Writing a book for your business – how does that differ from other writing?
I shall be running a workshop, Your Book Your Business, in Cambridge on Saturday 7th November 2015 along with business coach Siobhan Costello and business editor Francesca White where we will help you to work out a comprehensive blueprint for taking your book forward. The day will be full of useful tips and exercises, but here are some initial thoughts for business owners who want to write.
Anyone can write and self-publish a book now and many small business owners are considering adding a book to their portfolio of products or services, but how should you go about it?
It may seem counterintuitive but you should start at the end, with your reader. Who do you want to reach and why? Unlike a novel which is written to entertain, a non-fiction book has to have a purpose – what will your reader get out of reading your book?
Once you have your ideal reader in mind, think about what sort of book you’re going to write – instructional, a workbook, a memoir, a guide or something else. Have a look at other books that are along the same lines to get a sense of what your reader is going to expect.
Planning and plotting fiction is a matter of style – some are meticulous planners with maps, and post-it notes and index cards and big display units, others let the muse sway them and don’t impose order until inspiration is finished with them. When you’re writing non-fiction, it’s very hard to finish up with a coherent book unless you’ve started with a plan.
The plan for writing a book based on your business starts with your idea, your reader and your plan. The actual writing only comes after you’ve done the preliminary work. When writing, remember, keep it clear and concise. Never use five words where one word will do. Avoid technical jargon – unless your reader would appreciate it. Once you have your finished book, it’s time to think about editing, getting a cover and starting the self-publishing process.
There’s a lot to think about when writing a book for your business but it can have great rewards. I hope to see you at the workshop, it should be a great day.
October 21, 2015