Thought Leadership

Shift Yourself Over to Amazon (3 days to go)

Shiftcover

It used to be that if you were contagious people would put you in a room by yourself. For weeks at a time.

Nowadays “contagion” is all the rage on social media. It’s what we hope for as authors, especially. That our books will “take off” and reach the eyeballs of the very readers we had in mind when we wrote them.

One way to do that is to create a promotional video like the one below.

And, guess what? According to research conducted recently by Unruly’s Social Video Lab, 49 per cent of viewers of social videos bought the advertised product within three days of viewing. And 38 per cent talked about it to someone else.

If that works for brands, let’s assume it works for books. So my client, Jagan Nemani has done a smart thing here. Check out this animated video for his terrific new book, Shift: Innovation that Disrupts Markets, Topples Giants, and Makes You #1. 

Then buy a copy, read it, recommend it, and let’s help make this wonderful new author a best-selling author!

Now, you’ve got three days from watching the video. The clock is ticking!

How Long Should Your Nonfiction Book Be?

This post first appeared on my Thought Readership column on ActiveGarage.com on October 15th, 2012

A while back I was playing “dueling authors” with a guy who claimed to have written 16 books (meaning he won the game!) and said he had two that he wanted to give me as gifts. Initially embarrassed that I couldn’t return the favor, I was stunned to receive a couple of – well, let’s be kind and call them “pamphlets.” This is the same term The New Republic used recently to describe the TED Book Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization, which at least has 77 pages. The ones I was given were closer to 30!

It’s hard to know what constitutes a “book” these days, given that folks like my friend believe anything over a couple of dozen pages fits the description. And I guess it’s wise not to be too snobbish about this issue, since many famous works of fiction have been short and sweet, such as Samuel Johnson’s Rasselus, Prince of Abyssinia (97 pages) or Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea (96 pages). In the realm of nonfiction, Deepak Chopra captured The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success in a mere 117 pages. And one of my favorite nonfiction books, Patricia Ryan Madson’s Improv Wisdom: Don’t Prepare, Just Show Up, runs to just 159.

I had cause to think about quantity, not just quality, after completing my latest book #THOUGHT LEADERSHIP tweet: 140 Prompts For Designing and Executing an Effective Thought Leadership Campaign with co-author Craig Badings. We ended up with the same page count at Madson’s book (159 pages) for a word count of approximately 7,500 words. Which would take the average person, what – less than an hour to read?Except that this isn’t a book that’s meant to be read cover to cover in a single sitting.

Here’s where the issue of how long a book needs to be needs to take into account how the book is to be used, as well as what content it contains.

What we did with this book was to compile all the questions that aspiring thought leaders should ask themselves before embarking on a thought leadership campaign. Within the seven sections (each containing a short introduction followed by a series of relevant tweet-sized prompts then a couple of pages of examples under the heading ‘Putting Into Practice’), we provoke readers to consider: What it means to be a “thought leader”; What impact they want their campaign to achieve; How to measure its effectiveness; How best to discover their thought leadership point of view…and much more. We then close the book with a short Blueprint to guide readers’ actions and provide additional case studies and examples.

Would this have been a better book if we’d rambled on for page after page giving extensive details about each of these issues?

We didn’t think so. In fact, to come up with the right questions to ask in 140 characters or less takes a lot of thought and relentless editing. In this case, less is definitely more – but it’s not necessarily easier!

As former President Woodrow Wilson is reputed to have told a cabinet member who asked him how long he took to prepare a speech:

It depends. If I am to speak ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now.

When new writers ask me how long their books should be, my answer is always: As long as it needs to be and no more, which I accept isn’t all that helpful until you actually knuckle down and start to write. (Yet it’s amazing to me how many aspiring authors want to know exactly how many words they’ve got to write, as if this were the sole measure of a good book.)

Having experienced writing #THOUGHT LEADERSHIP tweet, I would add a further caveat:

Think about how you want the reader to use your book.

Is it to be read by a single individual, cover to cover? Will it be of most value if they dip in and out as the need requires? Or, as in the case of our book, is it meant to provoke conversations among a team of people tasked with implementing a specific initiative? In our case, Craig and I considered the comprehensive yet concise nature of our material – not least the highly focused questions – to be what offers the greatest value for readers, not all the fluff we could have wrapped around them.

