No, I am not kidding.
Here are just a few of the types of books you might write:
- What I wish they’d taught me in college
- Advice for a new graduate starting out in the field of _____
- How to be a great manager – lessons I have learned from the worst bosses on earth
- How to close a sale – what works and what works even better
- How to get past the gatekeeper/The value of building a relationship with the gatekeeper
- Business Mistakes that taught the biggest lessons
- The power of mentorship
- The Changes in XXX Industry and Where the Future Will Take Us
As you look over your knowledge and experience, what message would you want to share? Turn that information into an e-book!
Self-publishing a book no longer means coming up with 100,000 words of information first published in hard cover followed by the soft cover edition 12 months later. The Information Age offers a variety of self-publishing formats; traditional and virtual.
E-Readers and e-reader apps for tablets and iPads are growing in popularity and someone may even be more inclined to purchase your book if they can take it with them on a handheld device. So don’t limit your book ideas to the textbook format.
The Internet and social media have also lessened our attention span. People are more inclined to reach for a book they can devour on a flight from Point A to Point B rather than a 350 page tome that sits on their bedside table for months.
This is especially important to understand as a non-fiction writer. Readers are looking for first person accounts of triumph or best practice advice that they can put into use immediately and make a change in their lives.
Consider creating a fill-in-the-blank workbook that helps the reader move through your information and immediately apply it to them.
Benefits of Self-Publishing a Non-Fiction Book
Today everyone is an author or has the potential to be one. A book is almost as common as a business card and yet carries far more credibility.
Self-publishing a non-fiction book provides you:
- Additional online branding opportunities.
- Something to sell in the back of the room if you are a speaker.
- Income while you sleep – online platforms offer your book for sale around the clock without any daily work by you.
- The opportunity to say you are “an author.”
- Something to add to your LinkedIn profile.
- Mention on the biggest retail site on the web: Amazon.
- Continually markets you and your expertise long after you have finished writing the book.
Getting Started Self-Publishing Your Non-Fiction Book
The easiest way to start is by using something you have already written. If you deliver speeches or workshops, use the outline to help create your book. Expand upon the topic, add story examples, include quotes from others in your industry and before you know it, you will have the first draft of your book.
If you have been writing a blog, you can easily repurpose that content into a series of books. For example if you have a gardening blog and have organized your articles into categories; each category can become a small book:
- Tips for perennials
- Tricks for minimizing bugs and weeds
- Advice on creating a garden design
- Gardens for the home bound
- Gardens for the city dweller
- Vegetable gardens
Consider creating a series of 40-50 page e-books that focus on your topic. Each book is self-published under your name, adding even more online visibility to you and your expertise.
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this statement from would-be authors. “I’d write a book but it is all in my head and I don’t have the time to put it down on paper.”
Au contraire mon frere!
Technology provides authors with a number of resources specifically designed for those who want to capture their thoughts on paper without actually having to type. The best resource I have found is Dragon Speech Recognition software.
I am not a spokesperson for this product, nor do I receive any compensation for mentioning it, but I have purchased it and found it to be easy and effective.
Simply download the software to your computer and then using a microphone, speak into the computer and the software will capture your words. You can provide editing instructions, for example “new paragraph.” You can purchase an immediately download or order the copy to be mailed and it includes a headset and microphone.
I have also downloaded the free version on my iPad. It isn’t as powerful and doesn’t have the same amount of options, but it is great for jotting down ideas and even long speeches. The file is saved and then you can email yourself.
Dragon isn’t the only option. I recently discovered a free phone app called MyBinder which allows you to capture written notes but also will use the voice activated tool on your phone to capture short notes. This app is available for Android and Apple products.
Bottom Line: You have knowledge and lessons learned that others could benefit from. Organize your thoughts into an outline and then fill-in-the-blanks to create a non-fiction book you can self-publish.