I’m Going to Be an Author!

Thinking about writing your first book? Even to an entrepreneur or a business leader, writing a book may seem like a daunting task. Perhaps to become the leader you are, you have read many books that have helped you in numerous ways and you are wanting to now help those next in line. After all, communication through the written word is one of the best teachers in any industry.

Establishing Authority in a Field

Many business leaders are not only looking to pass along their expertise or knowledge, though that is a positive outcome, they are also looking for a solid way to build their brand, increase attention to themselves, and boost their platform. Can you blame someone for wanting to do so? We have seen the impact that books have on an author’s brand. A book screams expertise and success. Readers think, “This person must know what they are talking about since they wrote a book!”

Establishing authority in your field is a powerful marketing tool for an author, and it makes writing a book as a business leader or entrepreneur appealing. Being seen as a credible thought leader in your industry can open the door to many revenue opportunities aside from just book sales.

So should you write your own book? Well, before you attempt to become the next Stephen King, there are just a few things you may want to consider. In this article we’re going to cover those few things in detail and explore the things you need to know before you start writing your first book. No matter how good of a writer you may already be, we’ll guide you through the process of identifying your audience, choosing a relevant topic, publishing options, and marketing and promotion.

Identifying Your Audience

You may be an authority in your industry or even an expert in your field, and you may feel that you have something important to share, but it is critically important that you remember you are not the most important part of your book. The reader is.

Your book must demonstrate that you understand what your target audience is searching for and that you have the answers they need–whether your book is about marketing, better living, or, like Mandel Publishing’s first title by Micah Salas, buying business insurance.

By exhibiting your understanding of their problems and desires, you can keep your readers invested in your book by providing them with the solutions they seek, even if what they seek is purely inspiration. Knowing what your audience is searching for when reading your book will help you determine what information you need to provide from your unique experience and perspective.

All that said, how do you define your audience? Defining your audience as an entrepreneur and a business leader starts with market research. Think of writing a book like a new product your company may be releasing soon. How much research goes into the release of that product?

A book is no different. It’s just going to be tailored to your personal experience and expertise. Below are 3 steps to utilize when doing market research for your potential book:

  1. Look at other books in your field. Whether it’s business, entrepreneurship, leadership, or any industry, identify the type of people these books are written for. Which books seem to align with your experience? How about the tone and writing style? Who are those books written for? Are they written for the budding entrepreneur or are they written for the experienced business leader looking for leadership answers? It will never hurt to know what’s already out there that may relate to the message you are looking to share.
  2. Conduct surveys or interviews with potential readers. Think like a businessperson and run ads if necessary to get people participate in surveys. Setup interviews with people who have written books in your field. Find people younger than you that seem like they are on a similar path as yours but are a few years behind and ask them questions about problems they are looking to solve.
  3. Use social media to engage with your target audience. Begin to seek your target audience out! Ask questions, participate in online comments sections, and get feedback.

As you begin to understand who it is you are writing for, you can start to develop your writing style and tone. You may have an idea of how you want your book to read or sound, but remember to think about how your reader wants it to sound. What is the best way your reader will receive your thoughts and ideas in the written form. Do they want thoughts, ideas, and experiences like yours to be read as formal and academic, or do they want it to be more approachable and conversational? Is your reader attracted to humor or would they prefer a more serious tone with inspirational stories?

Choosing Your Topic

Many nonfiction authors begin writing with a broad topic in mind. However, at some point the author will have to begin breaking down that broad topic into multiple specific topics that are relevant to their identified audience. One of the hardest parts about this aspect of the writing process is deciding what to leave out of the book. Remember, a story or experience may have some significant meaning to you, but when writing for your audience, everything must be looked at through a different lens. Will that story or experience really help or benefit your reader when it comes to fulfilling their need?

Use your audience research to narrow down your broad topic and write out what parts of your experience within your broad topic are relevant to your readership. What are the main themes and ideas? What about specific terms? After brainstorming answers to these questions, begin to describe the who, what, where, when, how, and why about your topic to determine relevant ideas.

