My friend Dennis S. is writing a business book and asked for some essential tips.
(He’ll use a print-on-demand service rather than travel the traditional publisher route in which an agent seeks a spectacular proposal and sample chapter, not a full manuscript.)
We’ll assume for the moment that, like Dennis, you already have a meaty, interesting topic to write about and you just seek help on the sizzle. (Notice how many of these tips are also applicable when writing articles and blog posts…)
1) Craft very catchy chapter titles (and, of course, a great overall title) to catch people’s interest! One business consultant I know selected her great HarperCollins book title after trying several ideas out on a circle of contacts via SurveyMonkey.
2) Quote the biggest or juiciest names you can to give your material more buzz. If you can’t interview someone directly, see what they’ve said in prior interviews and use that…with attribution, of course.
3) Put a lot of heart into your work. A lot. Share some of your most passionate beliefs and hard-won observations. Your book will resonate all the more.
4) Tell us about the biggest mistakes you’ve made and some of the tough stuff you’ve faced. (You don’t have to go all Oprah on us and tell us everything, but do share some heartfelt lessons so we can learn from you and perhaps not make the same mistake!)
5) Look back to see what others have written on your subject as their work might spark a fresh insight (and be sure to quote them or cite them if you borrow from them.)
6) Don’t skimp on design – consider doing it like the big boys and girls and hiring a graphic designer.
7) Typos suck. Hire a copy editor (or at least a smart friend) to take a look at your manuscript.
8) Go for the best blurbs and endorsements you can get. (Good luck as the top people are inundated.) Use your network to find compelling people.
9) Envision – before you finish your manuscript – how you’ll promote your book. Be prepared to create a marketing plan – then do it!
10) Get ready to spend as much time marketing your book as you did writing it! (Hat tip to MarketingProfs)
Got more great tips to add? Please share in the comments.