Hey Officer, Book That Presenter…

Forget The Police, How About If You Write A Book To Get Your Message Across...
Forget The Police, How About If You Write A Book To Get Your Message Across…

We spend a lot of time talking about how to deliver your message verbally to your audience. However, there’s a lot more to communications than just the spoken word. For your typical do-it-once-and-it’s-over internal business presentation, the actual delivery is enough – do it well and then move on. But what about those presentations that you REALLY care about – the ones in which you’d like to change the world…?

There’s a lot of different ways to make your presentations have a life after you’ve gotten done giving them. Podcasts, videos, etc. are cheap and easy to do these days. However, I think that if you are really trying to get your message across, then the written word is your most powerful tool. That my friend means that you just might have to write a book…

Write a book you say? Not me! I’m no J.K. Rowling or Steven King. Hey, you don’t have to be – you just have to have something interesting to tell your audience and the words will flow out of you.

Neil Chethik is a published author who also works with others to help them get their books published. If you really care about the message that you are trying to communicate, then perhaps we need to spend just a few moments listening to what Neil has to tell us about getting a book published.

If you care enough about your message, then Neil says that there are three things that you need to think about when you are writing things down:

  1. What is going to make your book unique (there are a lot of other books out there!)
  2. What makes you so special that you are the best person to write this book (you are the best person, now figure out why…)
  3. What are you going  to do to make this book appear to have value for the audience of readers that you want to buy or obtain this book?

If you can make sure that your writing answers all three of these questions, then you are getting close having a published book. Once you have poured your heart out onto the (electronic) pages before you, the next step is to get yourself published.

Thankfully, Neil is once again here to help us out. He points out that here in the 21st Century there are a number of ways to get your message/book published. Its actually pretty easy to publish a book yourself. Somewhat tellingly this is called “vanity publishing”. However, let’s spend some time talking about the more difficult road to traditional publishing.

Neil tells us that here’s what you are going to have to do in order to get the attention of a traditional publisher:

  1. Do Some Research: off you go to your local Borders store. Find out where your book, once published, would be displayed. See what’s already there. How would your book be different? Make sure that it would be different!
  2. Propose!: Create a 10-25 page (double spaced) business proposal that tells a prospective publisher why they should publish your book. It’s good to get help on this and the book How to Write a Book Proposal is a good place to start.
  3. Do You Need An Agent?: This one is pretty simple – if you want one of the 25 biggest publishing companies to publish your book, then you need an agent. If you can live with being published by a smaller shop or a university press, then you can just send your book proposal to them directly.
  4. Pick An Agent: book agents get about 15% of anything that you make. Just like when finding a real estate agent, pick carefully.
  5. Personalize It: After you’ve picked the agent that you want, create a personalized letter to include with the manuscript that you are sending to them. It has to make them want to read your manuscript – make it interesting and watch your spelling!
  6. Get A Lawyer!: Because I know that you are going to be successful, please get a lawyer BEFORE you sign any agreement with an agent. You don’t want to get taken to the cleaners here!

Do you think that you could write a book about a topic that you really care about? How long do you think that it would take you to write a book? Would you know how to promote your book once you had written it? Leave me a comment and let me know what you are thinking.