Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Writing a Book Is Like Starting a Business

When you've worked for 3 1/3 years coauthoring a book, the feeling of seeing the actual physical book offered for sale on Amazon and in brick and mortar bookstores is one of pure elation! But what makes my coauthors, Ed McLaughlin and Paul McLaughlin (pictured above), even more excited is when someone tells us that our book has actually helped them with their business. Comments like that make all the work worth it.

When we started out to create a book for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs, we didn't realize that the endeavor would be just like starting a new business. Before we knew it, we found ourselves immersed answering a lot of the basic questions all entrepreneurs must answer:

  1. What was our main idea for our product?
  2. What was the purpose of our book?
  3. Who was the target audience? (Who was going to buy and read the book?)
  4. What unique value would we deliver?
  5. Were we filling an unmet need?
  6. How would we create the content and design its final form?
  7. Who were our competitors?
  8. How would we manufacture and distribute the book?
  9. How would we market the book?
  10. What other resources would we need to bring our creation to the market successfully?
These were not easy questions to answer. We spent hours discussing them and doing the homework necessary to develop our product, build an audience, and finalize and distribute the final product with the help of our publisher, Greenleaf Book Group. We not only wrote, edited, and rewrote every chapter; we also spent hours developing and executing our marketing strategy, which included feeding the social media machine, writing blogs, and developing an email list, in addition to using traditional marketing tools such as public relations.

The Purpose Is Profit

Here's a description of the book in a nutshell:

My coauthor Ed McLaughlin bootstrapped his first company, USI, grew it into an Inc. 500 company, and 14 years later sold it to a Fortune 100 company. The book uses the full arc of McLaughlin’s journey, including the failure of a second startup, to reveal the essential business principles all aspiring entrepreneurs need to know, including:

  • Why distinctive competence trumps passion in selecting the business to build.
  • Where and when to get funding without losing control.
  • How to build an entrepreneurial brand that lasts.
  • Why profit should be factored into every business decision.
  • How ethical behavior breeds trust and unlocks profit.

As a special feature, the appendix includes two essential guides: The Startup Roadmap and The Startup Funding Guide.

In the End

In the end it was worth the effort. A columnist for wrote, "Here's a book every entrepreneur needs to read." Not only that, the book was the #1 New Release on Amazon in the New Business Enterprise category. All that made us feel pretty good.

If you want to learn more, go to: I'd love to know what you think of our book. Email me at


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