Yasmin Walter Van KMD Books is a multi-award winning entrepreneur, international best-selling author and modern publisher based in Australia.
Are you an experienced professional ready to share your knowledge with the world? Writing a book is an ideal way to spread your expert thoughts to a wider audience. And guess what: writing a book doesn’t have to be complicated!
It’s common for professionals just starting to write books to have questions like, “Will I have enough content to fill a book?” or “Will anyone even want to read this?” But if you are good at what you do and have led by example, people will want to read about how you did it. Size doesn’t matter; whether your book is 1000 pages or 100 pages, the main goal of writing a thought leader book is to open and explore a known problem or situation and close it in a meaningful way, whether offering solutions or new perspectives offers. And if you feel like you don’t have enough content, you can even invite guest authors to share their knowledge.
With that in mind, here’s my six-step, foolproof process to help you go from idea to print.
1. Create the storyboard.
Decide what angle you’re going with. Will your book be a first-person biography? A technical roadmap? An anthology of shared opinions? A workbook with useful lessons? Think about your audience and what format they would like to consume their content in. Next, create a draft content page, outline your chapters, and briefly describe what each chapter entails. I like to call this the “messy trip.”
2. Write your book.
Now that you have a clear understanding of how each chapter is recorded, you can dig deeper into the details. Don’t be too pedantic about spelling or grammar – just let the literature flow. Keep the language appropriate for the subject and do not overwrite. People usually want to read your expert advice without too much fuss, so get straight to the point.
If you’re having trouble getting your thoughts down on paper (or computer), a great tip my mentor shared with me for when you’re dealing with writer’s block is to record yourself talking about the topic, as if you were in a conversation. are with someone, and then transcribe it.
3. Start editing.
Often this is best left to professionals with a fresh eye. By then, you’ve probably read your book over a hundred times, so you’re reading what you expect the words to say. Hiring a copywriter for your project can provide more opportunities to correct mistakes.
It’s crucial to be patient; this is a long process. Rushing this part can lead to printing errors. Believe me, that is not a pleasant experience for anyone.
4. Time to format your book.
It’s time to put it all together. Create a draft layout for the text, images, and pagination. Make sure the flow of content remains consistent. Just remember to make it easy to consume, visually appealing and not too cluttered – space is good! Stay focused on the reader’s experience.
5. Find your style.
Choose a style that suits your story and your target audience. Create a mood board as inspiration for your graphic designer to produce your book cover options. It’s always a good idea to have alternative covers to choose from. Your graphic designer is also responsible for collecting your draft format chapters to prepare your book for printing.
6. Okay, you’re ready to print.
Make a mock-up print before signing up for your bulk print. This is your last chance to make changes. I like to read mine aloud very slowly, word for word. You can also send it to a few people to take a fresh look at it.
Tips for productive writing
You embark on an exciting, yet challenging journey to share your business expertise with other professionals. Hold yourself accountable and set up a writing schedule. Unless you’re hibernating or indulging in a writer’s retreat, the best way to maintain realistic goals and nurture a relationship with writing in everyday life is to consider your pre-existing schedule.
I recommend creating word count goals based on weekly or monthly sessions. Your word count is determined by deadlines, your level of authorship, and your lifestyle requirements. It’s also important to create a distraction-free writing space, so no social media, phone, emails, or even people (especially if you have kids).
Rewarding yourself for achieving goals is a great way to maintain interest in the project. And don’t be too hard on yourself; it’s okay if you miss a session or two here or there because life got in the way. But don’t lose sight of the end goal.
The great thing about making a book (and a thought I often share with authors) is that writing experience isn’t essential. Many established authors started out with no writing experience. Unlike an academic college essay, you get to write in your tone, your style, and with your own opinion. If writing a book has been on your bucket list, but you’re unsure or don’t know where to start, then I suggest you just start! Write as if you were talking to someone. You’ll be amazed at how the words just start flowing.