I have networked with hundreds of business authors over the years, and have noticed there are two factions. One group (which I consider myself in) believes in sharing every ounce of what they know in their books. The other group only shares a portion of their knowledge in their books.
The latter group shares only a teaser worth of knowledge to encourage readers to read more of the author’s other books, or to engage their services. The strategy occasionally works, but I am not a fan.
Ironically, it is the former group, the ones who give it all away, that more often get engaged for services and hired to speak. So, if you want to provide services beyond you book (and even if you don’t) here’s why you want to put every ounce of your knowledge and your soul into the book you write:
1. Most readers are “Do-It-Yourself-ers”. They will take what you have written and never need (or want) more from you. But that is fine – in fact it’s more than fine – since they will DIY with somebody else if not you. Why not be the one who gives it to them? Plus, if you write an amazing book, they will tell others. That’s how DIYs roll.
2. Some readers consume books like a gym membership. You know, they join the gym, feel good about joining and then never go. Those people can only succeed with a trainer. The ones that seek a trainer find one at their gym. Make your book the gym. Have all the tools (equipment) there. Some of your readers will need your trainers.
3. Some readers will be overwhelmed. If you put it all out there, it may be too much for some. They will have trust for you, since it is in your book. And come back to you for direction, support and help.
4. And some will simply collect trophies, putting your book on their shelf and never reading it. But they will still feel ownership in you and what you have written. They will be fans, possibly even raving fans… and never crack a page. I have had instances of people saying “I love The Pumpkin Plan! It is amazing!!!” And I have responded by thanking them for reading the book… they blush and say “I haven’t read it, I just love it.” Books are more than just about reading, it is about building brand affinity.
5. Things change. When I wrote The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, I put all of me into it. I have since grown, so what I know has also grown. I am slightly (barely) more sophisticated in my writing. And when The Pumpkin Plan came out it reflected it. The message may change, the knowledge may enhance, but the core never waivers. When you truly put your soul and life purpose into your book, the core message will never, ever change. Your book is the authentic you, and not a pandering of something you hope readers want.
6. But what if other people steal your stuff? Shouldn’t you hide what you know, so others won’t take it? I felt that way at one point, and was wrong. I think the changing point was when I realized the more I put out there the more I discovered. You see, when I was trying to keep my knowledge to myself, my head could only carry so many thoughts. I stopped growing. Once I put everything I knew out there, in a book, I was able to absorb so much more. Pumpkin Plan would have never happened if I didn’t write The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. And my next book (it’s officially in the words) wouldn’t be happening if I didn’t write The Pumpkin Plan… my head doesn’t have enough room. And the stolen part? Has never happened. Once I put it out there, it was no longer available to be taken.
The final thing is this: your book is ultimately your notebook. It is for you to categorize your thoughts. To release your thoughts. To get it out. Like breathing, you exhale the thoughts, so the new ones can enter. And, when you put everything into your book, everyone, you, your readers, your fans, will breath life deeper.