I’ve lost track of how many times I have recommended Build a Better Business Book: How to Plan, Write, and Promote a Book That Matters. A Comprehensive Guide for Authors by Josh Bernoff, a veteran of 45 book projects that have generated over $20 million for their authors. 

I wish this book had been available when I was writing my book. As confident a writer as I am, writing a book is completely different from any other type of content creation. My publisher was helpful, but this additional level of guidance and detail would have been invaluable, and would have saved me months. 

From walking you through the different types of publishers, including traditional, hybrid publishing, and self-publishing, Josh talks about the good points and pitfalls of each with specifics, including dollar amounts you can expect to invest or get paid. 

Josh did his own research for this book and surveyed authors on their experience with publishers, writing, and promoting their book. Some of his findings were what I expected and some were quite surprising. Reading what other authors experienced helped normalize some of the frustrations I had as I realized those were just part of the book-writing process. 

Build a Better Business Book talks you through the entire book process, from creating a book proposal and finding an agent if you want to go the traditional route, to creating a “fat outline” so you know what you need to work on as you’re building out your book, to marketing and promoting your book once it’s published. 

Josh has written books, been a ghost writer, and also a developmental editor. His writing style is smart, sharp, and snarky. Not only is this book a guide for the whole book-writing process, it is also very entertaining and filled with stories that will hold your attention. 

I will confess that I had a few face-palm moments for things I might have done differently if I had read this book first, but overall, I found that I had followed most of his suggestions. 

How do you work effectively with a designer for your cover? What is the process and timeline for layout? How should you structure chapters to entice readers to read more? Should you do an audiobook? How do you get past the inevitable writer’s block? Should you include interviews and case studies? If so, how do you do that? What if you want to use a ghostwriter or collaborate with a co-author? 

All of your questions are answered in this book. I am sorry I bought the Kindle version because I will want it in hard copy next to me if I write another book. 

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash