Today’s guest post is written by Beth Brombosz, PhD, Owner of Blogger to Author.
It can be tough to become known as a true expert in your field, especially in a crowded niche like health and wellness. Even having an advanced degree isn’t always enough to help you stand out as the go-to person for public health advice. This is especially true if you’re looking to get more media attention and opportunities. You need something to help you cement your expert status and show the world that they should be coming to you for advice...you need a book.
A book gives you instant authority and credibility. When you become an author, people look at you differently. They understand that you’re a wealth of knowledge and that you know your stuff. There’s a reason why the idiom “they wrote the book on it” exists. Writing a book really does help show the world that you are a true expert.
But, writing an entire book can be a very scary proposition. How do you decide what to write about? Will anyone actually want to read your book? Will it be any good? Deciding to write a book may feel overwhelming, but it’s absolutely worth it, and it’s much more doable than you think.
What should you write your book about?
The first decision you need to make is choosing your book’s topic. Whether you work with a traditional publisher or self-publish, you’re still going to need a solid plan for your book. There are a few things you should consider to write the best book to build your business as a public health consultant:
What do you want to be known for? Is there a particular area or niche of public health for which you want to be the go-to person? Or, is there an area that you’re very passionate about? Your book, once published, will give you more authority and credibility. So, you should write it about a topic where you want to be seen as an expert. For example, if you want to be the person who gets called up for interviews every flu season, then make sure your book addresses influenza epidemiology. Media professionals will see that you’ve written a book about the flu, which makes you an easy choice for an interview.
How does your book fit into your business? If you want your book to help you build your consulting business, you need to have a vision of how it will fit into that business. Will you primarily use that book to get a credibility boost? Do you want to use the book to get more speaking opportunities? Do you want it to help you position yourself for corporate work? When you understand your bigger goals for your book, you can plan and write your book to meet those goals.
Who is your book for? It’s vital to understand your book’s audience. Knowing your book’s ideal reader will help you decide what needs to go in your book and what might need to be cut. And, it helps you set the voice and tone of your book, too. If you’re writing for other health professionals, that might mean using more technical language and an academic writing voice. If you’re writing for a more generalized, public audience, you’ll need to explain concepts in a way that a layperson can understand, and you’ll probably want to write in a more conversational tone, too.
Once you know the purpose of your book and who it’s for, you can start to plan what should go in it.
Planning Your Book
If you want to write a truly stellar book, a book that genuinely helps your readers and improves their lives, you should do some planning before you begin to write. I teach a three-part process to finding the best content for your book in my Fast Author Framework.™ Here are those three steps in brief:
The Starting Point. Where is your reader starting from? To find the best topics to cover in your book, you need to know what your reader knows…and what they want to learn about. You should spend some time thinking about their pain points, too. What are they struggling with? Building on our earlier example, let’s say your ideal reader is a parent who’s concerned about keeping their kids healthy during cold and flu season. They understand the basics, like the importance of handwashing, but they’re tired of their kids getting sick all the time and they want to do more.
The Transformation. Where do you want your reader to be after they’ve finished your book? Maybe that parent needs to feel empowered to keep their kids healthy during cold and flu season. They feel confident in their knowledge and their ability to help their kids avoid getting the flu. Maybe they also understand the difference between colds and the flu a little better. And, you want their kids to have fewer sick days. The Transformation revolves around education and being prepared to take action.
The Reader Path. How will your reader get from the Starting Point to the Transformation? That’s your Reader Path—the meat of your book. You need to plan out what you’ll teach your reader in your book so they can get to the Transformation. In our example, this may mean teaching parents how to eliminate viruses on surfaces in their homes. And, you may also need to empower them to work with their kids’ schools to reduce the transmission of viruses there. Your Reader Path should help illuminate everything your reader will need to learn to reach the Transformation from their current knowledge and beliefs at the Starting Point.
Your Reader Path is the key to creating a great outline for your book. Simply take all of your topics and ideas from your Reader Path and put them in the order your reader will need to understand or implement them. (For example, maybe parents need to understand more about viruses before they’re ready to learn about strategies to keep their kids healthy.) That outline will help you organize your thoughts, and it will make writing your book much easier and faster.
Once you have your outline, it’s time to get writing! Try to write consistently—steady progress helps keep you motivated, and it helps you create a writing habit that will help you become an author faster than you think. You can do this!
Have you dreamt about writing a book?
What would you write your book about?
Beth Brombosz, PhD is a bestselling author, writer, and copy editor, and is the host of the Blogger to Author Podcast. After seeing the amazing impact her first book had on her health and wellness business, she decided to help fellow thought leaders self-publish books to help them build their own businesses. She's passionate about making it easier for business owners to self-publish a book using her Fast Author Framework™ so they can build authority, credibility, and their businesses.