How to Write the Right Book

How to Write the Right Book



My guest this week is a best-selling author and coach Henry DeVries.

Henry is here to teach you all you need to know if you’ve decided to put your thoughts down on paper and finally write your book.

On today’s podcast:

  • The who, what, when, where, why, and how to write the right book
  • How to get started
  • The eight great stories
  • The benefits of independent publishing

Links:

The who, what, when, where, why, and how to write the right book

Henry’s mission is to give people the who, what, when, where, why and how of writing the right book that will make a difference for them.

Everyone has a book inside that needs to get out. Nobody really wants to leave this world without getting their book out there. However, a lot of these books won’t serve their authors, they will not help them with their company cause or career. So Henry chooses to be the myth-buster: authors are not promoted by books, instead authors promote the books. That’s the key.

A book is a tool to help you get what you want. Henry thinks that a book is the number 1 marketing tool. Speaking as a result of a book is the number 1 marketing strategy.

How to get started

If you already have a title and an idea about the book, the first step is to create a blueprint for the book. There are some starting elements for the blueprint:

  • A book needs a working title. Henry likes trifecta titles:
    • They work as speech titles
    • They work as book titles
    • You can get the .com URL (the domain name) so that you can start to create a little fence around your intellectual property
  • The book also needs a working subtitle about the promise, the outcome that people want.

How do you figure out if the title is right? You start with a working title. Henry calls it “The North Star”. You should always go for clarity when choosing your title. And then try to be congruent with your audience: they need to know what your book is about by looking at its cover.

The eight great stories

After you have a working title and a URL, you have to understand the eight great stories. There are eight great stories that humans are hardwired to hear:

  1. The overcoming the monster story
  2. The underdog story
  3. The story about a comedy
  4. The story about a tragedy
  5. The story about a mystery
  6. The story about a quest
  7. The story about a rebirth
  8. The story about an escape

The story you choose dictates its table of contents. There is a different table of contents for an overcoming the monster story (it’s a problem-solution table of contents) and a different one for a quest story (it’s about a call to this quest).

You need three parts in a book. The biggest mistake new authors make is the fact that they want to launch into part two of their book, without having written part one. Part one is the why, part two is the how, and part three is the what’s next.

You need to start with the why and tell the reader why this is important. In chapter two you ask the question: “If this is important, how do we fix it?” It’s the how, the guts of the book. Afterwards, there needs to be an aftermath.  

The benefits of independent publishing

You can record your thoughts, and take notes for each chapter. You can find a service to do the transcription for you. You can also hire an editor or a ghostwriter to help you.

There are many technologies and techniques to get the thoughts out of your head and down on paper so that others can read them.

Traditional publishing can be an ordeal. You have to make a proposal, it can take months for them to decide whether they will publish your book or not, then it might take a year to get the book out there. That’s the old way of doing things.

Henry helps authors be independently published. This is not the same as self-published. Independently published means that you hire experts in the field who know editing, art design, book production. For most people it’s a zero net sum investment: if you sell 1000-2000 books, which is doable if you really market your books, you can earn all the money you invested in the publishing back.

If you choose independent publishing, you retain control of the project and of the intellectual property.

The real money is in getting hired as a speaker or as a consultant or coach. Experts with a book can speak in the $5.000-$10.000 range.


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