Advice to Readers Who Want to Write a Book
by James Lange, CPA/Attorney
The following is an excerpt from Jim Lange’s interview with Authority Magazine.
What advice would you offer our readers who want to write a book?
I made the mistake of trying to make my first book the ultimate book for IRA and retirement plan owners. I wanted to include all my theories about saving for retirement, spending during retirement, tax planning, and estate planning. That’s a lot of territory. It took me two years to finish. It ended up being 420 pages, but it was a damn good book. Today, I write shorter books.
But, for my first book, a book marketing expert, John Kremer, recommended I find a New York publisher to publish the book. So, I eventually got an agent and we found a publisher, Wiley. This was back in 2006 when Wiley had a huge distribution chain all throughout the country and the book did very well.
The other thing that I did—and I have to thank Steve Harrison for this advice—was to get great testimonials from recognized experts and celebrities. Steve said, “Think of your ideal person to give you a testimonial. Then, send that expert or celebrity a manuscript of the book and request a testimonial.”
I followed his advice and ended up with testimonials from Charles Schwab, Larry King, Burton Malkiel, Jane Bryant Quinn, and about 60 financial professionals.
Now, when I advise young advisors, or for that matter almost any business professional, I say, “Writing a book is great, but, and this is important, you better have expertise in your field and have something new and important to say. You may never make The New York Times bestseller list. But you must respectfully offer your reader great and useful information. Your readers have problems, and you should offer solutions in your book.”
I hate when I read a book or attend a workshop (a webinar these days) and there is more pitch than real content. I think you owe it to your reader or audience to give them great information that helps solve their problems, whether you end up doing business with them or not.A
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