What are your thoughts about shorter books?

Do you think books are often longer than they need to be? To what extent might this be due to the pressure authors and publishers feel to create books that appear (at least in terms of the quantity of paper they use up) worth their cover price? Please contribute your thoughts.

Is Thought Leadership the Future of Marketing

Hope you enjoy (and will comment on) this guest blog post I wrote for Michael Brenner’s B2B Marketing Insider, as part of his The Future of Marketing Series.

The Best Way to Structure Your Nonfiction Book

© Mike Ricci | Dreamstime.com

This post originally appeared on my Thought Readership column on ActiveGarage.com on August 27th, 2012

Consider how many things we’re familiar with that come in “threes”:

Tenors. Magi. Bears.

Fates. Virtues. Graces.

Snap. Crackle. Pop.

There is something magical about the number three, which permeates writing just as much as anything else. This is perhaps why we have three-act plays; a beginning, middle, and end for stories; and sayings that come in three parts – from Julius Caesar’s “Veni, vidi, vici (I came, I saw, I conquered)” to Thomas Jefferson’s “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

© Mike Ricci | Dreamstime.com

Next time you review your favorite nonfiction books, look to see how many of them are written with three sections. Examples from my own library include: Daniel Pink’s Drive; Blue Ocean Strategy by INSEAD professors W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne; neuroscientist Andrew Newberg’s How God Changes Your Brain; Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port; and Alan Weiss’ mega-bestseller Million Dollar Consulting.

For serial entrepreneur, Trevor Blake, the decision to structure his book this way is immediately apparent from the title: Three Simple Steps: A Map to Success in Business and Life (BenBella Books, Inc., 2012). Part One: Escaping the Quicksand offers three chapters (there it is again!) on how to “reclaim your mentality” by focusing your thoughts more on what you want than what you are against. Part Two: Staying Out of the Quicksand – again, three chapters – offers one simple yet timeless and universally applied (at least by extremely successful folks like Henry Ford and George Washington Carver) technique for creating more winning ideas. And Part Three: Beyond the Quicksand articulates how to transform those ideas into achievements.

Written in the style of many of the truly great “self-help” authors of the early 20th century, Blake’s book is as much a memoir as anything – one you would advised to put on your reading list above books written by people whose only claim to fame and source of wealth has come from writing – well, self-help books. Contrast that with Blake who, like so many successful entrepreneurs, came from nothing to create businesses that were eventually sold for hundreds of millions of dollars. As the back cover blurb by Drew A. Graham, managing partner of Ballast Point Ventures states: “Finally, a book about how to succeed by an author who has actually achieved something before writing about it!” Not only that, I found Three Simple Steps to be a compelling read.

But back to the theme of this post: how to structure your nonfiction book.

Oftentimes the biggest issue I see with manuscripts has to do with the way the author has organized their material – or, rather, not. Typically these books read like streams of consciousness with no discernible structure.

If you know what you want to write about but have no earthly idea how to set it out in a book, consider what I describe to my clients as The Power of Three. Of course, it’s easy if – like Trevor Blake – you have a three-part process to describe. But what if you don’t? Let’s go back to some of the other examples I gave earlier.

Take Blue Ocean Strategy. Part one outlines the philosophy and explains what it means to create a “blue ocean”; part two clarifies the strategy behind the concept; and part three explains how to execute it. Alan Weiss’s Million Dollar Consulting, on the other hand, begins by identifying what you need to do to prepare to be a million dollar consultant, then goes on to the tactics you would need to employ, and dedicates the final part of the book to ways to grow into the role.

One final example: Daniel Pink’s Drive first considers why we need to look at motivation in a different light; secondly he looks at what are the three elements of “Type 1” motivation; and thirdly shows you how to implement what you learn in his book.

So, even if you don’t find yourself with a neat “three-act play” as Trevor Blake did with Three Simple Steps, you can still find a way to make this structure work for your book. Part one might offer the philosophy behind your concept, why it’s important, or some foundational issues for the reader to consider. Part two could lay out the strategies for success and what planning needs to be put in place to use the book’s material successfully. Part three would then offer “how tos” or tactics to employ to help the reader successfully implement that learning for themselves.

What favorite book of yours is structured this way? Please let me know. And for more about this topic, I invite you to go to Episode 6 of my audio series.

