Let’s start with two truths:
Everyone has a book in them.
Not everyone has what it takes to actually write it.
Do you agree with the first premise? I really do. It’s pretty much impossible to live on this planet for a few decades and not accumulate specific wisdom or stories you’d like to share with others. As we all grow more and more specialized in our fields of work, or excel in serving our communities or our families, we piece together a million tips, tricks, insights and hilarious stories along the way.
Don’t wait for someone to ask you to share what you know. Do it proactively. You’ll be surprised how many doors it might open.
Form a Plan, Find Good Help
If you’ve ever wistfully thought, “I should write a book,” it’s time to stop wishing and start planning. A good first step in the process is finding good help. When you sell your house, chances are you work with a real estate agent, because you enjoy having an expert around – someone who has sold a house before and knows exactly what to expect at each step of the process. Someone who can make a plan before you even begin, and see the project through until the end.
There is no shame is hiring someone to help you with your homework, not at this stage of life. While everyone may have enough to say to fill a book, actually planning a cohesive and compelling structure and putting together each chapter takes a lot of work and extreme focus. It takes research and word craft. Not everyone is cut out for long-form writing – many a great book has died despite the very best of intentions. If the idea of writing every day for at least an hour or two fills you with dread, you need help. There are people out there who enjoy writing books so much they do it all the time. Find one.
Books Have Changed
There are no rules anymore about how long a book should be or how it should look. The popularity of ebooks and the freedom of easy-to-use self-publishing platforms means a book is whatever you define it to be. A 40-page summary of how to stay motivated? Book. A 150-page detailed exploration on how to build a successful startup in your particular community? Book. A collection of laugh-out-loud parenting blogs re-edited and organized to flow together? Book. A good ghostwriter can help you explore many exciting possibilities. A book doesn’t have to be a doorstop to be worthwhile. In fact, it shouldn’t be.
Professionals who hire ghostwriters to complete a book project often see a very quick return on the investment. You can use the results of your collaboration to grow your influence, your audience, or your business. Sought after public speakers, business owners, leaders and coaches definitely benefit from having a title to sell. You can give a book away as a marketing tool in service of other offerings, or you can sell it to your network immediately – a network that has likely been eager to have a distillation of your message in their hands for years.
Think of what you’d like to tell yourself if you could go back in time. That’s your book.
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