How to Write an Amazing Business Book That Creates Fans and Customers for Life
“Should I write a business book?”
Yes, if you do it right.
When done wrong, writing a business book will cost you time, money, and sleep. And probably some tears, even if you manage to finish.
To write a great business book, you must create a killer title, perfect the packaging, and deliver massive value through your knowledge. Your first chapter must convince people to keep learning with you through the book. The body shows your expertise. Your book ending with the perfect call to action to get readers to become clients. That is how you write a business book that creates fans and customers for life.
And yes, a $10 or $20 book can turn total strangers into 4 or 5-figure customers.
You’re about to learn the smart way* to accomplish all this.
*the smart way is faster, easier, and less expensive than the wrong way – we’ll talk about that later
You will also learn what sets a book apart from every piece of marketing known to man.
If you get all the elements in place, you win big.
You become the go-to expert in your field.
You get the podcast and conference bookings you want.
You have an attention-grabbing gift for clients and prospects.
And your Mom gets to say “my baby wrote a book!”
If you use the formula I’ve mastered to create 78 books and counting, you get the holy grail of marketing: a machine that works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to attract new leads and customers.
Because you don’t just write a book to teach business.
You write a book to get business. A lot of it.
But let’s start with two big business authors that turned readers into fans and customers.
You’ve probably heard of him?
What You Missed About Russell Brunson and Alex Hormozi’s Books
Why does ClickFunnels’ Russell Brunson sell his books like Dotcom Secrets for $0.99 to $9.99 on Amazon?
Is it to make a few bucks per book?
Russell knows that some readers will sign up for Clickfunnels accounts, which are $127 to $208 per month ($1,524 to $2,496 per year).
And some of those ClickFunnels customers will end up in Russell’s Inner Circle Atlas program, which is $50,000 to $250,000 per year:
Stephen King may sell more books in 2023, but I bet Russell makes more money!
For all we know, Russell’s funnel generates an additional $100 to $200 per book on the back end.
What about Alex Hormozi?
His book ‘$100M Offers: How To Make Offers So Good People Feel Stupid Saying No’ is 99 cents, and it’s all the rage in the marketing world.
And yes, that’s him on the top left, which makes him the head of the pack.
He’s been on major podcasts like ‘The Ice Coffee Hour’ with Graham Stephan, and ‘The School of Greatness’ with Lewis Howes.
Alex also selling consulting services, and finding businesses to fold into his private equity company, Acquisition.com.
Let’s talk about finding business to acquire, which is an absolute nightmare process.
You’re talking about buying expensive database software, cold calling, traveling, doing online meetings, plus performing endless research and due diligence.
And that’s just to find prospects to get started.
Now, businesses come straight to Alex because of his book.
Because his book created trust, which is the most important asset your business can have.
Nail your book and you get instant credibility.
Your ideal customer will demand to be in your funnel.
And those people recommend the book to friends, who also become your leads and customers.
It’s a virtuous cycle.
Say you run a SAAS company offering marketing automation software.
If you write the definitive book on automated marketing, you stop competing on price and features.
You compete on trust.
Your competitors can copy your ads, undercut your prices, and one-up you on features.
But they have no defense against your book.
Why Books Demand Instant Respect
Anyone can say they’re smart, passionate, and knowledgeable about anything.
But you have 100 times more credibility when you say “I wrote the book on it.”
Because few people even try to write a book, let alone finish one.
It’s the automatic differentiator.
It’s instant status.
How could you not be an expert if you wrote a 200-300+ page book and published it?
You can start a social media account, blog, podcast, website, or YouTube channel in less than an hour.
You can’t do that with a book.
And writing a business book is difficult, right?
Yes. Writing a book is hard… until you hear the dirty little secret that everyone in publishing knows but no one talks about.
Most business books are ghostwritten.
In fact, unless the author of the book is a skilled, professional writer (think Ryan Holiday or Neil Strauss), assume the book was ghostwritten.
Because most CEOs and decision-makers just don’t have the time or energy.
So they work with ghostwriters to make the process faster and easier.
More about that later.
What Should Your Book Be About?
The goal of authorship is to prove your expertise.
You want your ideal customer to read your book and say things like:
I want to get on this author’s email list
I can’t wait to recommend this book to my friends and colleagues
I need to hire this person to solve my problem
So how do you get there?
You make the reader understand that you have a big idea that is relevant to them right now.
Your book is the intersection between:
Your knowledge base
The reader’s needs, wants, and desires
That’s why determining whether you have a marketable big idea is so important.
