There’s nothing quite like having a book as a business card, but of course, writing it is another thing altogether. Clients often ask me how I managed to actually write my PR books, Get Noticed and Do Your Own PR so here’s what I say to them…
Deciding What To Write
Almost all of the clients I see have a an idea for a book in there somewhere, often bubbling just beneath the surface. But, similarly, sometimes when they describe their great idea I’ve got a funny niggly feeling that I’ve heard it before …and I probably have. So the first thing that you should do is check out the competition. What other titles are there on your chosen subject and how do they compare to the book you want to write? If there aren’t any then it’s either time to start rubbing your hands with glee or give up on the idea altogether as it may mean there’s little or no market. Investigate further!
Cheat a Little
I must admit that I was very lucky when it came to writing own book Get Noticedas I had about a year’s worth of newsletters that I could use to give structure and content to the book. What I had to do was turn my material into a realistic and practical course that worked as well as made sense. The good news is that if you’ve been writing newsletters for a while you probably have got a lot of ready-made material for your book already. Now, does that seem less scary?
My follow up book, Do Your Own PR, was a different matter. The PR landscape had changed a lot in those interim years and I needed to put together something that covered social media in all its diversity. I opted for the A-Z format, partly because breaking it down that way made it seem more d0-able, and partly because I liked the idea of having a book you could dip into, topic by topic, rather than have to trawl your way through.
You Don’t have To Do The Whole Thing At Once
Publishers often don’t want to wade through the whole book initially so if you’ve got a couple of chapters and a synopsis already then you can get things moving and get those out to publishers and carry on with the rest of the writing whilst you wait.
Many people swear by Julia Cameron’s idea of Morning pages as shown in The Artists Way. I use this on and off to get the juices flowing. It’s also a great way to work through a difficult or stressful time, by doing what is in effect a brain dump every morning!
Put it into Ebook Format
This is what www.bookshaker.com initially did with Get Noticed before publishing it as a paperback. It means that you can test the market, gauge reactions and change the book a little if necessary.
I have done this recently with my own Start a PR Company ebook, which is in PDF format. I wanted a tool that could help people start their own PR company so put everything I know into this one book. It’s not a mass market seller, but as a niche product, it works very well for me, and because it’s my story, and very personal to me, was very easy to write.
You can sell the book from your own website and keep all the profits. Who needs a publisher anyway!
With the rise of the Kindle and various other book reading platforms, there are now many ways you can get your book out there. I’m in the process of putting together a PR programme on just this…so watch this space!
You can see more about my books here