The Limitations of a Book for Thought Leaders

WhatNowWhatSoWhat-1

Timing is everything.

I received two wake up calls today. Unsolicited. Hugely valuable.

The first came from my friend, Dave Gardner, a thought leader in mass customization, Fast Company expert blogger, and one of the keenest minds for helping organizations execute on their vision.

He began with the question: Are you a writer who consults, or a consultant who writes?

This was in response to sharing how I had sold 250 Thought Leadership Tweet books to an organization in India.

“You’re not thinking big enough,” said Dave. And he was right.

Then I happened to see this blog post by Copyblogger’s Sonia Simone. About a woman who was living small and how that kind of life is an offense to us all because of the gifts that are being held back.

I could relate to that. I admitted to Dave that I’ve been a writer who “fell into” consulting when people wanted more from me than they could get through reading my books. Some time ago I made the decision to transition to a consultant who just happens to write. But my attitude and behavior hadn’t kept up.

This is what Dave picked up on.

But how, I asked him, could I do any more than I was doing? I’m writing guest blog posts (some of which are getting picked up by major media), creating products (watch this space for some innovative offerings on thought leadership from Craig Badings and myself), and generally commenting everywhere I can about this topic of thought leadership I’m so passionate about.

It was then that Dave nailed it. I was communicating the wrong message. Instead of writing and talking about definitions of thought leadership and its characteristics, I should be addressing how our thought leadership blueprint accelerates bottom-line benefits.

I SHOULD BE talking about the ways we help people get to where we are in terms of innovative thinking–which in a sense is the ultimate definition of thought leadership.

I SHOULD BE talking to clients about how I can work with them to discover, establish, and leverage their thought leadership position.

And truthfully? Simply reading our book will only take them so far on the thought leadership journey.

As Dave reminded me, there isn’t a CEO or consultant in the world who isn’t concerned about how to make their business stand out. Not simply for industry kudos, but in order to command higher fees, sell more products, be the “go to” source for media, and attract clients’ and customers’ attention. To show how much more unique and innovative they are than the competition.

Developing and executing a thought leadership campaign isn’t as straight forward as most people think. Plus, most people just don’t execute without having an outside force keep them accountable and steer them in the right direction.

“Just like with books,” I told Dave. “Most of the folks who failed to take the next step after inquiring about my book consulting and coaching still aren’t published, compared with those who made a financial commitment, engaged me as a consultant to help them get their book written, and are now reaping the benefits of that investment.”

For every Thought Leadership Tweet book we sell we’re offering a good and valuable read, but that doesn’t guarantee they’ll move the needle in terms of establishing their thought leadership “white space.” Because as we know, when left to our own devices oftentimes nothing happens.

So here are some questions for you.

  • Are you expecting the book you’re planning to write to do too much? Do you think that just because you’ve given them a road map your readers will a) be motivated to begin the journey, and b) get to the destination all by themselves? That’s a tall order for any book!
  • Will that workbook you have imagined writing really cause your reader to sit down and draw on their self-discipline to execute, as you’ve shown them how? Have you ever done that?
  • Have you neglected to create a series of “upsell” offerings that can help your readers take what they’ve learned and apply it with your hands-on guidance?

In short, do you see yourself as a writer who consults, or a consultant who writes?

The top-of-mind-awareness you’re creating is different in each case.

And that difference will be illustrated by the size of your bank balance!

The #1 Reason You’re Not a Thought Leader (Yet)

When it comes to the current state of thought leadership, it seems most people are deluding themselves.

Consider this. Dr. Fiona Czerniawska of the UK’s Source for Consulting, in a recent report entitled 2012 in Thought Leadership Statistics, concluded:

An awful lot of thought leadership continues to be really about following what other people do.

Let’s lead up to the main reason why this could be the case for you and/or your organization.

8. The accolade “thought leader” is self-adopted; no-one else thinks of using it when mentioning your name.

7. Most, if not all, of your contributions to a client/customer pain point discussion is curated; there’s nothing you’re saying that’s original or groundbreaking.

6. You haven’t fully researched what others are saying (or are likely to say) on this topic, so the best you can do is react, not innovate.