Without it, you are dead in the water.
The good news is that you have it in you. You just need help knowing where to start.
And once you do have your big idea…
Meet Your 24 Hours a day, Days a week, 365 Days-a-Year Sales Force
I work with prospective authors that have paying customers right now. No one else.
You don’t have to do 7 figures a year but you must have a proof of concept.
That’s how we know your big idea is worth writing about in the first place.
Because I ghostwrite books to multiply the revenue-generating power of existing businesses.
All my clients have a premium offer at the back end of the sales funnel, whether it’s software, consulting, or coaching.
So if they’re making $100,000 per year now, I want to turn that into $1 million.
The books I ghostwrite are kind, patient salespeople that work 24/7. They never stop to sleep, eat, or rest.
The old school way to make $1 million from a book is to pray you sell hundreds of thousands of copies.
The new way is to use your book to find 200 customers willing to pay you $5,000 each.
Or 20 customers willing to pay $50,000.
Your book is the tip of the spear, creating new fans that turn into these buyers.
Who would you rather speak to?
John: clicked on a YouTube ad that him to a video sales letter that pushed him to a checkout page
Jane: went to Amazon, bought your book, spent 3 hours reading it, left a five-star review, and joined your email list
You’d talk to Jane, of course.
Because she showed commitment through time and money.
She became a hot prospect before she saw your website.
She’s probably searching your name on Google to learn more about you.
Even though she’d never heard of you 3 hours ago.
That is the magic of books, and it’s something no other media can match.
And again, did you think about the fact that Jane paid you money?
No matter how low your cost per lead or cost per customer is, it’s still negative.
It’s still money coming out of your bank account.
Nothing beats people showing up out of nowhere and handing you cash.
Let’s talk about John and Jane one more time.
You paid YouTube $10 for John’s ad click.
You received $10 from Jane for your book
Jane showed commitment through time and money so she is 100 times more likely to become a customer.
Jane is also more likely to be happy with your service and much less likely to request a refund.
You want less cold leads (John) and more warm book leads (Jane):
This is why people hire me to ghostwrite their books. Books attract the target market at no cost beyond the initial production.
This relates to a major challenge plaguing my clients: customer acquisition cost
SAAS entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants, and other business owners all say it costs too much money to get new customers.
Customer acquisition costs for a SAAS company runfrom $64 for a consumer eCommerce tool to nearly $15,000 for an Enterprise solution.
Remember, those are averages. Acquiring certain large customers could cost 6 figures and beyond.
And ad prices are hurting all industries.
Meta (formerly known as Facebook), Google, Amazon, and TikTok’s digital ad prices are all on the rise. Meta’s CPM rose 61% while Google’s programmatic display CPMs are up 75%.
Why are online ad prices up?
Because companies are moving more of their ad budgets online.
Plus, Apple’s iOS 14.5 release has made third-party data tracking more difficult, making mobile ads less effective, particularly for Meta.
On top of increased ad costs, inflation has pushed up the cost of video and photography productions.
The result: you pay more money for ads and you get worse results.
But what if you’re not spending any money on advertising?
You’re still doing something to promote your business.
You’re networking. You’re creating content. You’re using social media. You’re attending conferences. You’re traveling for in-person sales presentations. You’re cold calling.
All of that costs time and money.
This is why the smart author lets Amazon do the upfront selling of your book, which does all the warming up you’ll ever need.
And Amazon is important to the process…
The Right Book Leverages Amazon to Become the Ultimate Lead and Customer Activation Tool
Amazon is the largest bookseller in the world with hundreds of millions of credit cards on file.
Morning Consult ranks Amazon as the #1 most trusted retail brand in America, and #2 overall – and even more trusted than Tom Hanks, America’s Dad.
So your prospective buyer is fine hitting the ‘Add to Cart’ button to buy your new book on Amazon – even if they don’t know you.
Because you piggyback on Amazon’s trust factor.
Second, Amazon’s recommendation engine puts your book in front of the right people, assuming you get all the details right.
Now people in your target market are reading your book while they’re on planes, commuting, or hanging in a coffee shop.
You want CEOs and other decision-makers to read your book so they can email their staff and say “let’s hire this person.”
Yes, it can be that simple.
Should You Work With a Traditional Publisher?
Working with a traditional publisher sounds glamorous and exciting.
But even if you have a large public profile, landing a publishing contract is tough and takes time.
