Making the shift from unpublished expert to published author lifts your status. It gives you a certain gravitas that signals to others that you are a true authority. Generally, authors outpace unpublished experts in invitations–to speak, to appear in the media, and to partner with high-level people and organizations.
Most people understand this. But what most don’t realize is the true cause. This is a vital distinction. So vital, in fact, that authors who don’t know the true cause of why authors get so much respect often will fail to see most, if not all, of the aforementioned benefits of authorship.
Holding Your Book in Your Hand Doesn’t Make You a Better Authority
One of my greatest pet peeves, and the pet peeve of all the best book coaches, is this idea of fast-tracking your book writing process. You’ve probably seen it. The “write your book in a weekend” or “show up for four hours of interviews and we’ll write it for you” models are two examples. While speed has value, when it comes to book writing, it’s not as important as thoughtful.
By thoughtful, I mean the process of writing the book should include time for reflection and questioning, not only the views already in the marketplace, but reexamining your own opinions and getting super clear on your actual values, vision, and mission for what you want to teach the world through your words.
Like a Diploma, the Physical Book You Hold is Merely Evidence of Your Transformation
The reason why the title “Author” has garnered so much respect over the past 500+ years is that the whole purpose of writing a nonfiction book is to provide an opportunity for you to learn. Most people approach writing a book with the idea that “I want to share what I know,” when the intent ought to be, “I want to discover what I don’t know.”
As you embark on this inquiry, look in three places: 1) what I don’t know, 2) what I don’t know that I don’t know, and 3) what I don’t know that I know.”
What You Don’t Know is Where the Gold Is
When you allow yourself to explore these three realms of what you don’t know, you will not only write a better book, you’ll become a better expert, a true authority in your field.
- What you don’t know. I hope when you start working on your book that you give yourself the room to explore ideas you’re curious about. To to name a few tactics, this could mean doing further research, conducting your own study, or interviewing other experts.
- What you don’t know you don’t know. Humans have a tendency to make assumptions and share with others based on those beliefs. When you are authoring a book, it’s vital that you check your assumptions before you write about them in your book. Are they true? If not, what is true today?
- What you don’t know that you know. This is a big one, as I’ve seen in my experience over and over that without coaching, experts often miss communicating their best ideas because those concepts are so close, so much a part of their DNA, that they don’t realize the insights are worth sharing. It’s like the awareness is shrink-wrapped to their consciousness. Authoring a book is a great opportunity to see what is missing in the awareness of your target market that you understand as a ‘given.’ One example of this from my own life is before I wrote my book, How to Write a Book That Sells YOU, I thought everyone already knew that there are only four ways to structure a functional outline for a book manuscript until my business coach pointed out that was simply not true. I ended up writing an entire chapter on it!
Give Your Time, Get Your Superpowers
Taking four to six months, or more if necessary, to write a thoughtful, substantive book not only makes you a better authority, it gives you superpowers when it comes to communicating the value of what you have to offer. Superpowers that you take with you everywhere you go, and bring to every conversation, be it a client meeting, a sales call, an interview, or a keynote speech. You will be more concise, have strong example stories at the ready, and you will have thought through, probed, and vetted your own beliefs to the point where you can give interviews that are bulletproof. For our clients, and for myself, this all translates to increased income, credibility, and impact.
The Bottom Line is This:
Don’t fall for marketing on book writing help that values speed over content. Investing the time to write a thoughtful, substantive book will give you superpowers that make you better at communicating the value of your insight, and that awareness will up-level your entire life.