5. The focus in your organization tends to be on speedy responses, not considered reflection.

4. Everyone–including you–finds each waking moment occupied with tactics and tasks.

3. Your culture doesn’t honor, let alone reward, just sitting down and letting your mind wander.

2. The prevailing attitude being that if you’re staring out the window or (like Don Draper of Mad Men) lying on your office sofa, you’re not doing anything worthwhile.

1. You never have the time just to think.

 

My friend Dave Gardner asked me a while back what the difference was between a book written by a subject matter expert and one written by a thought leader. Here’s the short answer:

The expert knows what she’s going to write; it’s just a question of putting everything already stuffed in her head onto paper.

The thought leader starts with an area of discovery and uses the book development process to explore and see what new thinking emerges. Because it always does.

I’ll be posting more short articles on this topic. In the meantime, let me leave you with this quote from the writer Henry Miller, (whom Wikipedia describes as “known for breaking with existing literary forms and developing a new sort of ‘novel’”), interviewed for The Paris Review Interviews’ Writers at Work series :

If, say, a Zen artist is going to do something, he’s had a long preparation of discipline and meditation, deep quiet thought about it, and then no thought, silence, emptiness, and so on–it might be for months, it might be for years. Then, when he begins, it’s like lightening, just what he wants–it’s perfect….But who does it? We lead lives contrary to our profession.

So, let me ask you this: Are you living a working life contrary to what generates true thought leadership?

 

Superficial Thinking: The Self-Published Book Disease

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This blog post first appeared in my Thought Readership column on ActiveGarage.com on June 19th, 2012

Back in the days when I was young and foolish I’d be arguing (as I frequently did) with my mother about some relationship or other. Mum was pretty open-minded, but it always seemed to me as if she didn’t really understand what I was going through.

I remember her looking at me on one occasion with an arched eyebrow and saying, “You know, Elizabeth, you’re not the only person in the world who has had this experience. We were all young once!”

I was reminded of that conversation as I read Phil Simon’s Kickstarter-funded book The Age of the Platform: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Have Redefined Business. 

Simon’s thesis is this: We live in The Age of the Platform, a time requiring “a completely different mindset.” One in which companies “must not only exist but they must thrive in a state of constant motion.”

Okay – nothing new there. What else?

© Kodo34 | Dreamstime.com

Well, Simon says, the “Gang of Four” (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google), “are following an entirely new blueprint and business model.” Basically, I gather, by fostering “symbiotic and mutually beneficial relationships with users, customers, partners, vendors, developers, and the community at large.”

But wasn’t that what chocolate manufacturer, Cadbury, did back in the 19th century? And the Ford Motor Company in the early part of the 20th century?

Cadbury founded a model village for its employees, so were both business and community oriented. Its collaborative efforts were particularly appreciated during both World Wars when the company not only paternalistically looked after the male employees who fought on the front during WWI but converted part of the Bourneville factory to produce parts for fighter planes during WWII.

And while Simon credits today’s supposed “Platform Age” with engendering a business and consumer focus, I couldn’t help remembering that Henry Ford paid his employees enough money so they could become consumers, not just producers of his motorcars.

In their day, the assembly line and mass production were groundbreaking technologies. Between 1911 and 1920 the number of cars coming out of the Ford plant increased 1,433 per cent. And the “ecosystem” that Simon attributes to today’s Platform Age was surely evident in one particular Ford innovation: establishing brand-loyal, franchised dealers!

As my mother used to point out, just because “oldies” have lost their edge, doesn’t mean that they weren’t like today’s “youngsters” once.

 If the platform is indeed a new business model and not simply another empty buzzword, one could argue it was also around in the days of the Medicis — the 14th century banking dynasty.

Through a series of clever strategic activities, including marriages of convenience, the family significantly increased their social network in a way we now describe as “stickiness.” And innovation? The reason why Frans Johansson named his book on creative breakthroughs The Medici Effect was in honor of the way the family sponsored an ecosystem of scientists, philosophers, and artists, breaking down long-established barriers in order to herald one of the biggest explosions of innovation in history.

Did the Medicis, Cadbury, and Ford do extremely interesting and innovative things in their day, “especially with respect to emerging technologies?” Check!

Did they (once) adapt extremely well and quickly to change? Check!

Did they (once) routinely introduce compelling new offerings? Check!

Did they (once) work with partners in very exciting ways? Check!

