What are the best steps to write a business book?

Who wants to waste your time, energy, and money in writing a book? Nobody.

Learning the best steps to write a business book is essential because several people have done some of the steps the wrong way around, and it’s taken them a lot more time, a lot of energy, and in some cases, cost them more money. 

In this post, you will see the steps and the order you should do them to avoid these mistakes.


#1 Research

The first step is research. Many want to miss this step. They come up with a great idea but want to skip the research. 

Around 50% of people who go through the research process change their book idea after completing the research.

What is research? It’s finding out what your target audience wants from you. In other words, the specific purpose of your book.

It’s for your target audience to think that you are pretty much the only person they can turn to to help them solve their problems. 

That you are head and shoulders above the competition, you are the expert, and you are the authority in this subject in this industry. That’s what these books are designed to do. 

So the topic of your book and what goes into your book have to be aligned with what those people want to learn from you. And this is where research comes in. 

Get your audience to tell you what is the best topic. You’ll be amazed how many people love to be asked their opinion.


#2 Planning

The second step is planning. 

Many people think that, as they’ve got a topic and a rough idea of what will go into each chapter, they can start writing. 

Then they wonder why they’ve gone off on a tangent, or they’ve missed bits out. It becomes an unmanageable mess. 

That’s what happens if we don’t plan properly. 

The best strategy is to mind map your book out. Make a mind map of at least 350 points on the mind map or more (even up to 500 points – the more detail, the better).

You need to do thorough planning before you start writing a word. That’s the key.

 Some people have been writing a book for years. And yet, many people think that As they’re still nowhere close to publishing because they had a very brief planning session. 

Completely separate planning away from writing. Plan your book meticulously by mind mapping.


#3 Writing your book

The third step, write your book. This, again, is something you’ll be amazed people do wrong. How do they write the book wrong?

Well, first of all, they didn’t plan it properly. They didn’t mind map the book out. So that means they’re planning and writing at the same time. 

But the other thing that they’re doing wrong is they’re typing or writing their books. And when you type or handwrite your book, you can see the words forming. So you’re going to keep going back, and you’re going to rectify what you’ve just written. 

That is called editing. You shouldn’t be editing while you’re writing. So again, separate everything out.  

A good strategy for the writing process is to dictate. You don’t have a script, and you are talking directly. That’s the beautiful thing about dictating. You can just dictate your book out. 

Now, you won’t keep going back and editing what you’ve just said. The reason why most people struggle with writing a book is that they are planning, writing, editing, and sometimes researching simultaneously.

Once you’ve got all of your transcripts and the dictation work done, that’s when you can line it all up. Use a good transcription tool like Otter.ai. 


#4 Editing your book

The fourth step is to edit. 

Break down the editing process also. A lot of people do all kinds of editing at the same time. This means errors are missed.

When you’re editing, look for one issue at a time. Say you want to search for typos. Go through your whole manuscript and just look for typos.

Don’t stop because you suddenly see an issue with capitalization, or you see an issue with your bullets, or the formatting is wrong.

Go through the whole manuscript and just look for one issue at a time. Then go back to the beginning again, and then look for another issue. You can call them reconnaissance missions because that’s what they are.

The final thing, make sure you do the correct type of editing. 

There are three kinds of editing: 

First, do the developmental editing, then copy editing, then lastly, the proofreading.

It’s a good idea to outsource copyediting and proofreading. You become almost blind to your manuscript after a few weeks. It’s always nice to get a fresh pair of eyes looking at your manuscript.

Developmental editing is looking at the structure of the whole book and making sure it makes sense that the sequence of information is in the proper sequence. 

Think of it almost like you’re writing down a recipe on how to make a cake, and you’re going to have step one, step two, step three, step four, in that order. 

Someone who reads that book will not do step four, then step one, then step three, randomly. Otherwise, they’re going to end up with an inedible mess.

With these books, you’re teaching something. So you need to make sure that you teach the correct sequence. 


Optimal Sequence

Make sure you follow those steps; research,  mind map, dictate, and finally edit.

With the editing, the optimal sequence is developmental editing, copy editing, and proofreading. 

When you do your book in that order, it will mean you don’t have to keep going back and doing extra tasks or paying extra money to do things over again.

I’ve written eight books now.

The first book took me 15 months to write because I didn’t have this sequence. I was doing all these things in a different order like many people are. Then they get overwhelmed and wonder why their book isn’t coming together.

The seventh book I ghostwrote took me six weeks. Just six weeks. 

The reason I could do it in six weeks was that I followed this sequence.

And it saved me a lot of time, energy and money!

Next Step

If you’re interested in writing a business book that will generate leads and sales for your business, get a copy of The Freedom Master Plan that will explain everything you need to know about writing and marketing business books.

You can also download a sample chapter here