Recently a colleague of mine shared a story with me of how he sent a chapter of his book that he is working on to a potential client. The client responded that he was very pleased with the excerpt, that it was so much better than receiving a whitepaper or a brochure and that, because of the excerpt, it was much clearer to him the benefit my colleague could provide his company.
What happened differently? The story was intriguing; it was engaging; most of all, it built lots of credibility for my colleague’s abilities to serve his potential clients. I’ve been sharing with audiences for almost two decades now the benefits of writing a book. The good news I am finding now is that it doesn’t require you to even finish you book to start reaping the benefits of writing a book.
So whether you are ready to write a book, an e-book, or even a booklet of less than 35 pages, start today. Here are three tips for starting now:
- Create an outline. I’ve said it before, consider a book like a pie. The crust is essential to creating the pie. Consider the crust your outline for your book just as it is essential for a pie. Spend time on that outline. Create both a mindmap of it as well as a linear outline. Why? Because it will help you fine tune the direction of the book as well as the important ingredients–stories, examples, statistics, etc. that will go into it.
- Create great stories. One way to create great stories is to, first, create ten or so questions you can use to interview other experts or clients/customers who have used your product/service. I have a great list of standard questions I use for interviews. One of the best questions on that list is the question, “What’s the best question you have ever been asked?” This question, alone, has helped me grow a list of the best questions for future interviews. This tip also relates to my pie metaphor as the “filling” of the pie is the great set of stories, examples, statistics, etc.
- Use a good editor, book coach and designer. Your book is a tool for you that can last decades. I still have books I use that I wrote over fifteen years ago. Don’t short change your efforts by turning out a product that is less than stellar. Invest in your book and it will pay you back year after year.