Every era has its own form of what Simon calls a platform; this is not a new concept. Which begs the question: is the way that Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google do business so very different from yesteryear? Or are some so bedazzled by technology that it blinds them to historical truths?

This is where the “ecosystem” vital to crafting superior books comes in.

The problem with self-published books like this one is that the author no longer has to go through the rigorous vetting process required by commercial publishers. One in which an acquisitions editor will query (and probably reject) spurious arguments and superficial thinking.

As an author, being provoked to think deeper and harder about your material either produces a superior product or reveals the unsettling fact that you don’t have much to say that’s new, so would be better off not publishing a book at all.

The best time to do this kind of thinking is early on in the project. Otherwise send your manuscript to honest, discerning readers (not your mother!) for their feedback before you go into print.

Here’s the issue with many of the books that are written in the space of a few months. If it’s that quick and easy, you’re not really thinking! Take a look at what Daniel Kahneman writes in his book Thinking Fast and Slow about the two kinds of thinking: System 1 is effortless, automatic, intuitive – and error-prone. It’s what most people do most of the time.

Which is why authors who wish to be taken seriously need to establish a habit of System 2 thinking, which is reasoned, slow, and takes so much more effort.

A clue to how to develop that can be found in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s wonderful book The Black Swan. In the Acknowledgments section he points out the value of finding detractors to your argument. “One learns most from people one disagrees with,” Taleb says.

An important piece of advice for any author not wanting to appear like a teenager who thinks they’ve discovered something new when they haven’t.

Rajesh Setty Interviews Dr. Liz About Co-authoring Thought Leadership Tweet

Ever considered the benefits of co-authoring a book rather than carrying the responsibility for conceiving, developing, writing, and marketing one all by yourself?

I was recently invited by Silicon Valley entrepreneur and mentor, Rajesh Setty, to talk about my co-authorship experience with Craig Badings, with whom I wrote Thought Leadership Tweet.

Here’s the post. Please leave a comment here or on Rajesh’s site to share your thoughts and/or questions. Thanks!

New Wine, Old Label (Clever Ways to Title Your Book)

© Glyn Adams | Dreamstime.com

This post first appeared in my Thought Readership column on ActiveGarage.com on July 2nd, 2012

It begs the question. If human beings are so smart, how come it took us so long to combine the wheel (invented circa 3500BC) with the suitcase (first believed to have been used by Roman legionnaires traveling the then-known world)? Yet once Bernard Sadow arrived at his “aha” moment in 1970 and began manufacturing luggage that could be pulled along with castors, incremental innovations followed suit. Only to be expected, right?

© Glyn Adams | Dreamstime.com

For example, by 1989 Northwest Airlines pilot Bob Plath had come up with something better than pulling along luggage horizontally on four castors with a strap, as Sadow had proposed. Plath’s Rollaboard® creation was a vertical bag with two wheels and a “telescopic” handle. Compare that today with the even more advanced 360 degree swivel wheeled versions…or the further evolution known as the Climbing UP suitcase, that can be pulled up stairs and inclined surfaces because it exchanges fixed wheels for all-round rubber tracks.

The modern, wheeled suitcase is just one example of how iterative innovation works. Why don’t we see much of that with books that directly contradict an earlier concept?

A rare example is Harvard Business Professor Deepak Malhotra’s book I Moved Your Cheese: For Those Who Refuse to Live as Mice in Someone Else’s Maze (Berrett-Koehler, 2011). Now, you’ve probably just done a double take on the title because, yes, it’s almost identical to Spencer Johnson and Ken Blanchard’s 1998 classic bestseller Who Moved My Cheese? Which was precisely the point.  (Did you know, by the way, that you cannot copyright a book title – which is why you often see so many same or similar ones appearing – such as this example of my own 1999 book?).

The point Malhotra is making is that the way we need to deal with change has, well – changed in the ensuing 13 years since Johnson and Blanchard’s classic was first published. He addressed that head-on by challenging the premise of WMMC and offering up a fresh way to look at how to handle situations where the goalposts (“the cheese”) keep shifting.

How many other classic business titles can you think of that could benefit from a 21st century overhaul?

So why don’t more authors do what Malhotra has done? We certainly expect, with respect to everyday products, that original innovations (like Sadow’s roll-along luggage) would soon be superseded by better iterations. So why do we leave it only to the original authors to update their books? Most of the time that rarely happens and is unlikely to lead to any radically different thinking in any event (largely because experts don’t like to be seen to change their minds, at least not in public).

