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133 - 5 Smart Steps for Getting Your Business Book Manuscript Done


Today’s Topic: 5 Smart Steps for Getting Your Business Book Manuscript Done—Building Out a Turn-Key Platform

I believe one of the greatest tools for you to professionally highlight yourself is to write a book on a topic you have mastery in. If you’ve been hanging around the speaking or coaching environment for awhile you will learn quickly that many people in this world have a book. Actually, many of them have more than one book. I find however, that many outside of this industry haven’t learned to capitalize on this to get ahead in their field. Even if you aren’t self employed, writing a book can help get you noticed. But, it tends to be the self-employed entrepreneur that uses a book to either pivot into something new, to provide teaching material for their team, or to simply draw additional awareness to themself as a go-getter.

Although, my system can work with a writer of any genre, it is the entrepreneurial spirit that I find myself speaking to the most. It’s where I tend to find I not only have the most experience, but where there is the best fit for a profitable book. And let me identify what I mean by profitable. Profitable doesn’t mean big book sales, because there really isn’t much room for profit the other side of $24.95 book sale. The profit from your book will always come outside of the book. This will happen in such a large variety of ways as you are out networking in your personal and professional life. Of course, many in the speaking, coaching, and consulting world have learned the secret of writing a book to build credibility. It’s almost expected in this world that you have at least one book you’ve authored.

It can actually be a bit overwhelming if you’ve spent any time in this industry. In fact, I once went to a workshop with a leader in this industry and I couldn’t find anyone in the room that hadn’t written a book. There were also so many “Chatty Kathy’s” that I actually had a hard time with all the noise. I got a bit overwhelmed and had to retire to my hotel room early. It was just a bit too much for me. I don’t thive in those kinds of environments at all. I like to keep a lower profile and work smart… and… well… quietly!

It can be a bit intimidating when you walk into a loud room full of people and you’re trying to have a voice. But, a book can immediately position you as an expert of something in the loudest room full of people. Without saying a word you can hand over a business card and someone will just tuck it in a pocket and continue interacting with others, but the gift of a book may get the attention of all the right people. I know its not like your going to carry a backpack to a big event and start handing out books to earn credibility, but I can’t even tell you how many times I told someone I was an author and I was immediately put on some kind of pedestal. If nothing else, it tells people that you are not messing around and you know your business!

Okay already, so what are the 5 Smart Steps to Getting Your Business Book Manuscript Done? OK, let me just say that if these are not simple for you then you might need to spend a bit more time re-working your business model and gain some more clarity on what exactly you are offering in the workplace, or in your material. And, by simple, I don’t mean that these are easy to do, but once you work them out you will gain clarity on the entire scope of all activities surrounding your book. Think them through once and the simple comes in the fact that you’ve done the hard work and they become simple reference tools well into the future!

The 5 Smart Steps to Getting Your Business Book Manuscript Done are:

  1. Know Your Audience
  2. Define Your Title, Subtitle, Tagline
  3. Define Chapters by Identifying Speakable Topics
  4. Front and Back Materials Fill Space!
  5. Be Clear About What You Offer Outside the Book


  1. Know Your Audience: you have to know who you are talking to well before you write. Generally the best rule of thumb is to speak like you are speaking to yourself before you knew what you know… before you were the expert that you are now. Knowing your audience is paramount because so many authors just think they will write a book and whomever reads it is their audience. It really can’t be that random. It needs to be well-known. Me for example, I can work with novel writers, but it’s really not my bag. I prefer to work with business-focused authors to help them write a book that enhances what they do outside of the book.

    Knowing your audience also means that you know where your audience is or how to find them and you speak to them in that environment. For example, you don’t want to speak about entrepreneurial things in a corporate environment. When you know how to find your audience you can better tailor how you speak to them. After all, you are using a book to position yourself as an expert so know where to find your audience.

  2. Define Your Title, Subtitle, and Tagline: this may end up changing as you write but you have to start somewhere. Your title is usually based on your subject, your subtitle helps your subject be found on searches as well as clarifies more of the how… how you are going to help your reader learn more about the topic (or title). The title can be vague with a strong subtitle. The best way to think about your title is not just a summary of your overall content, but it also tells people who you are and what you have to say. So essentially, it becomes your brand. People may not remember your name but they may remember a strong title. Of course, the image on your cover will also help with brand awareness. I have a client with a book cover with bright orange and she is on the cover holding a rubber chicken. People may not remember her name but they surely will be talking about “the chicken lady”!

    Knowing how you define the cover elements of your book will help keep you focused as your write the content. Ideally, once you have the title you should be able to drill down to subtopics - otherwise known as chapters. These chapters should be stand alone topics that allow you the ability to expand into coaching, teaching, or training beyond the book. If you can’t speak on each chapter individually it’s probably not strong enough.

