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C-Suite Advisory

10 Tips For CEOs Writing Books

Authority, visibility, credibility, popularity, legacy, speaking gigs, prospective clients, royalties… are all things a book gives you. No wonder more and more entrepreneurs recognize not just the desire but the necessity to get a book out.

Yourself being a founder or top executive you must be wondering how to get a book out as fast and as easily as possible.

Myself being a USA Today and Wall Street Journal best-selling author helping CEOs get their books ghostwritten, published and launched, I must stress that you take into account the following:

  1. Type of book: legacy piece vs. lead generator. Most of the books entrepreneurs publish fall into two categories. It’s either a legacy piece, where you get to “give back” and share your wisdom with aspiring entrepreneurs and your heirs. Or it’s a lead generator, which serves as a calling card for your company.
  2. Your “why”: to give back or to create a funnel? Once you know the type of book you want, you need to examine why you really want it. Throughout my conversations with hundreds of CEOs I discovered that reasons vary. Among the most commonly cited were:
    – I want to be seen more of an expert to get more clients;
    – I want to find mentees to mentor;
    – I never want to retire and I want to have a funnel for consulting work in semi-retirement;
    – I want a new challenge and a new project to keep my mind active as I age;
    – I want to contribute to the world on a deeper level;
    – I want to inspire and add value to the community.
    Your USP: fit in and stand out. Once you know the type of book you want and the reason why you want it, you need to make sure you create a book that there’s demand for. Your book needs to both fit into a lucrative niche and stand out as being something that hasn’t been “done before.” For example my recent release Outsource Your Book fits in nicely into the popular “Business Writing” genre but it also stand out because nobody has ever taken the “how to outsource your book” angle before.
  3. Your CTA: what is the reader supposed to do? You’ve defined the purpose of the book so now you need to identify the exact step you want the reader to take after they read your book. If it’s a legacy piece, you probably want them to adopt a certain behavior or attitude to succeed. If your book is a lead generator, you want to send your reader to a website where they sign up and get something for free (such as a report or a booklet). This way you get their email address and will be able to engage with them and offer your products or services.
  4. Outline: your 10-12 chapters. Now that you have your USP and CTA you want to put together the 10-12 chapter titles that will make your book. Doing this right at the beginning will help you avoid the so called “writer’s block”. I recommend that as a busy executive you delegate the writing (and the whole book creation process) to professionals. Coming up with the chapter ideas will give your book direction and will make it easy to fill in the blanks.
  5. Speak your book. You’re a pro, just probably not a pro at writing. That’s a completely different career path to yours. You might be able to write great emails, great memos or even great copy but writing a book is a different beast altogether. That’s why I recommend that you speak your book (or get interviewed by a professional interviewer) and then get that transcribed and ghostwritten.
  6. Optimize your book for online sales. During the publishing process it’s vital that the book is prepared to be sold online. Amazon is the #1 retailer and although it looks like a book store, in reality it’s a search engine. This means that you need to know which keywords and phrases your prospective readers are typing in the Amazon search box. You need to use those as you own keywords, ideally including them in your description, subtitle and even in your title! You also need to know how to choose the right categories, create an attention grabbing title and cover.
  7. Launch your book to bestseller. No author wants all that hard work to go to waste yet most books fail and sell fewer than 200 copies. That’s because most authors (and even certain publishers) have no idea how to orchestrate a successful launch. To make sure your book becomes a hit and not a flop you need to create a launch team, engage with them and have a deep understanding of the online algorithms. It’s not easy to do but at Leaders Press we have launches so dialed in that we guarantee all our authors best-seller status.
  8. Pursue foreign rights. With a successful launch it’s likely that you will catch the interest of foreign publishers. Apart from that it can be very lucrative to pursue foreign rights because it’s quite frankly easy money. The foreign publisher pays you an advance, takes care of the translation, publishing and marketing and all you have to do is cash the check! It’s definitely next level success and it allows for your ideas to be spread world-wide, not only in the English-speaking world!
  9. Improve your sales funnel. If your book is meant to bring in clients or prospects it’s important that you optimize your funnel. As soon as someone opts in to get your freebie (remember your CTA?), you should immediately start engaging with them. One way to do it is through a conversation conversion process where instead of hammering your subscribers with offers, you engage in a real meaningful conversation and only then do you offer your services.

Et voila! Follow these 10 tips and you’ll be going in the right direction with your book endeavor. And if you want more detailed information about ALL the steps of the book creation process, where to hire them out and how much it costs, make sure to take a look at my bestselling book Outsource Your Book!

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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - C-Suite Advisory - 10 Tips For CEOs Writing Books
Alinka Rutkowska
Alinka Rutkowska is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She’s the founder and CEO of Leaders Press, a done-for-you publishing house that allows you to get your book ghostwritten, published and launched to bestseller. Alinka Rutkowska is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine.