When Tom Corson-Knowles started off at business school in Indiana, he realized that he didn’t share the same dream as the rest of his cohort.
Being an investment banker on Wall Street was his idea of a nightmare, and instead set up a business from his dorm.
He also started to write a book which, six years later, he finally managed to publish himself. It is from there that he started to teach other authors how to write and then market their books with online self-publishing.
Not wanting to do it all themselves, Tom found his students asking him to do it for them. And that’s why he set up his own publishing business, TCK Publishing, five years ago which has since gone from strength to strength.
From the age of 10, he’d started writing poetry despite having only read one poetry book and knowing no-one interested in it. He’d always had an interest in using words to create prose which expressed his feeling, emotions, and ideas.
But it was when he won a competition whilst at high school that he realized there may actually be potential for him to make a career from it somehow. And he did.
Tom explains why your business success may require you to write a book, and he then helps you through every stage of that process.
Why You Should Write a Book
There are two types of writers. You’re either a fiction writer ready to publish a novel of a story you’re wanting to share. Or, as a business owner and/or expert, you’re a non-fiction writer with a message to share or a solution to a problem based on real life.
In both markets, there is a huge audience and either way, by publishing you’re likely to create a loyal group of readers, which will help you to be successful in many different areas of life.
You also own the copyright up until 75 years after you’ve died, which means the royalties will continue to earn your children and grandchildren money. There is no other business where you can guarantee that kind of return.
Writing the book as a business owner, you’re likely not writing it for the royalties. That’s because the main source of money will be from the extra custom the book generates for you. And just think about the long-term value of someone who buys a book and then your services.
Your book is a business card which also pays the bills. And once you’ve published, it’ll attract new clients on autopilot without you needing to do anything.
So before you start, you need to define the goal you’re setting out to accomplish. And for business owners and coaches, a book is a no-brainer because of the leads it’ll generate, the credibility it’ll give you, and the proof to enable you to raise your prices.
Deciding What to Write
With a new client who is unsure what to write about, Tom will map out their current marketing funnels. That way, he is able to spot any gaps that may exist in what is happening.
For example, if you have no low priced products, then a book perfectly fits the space of an affordable product to introduce yourself to people. It can then be fitted into your current business model.
After that, it’s then good to brainstorm all the possible topics you could write a book about. What are you an expert at, and what problems do your ideal customers have which you could solve?
With 10 or 20 ideas, you can then reduce that list by asking yourself some clarifying questions. What are you passionate about and which will add the most value?
Whatever you’re left with, ensure your uniqueness will match the market.
With perhaps 2 or 3 ideas left, it is then really helpful to carry out some market research to better understand your customer. Later on, that means you’ll have to spend less on advertising and marketing, reach more people, and then grow quickly.
You can do this by using Amazon and typing in the different keywords which relate to the book you’re thinking of writing. Finding all the best-selling books which are as similar as possible, you should then read all the reviews.
Make a note of all the common things the readers love and hate. You’ll then be able to see the world from their point of view, help you to spot gaps in the market, and how you can make your book unique. It costs nothing to do and you’ll be able to add more value.
You should read thousands of reviews to give you real clarity as well as a broad wealth of experiences and knowledge.
Writing the Book
With the decision made about what you’re writing, you should then brainstorm all the different ideas for what should be included. Organize and clarify it to create an outline for your book.
This will give you a logical order for the book and the order in which you can give the reader information which will keep them interested and solve their problems.
When it comes to writing the actual book, don’t try to follow any particular rules for what needs to be in the book and how long it should be. It just needs to get the job done without any unnecessary fluff.
Now you can actually sit down at a computer and start typing. Using the guideline will now help you to avoid staring at a blank screen in despair and to fight off writer’s block.
Start each day with a plan for what you’re going to write, and you’ll find yourself more productive.
Writing every single day, even if only for a short amount of time, will ensure you don’t forget where you are or fall out of the habit of writing. Try to compress the method into a 60 or 180-day window, and that will be possible when writing every day because your mind will always be in the right place.
Fine-Tuning Your Work
When you have the first draft complete, you now go back to the start and edit and revise what you’ve written. The hard work is done now, but you’re still a long way from being finished.
The main purpose is to clarify your communication and to ensure the reader will get what you’re want to say to them. This is a lot more than just checking grammar and spelling as a proofreader can do that. Only you can check the ideas you’re expressing to ensure the reader gets the most value.
All of the problems which your customer has, need to be laid out clearly. You may find that things are missing and it is necessary to add checklists and video tutorials.
Tom recommends that you edit at least 5 to 10 times before you let anyone else see the book. It needs to get to a point that you’re only picking up a small number of things every time you read it.
Once you’ve done everything you can to improve the manuscript, you want to give it to an editor. A professional will spot errors you can’t, so pick someone who has experience working for traditional publishers or is a journalist, as they’ll help to really hone your message.
Any reputable editor will give you a sample edit of a few thousand words. After giving it to a few different editors, you can then choose the one you feel will help you to best improve.
You’ll then get a manuscript which is absolutely covered in red pen marking corrections and suggestions. This process can then continue on a few more times.
And once it’s complete, you may even want to give it to another editor to take one more look at it. You need it to be as perfect as practically possible.
It’s Time to Publish
With the finishing touches in place, you’re now ready to get the book published and to begin marketing it.
This is where everything you learned about your audience and brand at the start comes in really useful. This will help you in communicating with your target audience the unique value you have added to the marketplace.
Every decision is based on who the audience, and what the brand, is. Everything including the book title and subtitle, cover idea, book descriptions, and the marketing campaigns.
At Tom’s TCK Publishing, they are a full-service publisher and they help clients turn their message into a professional finished product, publish it, launch and market it for them.
When writing your own book, you need a team which consists of a writing expert, publishing expert, and a marketing expert.
To learn more about Tom’s TCK Publishing company, you can find everything you need to know on the website, from their publishing services to submission guidelines.
There is also a wealth of free information to be found. The blog consists of checklists for self-publishing on kindle and paperback publishing. There’s also a book writing template and a guide on how to create an audiobook.
And if you’re looking to self-publish, Tom has a free video training course to help you do it yourself. Each video will show you another stage of the whole process and will take just 30 days to complete.
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