I never thought I would ever write a book let alone get it published! However, I found a colleague who had done so and asked his advice – that was the start and now I am a published author of seven books on Public Speaking, Coaching, Mentoring, and Leadership with five different publishers. So what are the successful writing strategies I offer when mentoring aspiring leadership authors?

1. Identify a Healthy Target Market

Ask yourself these questions:

Who in the leadership world will read your book, and what will make your book stand out from others in the same genre?

2. Come Up with a Strong Original Idea

Are you an expert on a particular aspect of leadership? What do people need from your book? Break down the various elements of leadership and decide on an ‘edgy’ topic that will attract both publishers and readers.

3. Understand Exactly What You Want to Achieve

What kind of leadership book will this be? Serious informative, light & humorous, factual, and based on innovative new research? How long will it be and how much time and effort do you need to put into it?

4. Do a Survey to Find Out the Needs of Your Readers

Ask your contacts and colleagues what they would find interesting. Check out books on Amazon and other industry publishers such as the FT (Financial Times) and Prentice Hall etc Make sure you understand the lists of books that publishers own and see which best fits with your ideas. Check out the ‘Writers and Artist Year Book’ as they list all the publishers and agents in the UK and Ireland – a new edition is out every August.

5. Stick to the Publisher’s Guidelines

You can find this on a company’s website. Be aware that your book will most likely be rejected if you do not adhere to these guidelines. Publishers like to consider you as someone of credibility and expertise as well as your book title and content.

6. Do Your Research and Ensure Your Content is Original

With so many leadership books out there – yours needs to be sharp, edgy, and different. Asking for help with editing can be beneficial as your reputation in the market is at stake.

Some of the best book reviews are about leadership books that share personal anecdotes, stories, and feelings. One such book which closely follows the 7 leadership writing strategies is  ‘Leading Teams 10 Challenges 10 Solutions’ is written by two colleagues of mine Mandy Flint and Elisabet Vinberg Hearn  – their book was accepted by FT publishing as it was different and described familiar situations and emotions that leaders face on a daily basis. My own book ‘Coaching Skills for Leaders in the Workplace’ is validated and recommended by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education and the Institute of Leadership & Management for their level 5-7 Qualifications as it is highly practical and gives interesting case studies and is packed with resources.

In summary:

  • Focus; what is your target market?
  • Purpose; what’s your strong idea, are you an expert?
  • Approach; how will you present your book, what kind of book is it?
  • Readership; who are your readers and what do they need?
  • Publishers and Competition; what other publishers and books are out there?
  • Guidelines; find out the guidelines and stick to them.
  • Marketing; what’s your title and what stories or facts will engage your readers?

Always consider these writing strategies when developing your ideas.

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Experienced Professional ICF Executive Coach & CSA Dip Supervisor
Specialising in Cross-Cultural Understanding, Advanced Communication and Working with International teams
‘Coaching Skills for Leaders’ and ‘Coaching Supervision at its BEST’ Both ILM validated

Full Spectrum Supervision – Edna Murdoch & Jackie Arnold 2013

AWARDS: Executive Coaching
ECI & Exelerate