As a business leader, it almost goes without saying that you have some great ideas. Your experience and expertise help you develop insights that others in the business world can benefit from.
Because of this, you often find yourself in a mentor role. You might be so successful, you are sought out as a speaker or trainer, sometimes in your current executive role, other times in your role as a business owner.
Invariably, someone—or maybe many people—tell you, “You should write a book.”
And, so, you try.
And nothing. Nothing comes to you as you sit in front of a blank screen to try to write your magnum opus, your book that will propel your business forward.
How could this be? Throughout your career, you’ve written reports, maybe some white papers or other business material–why can’t you seem to write a business thought leadership book? You have certainly read enough of them to know how they should be put together.
Why is your book not flowing out of you?
Well, because you are trying to write a book. You are not trying to have a conversation with a very specific reader who would benefit from what you are trying to share. You expect your ideas to flow out in perfect chapter-after-chapter form—and that’s just not how books are created.
Creating a book is a chaotic process.
Yes, the subject matter may be straightforward, but creating a manuscript is a creative, artistic endeavor. There are steps that need to be taken before a finished work can be revealed.
Writing is an art, and authors, like other artists, need to sketch out a plan before pen can be put to paper (or fingertips to keys). The sketch helps a professional ghostwriter:
- Distill your ideas for your book into one concept. (Authors sometimes get stuck simply because they try to put too many concepts into one book; it’s okay to write more than one book.)
- Identify your ideal or actual reader.
- Discover the particular problem the book will help the reader solve.
- Identify the authority angle.
- Identify the book’s hook.
- Identify the book’s theme.
- Determine how to subtly establish the author’s credentials.
- Determine how to win readers’ trust.
- Create unique branding buzzwords. (Think: KISS—Keep It Simple, Stupid.)
- Figure out the call-to-action ending.
- Figure out how to position the book.
- Figure out how to align the book with the author’s life and business plans.
So many steps.
As a ghostwriter, I lead authors through six steps to draw out material suitable for a successful business thought leadership book.
Step 1: I lead you through a thorough interview process, which takes a few weeks, where we discover your book.
Step 2: I go through the raw material and put together the book’s plan.
Step 3: I draft the first chapter and send it to you for feedback, make necessary changes, and go on to the next chapter, and the next. With each chapter, I better learn your voice and you better learn how to quickly clarify the book’s message. We write and write until all the relevant theories for the book idea are covered, and we finish that first draft.
That ugly first draft, which generally looks nothing like the finished product.
Step 4: I go back to the beginning of the manuscript and pretty it up. I ensure all the changes we made make sense and flow easily from one concept to the next. This type of editing is the real meat of writing.
Step 5: I send the entire manuscript back to you for review and beta reading. You choose one or two beta readers who will read the completed manuscript to determine if they can follow the story and understand the concepts. Once their comments are considered and incorporated, I send the revised manuscript back to you and together we determine if we have a final draft.
Step 6: I send the manuscript out for proofreading—a critical step that ensures the final product smartly represents the author.
When the proofreading is done, I send you the finished product, and you can either self-publish or traditionally publish.