If you get a deal done at all, you’re lucky if your book is out the door in 18 months after you sign the dotted line.
The entire process could take years.
Some publishers also like to play bait-and-switch.
You think you’ll work with a veteran senior editor… only to be pawned off to a fresh-out-of-college newbie.
And since it takes traditional publishers so long to turn around books, expect turnover on the team producing your title. You will spend time getting new people up to speed on your project.
The best way to work with a publisher is to self-publish and prove two things:
You can sell books on your own
You have your own audience
Do that, and you won’t have to look for publishers.
They’ll find you, and you’ll have massive leverage in negotiations.
But if you’re doing well on your own, you’ll reject the publishers because it’s so much more profitable and satisfying to own the entire process.
And oh yeah, if you think big book publishers will pay you a giant advance, think again. This ain’t the 1980’s.
Advances are quickly going to zero. Margins are going to zero for publishers. There’s no financial benefit for going with a publisher if advances are going to zero and royalties are a few percentage points. The publishing industry does minimal editing. The time between book acceptance and release is too long (often a year or more). That’s insane and makes zero sense in a print-on-demand world when kindle versions are outselling print versions. Most importantly, the book industry sells “books”. What they need to do is sell their “authors”. Authors now are brands, they are businesses, they are mini-empires. Publishers do nothing to help 95% of their authors build their platforms and their own brands.
And let me ask you a question: can you tell me who James Patterson’s publisher is? Or Lee Child’s? Or Tim Ferriss’? Or John Grisham’s? Suze Orman’s? Or Robert Cialdini’s? Or Christopher Voss’? Or Patrick Bet-David’s? Or Tim Grover’s? Or Brené Brown’s?
You don’t buy a book because of the publisher.
You buy a book because it solves a problem or teaches you something.
Now I’m going to show you what makes a business book sell.
What Makes a Business Book Sell When You Don’t Have a Publisher or Public Profile
After ghostwriting 78 self-published books (and counting) across fields like marketing, persuasion, weight loss, and even hypnosis, I know what sells.
First things first: the book has to look and feel professional.
Not everyone knows what a great book design is.
But you know when a book feels cheap and slapped together. This goes down to tiny details like font choice, the formatting of paragraphs and lines, and how the table of contents is presented.
If your book feels unprofessional or the slightest bit disorganized, it goes in the trash. Or if you’re lucky, the Goodwill store down the street. Sad, but true.
Your design must also grab attention without being too garish. And it can’t feel out of date 6 months after release.
Your title and tagline make people buy without thinking. Your ideal customer must say “that’s for me” within microseconds.
When you nail the packaging and title, you get those critical initial sales.
Some of these buyers will have never heard of you.
And once your book is starting to move a few units and get reviews, Amazon pushes your book harder through its recommendation engine.
What about topics?
In most marketing channels, it pays to be specific about your target audience.
But with a book, you must appeal to a broad group of people than your perfect customer.
I worked with my client Bushra Azhar on ‘Mass Persuasion Method: Activate the 8 Psychological Switches That Make People Open Their Hearts, Minds and Wallets for You.’
What does this title work?
The word “persuasion” grabs people interested in sales, marketing, public speaking, and writing.
The phrase “hearts, minds, and wallets” tell you the book works in different contexts.
Hearts: open the heart of your spouse (benefit = better interpersonal relations)
Minds: open the minds of coworkers (benefit = get coworkers on your side)
Wallets: open the wallets of customers (benefit = close more sales)
And the book content is specific enough to attract Bushra’s ideal clients:
Entrepreneurs that want to learn more from her online courses
Big companies that want their sales and marketing teams trained in her unique brand of persuasion.
Funny, now that I think about it, writing a book is about opening hearts, minds, and wallets!
I’ll talk about some of my other successful clients later on.
Does a Book Have to Be Good to Sell Well?
Yes, your book must be good.
Sounds funny, but people ask me that question all the time.
Everyone that reads your book should walk away having learned something.
You must prove you have the knowledge and expertise to solve your readers’ real-world problems.
Your book must also be accessible. It must be deep enough for readers to get real value, but not dense like a textbook.
Striking this balance is key, because that’s what generates word-of-mouth marketing, and it’s what makes people Google your name to see what else you have to sell.
How to Not Write a Business Book
I started this article on this sour note:
“When done wrong, writing a business book will cost you time, money, and sleep. And probably some tears, even if you manage to finish.
So what do I mean by “wrong?”