  3. Define Chapters by Identifying Speakable Topics. This will save you a lot of hassle later when people ask you if you can do a talk. You can point them to the chapters in your book and say: “here are all the topics I speak on!” Lots of authors start writing and will get a pretty good manuscript started but they come up short with content. For example, you might have 13 chapters, but only 20,000 words. Either you’ve got to expand the chapters or add a few more. You want to end up with a good healthy book that leaves the impression you are an expert, so this means having a goal of around 50,000 words. All you have to do is break down the number of words needed for each topic (or chapter) and write til you’ve reached that goal. If you run short on content, fill space with testimonials, stories, personal accomplishments as they relate, or exercises to engage the reader. If you think you can do a podcast or interview on the chapter then you’ve fulfilled your mission with good solid content. And, again, don’t loose sight of your audience. Make sure you are always speaking to them by using “you and yours” rather than “me and mine”.

  4. Front and Back Materials Fill Space: You will always begin your book by establishing a solid foundation of who you are and how you are the right person to guide the reader. You want to always start a business book by showcasing your experience and credentials in a way that gains trust. You can use personal experiences or client testimonials throughout the book to increase word count. In fact, many books use client testimonials almost exclusively if they are strong enough. And, you always want to include many back pages. The back pages can add quite a bit of heft to a light content book. You’ll always want to have a few pages about the author, then whatever the author either offers outside of the book, or gets involved in or is passionate about. Typically you would highlight yourself here with all the credentials you have and what you offer as selling points to move the connection you’ve made with a reader beyond the book. Do you have workshops you do? How about groups you are involved in? Charities you volunteer with? And, most importantly, how can readers find you once they have read the book and want more of you?

  5. Be Clear About What You Offer Outside the Book: In all reality, the book is just a teaser that allows someone that wouldn’t organically find you the opportunity to tap into everything you have to offer. If you have nothing you offer outside the book, then use the book as an opportunity to expand your offerings. Here’s the thing… if you have nothing to offer outside the book, you’ve failed BIG TIME as a business book author! You’ve probably heard the term “authorprenuer” and that means you totally get that the book is a lead generating tool into your ecosystem. The greatest failure you can have as a business book author is only writing a book!

As I was writing my Let’s Get Your Book Published book I would write something then realize I had to remove it from the book because it was a better fit as a component of my online book publishing training program. You always want to write in a way where you are giving the very best of what you have but just not all the answers on the how. Your book should only give some of the how, but all of the why. This means that you have to save some things for the special readers that want to convert into clients.

Have you ever wondered why loyalty programs were created? And doesn’t it just piss you off when new customers get a huge discount to become one but you don’t when you already are one? That’s always irritates me! I’m always thinking - hey wait a minute! I’m still here after all these years and you aren’t offering me more? Sometimes that almost makes you think they no longer appreciate you. Anyhow, you want to save the best of the best for your paying clients that want to build a relationship with you outside the book. You might not have a wealth of repeat business with existing clients directly, but always remember they are happy to refer people your way when you have done a good job for them. A book referral is only a $24.95 cost and about a $5 income after all other expenses are paid to create it. Sure it’s exciting to get a book referral but never loose site of the fact your book is not your primary income here. It’s always all the indirect off shoots where a book benefits you most.

So many new authors come to writing a book and tell me they are quitting their job and becoming a coach and they are using their book as a doorway into this world. But, here is the greatest problem—they don’t yet have a coaching system! Just because you quit your job and wrote a book it doesn’t make your worthy of being hired as someone’s coach! You have to start somewhere I know, but don’t go quitting your job thinking a book is going to answer all your prayers. So much of the time a book won’t even get opened. And that’s the sad reality after all the blood, sweat, and tears of creating it.

So let’s rehash here… The 5 Smart Steps to Getting Your Business Book Manuscript Done are:

  1. Know Your Audience
  2. Define Your Title, Subtitle, Tagline
  3. Define Chapters by Identifying Speakable Topics
  4. Front and Back Materials Fill Space!
  5. Be Clear About What You Offer Outside the Book

I can promise you that all things going forward will be so simple once you nail down these things first. I now have put in countless hours drawing up all the items that are my tools of engagement. When you write a book and someone wants to hire you as a coach - do you have a way to take a payment? Do you have a solid agreement? Do you have a solid list of what you are selling or offering an author wanting to convert into a coaching client? There are so many backend things that have to be thought through to run a real business the other side of a book. You’re going to have to nail down all the functional business elements of a coaching, teaching, or training program as your writing a book if you think you’re going to convert people from reader to client. It’s only simple after you’ve done the hard work. The benefit of writing a book is that it may be the first time you sat down to really logically think these things through.

I want you to understand there’s far more to writing a book and running a coaching program than meets the eye. You don’t just write a book and start making thousands. There’s a lot of prep that has to happen for an conversion to occur from author to client. In fact, I think we might just stay on this topic for the next podcast and I’ll pick up there with some of the more foundational pieces to building out the business behind the book. A lot to talk about!

OK guys… we’ll stop it there for now, but I hope you are enjoying the holiday season and I wish you happy holidays and, just in case I don’t get my next podcast up in time - a happy new year! If a book is your goal in 2023 I just announced a huge discount on the online book publishing training program. For just $249 you can gift a budding new author with a great primer tool to get them well on their way to becoming an author.

On that note… wishing you, as always… peace, love, and light!

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