Almost every industry has felt the impact of a leadership book in the past few decades. From Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, many books written by business leaders who wanted to make an impact with their knowledge and life experiences have become part of our social fabric.
So it’s no surprise that a leadership book is a popular niche to self-publish since they can help to build an author’s credibility while imparting practical, targeted knowledge.
What Is a Leadership Book?
Books in this category are written by those who have a specific perspective to present. Maybe they have learned life lessons that are widely applicable to others, or they have unique business knowledge that others can benefit from.
Oftentimes personal experiences or snippets of the author’s life are included in the content, but it is not written as a memoir or an autobiography. The one commonality in the leadership book category is that they teach the reader something learned or with knowledge gained through life experiences.
Why Leaders Write Books
Business and community leaders may decide to write leadership book content that they ultimately decide to publish because of the benefits these kinds of books often bring. Leaders may choose to write a book because it can help them build their own professional credibility, create a connection with the community, or even further their own knowledge and to share it with others.
- Credibility: Being a published author lends a certain credibility, whether the book is self-published or printed through a traditional publishing house. Authors are understood to have a deeper knowledge of their content, and this credibility enhances their professional standing with others.
- Community Connection: Some may decide to write leadership book content so they can create a personal connection within the industry, a business, or even the community at large. Demonstrating your expertise with specialized knowledge or important life lessons can help you connect with those aspiring to success within your industry as well.
- Personal Knowledge: The process of writing a leadership book takes time to research and thoughtfully prepare. So some leaders write this type of book to give themselves the opportunity to deepen their own knowledge and understanding of the leadership principles they are interested in.
- Share Meaningful Information: Leaders who have acquired unique or valuable knowledge may feel compelled to write a leadership book to help others.
How to Write a Leadership Book
Preparing to write leadership book content is similar in some ways to writing any other kind of non-fiction book because authors will need to do research and create compelling content. But an author writing a leadership book is also attaching their own name and reputation to the book’s content.
Authors who don’t take the time to include logical thinking and a clear presentation of their ideas risk damaging their professional reputations. But following a few basic steps can take your concept to a polished, printed book that you will be proud of.
1. Establish the Purpose
The most important step is to define the focus of your book. You should have some expertise and knowledge about the subject you want to write on, and you should have a distinct connection with the subject in some way. Determine what topic you want to write about and how your own unique perspective will be valuable to potential readers and your target audience.
2. Do Your Research
A big portion of the pre-writing phase should be dedicated to learning everything you can about the subject of your book. Read what others have written on the subject and make notes about how your book’s focus will differ slightly and how you can differentiate your own book’s contents from what is already out there.
And while it’s possible that another author may have already penned a book with your same subject area, understanding what has already been said can help you hone your own message to give it a fresh, interesting slant for readers.
3. Rough Out the Structure
Now that you have a better idea of how to personalize your subject for the reader, start to build the framework of your book. Decide on the best way to present the information by creating an outline of your book. And although you are not writing a novel with a story arc to consider, your book should still have a defined introduction, a body that imparts the key elements of your book, and a conclusion that wraps up your subject with clarity.
By thinking through the most logical progression of ideas you want to present to readers, you will be able to determine the topics that each chapter will include. For this type of book, narrowing down chapters to a single topic will keep the content easily digestible for the reader and make topics easier to find within the book.
4. Write the Leadership Book Content
Once your book’s structure is tentatively defined, it’s time to write the content. As your writing progresses, tweak the outline when it makes sense and include references to facts or other experts when it makes sense (but be sure to give them credit when necessary). Writing the content for your book is a big task but setting a writing goal for each week or finding an accountability partner are both good ways to get your first draft completed.
One of the best ways to make sure that you complete the draft is to simply plan to write a little bit every day to keep your writing momentum and enthusiasm for the book moving forward, because for many would-be authors, once writing stops, it is difficult to pick it back up.
5. Take a Break Before Making Revisions
Congratulations on finishing your first draft! Now, put it aside for a time without working on it. While this may sound counterintuitive to keeping your writing momentum going, taking a break from recently penned content is a well-known revision practice. Once you have given your eyes and brain a break from your book, take a fresh look at it.
By putting it down and then returning to reread your work, you will more easily be able to see where problems with structure, organization, and writing voice exist. Take some time to make some basic revisions to your content without completely rewriting it from scratch. This first revision will give you a good idea of how much editing and revising may be necessary before your manuscript is ready to send to the printer.
6. Seek Input
When your first revision is completed, ask others to read it and give you feedback. Be sure to give your draft to a variety of readers: someone in your industry who is familiar with the subject, a trusted friend or family member who will give you honest input as well as someone who you would consider a potential reader or your target market. Then, make changes to your draft based on the feedback.
7. Repeat the Revisions and Input Stages
You may want to repeat this cycle one or more times before you finalize your draft. And while all feedback may not be helpful, if more than one reader notes a concern with something in your draft, it is a good idea to consider why multiple readers saw the same issues.
When you feel like the content in your draft is in good shape, consider hiring a professional editor to help you catch the small details that make a book look polished. Small errors, misspellings, and formatting mistakes can make an otherwise professionally written book look amateurish and diminish rather than build your credibility with readers and the community.
8. Partner with a Printer
Make sure that you work with a professional printing company so that your book will look great in its final printed form. Dazzle Printing helps community leaders and business professionals transform their drafts into beautiful leadership books every day.
Making an Impact with Your Leadership Book
Writing a book based on your personal perspective may sound daunting. But writing one can be exhilarating for leaders that want to impart their knowledge to the world. And leadership books can inspire future leaders while providing insight into how you forged your own professional and personal path in life. Be honest and direct with your writing so you can offer readers something meaningful and unique on your subject.
A well-planned and thoughtful leadership book give readers the opportunity to learn from your knowledge and experiences. And authors can build their own professional credibility as well as the ability to add “published author” to their own bio at the same time.
When you are ready to print your leadership book, be sure to check out Dazzle Printing. Our online instant price calculators make it easy to determine how much it will cost to print your book. And you can easily change any of the options or quantity to revise the price quote instantly. If you have any questions, be sure to reach out.