You must be wondering why this topic had to do with personal finance? In fact, I do get questions from readers asking what personal finance has to do with writing a book. Well, this might be one of the most important money tips published on this blog. Regardless of your industry or career field, becoming a published author gets you into the 90th percentile. This means that you will be at the top 10 percent of income earners in your field.
Let’s look at USA, for instance, where according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 50,000 people are authors. Among them, the highest 90th percentile earn around $118,000, whereas even if you are at the lower 25th percentile, you still earn a whopping $40,000! But what you are seeing here is just the tip of the iceberg. This is just the income you see from writing gigs!
The big money is made from the back-end, like speaking engagement, consultation, more customers for your core businesses etc! And that can be easily 10 times more. Look at my friend who have an authorship: Faizul Ridzuan, Chris Tan, Richard Oon, Yap Ming Hui, Choong Ty’ng Ty’ng, Ian Tai, Ken Chee, Azizi Ali, Adrian Un, Enoch Khoo, Pauline Yong, Miichael Yeoh and many more. They all have published at least one book and had reaped a lot of profits directly and indirectly from the authorship.
Writing a non-fiction book is easier in my opinion, so this article we will delve more about how you can become a non-fiction book author.
Step 1: Decide what you want to write
It goes without saying that before you embark on this journey, it is important that you have a solid topic. You cannot start your research if you don’t have a topic. Now it is important to choose a subject in your area of expertise that you are very passionate about. Just because cooking is a popular topic, for example, don’t just go and write a cook book! That’s the worst thing you can do.
Once you’ve gotten a topic that you know at least something about, then you need to do A LOT of research! Even experts research on their topic mainly to find a TARGET READERS. We will discuss this point in the next step. Once you’ve brainstormed a fairly broad topic in your area of expertise, you need to make a short list of subtopics and choose one that’s appealing or unique, and voila! You’ve got your topic.
Step 2: Check if people will buy it
This step haunts every writer out there, even the big ones! However, it’s not that hard once you break it down to small steps. In the vast sea of books today, chances are that every idea you have, someone has probably written about it. If there is a book like yours, then GREAT! Research books in the same niche as your topic. Basically, stalk the authors and their fan base! Setup polls and surveys to find out what their fans love, and also, read reviews: both professional and customer reviews.
This information will be able to help you to write in a different viewpoint or style. In fact, the more the merrier. If there are a lot of books already publised in your niche, it means there is a proven readers group who are hungry for that information.
Step 3: Spin-off books on your topic
Rarely do we see standalone books that have made millions of sales worldwide. Look at some the most successful franchises: Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games. Why? Because the more books you write, the more it will sell. Maybe your fans might discover you at book no.7 and fall in love with it enough to go back and read all 6!
Check if you can write different topics while appealing to the same niche. Publishers and fans both LOVE series of books and you only have to hook them with one. You can have an overlapping effect too. Overlapping your ideas – not giving away all the ‘juicy bits’ in one book while transitioning between books so your fans end up reading all of them. The most famous personal finance writer Robert Kiyosaki writes about the same story and same characters in most of his bestsellers – the rich dad and the poor dad. His 18 books have sold over 26 million copies.
Step 4: Map out your content
Begin with the end in mind. You won’t get lost along the way if you have a clear content guide mapped out. You can achieve this by using spider diagrams, mind maps, flow charts/tables, etc. Brainstorm your topic to find your list of contents then arrange them. So don’t waste time thinking about how to fill up your WHOLE book. Instead, break it down to bite size pieces.
Step 5: Describe the benefits the readers get from each chapter
I found the non-fiction books that I enjoy have something in common. The secret is: the obvious benefit of each chapter will bring to the audience. After having studied many successful books out there, I have found a particular trait to engaging audiences. The most crucial features of a non-fiction book is a ‘benefits’ preview, because it tells people exactly what benefits they will get from this chapter. Therefore, obtain the skill to reel people in with as few words as possible, because people nowadays have really short attention spans. Focus on how to deliver the benefits through examples, stories, etc.
Step 6: List out the marketing channel and possibilities
After you’ve written your book, it’s time to sell it! Now you have to be REAL crafty! Have you ever seen a teaser trailer? Have you ever wondered why there are trailers for movies to begin with? Answer: it’s all a marketing tactic. They start promoting their film months and even years before it’s released and that’s all to get people excited in anticipation.
It’s the same with books. Marketing and promotion starts way before the final printed copies arrive. Don’t just spill the beans anywhere, you’ll lose precious time and money if you’re promoting at a place where people don’t care about your book. Let the cat out of the bag where you know it will reach your target audience.
Step 7: Decide your publishing channel
Last but not least, decide how you want to publish your book. Do you want to publish it yourself? If so, then study up on how to be a successful publisher. Or do you want to publish it as an e-book only or do you want both? Find out about publishing companies. Find out which ones have a bad reputation or which ones have really helped an author like you before. Sometimes, even after all the effort you’ve gone through, the wrong publisher or publishing medium could really undo all your hard work. Sometimes people buy a book just because they know the publisher!
People underestimate writing, but the truth is that publishing a book could be the best thing you’ll ever do in your career advancement. So get busy writing. If you need help to systematically produce your book, check out my online course co-developed with bestselling author and publisher Azizi Ali – Best Seller Made Easy.