Have you ever thought about writing your own book and using it as a marketing tool?

When I wrote my first book, A Life Like Mine, it was because as a little known professional speaker I knew I needed more exposure, and credibility which would lead me to gaining more paid speaking engagements.

Motivational Steps became a publisher, which meant that not only could I publish more of my own books, I could publish other people’s too!  This is quite an easy process, in fact most of the information that relates to this can be found online, or obviously from me.

The first step for me was to decide not only the why was I writing my own book, but also what to write about. I decided that because everyone was interested in my story that I would focus on that, and it was the best decision I ever made. My first book is now into it’s second edition and people want me to write a third edition when I get time!

Don’t feel afraid to write, you don’t have to be ‘good’ at writing as such, the trick is to write about your passion, which could be your work, your life story, or both.

Imagine you are sitting in front of someone and sharing your story, whether it’s business or personal. You find it easy to do that verbally, so transfer that skill to your writing in the sense: write how you speak. Write about what you share with others.

You can use a phone to record yourself speaking to others about your passion and afterwards use that as a guide for your book when you write down the words.

I found it easier to write chapters not in any particular order.  I wrote down my thoughts and when I had enough chapters and knew my book was almost finished I put the chapters together as if they were a jigsaw puzzle. My book did not start at the beginning of my story, it wove in and out of the past and present which made it easier to sort out my chapters in the order I wanted them.

If you prefer to write Chapter 1 first, go for it. Write when you feel like you have something to share. Try not to sit there for hours with writers block and become de-motivated.

My writing style is conversational, and many readers have said they feel like I am right there with them reading my story to them, which I quite like to be honest. That’s how I am in real life when I speak at a conference. It’s about having a conversation with your audience.

The cost of your book will depend on if you are doing everything yourself (or have helpers who donate their time). You will need to edit your book, define and prepare the layout and also the graphic design, cover etc.

If you hire someone to do all of those things for you and they offer a package price, determine if you need everything they are offering in the package. If not either suggest to them you want less for less money or shop around before spending your money.

You’ll need to create an ISBN (International Standard Book Number). If you are located in Canada you can do that here, please follow the link for more information. Also in Canada Library and Archives Canada (LAC) requires you to follow some steps if you are publishing a book.

Don’t be put off by some of the things I have shared, it is simple and if you get stuck ask advice, I am always happy to help you.

Another element of writing your own book is knowing if you want to partner with someone else and write a book together, or write a chapter along with maybe 6 or 8 other people. This can sometimes work out for you if you are aware of the pro’s and con’s before you enter an agreement. I know it costs me less to write and publish my own book than to partner with others because obviously the person who is setting up the book and needs partners is probably going to want to make a profit.

The other challenge when you write a chapter in a book with others is the amount of books you will receive as part of the package. This could range from 500 to 1,000 books because the person(s) setting up the deal ‘thinks’ it’s less expensive to order more books than less. But this is not always true, you can find organizations who will charge you the same to print one book as they do to print 1,000.

Another problem with having 1,000 or so books to sell is the time frame, if your book is time sensitive, or if it has errors in it, you still have to sell or give away 1,000 before you can rectify the errors and order more books.

I suggest a promo book first to iron out and detect any problems, and then ordering a small amount of books, maybe 50, so that you can see how popular they are – versus having lots of books left on your hands.

You can also give your book away for free as a ‘Thank You” to your clients. You can give your book away as a ‘door prize’.

The most important thing to remember is knowing the facts before you spend any money at all!