How to write a book as an entrepreneur (even with no writing experience)

by Anna Kiousi

In your life as a business owner, you might have been told 100 times that “you should really write a book!” to share your insights with the world. However, being a successful entrepreneur doesn’t mean you necessarily know how to write a book, where to start, or what steps to take. And it can be especially tough if you don’t come from a writing background or don’t feel like a “natural writer”.

But is writing a business book a good idea?

Business books are a great way to boost your career, accelerate your business, or help you become a thought leader in your industry. By sharing your expertise and experience, you position yourself as a subject matter expert. For example, there are popular business books on sales, storytelling, start-up success, investing, AI, and more, that have propelled their authors to become thought leaders.

Publishing a book can help you:

  • Accelerate your career, business, or company.
  • Increase your credibility as an entrepreneur or thought leader.
  • Attract potential stakeholders and business partners.
  • Create more networking opportunities and drive sales.
  • Start a legacy to pass on to future generations.
  • Help people and change the world for the better.

Just ask our authors!

And if you’re worried about the writing, many business owners and industry experts choose to have their books written by a ghostwriter, while others prefer to write it themselves and hand it over to an editor (more on this later…).

1.    Identify your topic and audience

This should be obvious: before you do anything else, you need to determine exactly what the book is going to be about, who you are writing it for, and what pain point you are solving for your readers. Figuring out the topic and audience should be a little easier if you focus on your customers and your experiences.

For example:

  • What do your customers come to you for?
  • What specific problem do you solve for them?
  • What are their goals, or what solutions are they seeking, when they come to you?

💡TIP: Great nonfiction books start with the reader in mind, the same as great businesses start with the customer in mind. It’s not just about what you want to write; it’s about what people want to read.

2.    Find your book’s Unique Selling Point (USP)

Just like in business, your book will do best if it stands out from the bunch. Let’s say you’re writing a book on how to deliver successful pitches. If you look up “pitching books” on Amazon UK, you get over 2,000 results and for “business pitching books”, the results exceed 1,000.

So, what makes your book unique? Although it seems tricky, this question can be simple to answer. Try asking yourself these questions:

  • What kind of experience do you bring that other authors don’t?
  • Is there a specific approach to this problem that I have developed?
  • What makes me the right person to write this book?
  • What is missing from other books that I could elaborate on?
  • Can I take a different approach compared to other authors on the topic?

Perhaps then, your take on a pitching book is to develop a 5-step method with a catchy name.  Or you could specifically target your book for businesspeople with social anxiety or low confidence.

💡TIP: Go back to your business’ USP and try to convert it into a USP for your book.

3.    Make a clearly outlined plan

After you determine what you’ll say and why, your next step should be to make a clear plan. This doesn’t  just mean creating an outline of your book structure, but also planning what your writing schedule will look like.

Spend some time thinking about your book’s narrative. What will be in the introduction, what will come next and in what order, and finally, how will it end? If you need some help, check out our post or blog on writing a book introduction, why narrative matters in nonfiction, or our comprehensive 10-step guide on writing your nonfiction book.

💡TIP: This is also the point where hiring a writing coach is a great idea. Whether you’re not sure how to get started with planning, have second thoughts about your topic or target audience, or just need someone to keep you accountable, a book coach is the perfect person for that.

4.    Decide on your writing approach

If you don’t consider yourself a great writer, don’t worry. Most first-time authors (and a lot of best-selling authors) aren’t writing experts either. That’s why some have their books written for them by an expert ghostwriter or write them themselves and have them edited by an experienced editor. Whichever approach you decide on, you need to make that decision early.

If you choose to write it yourself, then keep your points and your language clear, and explain the “why” and “how”, besides the “what”. Also consider whether your writing style will be based on research, personal experience, stories, or a mixture of different styles.

💡TIP: It’s okay if your manuscript isn’t perfect. That’s what editors and proofreaders are for. Contact us if you’re interested in getting your book ghostwritten or edited.

5.    Get your book ready to publish

In business, you wouldn’t wait until launch day to start talking about your new product or service. As an author, you also need to start building a platform early to make it grow. Some entrepreneurs would say this is the best part of writing a book: sharing updates with your audience along the way.

So, once your project is in motion, let your followers know how it’s going. You could post updates on the cover design, how soon the book will be coming out, or share what made you want to write a book and what the process has taught you.

💡TIP: The more your followers feel involved in the process, the more invested they are and the more likely to buy the book. So, ask for them to vote on your cover design, offer feedback as a beta-reader, or be part of your launch day team.

6.    Don’t wait until launch day to start building a platform

In business, you sometimes have to wait until close to launch day to start making marketing moves. However, with a book, the earlier you start building a platform, the bigger your audience will grow. Some would say this is the best part of writing a book: sharing updates with your audience along the way.

Once your project is in motion, start letting your followers know how it’s going. You might want to post updates on the cover design, how soon the book will be coming out, or share what made you want to write a book and what the process has taught you with your followers.

Finally, see the book for what it is: a unique opportunity you created

If you decide to write a business book, you are creating a unique opportunity for yourself and your business. So, don’t forget to take advantage of it as much as possible.

Whether you’re looking to make more sales, coach people, or help your business grow, this is what publishing a book is about. Although you may generate some income through book sales, the opportunities you create along the way are what matters the most. Most of our published authors say that the best part about writing a book is the doors it has opened for them.

Interested in writing a business book with your expertise? Chat with our book experts today to get started.