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So you want to write a book?

Tantamount

If you’re making plans for the year ahead, it’s just possible that you’ve decided to make 2020 the year you finally write your book. If that’s the case, it’s worth pausing for a moment to look more closely at that goal.

Whatever the genre – even if it’s not in the least business-related – writing a book can add credibility to a professional career. It can also be the realisation of a lifelong personal ambition. But if I had £1 for everyone who has ever told me they were going to write a book – and hasn’t actually done so – I could close up the Tantamount studio for a month and we could all take a nice long holiday.

Looking specifically at non-fiction books related to our businesses, I suspect that almost everyone I meet at networking and Chamber events has a huge amount of material that could be collated, restructured and developed into a book showcasing their expertise.  

If you think that applies to you, and are considering turning your book into a reality, the watchwords for success are pretty much the same as for any other business project: remember that you’re a professional and act like a PRO: Plan, Repurpose, Organise.

  • All projects work better with a plan, so don’t rush in without knowing where you’re going – why you’re writing and what you’re going to do when you finish the book. Who is going to read it and how are you going to distribute it? What will success look like? Taking time at the start of the project to consider the target outcome can save a lot of wasted time and money.
  • It’s the age of reduce, reuse, recycle: don’t re-invent the wheel. Repurpose what you already have – blog posts, presentations, reports… We all produce a whole host of content for our businesses, much of which just slips down the social media timeline or disappears into the archives, never to be seen again.
  • There’s very little new under the sun and, when a whole world of information is readily available on the internet, it may be hard to see what possible value you can add. This is where organisation comes into play: curating and structuring content is a massive time-saver for your audience, which will make your book worth reading – and possibly even worth paying for!

Which is all very well, but, even knowing the basics, a lot of people fail with their book project. They fail to actually get the book written. Mostly because they don’t have the right A&E. No, they don’t need an urgent trip to the hospital, but they need Accountability & Expertise. They need someone who will act as a sounding board and provide accountability or the project may never get done; and they also need someone who is an expert in the field of publishing as most professionals may be experts in their own field, but they are novices in publishing and it’s important not to lose your authority when you become an author.

So, if you’re putting “write a book” on your New Year resolutions list, or thinking of undertaking any other new project in an unfamiliar field in the year ahead, I’ll repeat what I said earlier:

  • Be a PRO: Plan; Repurpose; Organise.
  • And make sure you have the A&E support you need: Accountability and Expertise.

Tantamount has worked with clients in the publishing industry – both authors and publishing houses – for decades and director Gwyneth Box has herself been a professional writer for many years; she has been widely published in magazines and newspapers, as well as having written a number of books and translations. At Tantamount, she developed the From Authority to Authorship programme, which offers mentoring to business experts stepping into the world of publishing. Gwyneth would love to talk to you about your book project!

Gwyneth Box
Tantamount
Email: gwyneth@tantamount.com
Phone: 0798 661 3437