Let’s through all the ways writing your book will turn into a disaster:
The Brain Dump Without a Detailed Plan
Entrepreneurs tend to be super smart and advanced in their fields. They have the curse of knowing too much.
So they sit down and blast out page after page of detailed, specialized information.
The brain dump is an effective writing technique… but only if it’s done in a structured way.
Otherwise, you get 150 pages deep before you realize your new book is a mess.
That’s when you give up, or do what you should have done at the start: hire a pro to get the job done right
By the way, if your brain dump is chaotic enough, most pros will say no to the job.
Fixing a bad book takes twice as long as writing a good book from scratch.
Writing a book is like plumbing.
You might get lucky doing it yourself.
But when it’s 2 in the morning and a pipe explodes, you’ll say “I should have called the pros the first time.”
Drafting a Ghostwriter Who’s Never Done It Before
You walk into your marketing or content department to pick someone to write your book.
Because writing is writing. Right?
Writing a book is a huge undertaking the first time out – even for world-class copywriters and content creators.
Some people will be excited to write a book, which will make you happy… at first.
Up until page 20.
That’s when they realize they’re way over their heads, and they’re afraid to tell you.
This never ends well.
You Hire a “We Guarantee You a NY Times and Amazon Bestsellers” Ghostwriting Firm
Want inside info on some “prestigious” ghostwriting firms?
They can engineer a best-seller for you… at a cost of about $250,000.
How much of that goes towards producing your book?
$2,500 – to a subcontractor on Upwork that crank out books like they’re $5 Subway sandwiches.
In the worst-case scenario, that $2,500 subcontractor turns around and farms out your book a second time to a $1,000 ghostwriter on Fiverr.
The rest of your money goes to “buying” your way onto the list. (we can talk about this in private if you want all the details)
So you think you’re hiring a credible author that’s created multiple New York Times bestsellers.
But you got fleeced.
And before you say “oh you’re just jealous Josh,” realize that my clients have been on every big best-seller list, and have appeared on major TV shows.
Best-seller status is not as big a deal as you think, because it doesn’t guarantee you any real-world success.
And don’t get me started on Amazon best-seller lists.
If you’ve got three friends, you can be #1 in the ‘History of Looseleaf Paper’ category.
Writing in Somebody Else’s Words
Ever have that weird moment where you listen to someone on a podcast… and they sound NOTHING like they did in their book?
This happens all the time.
Your book must be in your voice.
It can’t be the ghostwriter’s voice with a few of your buzzwords thrown in.
I use my experience plus advanced software to ensure my client’s books are 100% authentic.
Now, I’m about to teach you the smart way to get your book written, but before that, you should know about…
The Extra Hidden Benefits of Writing a Business Book
You know that your book builds your reputation and puts you in front of happy, willing buyers.
But your book has a major hidden benefit.
It’s the foundation for a powerful new content library.
You can rework excerpts of your book for:
Articles and blog posts
Tweets and other social media posts
Speeches and conference presentations
This saves your team hundreds of hours of work.
Because your book clarified your message and organized your ideas into their best form.
A book is also the ultimate business card.
Want to make a great first impression to a new prospect or business contact?
Hand them your professionally-designed book with its eye-catching cover.
Want to be on your favorite podcast? Mail your book to the host. 100 books in the mail beats 10,000 cold email messages, guaranteed.
And you better have copies in your car, home, and office. Because you’ll be amazed at how many opportunities open up by giving the right person your book.
I even have some clients that don’t even bother selling their books to the public. Their books get mailed (yes, through old-fashioned snail mail) to prospects. And it works.
This seemed crazy to me until I saw these “mail only” people closing 4 and 5-figure deals.
If you mail out 200 books, odds are 40 people will read your book, 10 will get in touch with you, and 5 will become clients. And if you do a good job for those clients, you’ll get referrals. It’s that virtuous cycle we talked about before.
Of course, I do get the occasional author saying “my Mom finally understands what I do!”
That might make you smile and laugh, even if it doesn’t pay your bulls.
Before we close out, you must think about measuring the success of your book.
How to Measure the Success of Your Book
What would you rather have?
$100,000 from book sales; or
$15,000 in book sales plus $2,000,000 in business from people that bought your book
It’s an extreme example.
But you get where I’m going.
You measure your book’s success by how much revenue and profit you generate over the next 5, 10, or 20 years.
Remember what I told you before:
“Your book is the tip of the spear, creating new fans that turn into buyers.”
