Your Business Book: Give Value, Get Respect

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I’m often approached to write “free” books and ebooks, as I said here, Want to Write a Business Book? Here’s How:

“Will your book be ‘free’? Why?

When clients come to me, they often plan to give away their book once it’s written. However, I normally caution against this.

Yes, you can give away some copies, but if your information is valuable, you need to sell it. People tend to value something for which they’ve paid even a nominal amount. This is especially true on the Internet. Most of the free material that you’ll see offered online isn’t worth the time it takes to download it, much less to read it.”

There are other reasons I suggest to clients that they write their business books as commercial products.

One reason is your mindset. When you know that you’ll be charging for a book, you know you need to give value.

Think of your book as something which is apart from your business. These days, with the growth of ebooks, and people reading on their phones and tablet computers, your business books can continue to sell for years.

Consider giving away a free report based on the topic of your book, but do sell the full version. Over time any book builds your reputation and brand. You can give away the free report in digital form on your website, and sell a paperback version of your book at your speaking events.

The other reason is the attitude of your peers. You’ll get more respect when you create value in your book. This is directly related to your mindset of creating value.

Writing a book takes time and energy, even if you hire a ghostwriter. Many business people want to write a book — research suggests that while one per cent of the adult population wants to write a book, few do it.

If you’re one of the few who does it, give value in your book, and you’ll get respect.

Get Known: Hire a Ghostwriter — Celebrities Do

Celebrities do it: you can do it too. If you don’t have the time to write, you can nevertheless “write” articles and books — just hire a ghostwriter.

Ghostwriters write articles, books and speeches for you. Those articles and books are published under your name. This is a common practice. Most books supposedly by celebrities, magnates and politicians are actually written by “ghosts.”

So why would you hire a ghostwriter? If you’re famous, and you get a contract from a major publisher to write a book, you’ll have no choice. The publisher will hire a ghostwriter for you. You’re famous for a reason, and you don’t have time to learn to write — that’s the writer’s job.

Ghostwriters are hired to help others to tell their story, or to share their expertise.

Publishing books and articles helps you to become known and respected in your field. If you’re an academic, there’s pressure to publish. For business people, publication wins respect, and will enhance a CV.

How Do You Work With a Ghostwriter?

It’s a simple process. Your writer knows what’s required to write a book, article or speech, and he’ll interview you, and research, to get the information he needs.

If you’re already under contract to write a book, he’ll speak with your editor, so that he understands exactly what the publishers’ needs are.

Your ghostwriter will interview you. Usually these sessions will be recorded and your writer will take notes as well. The more extensive the material he’s writing, the more sessions you’ll have with him.

Once he feels comfortable with the material, he’ll write an outline. Then he’ll do some additional research, and using the material from your sessions, he’ll write a first draft.

At this stage, you can delete material, and add material too. When you’re happy, your writer writes the final draft.

This may be all that’s required for a speech, or for a magazine article. However, if you’re writing a book, there will be several drafts, and your editor will have input as well.

The thought of hiring a ghostwriter may be strange to you, but it’s a very common practice, and it will help you to get known in your field.