The Write Business Results Process For Creating Your Business Book!

Writing a book is a HUGE deal, and it's a huge project as've got to decide what topic you're going to write about, you worry if anyone will read it, you don't have a process to follow so you find yourself doing things like editing as you write (definitely avoid!), writing huge chunks of book only to get stuck and change it all (easy to avoid but you've got to know how), writing in feast-or-famine style bursts: one day you do 2,000 words in one sitting, the words pouring out of you as you go, and you feel so accomplished. 

You're sure that you're over the initial writer's block, and you've done so much you decide to focus on other tasks for the rest of the week thinking it'll be easy to pick back up. Until you go back to it a week later and you're squeezing out sentences like blood from a stone.Once you finally pull a manuscript together, you then realise only half the battle's won because you've now got to figure out illustrations, the cover designs, back cover blurb, which publishing route to go down, marketing...

Firstly, know that this confusion and frustration is EXTREMELY common. It's why most busy people hire someone to do all these tasks for them. But if you like the idea of writing and designing your own book, and you at least want to give it a shot, here is an overview of the process I follow when working with Write Business Results clients:

1. Create a brief for your book
This is the most important stage and you must do it before you even think about putting pen to paper! Why? Your book's brief keeps you on track, and forces you to be intentional and thoughtful about every single thing you include in your book.

Things a good brief include are:
- The importance of your book for you and the reader
- A reader profile
- The tone of voice and finish you want your book to have
- The desired results for you and the reader

2. Brainstorm and research
Again, before writing, you then need to decide on the topic you're going to write about, followed by the right structure for your book. Let your brief and your reader inform the type of book you want to create. 

For your topic, make a list of all the main questions your top prospects and clients ask you, all industry-relevant topics and news, and everything interesting relating to the product or service your book will promote. Narrow the list down to three, then choose your favourite. 

Create a mind map with that favourite in the middle, and brainstorm by branching off all related thoughts and topics.

For your structure, there are different ones you can choose from depending on what your book is supposed to achieve. For example if you want to communicate a business process or methodology, you might prefer a sequential structure, such as The 6 Simple Steps To..., 10 Key Changes For..., 7 Habits Of...

If your book is an advocacy text, for example, if the purpose of your book is to generate debate and/or you're putting a case forward in the book, you might want to use a more persuasive format, for example, Part 1 (three chapters that lay out the topic and explain all sides to the debate), Part 2 (three chapters that state what you think should be done, why, and barriers to change), Part 3 (three chapters on what will happen if your suggested action is NOT taken).

There are many more you could use; the point is to be intentional about how you structure your book.

3. Write methodically
Regardless of how you design your book, all books have a broad beginning, middle and end. The beginning is your Introduction, the middle is your chapters, and the end is the summary and call to action at the end of the final chapter. 

You should structure each chapter in the same way. Not sure how to get started? Try using a personal story or anecdote for the 'beginning' of each chapter. Not sure how to close each one? Try a 'key questions' or 'top tips' section at the end of each chapter.

Some people prefer to write their book's Introduction last, once they've got the rest of the information. If you've done a good brief, you should be able to write it at any point you like.

The things to avoid are writing in a random order - you'll repeat points and confuse yourself - and editing as you go. Do not do this! It's confusing. 

Finish your first draft by dropping your pre-researched information into the relevant chapters and writing it up to sound how it's supposed to, then read through and edit once your first draft's complete. Keep going like this until your manuscript is 80% complete. If you aim for 100%, it'll never get published.

4. Design
Once your manuscript is 80% complete, figure out what style illustration would best suit the brief, find a designer and outsource it. You might get inspiration from other design work you've seen, other books, or maybe you know you'd like cartoons, for example. 

You will need to mark on the doc exactly where you'd like the images to go and what you'd like them to consist of; the likelihood of a designer reading and analysing your entire book just to ascertain what they should draw is very low. They'll need a brief of their own. 

Ask to see a couple of design mock-ups so you don't end up paying them to do the whole book only to find you don't like their interpretation.

Same for the front and back cover. You'll need to have a title and subtitle by this point, that requires a separate post because they have some principles of their own!

5. Publish
Once you're happy with the content and design work, you've got a back cover blurb (again, that's another blog post), you can publish. I use Amazon CreateSpace and Kindle so that all my clients have an online presence as an author, their books are easy to find by others, they can buy cheaper author copies to distribute as they wish, the ISBN is free, they can control the price, distribution channels and marketing campaign, they can easily update their book to make a second edition in the future if they want to, they can receive visible reviews from readers, it's print on demand so no stock piles and they can still make a little money from sales (although that shouldn't be the goal - revenue created by your book comes from other areas). 

Traditional publishers are expensive, you still have write the book yourself and they control the marketing and other factors mentioned above. They also often require you to already have a large audience. Best-selling author listings are often bought. 

It's better to self-publish and monitor the ROI of your book against specific marketing activities with specific targets. That's how you get it to work hard for you and make significant amounts of money.

6. Marketing
There are a million and one ways you can market your book and your business using your book. Brainstorm the success criteria for you and for your readers, to give yourself some targets, then come up with strategies that will lead you there.

A good exercise to go through with yourself is to imagine yourself a year after your book is published, and picture exactly everything that's happened since you became a published author. What are those things?

Have you done X number of speaking gigs, to a minimum head count of Y?
Have you generated X hundred leads?
Have you made £50,000 additional revenue?
Have you closed X new right-fit clients/partners?
Have you launched that new product/service and it's achieved X, Y and Z?

The more you can quantify, the better. This will help you work backwards with the right strategies that use your book as a tool, that will get you to where you want to be.

This is a very brief overview; there are lots of moving parts to creating and marketing a high quality book you're proud of! 

To receive a free copy of my ebook "The 80 Most Popular Book Marketing Strategies, Tools and Resources", based on feedback from dozens of UK-based published business authors, and to find out more about how Write Business Results can help you with your book, just send me a blank email with "Hello Georgia!" in the subject line to

I'll reply to you directly within 48 hours.


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