For idea entrepreneurs, writing a book is one way to gain clarity and credibility. These benefits can help you promote your products and services — and justify higher fees. All this becomes possible when writing a book transforms your content.
By content, I mean far more than the “stuff on a web site.” Content is the sum total of ideas, facts, instructions, and stories that you present to your audiences. Beyond web site visitors, those audiences include clients, colleagues, readers, and people who attend your presentations.
The unique benefit of a book
But why a book? Why not settle for something shorter—a manifesto, mission statement, speech, or article?
Because a book project offers the most sustained and rigorous way to develop your content. Shorter pieces are fine. But by definition they do not cover the full range of messages you want to convey. Writing a book allows you to develop content in the greatest depth across all the topics that interest you.
What content transformation includes
Content transformation is a broad and powerful concept. It includes many activities to enhance clarity and credibility. For example:
- Creating — discovering and inventing new ideas, facts, “how-to’s,” examples, and anecdotes to offer your audiences. Another term for this is content refreshment.
- Organizing — dividing your content into major topics and sub-topics that you arrange in logical and intuitive sequence.
- Updating — revising your content to ensure that it keeps pace with the latest research and best practices in your field.
- Refining — taking a microscope to your content to see if you can make it more precise, accurate, and useful. I sometimes call this content repair.
- Testing — writing outlines and drafts that you can circulate to reviewers for feedback.
- Documenting — finding credible studies and statistics to back up your main points. Doing this will distinguish you from countless other people who want to speak, write, and consult for a living.
- Banking — creating large “deposits” of content that you can “withdraw” and present in other formats. Examples are presentations, articles, handouts, web pages, videos, slides, and future books.
- Expanding — getting your message out to more people than you can reach by consulting or presenting.
- Archiving — developing a legacy of content that can benefit people as long as your book stays in print, which could extend beyond your lifetime.
Notice that the above items are benefits that you can realize in addition to any advances and royalties on a published book.
And most of all…
Transforming your content transforms you. By writing a book, you discover what you know — and what you don’t know. This is the basis of learning and the beginning of wisdom.