“To tell a story is to say: this is the important story. It is to reduce the spread and simultaneity of everything to something linear, a path.”
~ Susan Sontag
If you’re writing a book to promote your business then you need to ask yourself:
Is this purely ‘information’, or do I have genuine wisdom on my subject to share?
If your answer is ‘this is purely information’ … which can be characterised by a lack of narrative and purpose other than to sell your product or service then by all means write and produce it as quickly and cheaply as possible.
However, most business owners and experts realise that the answer to this question is that they do have wisdom and culture to share in their business book. In fact, it’s one of the reasons why, having written a first book using a ghostwriter, they often go on to write more books.
One of the things I love about ghostwriting is how the process of drawing out the wisdom and culture hiding behind an author’s information has a twofold impact:
- Helps him see how much wisdom he has to share;
- Brings great pleasure to his audience by exposing this wisdom and culture.
Content & Information – As Seen on Internet, Radio, & TV
These presentations affirm the idea that all information is equally valuable and interesting whether it is social media, video snippets, or news commentary (fake or genuine). Snippet follows snippet… not as a device for intrigue leading to further exploration of the subject, but merely as a provocative stand-alone tidbit. It implies that stories never end… but are simply upstaged by something newer or more shocking.
Is that really how you want your business and thought-leadership perceived, or do you have a higher goal?
Do You Go to the National Gallery of Victoria to See ‘Content’?
Of course not!
You go to see an expression of culture and wisdom and to participate in a conversation and exchange of ideas. You may not like or agree with the ideas, but they are there to be explored, pondered, evaluated… and, maybe, accepted.
Your business book may or may not be great literature, but it should have a sense of narrative that conveys wisdom and culture, not merely ‘content’. That way, your reader can explore your knowledge and ideas and decide whether to accept them and choose to work with you… or decide that there is too much divergence and you do not suit each other.
Unless your business is purely transactional, who you are and how you think about your work matters to your clients, and you should care whether they understand your thinking or not. Your business book should help them know this.
Your Book’s Structure is Important
You could string together content and information to fill the pages of your book like TV programming fills each hour. Alternatively, you could determine what the important part of your story is: the one thing that you want to bring into focus, and lead people along a clear path that highlights your point, perspective, and wisdom. This is the book that will set you up as an authority in your field.