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How to Write a Business Book

Everyone wants to make a buck. CEOs. Vice-presidents. Managers. Employees of every rank and stripe.

Everyone. Wants. To make. A buck.

It’s not just a capitalist thing either. Hate to break it to any socialists reading this, but you want money just as much as the next person. Maybe even more so, since you’re willing to take what other people earned.

If you’re a socialist reading this “how to write a business book” post, that’s not meant to be offensive. It’s just a fact, though admittedly one that might smart a bit.

So here’s one for the capitalists as well: There’s a way to do capitalism morally and a way to do it immorally. And a lot of people choose to do it the wrong way.

Hopefully, you’re not one of those people. But if you are, keep reading anyway.

You might learn something surprising about how to write a business book as the week progresses.

The first step of writing a business book is knowing what you’re writing. So that’s what the Definition below is for: to make sure you're starting on the right page.

Business Books:

Business books tend to be a mixture of how-to guides and self-help reads (something we’ll address further in Thursday’s blog post). They offer pep talks and helpful hints to getting your business off the ground.

They don’t have to be business-specific, targeting only marketers or art shop owners or copywriters or some such thing. They can be, but that’s not the only option. Many – perhaps even most – focus on organization, not occupation. They call out either entrepreneurs or corporate people looking to climb the ladder.

I’m a firm believer in each and every writer choosing how they’d like to write their book-to-be. Different writers work better with different organizational structures, ranging from intensely planning out each and every step of the way with outlines and pre-writing research, to sitting down free-style.

In the creative writing world, this is known as plotting and pantsing, terms that fit just fine for the nonfiction writing world as well.

For the record, there’s no sure-thing right way in this regard. Each writer has to choose which way works best for himself or herself.

When push comes to shove, that doesn’t change one bit when it comes to how to write a business book. However, you might want to lean toward plotting.

Here’s why…

Yes, your book-to-be can be boiled down into the writing Definition above: a mixture of a how-to guide and self-help read. And that might sound easy enough.

But writing a business book that sounds convincing and inspiring enough to make a buck isn’t easy work. More than likely, you need a proper game plan.

More than likely, you need an outline. Or at least a solid understanding of where you’re going.

So, before you write a single word (or a single word more), here’s a list of questions to answer:

  1. If people follow your guidelines, what is the outcome they can and should expect?

  2. How can people achieve this outcome? In other words, what are the steps they need to take to get where they want to be business-wise – where you say you can get them?

  3. How do they know they can trust you? What proof do you have that your model works?

Once you have that, you can decide whether you’re a pantser or a plotter. And then you can get to writing a business book.

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