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5 Lessons to Learn Before You Write Your Book: An Interview With Helen Chang

Helen Chang

A startling 93% of all Americans want to write a book. As a business owner, there is no quicker path to credibility, publicity, new business, and speaking opportunities than penning your voice in your area of expertise.

BUT, can you do it? Should you do it? And, how can you possibly find the time to do it?

I interviewed Helen Chang, founder of Author Bridge Media about all of these questions and more. Her company has published a whopping 429 projects over just a few years ghostwriting, planning, editing, and producing nonfiction books for authors. Her long list of famous authors includes Michael Gerber of the E-Myth series, Dani Johnson of First Steps to Wealth, and Armando Montelongo of Flip and Grow Rich.

Below is a quick summary, but if you are serious about writing a book, please listen to the entire audio for free right here:

  1. Write a book if you want your story told – If you know your market and no one is talking about the subject the way you do, the world needs your book!
  2. Don’t write for vanity – If you don’t have a compelling story or spin on your area of expertise, fuggedabout it! “Me too” books simply fade into oblivion.
  3. If there are no competitors, you don’t have a book – Rarely are entirely new genres created; if there are no competitors to your proposed book, your book probably won’t sell.
  4. Get clear on your target – Specialized books help a specific audience. Copywriting for Entrepreneurs, for example, is compelling. How To Keep Your Back Health For Years For Any Body is probably too broad of a topic.
  5. Planning your book is essential From storytelling to an outline to a publicity plan, planning your book from idea to publication is essential. If this is not your strength, enlist help now!

Helen has tons of more good info about book publishing, listen to the entire audio here.

Wanna tell me about your story? Please comment below.

7 Comments
  1. Thanks Gene Siciliano for letting me know that 2nd edition of your McGraw-Hill book Finance for Non-Financial Managers will be out next spring, 11 years after the first edition hit the streets.

    Congrats!

  2. Helen is so right on all counts. Another two tips I also advise new writers who come to me for ghostwriting or copyediting is to be 100% clear on the author motivation, that is, why do you want to write this book (or ebook). If the motivation isn’t strong enough, you’ll possibly wander from the project along the way as I’ve seen with several clients. You really have to WANT to have this book done for the reasons that are meaningful to you–personal or professional. Additionally, you need to know the reader motivation, that is, what will compel your ideal reader to buy your book. Do they have a need, problem, question, desire? Your book will provide entertainment, enlightenment, inspiration, education, or a specific benefit. If you keep these two motivations in mind, along with Helen’s other great tips, you’ll have a better chance of seeing your book or ebook become a bestseller on Amazon!

  3. This is great info Andrea; thanks for contributing!

  4. My lesson in finally writing my book: Liz pushed me!!! and I truly DO have something to say. I wasn’t sure it would be meaningful to anyone (my perspective wasn’t going to accepted) except me. I found out it didn’t matter, I was writing to get the message out and have my spirit part of that message. I agree that ghostwriting is an alternative, but I also learned the words and thoughts needed to have my energy as a foundation and I needed to share my heart and soul.So that required me to write the book. Of course I want people to have ah ha moments when they read my book, but as long as I have said what is important to help these kids, someone WILL definitely hear me–at least Liz does 🙂 Thank you Liz and potentially anyone else who reads it.

  5. Thanks, Suki. One of the reasons coaching works is the accountability and someone to share the highs and lows, the success and the failures. AND, now, you too are a published author!

  6. My breast cancer book is out! I should say our book because I collected writing (poetry, passages, and personal essays) from breast cancer survivors (myself included), our families and friends, then collated and published the book, Staying Abreast, to inspire and motivate those who have been touched with cancer. I feel as though I am the messenger of the voices. Amazon carries the book in ebook, paperback, and hard copy. A donation from each sale goes to breast cancer projects. Hope you’ll visit my website that shares my story.

    Thank you for your support with great coaching ideas through this blog, your newsletters and speaking engagements.

  7. Yippee! Please give us the link and title.

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