The philanthropic author

Publishing a book for your business, or in your area of expertise, should be as much a philanthropic process as it is about showcasing your expertise. If not, the book would be too much about you, and ask yourself, honestly, why would l want to read about you?

There is an inherent link between your career progress or reputation achieved by writing a book, and what you give to your reader: the more you give, the more you get. If you truly have something to impart that will help your reader, then they will market the book for you by talking about it. So, look after your readers. Make your book easy to read, laden with knowledge and insights that they would otherwise not be able to pull together – or at least not without enormous effort.

Never lose sight of your reader

When thinking about your reader, have a specific person in mind. Don't try to be all things to all people, or define your audience by a demographic or career position, as this won't provide the required focus.

Be specific, and by that I do not mean an ‘aspirational middle manager'. I mean actually give them a name. If, for example, you are a trainer, then at some time you will have had someone in your group who represented exactly who you are writing for. Let's call them Alex Smith. Alex Smith is your reader.

Writing for Alex Smith means that you are writing for them, and it's not about you anymore. Alex has specific experience, precise training, a career background, a family life, and a potential future. All this will help you write to a suitable intellectual level. Having Alex Smith in mind will also help you write emotionally engaging work, as you know who that person is and what makes them tick.

You may be concerned that this will cut some readers out. It certainly will, but those you do engage will read your book on a deeper, more profound level, and they will become your mavens.

Be self-assured

When writing, think of yourself as a leader in your field. Not with arrogance, but with the self-assuredness that comes with knowing your topic, and if you were sitting down with your Alex Smith for a coffee, they would leave having learned something from your conversation.

This line of thinking is a great way to write a book because your work becomes about the reader, not you.

A book is your trumpet, so you want to learn to play it with skill rather than just playing loudly. Make your book a refined piece of work.