Now that you have narrowed down your broad topic into sub-topics relevant to your readers, it is crucial that you develop an outline for your book. This will ensure that your book flows from beginning to end in an organized way. No matter how you decide to outline your book, it should include:

  • A clear introduction to build the framework for your topic
  • Coordinated chapters
  • A conclusion that summarizes the main points of your topic

This outline will serve as a flexible guide during the writing process. You can make changes or add ideas to it, but it’s important to add structure to the writing process as soon as possible and throughout.

Also, keep in mind that you must be passionate in some way about your topic. Writing a book is a lengthy process that takes a lot of energy and concentration, and if you get started on something you don’t really care about, we can almost guarantee you won’t finish.

Publishing Options

In today’s world, when it comes to publishing your book there are more options now than ever. It comes down to choosing the publishing path that best suits your needs and goals. For most, there are three options when it comes to publishing a book:

  • Traditional Publishing
  • Self-Publishing
  • Hybrid Publishing

Typically the most conventional way of getting a book published, traditional publishing will handle all the editing, design, printing, and distribution of your book. This option is typically chosen the most often because when working with a traditional publisher, they are able to offer you greater prestige and a wider distribution when you release your book. Many traditional publishers have notoriety that will help in marketing your book. Pursuing this option all starts with talking with potential publishers and finding out what they are looking for and if you and them would be a good fit. Consider what they want, need, and expect, and understand what you may have to give up in return.

With Amazon self-publishing becoming increasingly more common, many people have been choosing the self-publishing route because of it’s ease of use and low barrier to entry. Gone are the days of authors being turned down by 50 publishers before finally being discovered. After a few clicks anybody with a few pages written can now become a published author through Amazon’s self-publishing program. However, this option involves the author taking on all aspects of publishing themselves. From the final editing, design, printing, to distribution, the success of the book is solely on your shoulders. The self-publishing route requires much more work on your part, but it also provides you with greater control over the final product as well as higher royalties.

If you want the best of both worlds, hybrid publishing may be the optimal option for you. This option involves a mix of traditional publishing and self-publishing providing you with the benefits and cons of both options. The publishing company will provide you with a handful of the services of traditional publishing, but this means you will also have more flexibility and control over your final product.

And if you have a great nonfiction book already written and are seeking a publisher, feel free to send it to Mandel Publishing for review.

Marketing and Promotion

To start the marketing of your book, consider having a book launch! This will help drive immediate sales which will turn into quick reviews and word of mouth recommendations. It will also give you a chance to connect with your readers and supporters on a personal level before they dive into your book. A book launch can be held at a book store, library, or even your work place. Perhaps you could even have the book launch at your home! Invite as many people from your target audience that you can identify as well as influencers in your field. Use the book launch as an opportunity to generate buzz around your accomplishment and get people excited.

The same concept can be applied to all social media. Reach out to influencers in your industry and let them know that you just released a book and that you think they will really like it. Offer to send them a free copy. If you have an email list send out an email blast letting everyone you have done business with know that you are now a published author! This stage of the ‘writing a book’ process can be the most exciting part. Leverage your network, social media, and your expertise and get the word out.

Lastly, consider paid marketing options. If you have the know-how, run Facebook and Instagram ads inviting people to check out your new book. Create a budget plan and an eye catching ad and be sure to provide value up front in exchange for a purchase of your book. This is a great chance to connect with new people who have never heard of you and to show them why your book has the answers to what they’ve been searching for.


So, do you want to write a book? The experience can be incredibly rewarding for business leaders and entrepreneurs wanting to share their insights, experience, and expertise with a wider audience. The key is to put the reader first, stay true to your vision, and organize as much of your ideas as possible before and during the writing process.

All of the tips in the form of questions in this article should be read aloud and answered on paper prior to writing. This will provide you with an incredible foundation as you progress in your endeavor. Use your business experience and treat your book like a new product your company has tasked you with releasing to your customers. Writing your own book is truly the best way to exhibit your expertise.

Oh, and perhaps the most important thing of all: have fun. Life is a journey, not a destination–and so is a book.