If you have ever thought of writing a book, you probably already know the options for support services can be overwhelming. It seems like there is a company out there at every stage of the process trying to separate would-be authors from their money. And while many advertise themselves to be full-service providers, most are just there to take your project across the finish line – if you ever make it that far. While knowing how a project will get “finished” is important, the steps leading up to that point cannot be overlooked.
Do you want a total package provider or just a finishing solution that will package what you have already created?
A recent Google search of providers offering a service for helping content creators turn their material into a finished book yielded dozens of results. The number was so staggering that we almost had to rethink our strategy for offering our solution to content creators – until we looked deeper. Turns out, most of these providers are nothing more than platforms or solutions for taking what you have and turning it into a book. This means the author must still do all the leg work in figuring out how to organize the book before uploading it for a finished product, which is no small task.
Why is this a problem?
Let’s start with cohesion. There is a big difference between writing short-form content and creating a book. You can have hundreds of blogs on an equal amount of topics, but do they all belong in the same book? Presentations, speeches, and other forms of content generally exist in a silo independent from the rest of your thought leadership. To randomly start picking topics for the book based on the wrong criteria (views, likes, or other forms of engagement) in no way ensures the whole will be received as well as the sum of its parts did. Significant thought is required to curate the material best aligned with the book’s goal and masterfully weave it together.
The weaving component leads us to the logical flow, or order, needed in a book. Blogs do not need to be interconnected. What you write today does not need to relate to what you wrote yesterday. And even if it does, how smooth are those transitions in creating an engaging reading experience for your target audience? This is where picking and uploading random content with one of these finishing platforms will backfire splendidly. Your readers will immediately realize the book is nothing more than a compendium of random thoughts they already had free access to on your website, and no value is added to those relationships.
If you do manage to determine which topics would work best together and how to put them in a logical order, you are now at the stage where one of these finishing services might be of benefit, but, how many of them offer the high-quality professional finishing services that come along with publishing a book? Editing is paramount, even if the content has already been published in one form or another. Sure, we all edit our work to the best of our abilities before putting it out in the world, but rarely includes professional editing. As we discuss in our blog, “Will a Book Build Your Brand or Damage It,” merely having a book is not enough. When a potential reader or client opens your book to find typos or other errors, your credibility is instantly reduced.
In saving the best for last, ask yourself this question: Do you have a strategy for marketing your book? Whether you are looking to sell a ton of books or leverage it as a business card to attract new customers, the strategy will entail far more than a hundred and fifty pages bound together with a pretty cover and catchy title. Essential elements of strategy involve knowing the psychographics of your target audience, the specific problem you are trying to solve for them, what they will walk away with, and most importantly, how you will determine if the project was successful.
Knowing all this, the finishing solution may still sound like the best solution, which is perfectly fine. But, if there is even a shred of doubt about putting in the work needed to fast forward that far, take a minute to check out the process we have built to save time, money, and frustration!