I raise this point because you might be a business expert who wants to write a book, and need an attention-grabbing idea. My challenge to you is this: what “classic” bestseller is there in your space that you could contradict, overhaul, and bring up-to-date? What was written years ago that everyone in your industry continues to reference, when you know there’s a much better way to do things? And do you have the chutzpah, as Malhotra obviously has, to use the (slightly tweaked) original title?

If everyone in your world is still metaphorically lugging along honking big leather suitcases with makeshift castors fixed to the bottom and your business offers clients the equivalent of ones that glide on jet packs – why aren’t you writing a book like that?

As I pointed out earlier, we humans like to think we’re smart, but how many companies do you know where processes remain in place only because “this is the way we’ve always done it.” Similarly, how many business book concepts are still being embraced today, despite there being a better approach that you could share?

Next time you read an industry “standard” and think to yourself: I know a better way than this, why not bring attention to your book by directly challenging the old one? Let’s see more iterative innovation with respect to book ideas! After all, moving “cheese” around was just ripe (if you’ll forgive the pun) for an overhaul.

So whose business classic would you like to give 2013/14 “makeover” to, and what would you title it? 

 

How To Avoid Writing a “Fart App” Book

This blog post first appeared in my Thought Readership column on Active Garage.com on March 12, 2012. 

When it comes to the commonly espoused belief that a nonfiction book automatically confers credibility on an author, my feeling has always been maybe, maybe not. After all, surely it depends on whether the book is any good with respect to delivering on its commitment to the reader, and isn’t just a 250-page equivalent of what Steve Jobs called “fart apps.”

When aspiring authors ask for my opinion on what they can do to make their book more credible, my answer is always “research.” Because, as one Harvard Business Review blog post commenter (thanks, Mark Mccarthy, whoever you are!) creatively pointed out in response to an article by a couple of consultants, “…without the research data (this information) could be as useful as a chocolate fireguard.”

Before you go running for the hills at the sound of the “R” word, let me assure you it’s not necessary to go to the lengths of the three co-authors of The Customer Experience Edge: Technology and Techniques for Delivering An Enduring, Profitable, and Positive Experience to Your Customers (McGraw-Hill, 2012).

 

Having the resources of their employer SAP at their disposal in order to commission an independent study, Reza Soudagar, Vinay Iyer, and Dr. Volker G. Hildebrand might have been expected to come up with a credible book; but not necessarily so. It wasn’t just a question of doing research, but also the kind of deep analysis and organization of material that enables the average reader to immediately “get” the data’s applicability. If that doesn’t happen, all you end up with is another data-heavy, dry textbook yawn-fest.

Let me give you a brief backgrounder to how this book came about, before we look at how to scale-down their approach for the kind of credible book you might write.

The authors had taken notice of IBM’s Global CEO study, which found that getting closer to customers was the number one priority for the executives polled. So they commissioned Bloomberg BusinessWeek to research the topic by surveying their reader base and interviewing companies that had achieved significant transformations through a primary focus on customers. Deciding to weave those findings into a book didn’t strike them until the research was completed, 12 months’ later, co-author Vinay Iyer told me.

What the authors did was to break down that mass of information, extracting four essentials of customer experience: Reliability, Convenience, Responsiveness, and Relevance, which were validated by the real-world responses from 307 director-level and above executives at midsize and large companies. They then mapped these essentials onto three key technology-related areas (they work for SAP, remember) and used specific company examples to show how this framework results in the “customer experience edge.”

What can those of us do, who don’t have the resources to support this kind of large-scale research or want to wait 12 months before getting started on our book?

Why not personally interview a sample of industry or business experts to gather their perspectives about your topic, using that material as a key feature in your book? At the same time you’re gathering advocates to help market the book when it’s published.

Or you could develop a short Wufoo or SurveyMonkey questionnaire, promoting that through your social media channels, to gather relevant data.

Certainly there’s nothing wrong with writing a book based only on your opinion—although preferably if it’s been honed and refined over many years and tested against a wide range of situations. But without the added credibility of research, as the man said, your book could end up as useful to the rest of us as a chocolate fireguard.

 

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