Read time – 5 mins.
As an aspiring author you have a vision to create great impact in the world with the power of your written word. There is something inside you telling you that you’re here on this planet at this time because you are supposed to make a huge difference. And you also know that you’re going to have the greatest impact if you share your message in a book.
Truthfully, we all know that humanity is facing many great challenges on a number of levels at this time. And what we need are leaders, down on the ground, stepping up to answer those challenges with a new perspective and fresh ideas.
If you are one of the ones that is feeling that calling—whether you want to tackle some of the social issues that are prevalent in our world today, build something great, create more equality and consciousness, or share an idea that could shift humanity in a different direction—if you are ready to step up and play your part and a book feels like the most powerful way to reach the greatest number of people, the following checklist will ensure that you have all the pieces in place before you begin.
#1 – ARE YOU READY TO LEAD?
First and foremost, we need to take a look at you as a leader. You may be already out in the world presenting your ideas to an audience or taking your first steps to do so. One of the initial considerations is getting yourself ready to lead. In a fiction book, an author can hide behind the story. You’ll find some of the most reserved and introverted authors who never give interviews about their material, but who have touched their audience through their characters to the point where they can stay hidden behind their creation.
You won’t have the same luxury with a non-fiction book, particularly if you are writing one that shares a unique point of view. You’ll need to be prepared to stand by your message, and in these current times, that can also mean being prepared to stand by it in the face of those who oppose it or don’t agree with what you have to say. So developing your conviction as a leader is going to be vital. It won’t just affect any talks or interviews you give about the book; it’s also going to affect the tone of the book so that you can stand by what you say with veracity and the reader feels your confidence in what you are proposing.
#2 – HAVE YOU GOT SOMETHING TO SAY?
Having ghostwritten over 30 books, as well as having 4 best-selling books of my own (one of which was published in 15 languages), as time went on I began to see a pattern in those that had the most success. Either the author had a unique thing to say or a unique way of saying it. In today’s current market, with so many new authors finding their voice through the written word, you want to ensure that your book falls into one of these two categories, so that your reader sees you as someone who is bringing a fresh perspective and solving some of the challenges that they are facing individually, or we are collectively facing in humanity.
#3 – IS YOUR IDEA GROUNDED IN REALITY?
Often a prospective author will reach out to us with an idea for a book but it won’t be grounded in reality. This means that they had an interesting idea about a message they want to share, but it hadn’t been tested on real life human beings, or tried out in the real world.
If you are just starting out with your idea and you feel like a book is the best medium to share it, you need to be prepared to try it out in the real world to give it some depth as part of the process of writing your book.
#4 – ARE YOU AWARE OF YOUR AUDIENCE AND THEIR NEEDS?
On a similar theme, many thought-leaders launch into writing a book without a single thought for who their reader is going to be. There needs to be a connection between what you want to say and what your reader might need to hear, so that you are writing it for them and not just because you’ve got something burning in your heart that you want to share.
#5 – IS A BOOK THE BEST MEDIUM FOR YOUR MESSAGE?
Most people dream of seeing their name on the cover of a book. But it’s always crucial to ask if it is the most powerful medium for your message at this time. This includes some tough questions around whether you have the skillset to put it together (or the funds to hire someone else to do it for you if you don’t). But it also includes considerations such as whether you have enough quality content for a book or whether what you have to say could be more effectively distilled in a video, a blog series, or another medium.
#6 – ARE YOU READY TO MARKET YOUR MESSAGE?
There was a time in publishing when a quality deal meant that the publisher would take care of many elements of the marketing for you. And while a good publishing deal still might include some input from the publisher in this area, it isn’t guaranteed. In fact these days, particularly if you are sharing a non-fiction message, the publisher is going to be looking at other aspects of how you share that message outside of your book, such as how you show up on social media and what kind of audience you have built. Even if you self-publish your book, you are going to need an audience to share it with (or a number of joint venture partners who are willing to promote the book for you), so if you have zero interest in marketing your message, then putting all your efforts into writing a book will be unlikely to yield the results you are looking for.
So if you are ready to step into a leadership role (or expand the one you are already in), you have something unique to say or a unique way of saying something that’s already been said, you are aware of a need your audience has and you have an idea that could meet that need, you are sure that a book is the best way to reach your audience, and you are ready to get out there and market your message, you have all the basic pieces in place for starting to write a book that could make a significant impact on humanity.
For the past decade, Sasha Allenby has been a ghostwriter for some of the greatest thought-leaders of our time. Her journey started when she co-authored a bestselling book that was published in 12 languages worldwide by industry giants, Hay House. Since then, Sasha has written over 30 books for global change agents. Following the events of the last couple of years, she turned her skill set to crafting social messages. Her latest book Catalyst: Speaking, writing and leading for social evolution supports thought-leaders to craft dynamic messages that contribute to change.
You are a catalyst or visionary who is crafting an evolutionary message. You want to be part of a community that supports you to make a difference with your spoken and written word. Sign up to receive weekly blogs and updates that enable you to craft your unique message.