will use to decide if they want to buy, so make sure it packs a punch.
Keep the verbs active, and make the first sentence a hook that draws them in. Try and identify your ideal audiences pain points and succinctly show how your book addresses them.
So, if your book is about time management for busy professionals, your blurb might begin something like this:
Not enough hours in the day to get everything done? WRONG! In Time Management for Busy Business Owners you’ll learn:
The top 3 mistakes almost everyone makes when it comes to time management – and how to avoid them.
How to power through important tasks with ease – and cross off all your outstanding tasks every day.
The number one mistake most people make when delegating – and what to do instead.
Have Your Manuscript Edited and Formatted
Whether you wrote it yourself or hired a ghostwriter, you’ll need to have the final manuscript edited. Again, have this done by a professional if possible. Nothing will ruin your credibility more than a book littered with typos and errors.
If you’re doing the editing yourself, then make sure you take your time and have some good editing reference guides on hand. Software like Grammarly can help, but the software won’t catch every error.
When it’s edited, you’ll need to format the book ready to upload to publishing platforms. As with most of the other tasks, you can hire a professional ebook formatter, and I’d highly recommend it if you don’t have previous experience.
If it’s not possible to hire a formatter, make sure you understand the difference between paperback and ebook formatting, and take the time to get the little details right. It makes a big difference to the end reader experience – and some publishing platforms won’t publish a book that isn’t correctly formatted.
Self-Publish Your Book
Now you have a completed and edited manuscript, a killer blurb and an attractive cover. It’s time to publish!
The most popular platform is Amazon’s KDP. You can choose to be exclusive to Amazon and enroll in their Kindle Unlimited program, or you can have your book for sale on Amazon but stay out of Kindle Unlimited and publish to as many platforms as you like. You can be successful either way; it’s just a matter of personal choice.
Each platform is slightly different, but they are mostly very easy to use, so you’ll be pleased to know this is often the easiest part of the whole process!
Market Your Book
This step is crucial. Lots of people put their book up for sale and then get disheartened when they sell only a handful of copies. There are hundreds of thousands of books for sale, so if you don’t market your book, then readers are unlikely to find it.
If you have a mailing list, send out an email letting them know you have a book and links to buy it. If you don’t have a mailing list, look into creating one as they are a valuable tool for marketing your book.
Social media is another great place to spread the word – especially if you have an existing following. If you have a Facebook page, you can even change the call-to-actionbutton to ’Shop Now’ and link to your book’s sales page to make it easier for people to buy.
Paid ads on social media or Google AdWords are another popular tool, and if you target them properly they can be very effective.
Get the word out about your book any and every way you can: at industry events, networking events, get a spot on a podcast or two. With a little imagination, the possibilities are endless.
The global ebook market is expanding, and that gives you a chance to become an authority on a global level. Imagine being about to state that your book has been published in seven languages, it would boost your credibility even further.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult to get your book in front of thousands of people who don’t have English as their native language. Babelcube connects you with translators in over 15 different languages.
There are no upfront fees as they work on a royalty share scheme. You share the royalties with Babelcube and the translator, and after 5 years the rights to the translated manuscript revert back to you. Babelcube also takes care of distributing your book in other countries, removing any hassle for you.
If you commit to writing as little as 500 words a day, you could have your book ready to publish in just 3-4 months. If you can commit more time or have a budget for a ghostwriter, it could be completed even sooner.
That time is going to pass anyway – wouldn’t it be amazing if you could call yourself a self-published author and subject authority at the end of it?
Why not get started today and take your first steps towards becoming a globally recognized authority in your field?
Babelcube offers authors and publishers the opportunity to sell their books in additional languages with a simple process and no upfront cost or financial risk.
Most books are only in one language due to the upfront cost of translation, struggles to find a translator, and the complexities of working with retailers in different countries. Babelcube removes these barriers. Translators are paid via a share of royalties—creating a true partnership.
Babelcube is the easiest way to translate and sell a book in multiple languages. Book publishers and self-published authors team up with translators. The translated books are sold through 100s of retailers.
Check it out at Babelcube.