If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner, there are only three ways to write a book for your business (at least in my mind).
One of them is good, I call it Win-Win Writing. The other two are a complete waste of time, and they can destroy your business. I call them (you guessed it), Win-Lose Writing.
WIN-LOSE WRITING means using valuable time that you should be using to run your business and make money… to write a book (based on the idea that it will make money for you later).
WIN-WIN WRITING means not wasting one minute of your time writing content for a book that you can’t also use somewhere else in your business (right now), to make money. In other words, with Win-Win Writing you design your book (and your writing time) around the needs of your business… today, this moment.
I’ve never met anyone who does this 100%.
And that’s why it’s one of my best-kept secrets.
In fact, I usually only share this strategy with my private 1-on-1 consulting clients, who’ve paid dearly for the privilege.
Why is this secret so valuable to you as an entrepreneur or business owner?
Because writing is dangerous.
It’s the ultimate delusion and distraction if it isn’t done right.
* * *
Write a Book for Your Business
Here’s how Win-Win Writing works…
Let’s say that you’re a love coach and you want to write a book for singles to help them find their soul mate.
You have three choices:
1. Severely neglect your business and spend most of the next twelve months writing your book, with the hope that you’ll get a book deal and a huge advance that makes your financial gamble worthwhile. WIN-LOSE.
2. Try to write your book and manage your business at the same time, knowing that your income is going to decrease every time you sit down to write (and stop working on the parts of your business that are paying the bills). WIN-LOSE.
3. Spend 1-2 hours every day (or at least a few days a week), writing new content for your book that you can also use (right now) to make money in other parts of your business. WIN-WIN.
Choosing option number three means you’re essentially getting paid to write your book. If you like the sound of that, begin by making a list of the current content needs for your business. Here are some ideas to get your juices flowing:
- Weekly column
- Tweets and Facebook postings
- Speeches, talks, interviews
- Checklists and worksheets
- Information products
- Audio programs
- Coaching or training program curriculums
- Live training and events
Then, build your book around those needs.
For example, I want to write a book for authors on how to get a literary agent and get published. And I’d love nothing more than to drop everything for the next year and spend most of my time writing that book. But then my electric would get shut off and I’d lose my Internet connection (and my cable TV — no more NFL football on Sundays).
Okay, it wouldn’t be that bad (I’m not exactly living hand-to-mouth), but I think you get my point. There would be some serious financial fallout. So, instead, I’m creating content for that book in other ways… like this article.
Let me explain in greater detail…
* * *
Write a Book for Your Business – Case Study
I wouldn’t have written this article if I couldn’t make it work on multiple levels. That’s Win-Win Writing. In other words, the time and energy that went into making this article… is being leveraged to create income in several other ways.
Here’s what I mean:
- This article is an excerpt from a 1-hour live teleseminar that I participated in some time ago, for entrepreneurs and small business owners wanting to write a book for their business. At the end of the interview I made an irresistible offer for my consulting services. That would have been okay, in and of itself. But I wouldn’t have agreed to do the interview if I didn’t see a way to do lots of other things with the content also, that would make me money right now.
- For example, ever since the interview I’ve been giving away copies of the recording (as an mp3 and on CD), to prospective consulting clients (they’ve been hearing the offer, too). WIN-WIN.
- I’m converting the seven strategies that I shared during the interview into individual articles and blog posts (like this one), but I’m also using the same content for my weekly ezine.
- I’m going to record a 7-part video series teaching the same strategies (with very slight variations) and post them on YouTube.
- I’m going to pull a lot of one-liners and quotes out of the original interview and share them on my social media network like Twitter and Facebook.
- I’ll use the interview as a starting point to create a checklist or special report that authors can use when they’re getting ready to write a nonfiction book. I’ll be able to give it to my 1-on-1 consulting clients (or prospects).
- I can use a lot of the ideas and/or content from this interview in a future speech.
- I’ll probably design a coaching program around this content… for entrepreneurs thinking about writing a book.
