3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Writing a Book
Today is one year anniversary of my third book, On Purpose: 12 Strategies to Reclaim Your Power and Change Your Life.
Through this book and its predecessor, I’ve helped 17 experts in the Platform for Purpose Incubator become first-time authors. One of the great things about participating in a project like this is that you don’t have to focus on writing an entire book and all that comes with it.
But you don’t have to limit yourself, either. La’Vista Jones participated in both editions of the On Purpose series and her solo book will be released in October (cue happy dance!)
A lot of people want to write books. You may even be one of them. Before you get started, I challenge you to answer three questions.
Question #1: Why Do You Want to Write a Book?
There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. If you’re writing a non-fiction book, I’m sure you’ll say you want to help people through your content. But other reasons could include:
- To build your credibility as an expert or thought leader.
- To earn passive income.
- To generate leads for your business.
Although you may feel like it should, being a best-selling author doesn’t even have to be a goal. Quite often, that’s a vanity metric. People have figured out how to game the Amazon algorithm or find some super-niche category where only three authors exist. Even making the New York Times Best Seller’s list is just as much about strategy as substance.
If you’re crystal clear on the goals that are truly meaningful to you from the beginning, there are ways to shape your content to help you achieve them.
Question #2: Who Are You Writing It For?
Can you paint a picture of who your ideal reader is? What their challenges are related to your content? What success looks like for them? Now, how can you help them get there? Possessing this information will help you to organize your content and figure out what is most relevant for your reader.
As you dig in, you may realize that you have several books worth of knowledge to share. If that’s the case, avoid the temptation to try to shove EVERYTHING you know into one book.
Question #3: How Will You Market Your Book?
That first moment you hold your book in your hand will be a point of pride you’ll never forget. However, you’re just getting started!
I’ve heard countless people say, “If just one person reads my book, it will be worth writing.” If that’s really the case, why don’t you just take one person out to lunch and share all your wisdom with them? We write books because we want to share our knowledge or expertise on a bigger platform so we can have a greater impact. That requires marketing.
Consider things like:
- Making podcast appearances.
- Hosting in-person or virtual book launch events.
- Enlisting a launch team of supporters to help you share info about the book with their networks.
- Doing keynotes or workshops.
- Launching your own podcast or livestream show to share additional insights related to the book and other topics relevant to your audience.
Our Platform for Purpose Incubator is designed to prepare you to confidently execute these tactics, so you can reach more people with your message. You can learn more about it here.
Becoming an author allows you to leave a legacy. I’m grateful to be able to benefit from the knowledge and timeless wisdom left behind from people who are no longer here. I also imagine my great, great grandchildren being able to read my words and feel a connection to me long after I’m gone.
What legacy could you leave behind through your book?