I set out to help authors. Fifteen years and 50 books later, I keep hearing the same questions — about everything from how to create ideas to how to select a publishing path to how to do book promotion. So I put everything I knew in one place: my new book Build a Better Business Book: How to Plan, Write, and Promote a Book That Matters (A Comprehensive Guide for Authors). You can order it now — it’s coming out in June.
Why buy this book?
This book is exclusively for business and nonfiction authors. If that’s your ambition, I’m here to help. (If you’re writing any other kind of book, this isn’t for you.)
I designed this book to be as useful as possible for authors. Here’s what sets it apart.
- It’s comprehensive. There are lots of books about writing or book promotion. This book covers everything you need to know. How to conceive an idea. How to do research. How to gather case studies. How to choose a publishing path. How to write a proposal. How to triumph over writer’s block. How to promote the book to make it popular. How to turn the book into revenue. My goal was to answer every significant question that business authors have.
- There are no pie-in-the-sky promises. “Write a book and make a million dollars.” Umm, no. Potential authors are suckers, and lots of people know it — so they make it sound easy to sell thousands of books and get rich. If you have half a brain, you know that’s bullshit. My book, based on my experience with and relationships with more than a hundred authors, is based on the real world. Writing a good book isn’t easy. Neither is selling it. Neither is making money from it. My goal is to show you realistically what to expect. If you were hoping it was going to be easy and this discourages you from writing a book, I’ve done you a service (and at only the cost of a single book).
- It’s unbiased. Most of the advice for authors is from people attempting to sell you something. Forbes Books, for example, wants you to sign up for author programs for tens of thousands of dollars. All I want is for you to succeed on your own terms. (I do work with about ten authors a year, but nearly all the authors who read this book will get everything they need from the book; I hold nothing back.)
- There are a passel of fascinating case studies. There are profiles of 40 authors here, including Jay Baer, Scott Stratten, James Fell, Jimmy Soni, Laura Gassner Otting, and Phil M. Jones. And there are lesser-known stories of more modest successes like transportation expert Evangelos Simoudis, content marketing guru Melanie Deziel, creativity whiz Natalie Nixon, and spreadsheet inventor Dan Bricklin. You’ll read how they collected case studies, how they chose publishing partners, how they struggled with planning and writing, how they built graphics, and how they did clever and effective book promotions.
- The case studies are diverse. The authors I profile are young, old, women, men, Black, white, Asian, American, and foreign. Their books are about marketing, technology, strategy, history, finance, self-improvement, creativity, management, and innovation. They are self-published, traditionally published, and hybrid published. The authors have worked solo, worked with coauthors, or hired ghostwriters. Some are entrepreneurs; others are academics; others work for big companies or agencies. Some have sold millions; others have sold hundreds. Whatever kind of book you’re considering, there’s probably somebody in here who’s doing the kind of thing you’re hoping to do.
- The book features real data about authors. I surveyed over 240 business and nonfiction authors. You can read about what their goals were, whether they accomplished them, how much they paid to develop and promote the book, what tactics they used, and what their problems were. There’s very little real data in this space; my book has lots of it.
- I share tested, real-world advice. Every chapter is full of advice, with key takeaways at the end. And I actually tell you what things cost in the real world and what the economics of book publishing are. You may have heard I’m a no-bullshit guy. This is a no-bullshit book on what to expect if you set out to write a book.
- It’s endorsed by more than 50 authors. Daniel Pink. Joe Pulizzi. All your favorite authors want you to buy this book.
Check out this table of contents
I tell authors they need a sexy table of contents: one that surfaces key questions and promises answers. Here’s mine:
Here’s what to do now.
- If you’re convinced, preorder it directly from the publisher, Amplify. That’s the fastest way to get your print copy.
- If you want the ebook or audiobook, check back in early June.
- If you’re still not quite convinced, read chapter 1.
- If you’re a huge fan and want to help, email me at josh at bernoff.com. I’m starting a little cadre of people who can help promote the book around the launch on June 20.