- I’ll definitely use a lot of these ideas and examples when talking with prospective clients.
- And, you better believe that a lot of this content will find its way into my book. Oh, right, a book… that’s partly why I started creating a lot of these articles in the first place. But now it doesn’t matter nearly as much if I actually publish that book one day or not. Because I’m getting PAID to write it. How cool is that?
* * *
Write a Business Book
Now, you might think of this as simply clever.
To me it’s pure survival.
I don’t know how to do anything halfway.
I’m a perfectionist.
So I have to find creative ways to repurpose, or reuse, a lot of the things that I do.
Because I put a lot of time (maybe too much time) into them.
If you can relate (or you’re simply busy trying to run your business), I hope my Win-Win Writing strategy makes it possible for you to finally do what you know you’re supposed to do… write your book, without compromising your business.
You don’t have to make that difficult choice anymore.
You really can do it all,
Your “Undercover” Agent
* * *
* * *
For those of us who aren’t trust-funders, this is great advice. Those who wish to write the GAN (Great American Novel) might be confused. However, a great example is how you run your business and write for pleasure and gain, never wasting a word. Thanks. | Write a Book for Your Business
True, this is most difficult to apply when it comes to fiction authors… but I have done it. However, the author usually needs to have some unique expertise and a deep passion for education people on that topic. That’s often easier for nonfiction authors, of course. You know exactly what I’m talking about because the book you’re working on right now could have easily been fiction. But we’ve discussed how you could position yourself as more of an expert and monetize it. Funny thing is that thinking it all through is a big part of what’s helping us make your book “bigger” and better. I love how that works. Thanks for posting and letting me know you’re still out there. Ingrid and I have been thinking about you, more so every time some whack job does something stupid and ends up on the news (not because you are one, but because you write about them). I know you know that, but I say it for the benefit of everyone else reading this! Have a great weekend and see you here again soon I hope. Mark | Write a Book for Your Business
This is great information and all makes perfect sense! The problem I’ve been having is that although my book is intrinsically tied to my business, the uniqueness of my book (as you know) is that it is written and reads like fiction – and in order to write it effectively in this format, takes a type of concentration that I haven’t been able to achieve with popping in and out for a few hours here and there. I only seem to thrive when I put in dedicated quality time (Full days) that I don’t Have. | Write a Book for Your Business
Hi Gil, I can’t wait to help you finish that book and get it out there. In the meantime, you should consider sharing your first finished story in the book with your email list and maybe expand the end section so it’s more clear to your readers what they might experience with you if they sign up for your services. You might get clients out of it and I know you’d love getting the positive feedback about your writing. It’s brilliant, after all. Mark | Write a Book for Your Business
Thanks Mark… for the great and and the compliment…I hadn’t actually thought of that. Let me sit with that for a few days and figure out the best way to present it. I can’t wait for you to help me either!!!