For example. I worked with Dr. Philip Ovadia on “Stay off My Operating Table: A Heart Surgeon’s Metabolic Health Guide to Lose Weight, Prevent Disease, and Feel Your Best Every Day.”
Am I happy that this Cardiac Surgeon holds the #1 best-seller spot in multiple Amazon categories, including Heart Disease, with hundreds of 5-star ratings? And that he’s been on dozens of health-focused podcasts? Yes.
But I’m happier that Dr. Ovadia’s $4.99 Kindle book (and $19.99 paperback) brings him a steady stream of 4 and 5-figure personal and corporate clients.
The same is true for:
Connie Steel, whose book “Building the Business of You: A System to Align Passion and Growth Potential through Your Own Career Mashup” brings her strategy consulting clients Andrew Stickel, author of “How to Get More Law Firm Clients: Without Losing Time & Money or Getting Screwed By a Marketing Company,” who has become a renowned expert in law-firm marketing Ramesh Dontha’s “The Agile Entrepreneur Series” of books generates $497 course sales
And earlier, I talked about Bushra Azhar’s “Mass Persuasion Method.” Those books help sell her $399+ online courses on top of attracting high-dollar corporate clients.
I can share even more examples of books generating 6 or 7-figure revenue streams if we talk.
That’s my specialty, and if you are ready to create new fans that turn into buyers, listen up.
How Ghostwriter Joshua Lisec Makes the Book Writing Process Easy While Saving You Time and Money
I was born to do one thing: figure out the best way to say it
That’s why I called my best-selling writing course ‘The Best Way to Say It.’
My first mission is to help you say your big idea in the best way imaginable.
My second mission is to get your big idea in front of the right audience to build your reputation and your business.
I don’t pawn you off on a fresh-out-of-college newbie.
You work with me, a battle-hardened veteran with 78 books under my belt. (and more by the time you read this)
We’ll connect one-on-one to develop your concept and ensure your book is value-packed, accessible, and ready to sell upon launch.
You bring the knowledge, and I make sure the presentation is picture-perfect.
I’ll also give your first and last chapters a special treatment mainstream publishers don’t understand.
Your first chapter sells the rest of your book, and has a particular relevance on Amazon. (we can discuss this further on a consultation)
Your last chapter is the handoff to your funnel. That’s where the magic happens, and it’s where traditional book publishers fail. Because they don’t understand how a $10 book buyer turns into a $50,000+ customer for enterprise software or high-end consulting.
And best of all, I make the process as quick and easy as possible. You do not have to spend 36 months and $250,000 to get your book done. Not even close.
My process is many times faster than a traditional book publisher because I have an exact blueprint for going from concept to finished work. That efficiency comes from writing dozens and dozens of books with all different kinds of people from all around the world.
Do not underestimate the impact of time on your stress and frustration levels. Nothing will aggravate you like knowing two years have passed and you’re not even close to finishing your book.
Plus, we’ll give you everything you need to land speaking gigs and podcast/media appearances, which can accelerate your sales. We can even help you land corporate sponsors for your book.
And if you’re worried about things like:
Making a physical book
Setting up print-on-demand
Having an Audible audio book (essential for ranking on best-seller lists)
Finding a cover designer
Deciding on the right editor
Creating the perfect handoff to your funnel
My team of specialists takes care of every detail you can imagine (and the ones you can’t), just as we’ve been doing for years.
Again, you bring the knowledge.
We turn it into a book that comes out of the oven ready to sell and bring you customers.
That’s why I call it ghostpublishing.
You get paperback, Kindle eBook, and audio versions of your book for distribution to over 60 countries.
You keep 100% of the royalties and rights to the book. No strings attached – they’re all yours forever.
If you’re ready to learn about the process of getting your big idea out to the world, click here to set up a consultation.
As a reminder, I only work with business people and entrepreneurs that have customers right now. You don’t need a multimillion dollar business. But you must offer a product or service which people are buying.
Because I write one kind of book: the type that puts fresh people into your revenue pipeline. I want to explode your sales. So set up a consultation right here if you’d like to hear about the possibilities.
If you’re still reading this, let me say thank you.
You’ve given me a good chunk of your time and I appreciate it.
And I hope you learned a few things about what it takes to write your book, and the biggest pitfalls to avoid.
Good luck out there.
Joshua Lisec is a #1 international and Wall Street Journal bestselling ghostwriter who has ghostwritten more than 80 books since 2011 on everything from metabolic health and internet marketing to political tell-alls and current events reporting that have been translated into several languages