A client-attracting book is different from most of the books that people first think of.
It’s structured from the ground up to —
- Attract clients
- Build rapport with them
- Shepherd them through the buying process
- Engage influencers and thought-leaders in your field
- Attract speaking offers and media coverage.
It is not War and Peace.
It’s not a college textbook.
And it’s not something that needs to take more than a few hours to write or a few weeks to take from idea to publication.
Done right, it holds its own in value and quality with works from the biggest publishers and most famous authors. Behind the scenes, it’s designed and structured to attract clients.
Some people have called such a book the “mother of all calling cards.”
I call it a client-attracting book, because that’s what it does.
It creates a relationship with your clients and prospects, while it establishes your authority in your field.
Here are the distinctive characteristics of a client-attracting book.
A client-attracting book is self-published. You own the copyright, and you take on the risks and rewards of publishing your book — the same way you do in your business.
Self-publishing has been a viable option for business owners for only a blink in the history of modern publishing. Before that, people thought self-publishing was for losers. It was a loud announcement that the author had run out of traditional publishing options and was scraping the bottom of the fish pond.
That’s all changed now. Some authors go from self-publishing to lavish contracts with traditional publishing companies. Some top authors write some of their books for their publishing house and some under their own brand. Some best-sellers forgo traditional publishing, because self-publishing brings in more money.
If your goals as an author are well served by traditional publishing, then that’s a viable route. But for a client-attracting book, only self-publishing makes sense, for these reasons:
1. Traditional publishing is slow.
A traditionally published author can count on spending —
- Months or years to find an agent, allowing each one months to say yes or no before trying the next.
- Months or years waiting for the agent to find a publisher.
- Another couple of years after signing the contract waiting for the book to come out.
Your competitors can publish entire libraries in that time.
By self-publishing, you set your own publication schedule. You can write, edit, produce, and launch a book in just a few months and have it bringing in new clients before you would find an agent otherwise.
2. Your traditional publisher owns your copyright.
Your publisher determines whether and when your book goes out in —
The publisher may take your book off the market, even though readers still want to buy it. And getting your copyright back so that you can sell it again can be complicated, expensive, or impossible.
As owner of your copyright, you make all those decisions, and your book remains available for as long as you choose.
3. Your income from the book depends on copy sales
In the old publishing model, you make money off sales of copies of your book. Your royalties might be a dollar and change on a $12.99 book (exact figures will depend on your contract). Oh, and you have no control over the price, regardless of your audience or how many might sell at a different price, if only you could experiment with it.
With a client-attracting book, you can make money without selling a single copy.
It may be that one new client can cover your initial investment for a top-quality professional book. Beyond that, giving away a long-term and powerful marketing document at $5 per copy (exact amount depends on decisions you, the author, make) offers an astronomical return on investment.
Your client-attracting book will be in the category of self-help or business nonfiction.
In other words, it will solve problems for your reader or help them reach their goals — the same way you do in your business or profession.
Targeted to Your Ideal Audience
Of course you know that everything you do must be targeted to a specific audience.
But with your client-attracting book, you can dig deep to get more of those top clients that make your practice worthwhile.
It will also give you an opportunity to make inroads into a new market or to broaden into an additional market without sacrificing the clients you already have.
Written in a Conversational Style
A friendly, conversational tone using stories to convey your points will engage your readers, leading them to know, like, and trust you.
The tone of your book is like meeting, face to face, over a cup of coffee.
Addresses a Compelling Need
What do you offer your clients? Not just your services, but what the outcome means to your clients. A feeling of safety, comfort, relief, accomplishment, hope. Feelings have a stronger pull than facts.
Your book shows that you understand the emotional impact of what your clients need. It also shows how you serve that need by offering solutions that they can use right away and that point to the larger services you offer.
Structured for Engagement
Throughout your book, you provide opportunities to follow up with you.
It might be additional resources at your website.
It might be an invitation to sign up for your mailing list.
Your book will certainly include a section on how the reader can contact you and make use of your services.
It can also refer to other professionals in closely allied fields, adding to the value of your work and making it possible that they might help you promote it.
What Your Client-Attracting Book Is **Not**
The listing above gives you an overview of what your book needs to be. Here are some characteristics to avoid.
1. Too Long
For your sake and for your reader’s, don’t make your book any longer than it needs to be.
For your sake, you don’t need to be grinding away at the word processor any longer than necessary. If you have that much to say, write another book.
Writing shorter makes it easier for your reader to engage your book right away, not put it on a shelf until there’s more time. Shorter nonfiction books are gaining in popularity. Busy readers appreciate an author getting to the point and skipping the fluff. Your book will be more useful and more memorable that way.
Academic is fine for textbooks, but a client-attracting book is not that.
Simplify the language. If you need to speak jargon to connect with your audience, fine, but even a reader with a master’s degree can absorb your information more quickly if you write in simple, declarative sentences, choosing Anglo-Saxon over Latin words as appropriate.
Use stories and embrace emotion to keep your reader engaged throughout the book.
4. A Work of Years
The time you take getting your book written is time that it’s not working for you to attract clients, build relationships, and open doors of opportunity for you.
If you write your book yourself, use speed-writing techniques to get your book finished quickly — six months or less even for a busy professional with a full-time career.
If you have a full-time career, it makes sense to put as much of the work onto other people — who understand how to navigate the publishing industry — editing, design, managing the book launch — while you continue to do what you do best.
If you hate writing or don’t have time to write, you can even get help with that. Some authors use dictation software to talk their first draft into their computer.
Others get a friend to interview them so they have the feeling of a conversation. It makes the work go much easier and quicker. Record the conversations and get transcripts typed up and turn the first draft over to an editor to clean up the text without losing your words and ideas.
As a rough estimate, people talk at the rate of about 30 pages per hour, so you could have a substantial first draft in production in five or six hours of your time.
If you create a solid working outline before you begin and interview to the outline, as I do with my clients, then the editing goes very smoothly.
After that, with professional cover and interior design and production, you have a book you’re proud to show in weeks instead of years.
Your Client-Attracting Book
Your client-attracting book is different from what many people expect when they think of writing a book.
Part marketing document, part manifesto, its goal is to connect with your people, to introduce you to them, and to help them see the value of what you do.
The differences don’t stand out to the casual reader, but as the author, you understand the structure and why it’s important to write it this way and not in the way most other books are written.
How I Help
My knowledge of the publishing industry helps you become the author of a client-attracting book that works for you.
I help you develop a plan to meet your audience and your career goals.
Working together, we create an outline that introduces you and your work to the right audience.
If you want to write it yourself, that’s fine. I offer book coaching: I read your drafts and encourage you through the writing process.
If you want to get the draft done in interview format, I’ll bring my experience writing feature articles for a newspaper and explore your outline with you. I’ll edit the transcripts into a solid first draft.
As it goes into production, I’ll get professional cover design and interior design so that the book shows the quality of the content you’ve provided.
I’ll work with you on a publishing plan, getting your book into print, ebook formats, and even audiobook, as you choose.