Want to get your
business or management book published?
Well, here is a surefire way to see your name in lights. If any of the pile of recent best-selling
business books I read over the last few weeks are any indication, this is what
you need to do to make it big:
1. Write an article that makes a counterintuitive
and provocative claim. Something like, “Working less will produce more income,”
“Creativity is the key to any success,” or “X is making you stupid,” where X
can be just about anything, like television, the Internet, your job, your
family, your car, etc. The article lays
out your basic claim. Sprinkle a few data points and anecdotes, but don’t
provide the sources for them. End the article by pointing out that the details
for your claim are contained in a soon-to-be released book, and then provide a
link to pre-order the book.
2. Now, all you need to do is write the book,
and here is an outline that guarantees success:
Chapter 1 – Summary of your claim–pretty much the same
content as the article.
Chapter 2 – The history of something remotely-related to
the claim. For example, if your premise is that working less produces more
income, start with how few hours the cavemen had to invest in collecting food
and how success and happy they all were–I mean, after all, we are their
descendants … and here we are. Couldn’t have been that bad. This defines the good
ol’ days. Continue to describe the
history through the middle ages, in other cultures, etc. No need to worry about
relevance, just get the page count up.
Chapter 3 – Next, point out how everything went sour. Present
how ‘y’ ruined man’s happiness, where ‘y’ can be the industrial revolution,
capitalism, imperialism, French cooking, you name it. This provides a fulcrum around which you can
build your plan. Don’t worry how
simplistic the reason may be for why everything went down the tubes. This is merely a tool for presenting your
Chapter 4 — Here you provide a bunch of anecdotes to ‘prove
your point.’ This doesn’t have to be based on solid data; company-sponsored
surveys of 25 pre-selected customers or random Twitter chatter are just fine. Be sure to present these data as ‘studies
have shown that … ‘ Pepper the data with anecdotes that prove your point. Again,
no need to be rigorous or well-rounded. Just pick whatever supports your point and
leave out the rest. Be sure to position these anecdotes as ‘a representative
selection of stories found during your thorough research of the subject.’
Chapter 5–Present a plan to help your readers achieve
the goals. Make sure the plan can’t be accurately measured or monitored.
Provide some folksy, sound-good advice.
Bring examples of people/companies who have successfully implemented
your plan, especially if they are people who nobody will recognize or obscure
companies in arcane markets.
Chapter 6 — Set the stage for your next book, but posting
a few new provocative ideas, but saying they are all “beyond the scope of this
you have just completed the next business best-seller. Start packing for your cross-country book