As an expert, you know a lot about your subject. This is both good news and bad news for you. Having coached numerous experts and business owners, I notice acim mistakes that you can avoid.
The blessing is that you have real solutions for people. You are a problem solver. You’ve either learned how to avoid those mistakes in the school of hard knocks, or you’ve spent time, money and trouble figuring something out, or you’ve created a system that makes hard tasks simple.
The curse is that because you know so much about your particular area of expertise, you can bog yourself down in the details OR put out a book that fails to deliver all the advantages that being an author can give you.
Following are the mistakes 99% of expert fall into concerning how to write a book.
Big Mistake #1: Too Much Information.
I remember one expert who was pouring over 40 years of notes, trying to figure out what to write about. “Forget all that and just write the book,” I told him. Unfortunately, as far as I know, he never finished. He let his own knowledge get in the way of connecting with his ideal readers.
You’re not writing a comprehensive manual, a set of encyclopedias or the “ultimate tome” on the subject. You’re writing a lead generating solution-based book. And even if you have a specialty certification or PhD, you need to talk like a regular person to attract the reader.
You want to write your book in a conversational tone, like a friend over a coffee, so that the reader will begin to know, like and trust you. It’s not your degrees, certifications, or even your years of experience doing what you do that counts. The reader wants a connection with you as their trusted guide.
The job of your book is to give you respect, credibility, leads, and media magnetism. Yes, you want to write the best book you can, but putting too much information (TMI) isn’t the way to do it. Honestly, consider how you feel in the presence of a big thick nonfiction book.
Avoiding the Too Much Information Mistake:
There are several ways you can avoid this mistake, including these:
Remember that we live in an immediate gratification era. Nobody wants to read 300 or 400 pages to get an answer. Realize that less is more. Some of the best books I have ever read are less than 150 pages. Give an “aerial view” of what you are covering. Force a deadline on yourself so you will complete the book instead of continuing to put it off.
Big Mistake #2: Just a Book
having nothing else but the book is the second big mistake experts make. Think for a moment of the cost of a book and the amount of money you are going to make on sales. Not much is the answer. The book’s reason for being is not to make you rich.
Books don’t bring you much profit. Honestly, that’s not their job. You write a book for credibility, media attention, leads, rising above your competition, and your own self-satisfaction. You don’t write one with the idea that you make money FROM the book.
As an expert, you make money BECAUSE you are an author. As a published author, you can increase your speaker fees, get into local and national media, generate leads for your business, stand out in a crowded marketplace, increase customer loyalty, and so much more.
Avoiding the “Just a Book” Mistake
The way to avoid this mistake is to be sure you have something else – at least one product or service – in place besides your book. This could be your bricks-and-mortar business that you mention in the book, a kit, a class, or anything else that will generate business. Make sure to direct the reader from your book to your business. Don’t just say, “Visit my website.” That’s not a call to action; that’s merely a week suggestion.