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Writing and publishing a book is no small feat. It requires time, dedication, and a lot of patience. Plus, beyond the excitement of seeing your name on a cover, having your own book can also establish you as an expert and leader in your field.

So what should first-time authors keep in mind before they start writing? To find out, we asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question:

Q. What is one particularly important thing for entrepreneurs to remember when they are looking to write or publish their first book?

1. Have a strategy

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The important thing to remember for entrepreneurs looking to publish their first book is that publishing a book is as much about having a promotional strategy as it is about writing great content. Publishers want you to have a clearly defined audience, a PR strategy, and an audience or mailing list in place when you come to them. —Amine Rahal, Little Dragon Media

 

2. Test your idea first

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Writing a book is still one of the best marketing tools around. However, it also requires a lot of time—the one thing an entrepreneur does not have a lot of. Before you sketch out hundreds of pages, find out if there’s an interest in your idea by blogging or writing short articles. The comments you receive will give you a quick indication of the interest in your topic. —Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker 

 

3. Offer value

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Make sure that whatever content you put out to your readers offers them value. If there’s no underlying message to take in, then all it is is a story without substance. Teach your readers a lesson, and they’ll keep coming back for more. —Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

 

4. It’s going to be more work than you think

Reuben YonatanEveryone I know that has written a book says the same thing: it was way more work than they ever realized. It is also incredibly rewarding work. Be prepared to put in the work. Be prepared for unexpected obstacles and frustrations. Be prepared for it not to sell. Do it anyway. It will take perseverance, but it will be worth it. —Reuben Yonatan, GetVoIP

5. Speak your truth

Your audience wants to know your story. They want to know how you got where you are, and they want to know all the obstacles that you encountered along the way. There’s no good story without conflict, so be very sincere when telling your story—tell your story raw. People will relate to the challenges that you went through and will find inspiration in knowing how you overcome them. —Alfredo Atanacio, Uassist.ME

6. Grow your personal brand

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as seeing tons of people buy and love your new book. The problem many entrepreneurs face is they don’t focus on building their personal brand before publishing their work. If no one knows you exist, there’s a slim chance people are going to clamor in excitement over your new book. Build your network on LinkedIn and a personal brand website. —John Turner, SeedProd LLC

7. Hire an editor

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Hiring an editor is a crucial step when writing a book. Even if you are a wonderful writer, they are the outside ear that can confirm the messages you are attempting to get across are clear. Do not put the burden of self-editing on yourself. Bring in an expert to help make your book shine. —Rana Gujral, Behavioral Signals

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8. Write from your experience

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Make sure you really know what you are talking about. Make sure you carefully research and self-evaluate your experience. This way your book will have a clear value to communicate. —Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.

 

9. Have a unique story

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Every entrepreneur with a social media presence is writing a book now. It’s getting to the point where way too many authors seem to be selling a “secrets to the trade” rather than how to actually succeed in their business. Be sure you can offer a unique and entertaining story based off a successful background before you even think about publishing a book. —Andrew Saladino, Kitchen Cabinet Kings

 

10. Create an amazing outline and proposal

When I wrote my book, organizing my thoughts was my biggest challenge. Authors are overwhelmed at the thought of putting 10,000 words on paper, so creating an outline is very helpful. Even if you are self-publishing, you’ll want a proposal to show an editor and keep you focused. I took my 20-chapter outline and pretended they were 20 amazing blog posts, written over two years. —Matt Wilson, Under30Experiences

11. Take advantage of social media

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While you’re writing your book, be sure to include parts that redirect all your readers to some of your social media profiles. That way, they will be able to connect more deeply with you, and your audience will continue to grow. —Kevin Leyes, Team Leyes

 

12. Build an email list

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Writing a book takes time and effort, so the last thing you want is for no one to read it. That’s why you need to promote your book early, and the easiest way to do that is by building an email list—an email list is a great way to get the word out about your book. Plus, if you build an email list before you start writing, you can find out exactly what your subscribers are interested in. —Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

13. Get an accountability partner

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Having published two books on Amazon, I understand many of the headaches of publishing and the process. The best piece of advice I have is to assign an accountability partner to keep you on schedule. This partner can also be your editor, but an accountability partner should also be working towards a goal. Map out the boundaries of the partnership and timeline, then motivate each other weekly. —Matthew Capala, Alphametic

RELATED: How to Create a Best-Selling E-Book





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