Dear Aunty B,
I want to write a business book but have no idea where to start, how long it will take and how to find an agent. Am I mad? I also run two companies and have a dog.
Yep. Totally bonkers. People go insane writing books and running even one company. On the other hand it’s a wonderful way to brand your business, get your name out there and establish yourself as an authority.
Before you proceed, answer three questions: Will we want to read it? Can you write? and Do you have something compelling to say that will add to the sum of human knowledge?
OK, let’s assume the answers to all three questions are “yes” and move on. Here is what to do. Write an outline of the book. This means you set out the title of each chapter and a few paragraphs about what goes in the chapter.
Then write the first three chapters.
Now it is time to talk to an agent or publisher. Get the names from Google or visit a bookshop, check out your favorite business books, decide which are the best marketed and target those publishers. The alternative is to hunt down an agent who will parade your book around to see whether there is any interest.
Can I suggest before you even embark on this exercise that you consult someone who knows the industry and can give you a frank assessment on your writing skills?
Step one for you may be learning how to write!
Oh and one more thing. Don’t expect to make any money. Writing a book is a labor of love unless it has Harry Potter on the cover. So yes, you are mad, which will help if you decide to proceed.