opinion expressed by entrepreneur Contributors are yours.
Most business leaders and entrepreneurs have amazing ideas that they want to publish. After all, most entrepreneurs have accumulated a lot of knowledge in developing a business, and as an entrepreneur it’s only natural to see that telling their stories, and entering the world of book publishing, is an inspiring second act. offers possibilities. In general, the main challenge in turning an idea into a published work is knowing where to start.
writing a manuscript
In writing a manuscript, it is important to first identify your goal with the content. Figuring out what you want to do after your book is published, whether it’s a value-add to your life or your business, will help you assess the focus of the content.
A common mistake by most first time writers is not identifying their audience. For maximum success, ask yourself these questions: Which market are you trying to tap? Who are your target readers? Why are you targeting them? What action do you want them to take after reading your book? To which genre do they belong? The answers to these questions will affect the content and language of your book as well as your marketing strategy, but will also provide a framework to get you started.
Find competing titles and read them to determine why you think they are successful. Study book cover designs, titles, descriptions and content to assess why you think readers picked up and bought those books. Ask yourself why people recommend certain books to their friends, family, and coworkers.
Companies invest millions in market research so that they can develop the best product names to increase conversions. It works the same way for book titles, so spend the appropriate amount of time researching the best types of titles for your content. Like any brand, your headline should be memorable and impactful.
Make a list of topics and subtopics before making an outline. Once you think you’ve covered enough ideas, arrange them in a logical order, and then schedule your writing sessions like you would schedule your meeting or any other business function, and start writing!
Do not edit yourself while writing. Set a separate timetable for editing draft material. Remember that first drafts are usually terrible. Don’t be hard on yourself while reading your work. The important thing is to be able to get the idea out of your mind and into your draft. Once you’ve edited your material yourself, hire an additional editor to review your work. Even established writers need the help of professional editors. A new set of eyes can help clarify meaning and intent.
RELATED: Why You Should Write a Book to Build Your Brand
Traditional, Self-Publishing and Hybrid Publishing
In traditional publishing, the authors sign a book deal and the publishing house finances the production of the book. In this model, the author often receives an advance against royalties, finishes the manuscript, and then sends it to the publisher. The nice thing about traditional publishing is that authors don’t have to spend money or worry about the rest of the book creation process. All they have to do is write. However, some authors prefer not to work with traditional publishers because they want more creative freedom as well as control over the book creation process.
Self-publishing writers enjoy complete creative freedom and control. Writers don’t need to go through gatekeepers and decision-makers to get their books into the hands of readers. However, it also means that authors have to finance every aspect of the book creation process. Furthermore, for indie authors who want to physically produce and distribute their books, printing is quite expensive, and access to self-marketing and distribution channels can be overwhelming.
Self-publishing involves a lot of risk, which means there is also the potential for great rewards. For this reason, many indie authors choose to distribute their books digitally rather than risk investing large sums of money in printed material. Kindle Direct Publishing addresses this concern by providing a print-on-demand service. With this model, authors are still able to distribute physical copies of their books, but they don’t have to order hundreds of copies at once.
With traditional and self-publishing at opposite ends of the spectrum, hybrid publishing falls right in the middle, filling a huge gap in the market. In this model, the author finances the book creation process, but draws professional expertise from editors, authors, graphic artists, marketing experts and publication strategists, as well as from traditional distribution channels. With a hybrid publishing company, authors have control over book cover design, interior design, marketing, and content, and enjoy 90% of net royalties. With traditional publishing, authors only receive a fraction of that prize.
Ultimately, you decide how you’ll do it, but remember, the world will fall apart once your book is out.
RELATED: Consider This Before You Self-Publish Your Book