Have you noticed the explosion of books on Amazon?
I sense that a large percentage of those books are written by individuals trying to establish expertise in a given niche.
Jesse Tevelow comprehensively explains the entrepreneurial book writing process; from idea to the act of writing to packaging and marketing.
Tevelow argues that the act of writing a book helps the development of mastery. The research required and the attempt to explain what you are learning to others help you gain expertise in the topic. By the time you are done writing the book, he argues, you can speak authoritatively on the topic you researched.
I feel that there is more credibility if you have applied what you are writing about and can speak to the hazards and pitfalls of your ideas out in the field. I know I am in a more privileged position than many of Tevelow’s readers. I have been doing what I have been doing for 20+ years, and I am not trying to reposition myself as an expert in things I haven’t done before.
The research I am doing now is helping me get some new ideas for maneuvering in our current environment and get a better understanding of some of the new conversations around business. Step 2 – for me – is to put what I learn into practice. Only after I get some feedback from application in the field, that’s when I write. I’ve operated this way for my entire career. Take idea, test in environment, write about the results.
The big issue I have with Tevelow’s advice is that it skips the application step. I’m finding that many of the books I am encountering in the “build-a-business” space are missing proof of application. It takes some digging to tell you whether the book is written by someone who has done the work or is just a decent researcher and writer. This is not a complaint – it only speaks to the increasing need for assessing sources before diving in headlong. At least Tevelow practices what he preaches.
Everything else he describes strikes me as dead-on. Knowing WHY you are writing the book and how you are positioning it (freebie for email collection, expertise development, or as a profit center), the process of writing and how to make it less crazy-making, even some marketing recommendations. There is a lot here for those of us who like to write and want to make writing a core part of their business.
Disclosure: The book link goes to Amazon and supports my blogging. Thanks.