The 3 Biggest Mistakes First-Time Nonfiction Authors Make & How to Avoid Them
The fact that experts know a lot is both a blessing and a curse. Both aspects come into play when you decide to take the plunge and write a book. While coaching a few hundred experts, coaches, speakers and business builders, I\’ve seen both the blessing and curse come into play.
The blessing is that you have real solutions for people. You are a problem solver. You\’ve either learned how to avoid those mistakes in the school of hard knocks, or you\’ve spent time, money and trouble figuring something out, or you\’ve created a system that makes hard tasks simple.
The bad news is the same…that you have so much to offer to your readers and clients. You have true solutions that people need. You know your stuff. Why is this bad news? Because you may let your own knowledge in one area and lack of it in monetizing a book get in the way.
Here are the 3 biggest mistakes that 99% of experts make concerning how to write a book that boosts your business.
Big Mistake #1: Too Much Information.
I remember one expert who was pouring over 40 years of notes, trying to figure out what to write about. “Forget all that and just write the book,” I told him. Unfortunately, as far as I know, he never finished. He let his own knowledge get in the way of connecting with his ideal readers.
What you want to remember is that you are not writing a set of encyclopedias. You\’re not trying to write the Ultimate Tome on your subject. Furthermore, you don\’t want to overwhelm your reader or talk like a PhD, even if you are one.
You want to write your book in a conversational tone, like a friend over a coffee, so that the reader will begin to know, like and trust you. It\’s not your degrees, certifications, or even your years of experience doing what you do that counts. The reader wants a connection with you as their trusted guide.
The job of your book is to give you respect, credibility, leads, and media magnetism. Yes, you want to write the best book you can, but putting too much information (TMI) isn\’t the way to do it. Honestly, consider how you feel in the presence of a big thick nonfiction book.
Avoiding the Too Much Information Mistake:
These are just a few of the ways you can avoid making this mistake.
Remember that we live in an immediate gratification era. Nobody wants to read 300 or 400 pages to get an answer. Realize that less is more. Some of the best books I have ever read are less than 150 pages. Give an “aerial view” of what you are covering. Force a deadline on yourself so you will complete the book instead of continuing to put it off.
Big Mistake #2: Just a Book
The second big mistake experts make when writing a book is that the book is all you have. I see this so often. When I ask a would-be author expert “what else do you have besides the book” and am met with a blank stare, I cringe.
Books don\’t bring you much profit. Honestly, that\’s not their job. You write a book for credibility, media attention, leads, rising above your competition, and your own self-satisfaction. You don\’t write one with the idea that you make money FROM the book.
As an expert, you make money BECAUSE you are an author. As a published author, you can increase your speaker fees, get into local and national media, generate leads for your business, stand out in a crowded marketplace, increase customer loyalty, and so much more.
How to Avoid the “Just a Book” Mistake
The way to avoid this mistake is to be sure you have something else – at least one product or service – in place besides your book. This could be your bricks-and-mortar business that you mention in the book, a kit, a class, or anything else that will generate business. Make sure to direct the reader from your book to your business. Don\’t just say, “Visit my website.” That\’s not a call to action; that\’s merely a week suggestion.
Big Mistake #3: No Call to Action
Even if you have never seen this term before, you\’ve experienced a call to action before. Perhaps you\’ve seen an infomercial and heard, “Order now.” So many times the end of a book brings out a sense of closure when what it should do is to open the relationship.
Avoid putting phrases like this near the end of your book: “In conclusion,” “thanks for reading,” “I hope this has solved your problem” or the dreaded “The End.” Of course you\’re glad the reader read the book, and of course you hope the book was helpful, and obviously when the reader runs out of pages, the book is finished.
But your book should be a beginning, not an end. If you end the book with a feeling of closure, here\’s what happens. Your reader sees “the end” (or something conveying a sense of “we\’re done here” and they close the book, put it on their shelf, and forget about you.
How to avoid the “no call to action” mistake
The way to avoid this mistake is to have a specific step you want the reader to take after reading the book. Perhaps you want them to claim a bonus, such as an action plan or template. Or maybe you want them to register for a class or accept a free strategy session. Give clear, specific directions as to what action you want the reader take at the end.
Now that you understand these 3 big mistakes, you can avoid them so that your book does its job of growing your influence.
Every expert and business owner who wants to get noticed in this crowded marketplace needs to become an author. Ronda Del Boccio, author of The Instant VIP! has created a simple, proven system for how to write a book that you can use to elevate yourself to VIP status. Claim your free online writing course at http://ProfitableStorytelling.com/writeabook.htm