Are you writing a book about your business? Perhaps you’re using your experience in your business to write your book. In any case, if you are writing a business book you will likely share unique stories involving clients or employees. This can lead you to wonder how much detail you should include about them and how to position the book to help your business.
Having worked with many authors who are writing a business book, we’ve seen many things go right and some common things go, well, not so right.
Through this article, you will learn the 5 biggest mistakes to avoid when writing a business book. We’ll kick it off with a mistake I made when I wrote my best-seller “Self-Publish & Succeed.”
The 5 mistakes you need to avoid when writing a book about your business
1. Identifying employees by name in your book
We had to scrub more than one book that mentions someone in a company that no longer works there.
It’s funny how often this happens. You’re proud and excited to mention someone by name because of their contribution to your company.
Later, as you write your book, something unpleasant happens. You eventually discover that this person has committed an act that totally undoes any good deed they’ve done.
This has happened with many of our clients. They were ecstatic to mention business partners, employees, and even service providers when writing their business book. Before the book came out (or, sometimes afterward) the relationship changed and the name-dropping was no longer a positive thing.
In my case, someone had left the company and did significant damage upon departure. Having this person mentioned by name in my book was troubling a team member who suggested we do a cleanup.
Upon reflection, I decided it was best to remove all names and change them to position titles or descriptions instead. This way, a specific action is not directly attributed to a name. At the same time, you ensure that the particular contribution is mentioned and not overlooked.
If you’re writing a business book about an active business: things are fluid, and things change. So it’s best not to include people by name.
If you’re looking back on a company you used to own (or worked at), you could include names if it feels right to you. In this case, the situation isn’t fluid since you’ve already left the company so it’s a reflection and not something that is as likely to change or evolve over time.
2. Being afraid to share the secret sauce that makes your company great
Some books will fall flat when a business owner holds back from sharing what they actually do to help people.
Perhaps it’s out of fear of competitors taking their secret sauce and using it. Or maybe they think people won’t need to hire them if they divulge all the steps in their book.
If you’re wondering, this is what makes Book Launchers the best professional self-publishing service around. 🙂
The issue is that if you don’t share massive value in your book, nobody will want your book.
I have never been afraid to share everything we do. This is because I know some people can do this on their own. I’m simply using my book to help my readers avoid some costly book-writing mistakes.
But here’s the thing: There will always be people who will read my book and would go, “Whew, here. You know what you’re doing. Do it for me.” If that is you, please check out the three ways we can help write, publish, and promote a non-fiction book here.
I want to work with people who will trust us. That, and you can’t share everything in one book anyway. But you have to share enough to get your reader to a specific outcome.
If you write a book from a place of fear that you will share too much, you probably won’t write a book that people will want to read or share with others.
Write a book that sets the reader up to achieve an outcome of an outcome.
This way, you’ll find yourself writing a book people want to read, share, and buy. You will inevitably sell your product, service, or speaking gigs so much more.
By contrast, you won’t get too far with a book that tries to sell by not revealing secrets.
3. Not using calls to action (or using them way too much)
Your book needs to have calls to action. For instance, you might wish to get people to subscribe to your newsletter. Or maybe you want to entice your readers to connect with you on a particular social channel.
A call to action is essential to achieve these outcomes.
However, you must be careful to not overdo it. You don’t want to overwhelm the reader – or listener (if they listen to an audiobook) – with constant CTAs. That would get annoying.
Don’t constantly reference resources or websites or ask people to subscribe or buy something. If you do that, you might get many reviews criticizing your book. It goes without saying that this could turn potential readers off.
What you need to do is create a balance.
I would only place calls to action in a book when it really makes sense. I also ensure I have a dedicated landing page to which I’m sending people.
Encourage people to connect with you because Amazon and other stores aren’t going to tell you who bought your book. And you should never assume that somebody will seek you out without reason, even if they love your book. Creating a really high-value reader magnet is a great way to do that. Here’s a video on reader magnets to help you with yours:
Some books do calls to action well at the end of each chapter. If this placement suits your book, make a compelling invitation with resources applicable to what they just read. These resources should be so valuable they would otherwise pay for them.
Do this strategically so that people are connecting with you. But don’t do it every chance you get.
4. Naming your book the same as your business
I know you’re writing your book to build your brand or business. So it would seem logical that your book’s title should match your business’s title or name. You might think that this makes consistent branding.
The problem is that very few business names make good book titles.
Remember that your book title is supposed to sell your book. It has to be reader-focused.
Even a name like Book Launchers doesn’t make a good book title. Why? Because it’s not telling you much about the book. It doesn’t tell you who the reader is or why they need to read it.
It would need to be something like ‘Book Launching Mastery’ or ‘Beast Mode Book Launch’ to sound more compelling. I made these up. I’m not titling my next book with either of these, so go ahead and use them if you want.
My point is simply that a book named the same as a business rarely, if ever, sets the book up for success – unless the business name also happens to be a great book title.
5. Waiting too long to publish
If your business is anything like mine, your book would’ve helped your business years ago.
The sooner you can get a book done and into the world, the sooner your business and brand can benefit.
Spending years tooling away on a business book is missing out on years of potential benefit.
There’s also a practical element here. Every year you’re in business, you’ll have new lessons and new things to add. The longer you sit on the book, the more updates you’ll find yourself wanting to do. This can result in your book going through a cycle of never-ending edits and additions.
Your business will change and evolve, and you’ll find yourself constantly needing to update any book that’s in progress if it’s taking too long.
Your book will never truly feel done, so you must put it into the world.
Give yourself a due date and say, “It might not feel done, but it is due!” If things change enough in the future, you can update the content and publish a revised edition.
Writing a business book is always great for business
There you have it; The 5 mistakes to avoid when writing a book about your business. Avoiding these mistakes can save you some pain in your author journey.
I believe that almost every business can benefit from a top-quality book. Books written for a business can boost awareness, sales, and opportunities. Moreover, writing a book is a surefire way to elevate your authority in your industry.
But before you and your business can benefit from a book, you first must get it out there.
Get in touch if you like us to help. We’ll be with you at every step in your author’s journey.
Now, if you’re trying to avoid mistakes, you’ll love this video on the 10 common author mistakes to avoid.
And if you’re like me and you’re super busy, well, you might want this video on how to hire a ghostwriter.
I got three-quarters of the way through my fourth book before asking a ghostwriter to help me with the final pages. Both videos will be fun, and I look forward to seeing you there. So click on over, and let’s hang out some more.