May 2, 2018
Ok, I reached a major milestone last week. While in London, I
visited my publisher and finalized the manuscript of my 2nd book,
Effective Sales Enablement. Now, the manuscript is officially
moving to the production phase. I am not at the finish line yet,
but I am very happy that the hardest part is DONE.
People approach me all the time asking about how to write a book
and get it published. I want to share my experience with you, in
seven minutes. BTW, my experience is more on writing a
business book, not a fictional novel. So, what’s the difference?
This is my opinion. I think it’s harder to sell a novel and it’s
better to have an agent. For business books, personally, I
think you can represent yourself and pitch it to a publisher
Here is the process I used for publishing my 2 books:
- Start with a topic that you are either the expert at or very
passionate about. Writing is a frustrating creative journey. Unless
you love the topic, it’s hard to get through the whole writing and
- Put your ideas into a general framework or methodology to
explain your ideas. Or you can dissect the topic into different
elements and add adjacent subtopics. Frankly, there is nothing new
under the sun. The secret is how you present an existing idea with
a new twist or from a new perspective. For my 1st book, I created a
framework called the 4C’s of Global Content Marketing. For my 2nd
book, I discussed how to enable sales through various marketing
elements. I dissected the topics from a marketer’s
- Now you have a topic and a general framework, it’s time to
write a book proposal. Hey, if you want a sample for your book
proposal, I am more than happy to share mine with you. I am not
saying mine is the best, but I structured the proposal in a way
that makes it easy for the book publisher to get the gist of who I
am, what the future book is about, and a sense of the overall
outline and this topic’s competitive landscape.
- Once that’s done, you can send your book proposal to various
publishers. Publishers are usually very good at letting you know if
they are interested in your book proposal. For payments, some pay
an advance, some don’t. I have heard that this is where an agent is
helpful. Maybe! Most people write business books to get additional
business opportunities or check off their bucket list, not
necessarily try to make money off the book. You need to understand
why you want to write a book. If you are driven by making money, I
hate breaking the news to you. You are better off doing something
- Many people prefer self-publishing. I don’t have experience
with that. The two biggest advantages for working with publishers:
hold myself accountable to a deadline. They set up a date, I need
to meet their deadline. Another reason for working with publishers
is to access their retail and international distribution channels.
If you are self-publishing, you will probably sell it on Amazon or
your own website. You have to work hard to get on other online
channels. It can be challenging.
- With or without a publisher, the next step is to buckle down
and write. There’s not much more to it. One word at a time.
Allocate time, sit down and write. Just do it.
- By talking to various business book authors, the writing seems
to take about 4-8 months. The production process is about 6-9
months if you work with publishers. They will do a layout design,
typesetting, fact-checking and a series of other steps to get the
- After you’ve handed in your manuscript, it’s time to start
working on the launch and marketing plan. Many authors work closely
with PR agencies to create marketing campaigns. This time around, I
decide to work with a PR person and focus on mainstream media
promotion and interview opportunities.
When the book is published, there’s still a lot of work to do.
Marketing and promotion never stops. It’s like demand gen, you have
to do it day in and day out. I didn’t do a good job promoting my
first book. This time around, I am making an effort to create an
integrated plan with paid and organic marketing campaigns and
content marketing efforts. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.
Are you ready and willing to take the plunge? Like I said, I am
more than happy to share my book proposal with you.
Again, send me your marketing questions via Twitter
Be well. Until next time.