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Five award-winning business authors share their top tips for writing a business book

Writing a business book can be a huge accolade and take your career – or your business – to new heights. However, it can also be a real challenge and possibly unlike anything you’ve attempted to do before. ThePeopleSpace asked a handful of authors who won awards at this year’s Business Book Awards for their top tips on crafting a successful business book

Business books


  1. Tips are king

    "Leave a tip in a box. Small tips in boxes (yes, actual boxes) are the killer app of the author's world. People love tiny, bite-sized summaries that they can take away with them. Give them the sound bite they can drop at a dinner party or in a speech that makes the reader look and feel smart. They will love you for it."

    Pippa Malmgren, co-author of The Leadership Lab
  2. It’s not all about you

    "Remember the book is not about you and put yourself in your reader’s shoes. Ask yourself, why would someone buy my book? Consider what information they need from you to enhance their businesses and their lives. How can you influence, shape and shift their thinking, ideas and thoughts? How would they be able to implement your strategies, tactics, techniques and tools easily? It is important to consider what is already out in the marketplace regarding your subject matter. Why would the reader listen to you, how are you different from the other authors in your industry?"

    Bindar Dosanjh, author of Power Property Investing for Women
  3. Include case studies

    "Illustrate every piece of advice that you give in your business book with a relevant case study. These examples should back up what you are saying and they should also be interesting, succinct and tightly worded. This helps verify your advice and also puts it into different contexts. But also do tell your own story honestly and in detail and run this golden thread through your book, being sure to include both the ups and the downs. People are drawn to reading personal stories and case studies. These help to hook the reader into your subject so that they absorb your points easily, and these stories and case studies will break up heavier text and help make it more accessible and engaging."

    Harriet Kelsall, author of The Creative’s Guide to Starting a Business
  4. Clarify who your reader is

    "Be clear on whom you’re writing for. I chose two main characters whom I expected to read my book. I even gave them names, which I won’t reveal, as they were based on people I knew. The very first draft of each chapter felt like a download of everything that I knew about that subject. I had to capture my thoughts before they escaped me. The second run through was written with my avatars in mind, as if I were talking to them.
    I imagined their responses, and whether my words and examples would be clear to them. I could almost hear them stopping me to ask for clarification on a point. I thought about what I had needed to know at each point in my business. I imagined the look my readers would give me if I spouted irrelevant nonsense."

    Della Hudson, author of The Numbers Business
  5. Use relatable examples

    "One of the key things that it’s easy to forget when you’re writing a business book is that, as the author, you already know what something looks like and how it’s used but the reader doesn’t. So, I would suggest using as many examples that people can relate to as possible, especially when tackling more conceptual ideas or new theories. Without being able to picture what a theory or suggestion looks like in real life it’s difficult for a reader to understand how to pragmatically apply it to their own environment."

    Fiona Murden, author of Defining You

Entries for the Business Book Awards 2020 open in June – find out more at businessbookawards.co.uk

Published 17 April 2019

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