Hi Gil, I’m responding here to your comment and email. I really do think you could do something with that piece. Could be a win-win for you. Regarding everything else, just know that you will get what you want if you just keep going. Anyone who knows you (or has even just checked out your website) can see that you’re a rock star. Transitions can be uncomfortable (as you know) but they’re also doorways to better things. I believe in you 100% and can’t wait to work with you. Mark
OK, you sold me! After a year of following your blog and seeing every one post stuff about you and a year of writing my book, I pick YOU! I need your help as my agent! This weekend will be spent composing a letter to you rather than writing another chapter! | Write a Book for Your Business
Hi Lee, sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I love that you think highly enough of me to have me as your agent, but I’m no longer an active agent. I can help you get a top literary agent though. That’s what I spend all my time doing, when I’m not here answering questions and responding to comments. Business is busy though which is why it took me so long to reply. When you’re ready, consider signing up for an intro call: https://literary-agents.com/book-marketing/book-marketing-coach/. Mark | Write a Book for Your Business
Good Morning Mark and Happy Saturday to you! Fantastic advice, and I am doing just that, in the “oui” early hours (or 2 of them anyway) on each day! I think when at our best, our doings “overlap” and into everything we do! And while I never have “leftovers,” when it comes to my ever so precious food (let’s face it I’m a “good eater”) I DO recreate the same thing, often, when it’s so delicious and should be shared again in different places. Thank you for this! Great stuff! Cheers & happy weekend! | Write a Book for Your Business
Hi Leah, right back at you. And I’m glad you’re making it all happen. I love the “overlap” concept and actually try to incorporate into every part of my life whenever possible. Simply about clever time management so we can all get as much as possible out of life… and give as much as possible. Here’s to recreating, and have a great weekend. Thanks for posting! Mark | Write a Book for Your Business
sorry brain-fried. got 5 canucks here. Getting picked up already by media, players. no interviews yet. 2 workouts shot, but 2Ds are BC-neighbors. Spencer Humphries tried to kill me his first day, so immediate connection. Maybe you get hockey book. But is tons of homework. Impressive roster here. Lost cold feet already. Don’t know if shooting Davis Cup yet. Here are shots from first workout w/ KHL Lev. http://www.flickr.com/photos/pogomcl/sets/72157635399597799/
mom died. a bit addled. stress. | Write a Book for Your Business
hi pogo, i’m not a hockey fan… just american football (and basketball during the playoffs). but I like your photos, as always. sorry to hear about your mom. mark | Write a Book for Your Business
sorry not a football fan– hockey, horses, skateboards, planes…so will not bothrwith this. is too bad there is no delete. | Write a Book for Your Business
So what if I don’t have a business related to my book? It gets a little confusing because there’s so much ‘business’ connected to getting a book sold, marketed and promoted. So the book itself becomes a business. Still that business generates no other income, except to promote the book. Or does it? Hm.mm. Just stirring the pot a little, poking around — probably because in the back of my mind I’ve been wondering what else I can do that’s related to my book, other than writing another one. | Write a Book for Your Business
Hi Ellen, it’s much more complex for authors writing fiction or memoir. It’s still possible sometimes to build a business “around” a book (or related to a book), but there are less options… much easier with authors in the self-help or expert space. It’s very easy then to add other streams of income like coaching and paid speaking. Also depends on the topic. Maybe I’ll do another article at some point that walks everyone through a case study or two. In the meantime, have a great weekend. Mark | Write a Book for Your Business
My business is writing and I love this article. It is important that I not waste time just writing so, taking a tip from YOUR good writing, and noting that you have two cats (mentioned in this week’s newsletter, let me say that you need a copy of my book, “The Complete Cat’s Meow.” There! I’ve helped you and your cats, told you how great your advice is and that I’m taking it. Win/win! | Write a Book for Your Business
Hi Darlene, thank you. And just so you know, I checked out your book and just purchased a copy from Amazon. I probably shouldn’t say that publicly because then everyone will be trying to get me to buy their books. But your book has a legitimate publisher, five-star reviews, and information that will help me be a better “dad” to my two cats. So thank you for the recommend, and for all the time and heart you put into writing the book! Have a great weekend and thanks for posting. Mark | Write a Book for Your Business
Hi Mark, Thank YOU for checking out my book and buying it. It was “gutsy” of me but I’ll stand behind the book. You’ve helped me attain my goal – more cats and owners who are going to have an even better life together and a more solidified human-animal bond. Warmly, Darlene | Write a Book for Your Business
When you told me a while back that I was writing my second book in the A Bit Political website and in my .mp3 file, I thought you were out of your mind; but the light is coming on, and I see what you mean. I will still have to do some writing to organize what I have into the book, but will not have to write the book from scratch.
That’s a win-win! | Write a Book for Your Business
Hi Harold, well now I know the truth! Just kidding. I’m glad it’s all coming together. You’ve paid your dues in so many ways, so it’s more meaningful. Now we just have to finish. By the way, you should have just received the Amazon gift card… so let me know if you didn’t. And have a great weekend! Mark | Write a Book for Your Business