What type of book do you want to write?

Choosing the type of book you want to write may not be a decision you are aware that you need to make, but it is. There are many different types of non-fiction business book that you could write; I have identified around seven but I’m sure there are more. However, I believe that for practical purposes, there are three main types and I call them Seed, Signature and Star.

There are many different types of non-fiction business book you can write...there are three main types: Seed, Signature and Star. Click To Tweet

Why do you need to know what type of book you are writing?

Each of these three main types of book has different requirements in terms of writing, commitment and investment. They can fit into your business in different ways, which means you can plan them into your schedule and produce them in line with other products and services you are developing.

You can get published fast with a  Seed Book and with a bit of noise with a Signature Book, while a Star (or bestseller) Book is the one to go for when you’re already established and known in your field.

The Seed Book

A Seed book is a short Kindle or print book. It is a simple book that explains one key process or idea. It is best produced in a Kindle/eBook format as this is relatively inexpensive to produce. Your biggest investment will be editing (if you choose to get it edited) and your cover. The technical elements are fairly simple, which makes it very accessible for most – even non-techies.

SeedA big benefit of a Kindle book is that it can be short so you do not have to write a lot of words. You can adapt some blog posts (Amazon does not allow you to simply lift previously published material straight into a book), write-up a transcript of a webinar, use a transcript of an interview (you and someone else) or simply compile a book based on a list or collection of quotations.

The Seed Book can:

  • Promote a specific programme or service (in a similar way that you might have ‘the book of the film’).
  • Become one in a series of related books (you can package them up later to make a full-length book).
  • Summarise a key strategy, method or system that you use and so attract interest from potential clients.
  • Help to build a mailing list.
  • Attract opportunities for speaking engagements.
  • Be a great pre-workshop giveaway for those who enrol on live programmes.

The Signature Book

If you are writing a business-building signature book, it is worth investing a significant amount of time and effort into the project because it will generate revenue and opportunities for a long time after you have made the initial outlay of time, energy and money.

medium oak treeSignature books usually work best in print and print/eBook combinations so they require more work. There is no necessity to publish each format simultaneously – in fact there is something to be said for publishing one format before another and having two opportunities to promote the book. Ideally though, you would publish in print first.

The Signature Book can:

  • Outline a core system, methodology or theory that you expound, have developed yourself or that you use.
  • It is the kind of book that will raise your status and profile in your sector or industry. Well done, Signature Books can have a significant impact beyond your core market.
  • Signature books make ideal platforms upon which you can build a range of related products and services. One book can be the starting point for an entire business, speaking career or high-impact training programme.
  • Attract the attention of press, publishers and other movers and shakers.

The Signature Book is the type of book that many set out to write but fail to pull off. If you create one, though, you could become a household name almost overnight, especially in your chosen field. It delivers kudos with knobs on!

The Star Book

Finally, a Star Book or what I call a thought-leader or lead title book is the kind of book you write when you are established, already have a huge list of contacts and are ready to step up to a global level.

The Star Book is possibly one that gets submitted to a publisher for consideration as by this time you will have the full-grown oak treepotential to achieve bestseller status. However, if you decide to go the self-publishing route, you could still get into the bestseller charts – and you’ll get to keep more of the profits!

But the Star Book is not about making a bit of cash from cover sales, it’s about propelling yourself into the upper stratosphere of publishing – right to the peak of where almost every aspiring author wants to be.

The Star Book can:

  • Identify you as a Thought Leader and person of significance in your field and beyond (enough to make you a keynote speaker – and make you quotable).
  • Get your £100k+ Mastermind off the ground and flying in no time.
  • Earn you big bucks. This is no longer about selling a few products, it’s about getting other people to do it for you (i.e. top-earning affiliates, your team and your tribe) while you're jetting around the globe hobnobbing with Sir Richard Branson on Necker Island!
  • Attract the attention of the mainstream press, get you interviewed by magazine editors, get you noticed by major publishers and get people talking about you.

You can tell by now that the time you spend writing your book is going to be dictated by the kind of book you want to write. This is why you publish a Seed Book in 7 days, a Signature book in 20 weeks and a Star book in 18 months (unless someone else does it for you!).

The type of book you write will demand a different level of investment both financially and in terms of your overall workload and effort. Choose well so you produce the right book at the right time.

If you want to discuss what kind of book is right for you, simply fix up a complimentary publishing consultation with me and we’ll talk about you, your business and your book to find the best pathway to getting you published.

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