I was chatting to a fellow speaker a while ago over a few single malts, and the topic of "business gurus" came up. Having been on the international speaking circuit for many years, we've seen them all, and know many of them personally - Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Lundin, Spencer Johnson, etc...
So we got to thinking - what if we were to write a best-selling business book? What's the secret? We came up with a set of rules, which I'm happy to share with you. By the way, we mean no offence to our best-selling chums. This is merely a piece of flim-flammery.
1) A heart-warming, simple parable. It doesn't have to be true, though it helps if it is. It should contain a simple lesson that can be absorbed in under a minute.
2) No pictures. They just confuse people, and attract copyright fees. They also don't work on the Kindle, your potentially largest source of revenue.
3) Keep it short. Large print, short sentences and chapters no more than five pages long. No point flogging yourself to death writing it.
4) Get a ghostwriter. Even a short book takes time to write, There are plenty of unemployed scribes who will produce the necessary words, and then keep quiet about their involvement, for only a moderate sum.
5) Have a colourful cover. You want it to stand out on a webpage and in a bookshop. Most people won't read it anyway. Make it easy to find and buy.
6) Make it repeatable. Set up something that can be turned into a series. We're looking at a lifetime of income here.
7) Become a "character". Shave your head, wear something odd, develop a quirky way of speaking. People will think you're worth talking to.
There you have it. Frankly, we decided we still couldn't be bothered to write the book. Maybe you will.