20 Keys to Writing a No. 1 Wall Street Journal Best-Selling Book

There are many reasons to write a non-fiction book:

  1. To be seen as an expert in your industry
  2. To make money
  3. To learn about yourself
  4. To leave a legacy behind for your kids

Regardless of what your reasons may be, here are a few things you need to know about me:

I am not a professional writer

  1. English is my fifth language
    • 1st-Armenian
    • 2nd-Assyrian
    • 3rd-Farsi
    • 4th-German
    • 5th-English
  1. I never took English 101 in college. It was always ESL (English as a second language)
  2. I never finished reading a book cover to cover until I was 21 years old
  3. I’ve read more than 1,500 books and listened to 500 audio books in the last 20 years

I share this so that you know that one doesn’t need to have a degree in journalism or English to write a book.

At the same time, I also want to make it clear that there are criteria for what I look for before reading a business book. It took me seven years to create a system of defining which author’s books I was willing to spend hours studying and whose I no longer was. For example:

  1. I don’t just read any book, I study topics 
  2. I consider who’s recommending the book before reading it
  3. I prefer reading books published by Trifecta about the following:
    • Theory–Someone who writes a book on a topic they studied but didn’t personally experience, such as a college professor.
    • Witness—Someone who witnessed another person succeed in a field, like Guy Kawasaki, who worked for Steve Jobs.
    • Application — someone who is writing about what they applied and how that helped them win in life. An example is a book written by Bob Iger explaining how he became the CEO of Disney. A Bob Iger is someone who shares his theories, what he witnessed other CEO’s do and what he personally did as a CEO of Disney. He is a trifecta. I gladly will read his book and share it with the world.
    • Other authors I recommend include: Stephen Schwarzman, John Doerr, Andy Grove, Kirk Kerkorian, and Ted Turner

Now that I explained to you the madness behind how I read books, here are 20 things I would do to increase your chances of writing a book that will be a No. 1 best seller on WSJ.

  1. Choose an industry or a skill
  2. Get obsessed with studying every single expert and style in that field
  3. Become one of the best in the industry to do it.
  4. Get nationally recognized
  5. Have some opinions that may differ from the usual suspects
  6. Tell the world
    • Podcast: Talk about it
    • Blog: Write about it
    • Video: Speak about it

      7. Win over an audience, as well as influencers

      8. Create a voice on the topic you’re an expert in

    • Real estate
    • Social media
    • Finance
    • Insurance
    • Business
    • Recruiting
    • Selling
    • Negotiating

    9. Create a niche audience of TRUE BELIEVERS that continuously share your content with others

    10. Gather their info by collecting emails or phone numbers (group text) to prepare for a book launch once you’re ready

    11. Start gathering your social capital to start on your best-selling book

    • Write down personal stories that include both failures and successes (this is money, no one can steal your stories and experiences)
    • Write down your specific philosophies that are different than others and give credit to other’s philosophies that you borrowed
    • Write down quotes that have personally impacted you positively
    • Read books that have to do with the topic you’re writing about

    12. Create an outline

    • Break everything from point number 11 in an outline. For example, divide into three sections with five key points under each
    • Match stories with sections that relate
    • Add quotes in the sections that apply

    13. Recruit a literary agent that believes in YOU

    14. Choose a publisher that matches your audience

    15. Team up with a co-writer, not a co-author.

    16. Write a killer book. Marketing is very important, but a GREAT BOOK is what causes people to keep sharing it with others

    17. Create a launch campaign to go to the public

    18.Don’t hurry. Take your time to produce the right book.

    19. Create a list of influencers that are willing to help promote or interview you for the book, but first do them a big favor before you ask them for one

    20. Focus on the right messaging coming out and the best-seller Gods will find you.

 

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