In the last few years, there has been an explosion in the variety of personal finance books available in the market. Often, advisors who have knowledge and experience to share with the readers write these books.
As a financial advisor, you too would have had unique client interactions, which are full of lessons and insights. In this article, we are sharing a few tips to write a book and share your knowledge with investors:
Understand the ‘why’, ‘who’ and ‘what’
Before you start writing a book, it is important to identify three main parameters - your purpose for writing the book, who is your audience and what message you want to convey. Author and financial trainer Amit Trivedi mentions that different authors have different motivations for writing a book. “Some authors want to establish themselves as an authority on a particular subject. This helps them strengthen their business. Others want to share their experiences while for some writing is a passion. So first, identify your own motives to write the book. The next step is to pinpoint the target audience. Understanding the target audience is paramount, as the book needs to address the problems or needs of the audience. The third crucial step is figuring out the message you want to convey. The message will be the crux of your book,” he adds.
Now comes the how
After you have the message in place, you need to decide the format you want to follow. Different authors choose different formats. In his Yogic Wealth book, the noted financial planner, Gaurav Mashruwala devotes each chapter to a distinct theme.
On the other hand, Amit Trivedi’s book ‘Riding the Roller Coaster: Lessons from Financial Market Cycles We Repeatedly Forget’ has each chapter devoted to a lesson for the reader to mull over. In Money, Life & You, Gurgaon IFA Shilpi Johri has shared non-fiction case studies with the readers. “In the last few years there have been tremendous changes in the social fabric. People’s mind-set, spending and investment patterns have also changed. I wanted to write a book, which addresses these changes. So I chose to share case studies to convey these dynamics,” says Shilpi.
Once you finalise the format you can then sub-divide your book into different chapters based on the topics you want to cover.
When you decide to write a book, it is important to follow a schedule to ensure that you finish writing it and not stretch it indefinitely. Allot a particular time every day or every week to writing the book. Clear your calendar of all other obligations during that time. Bengaluru IFA R Subramanya from Abundance in Life had set aside an hour every day to writing his book ‘Awaken the Millionaire Within: 21 Powerful Money Secrets’. His focussed approach helped him complete the book and publish the book in six months flat.
Writing is a creative process; you may get a spark of imagination at any odd time. While articulating it into your book may not always be feasible, it is important to note these ideas down and to work on them in the time you have allotted for book writing.
While you may have a strong grasp of the subject matter, which you wish to articulate in the book, fine-tuning the language and hiring a good designer can uplift the quality of your output. Amit Trivedi recommends hiring two editors; one a subject matter editor who double-checks the content and ensures that there are no technical mistakes in the book and the second is the language editor who polishes the final copy.
Mumbai IFA Yogin Sabnis of VSK Financial Consultancy Services stresses on the importance of having a good designer. His book ‘Financial Planning, Money Maps & More’ has extensive mind maps. The designer played a key role in ensuring that these maps came out well.
Decide how you want to publish the book
Today advisors can choose to self-publish their book or approach a publisher. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages. While a publisher has the sales channels in place and will assist you in marketing the book, he also decides the pricing. Generally, the publisher receives the entire proceeds of the sales and author receives a fixed percentage or royalty based on the agreement between the publisher and the author. In case of established authors, the publisher may also give a signing amount along with royalty.
As a self-publisher, you are in better control of the pricing.
Marketing is important
While people in limelight find it easier to get good sales, other individuals need to do put in efforts for marketing their books. For instance, the acclaimed trainer and author, P V Subramanyam mentions that thanks to his popular blog and numerous interactions during his long career as trainer, he has a widespread fan following which helped in marketing his books.
Authors can conduct small events in bookshops or run campaigns or social media, mingle with other authors and influencers at events and request for reviews. These activities help to create a buzz about the book.
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