There are a few questions that come up with clients and colleagues on a regular basis. One is whether to self publish or go traditional publishing. Another is what "the book" should contain. I'll save the former for another day, and today we will dive into the latter.
What should you put in your book?
I always start with challenging folks to think about this in terms of two books. I mean, in reality, you could probably write a dozen books, but not everyone needs that many books. Two books, however, is a very reasonable number of books to write and has some strategic benefits.
What should you put in your first book?
I always advise people with this: Make you first book what you want your clients to know (and possibly do) before they hire you! Strategically, your first book should be the shorter of the two, and you should self-publish it. This allows you to control the entire process (keeping it perfectly on brand), complete the project much more quickly, establish yourself as an author, and get the essential info into the hands of your clients and potential clients.
The best idea I may have ever suggested for a first book was for a CPA to write a book about the four quarters of the year, with a few simple tasks for each quarter, so that their clients are are prepared for a successful tax season. Their clients got awesome value, and their job actually got easier! Quarters is a great way to organize a finance book, and it's also practical in terms of do-able tasks for the reader.
Of course, the first book for your clients will be unique to your business, and I'm always happy to hop on the phone and brainstorm! The overall idea is to create an introduction that gives value and hopefully turns the reader into a model client.
What should you put in "the" book?
When I say "the" book I usually mean the book of your brand or business (or for some clients, their life story). This is the book that should be longer, may take longer, and for some clients will be picked up by a traditional publishing house. In this case, you are wanting to capture a great deal of your expertise.
You probably know everything that needs to go in your book already, but it will take some organizing. (When you hire a ghostwriter, the ghostwriter can organize it for or with you. You don't need to do this step on your own.) In a sense, this book is the book that explains everything you do for your clients.
It is perfectly OK to tell your clients HOW to do this work in your book! Your book will sell you, and you do not need to make your book sales-y for it to do so. Most people will still need your help, and the ones that have the time to do it themselves very likely didn't have the money to hire you anyway, and that's OK. In fact, that is the beauty of writing a large (and action focused) book; you can share your knowledge and wisdom with more people than could ever possibly hire you, making a bigger impact in the world. Give the maximum value possible in your book; it will speak for your quality and expertise.
As always, it's fun and easy to write a book when you hire a ghostwriter. Let's chat and see if it makes sense for you and your business!