by Donna Amos | Featured Contributor
Now is the time for you to start figuring out how to write a non-fiction book as a marketing tool for your small business. Although the economy has stalled out temporarily and your business may have been negatively impacted in the short term, you want to do whatever you can right now to make sure you maintain your presence in the marketplace. Being seen as an authority in your field is a great way to keep–or even expand–your share of the market, and writing a book is one of the best ways to share your authority and expertise with consumers. Here are a few tips for gathering up your knowledge, putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and getting your book in consumers’ hands or on their electronic devices:
Define the Goal and the Scope of Your Book As Early As You Possibly Can
Put in some thought ahead of time so you can clearly identify your book’s goal and scope before you start writing. If you start writing without a clear goal in mind and without having given any thought to how broad or narrow you want your book’s scope to be, you are liable to end up with a manuscript that meanders aimlessly from topic to topic without any unifying themes, points or arguments. The information you are presenting to your readers should flow logically and be easy for them to digest while they are reading it. If you try to cover too much ground, readers will find the book’s contents difficult to synthesize. Do the work yourself so they do not have to do it themselves while they are reading.
Put Together an Outline Before You Start to Write Your Book So You Have Some Sense of Direction and Organization
Putting together an outline will help you stay focused on the information you want to present to your readers and help keep you from straying too far away from the path you want your book to follow. It will speed up the writing process not only by keeping you organized and on task, but it will also give you a framework you just need to work on fleshing out as you move through it. You can always revise your outline along the way, too, if your idea of what you want the book to be shifts.
Have a Target Audience in Mind from the Outset
From the beginning, you need to know who you want your book’s audience to be. Your aim should be to educate them and demonstrate that you are an authority who can be trusted to provide them with useful information that someone who is not an expert on the subject will be able to digest and retain. When readers have questions or needs related to the topics covered in your book, they should feel comfortable turning to you for advice and help. Writing an authoritative text will lead them to think of you as someone who has knowledge to share and solutions to provide. This can help you bolster your reputation and get existing customers or those who have read your book to refer potential new customers to you.
Set Aside a Block of Time Specifically Dedicated to Your Writing Every Day
Eventually, writing a book requires you to do some actual writing. You will need to set aside large blocks of uninterrupted time during which you can focus exclusively on writing if you want to make any progress on your project. Set aside time to write every day and hold yourself accountable. This may require you to make some fairly significant sacrifices in other areas of your life, but it will speed up the writing process enough that you will be happy you did it. Being alone with your thoughts will help you write clearly and crisply, resulting in a clean first draft that will require much less editing after the fact than it would have if you attempted to multitask while you were doing your writing.
Start Writing Now and Do Not Worry About Editing What You Wrote Until Later
At a certain point, you just have to start writing so you can get your ideas out of your head and on the page. You will have to review and edit what you wrote when you are finished anyway, so start putting words on the page and worry about the editing portion of the project later. No matter how bad you think your first draft is and how much reading it may make you cringe, it gives you something you can work with and mold into a finely tuned finished product. You cannot put off writing indefinitely if you ever want your book to be finished, so buckle down and start brainstorming to get your creative juices flowing. In writing, as in many other fields, the first step is quite often the hardest. It will typically get much easier from there.
Expertise is always in high demand, and there are few better ways to demonstrate your expertise in a particular field than by writing an authoritative book. Learning how to write a non-fiction book as a marketing tool will be good experience for you regardless of what endeavors you choose to pursue in the future, and should give your business a positive boost in the meantime. Writing a book may seem like a daunting task to undertake, but doing it will pay off in the long run. Do not wait any longer. Get started on your book right now.