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writing a business bookBecoming a business book author is one of the best ways to demonstrate your authority and credibility as a Go-To Expert. However, many talented professionals doubt themselves and wonder whether they are good enough to publish a book. Therefore, this blog post sets out to answer whether your business book is good enough to be published.

The real question every prospective business book author needs to answer before setting out to write a book

I’ve been asked a few times recently by friends in my circle whether their book is good enough to be published. The answer is a very simple yes. If you have gone to the trouble of writing 30 000+ words, and poured your heart and soul into this, then you deserve to be published. After all, I personally know the pain which goes into getting all the words out.

Do you deserve to be published by a publisher, or self publish?

However, he lies the catch. Do you deserve to be published by a publisher, or self publish? Actually, that really doesn’t matter these days. The question you need to be asking yourself is, if I do get my book into print, will it be of a sufficient quality to enhance my reputation or detract from my reputation.

If I do get my book into print, will it be of a sufficient quality to enhance my reputation or detract from my reputation.

This is the million dollar question.

This is the biggest typical mistake 1st time business book authors make

Typically when I am asked to look at a manuscript, I can predict the area that it will fall down on, and the areas that will be perfect. It all comes down to the quality of the edit that has been done on the manuscript.

Most manuscripts when I see them are word perfect. By this I mean they have been properly proof-read and are typo-free and grammatical correct. As a result the manuscript’s owner can often believe that the book has been edited properly.

writing a business bookA good editor isn’t just removing spelling mistakes, and checking your references are correct, they are looking for several things:

  • a flow to the book – do the words and chapters flow in the right order, and get the author’s point across?
  • sign-posting – writing a book is very different to writing a training course or delivering a keynote presentation. Your readers don’t have the benefit of you standing there in front of them and interacting with them. As a consequence you need to frequently help the reader know where they are in the book, and what they can expect to come up. Think of it as a ‘beginning, middle and end’ to each chapter. A good editor will make sure that your reader never gets lost in a chapter.
  • too much detail – as an author it can be very tempting to include all the back story and detail which you think is important. Very often most of this detail is not needed, and actually prevents the reader from quickly getting the point you want to make. A good editor will get their red pen out and suggest where you can remove words.
  • future and international proofing – some editors will also help you remove any cultural reference which will quickly date your book or prevent it being enjoyed by an international audience.

When you take on board an editor do ask them exactly what they will be doing when they edit your book. Will they just do a structural edit and give you recommendations? Or will they do an in-line edit?

Being a good book editor is not just about whether you can proof-read a manuscript.

Is your proposed editor a real editor or just a good proof-reader?

Being a good book editor is not just about whether you can proof-read a manuscript. A good book editor is a mixture of coach, confidente and whip-cracker. They also, in my opinion, tend to have a little bit of OCD about them. (Or is that just my editor?) After all their job is to make sure that all the details are important and add value to your writing. There are many Virtual Assistants now diversifying into the self-publishing marketplace, offering author services. I would query whether they have the edit skills to help you publish a truly great book. Yes, the cost of their services may seem very attractive set against a professional editor’s services; but with everything in life you get what you pay for.

Don’t you owe it to yourself to write and publish the best book you can?