To be totally honest, my first book was meant to be an outsourcing project to help me overcome my control issues in the business, instead it turned into a 60,000 word tome.
In hindsight, a strategic book plan is definitely a better approach. Once I started to work with my publisher (SRA) I really started to see the thought process that is needed behind the book content. For example, who do I think will read my book (or rather who do I want to attract to read my book) and what do I want them to do or feel or know by the end of the book.
It’s quite funny when I see other authors in my industry making the same mistakes I made when I wrote my first book. It’s natural to get passionate about your subject and to out pour your knowledge onto the page and then design a cover with your face on the front. The mistake is that the book might end up being all about you and not all about your reader. It will definitely miss a number of subtle and direct marketing opportunities that will bring you clients and income over and above the profit from a single book.
Before I wrote my second book, Make More Money from Property; from investor thinking to a business mindset, I asked my publisher to help and I spent the most amazing session with her. She explained how to write, not just a good book, but a great book that could act as part of my marketing plan. I spent time going through her process and answering the critical questions she set. By the time I came to write my second book the emphasis had completely changed from “all about me” to “what does the reader want to hear and need to learn.”
The direct impact of having a published book? People (strangers) find my books on Amazon and when they read the content, they start to feel they trust me and learn about my business as well as get direct information. When the time is right for them – they get in touch as “pre-sold clients”. Their opening emails or phone conversations are “I want you to help me invest in property” or “I want you to source property for me”.
The profit on a book is not life changing, but the business benefit from a reader becoming a pre-sold client is definitely significant.
So, why should you write a book?
My books are my best sales team
Hindsight is a great asset but not really practical! When I first started writing books I had no idea of the business benefit and that is why my first self-published book was just average. Average in its quality and in the business returns I got. Once I started to work on a professional basis, I not only understood the purpose of the book, but I also improved the structure and quality of my content.
Now I can see the business benefit of my books. I am a property investor and I source properties for clients or teach people how they can invest for themselves. My books contain information that will help the reader directly to make changes in their life and finances. My books are also carefully structured to enable my reader to get to know more about me and my back story – this is written in a relevant way that fits with the content and purpose of the book. The books also let readers know how they can get more help from me, but congruently within the book and explicitly through business pages at the back of the book.
In the last year I have been directly contacted by people that have read my books and want to do business with me. I can track and trace the value and income the books have generated. I would estimate that four of my last property sourcing clients are working with me because of the books and that their business alone is worth £119,000 over a 12 month period.
So my books are my best sales team.
Know what you want your reader to experience
Whether you are writing a book for pleasure or business readers it is still crucial to know in advance what you want the reader to experience, know or do. Making the reading experience of the reader clear and simple means that they will experience the book in a positive way. Have you ever read a book and been disappointed, not just with the content but with the reading experience?
I did not understand that was even happening to me as a reader before I started to work professionally on my books. My publisher explained how my books need to enable my readers to learn from me and come to trust me. We discussed my brand, my property businesses, we considered my writing style and what part a book (or four) would play in my marketing strategy.
It was so obvious that I had completely missed a key fact. If my clients are reading about property investment, either as a business idea for themselves or as a strategy (to generate more financial income for their families) they need help to implement – the underlying emotion or need is trust. They would be reading my books to get more information and getting to know and trust me, my business practice and my approach to investment at the same time.
I recognised that I wanted my clients to be able to read my books and make the initial decision to work with me before they even spoke to me. That is how I wrote the books. I wrote the books thinking about just one person, my ideal client, and I spoke to them – I shared everything I knew that would help them understand about property investment and be in a better position to take action or make a decision.
In the last year my books – written for both the profession investor that wants to buy for themselves (Make More Money from Property; from investor thinking to a business mindset and Using Other People’s Money; How to invest in property) and the general public that just want to know more but are not technical (Property for the Next Generation; preparing your family for a wealthy future) – have been directly responsible for the tripling of my turnover.
Knowing what you want your reader to experience will have a direct and positive impact on your bottom line.