Should you write a Landmark-Type business book?
We’re looking at my model for business book development: Directions, Map or Landmark. It will help you choose what type of business book to write, write the book and most importantly work out how that book can fit in with your business strategy, enhance your profile and provide you with a lucrative marketing tool.
This article is focusing on Landmark Type Books.
Landmark — WHY TO
If you write a Landmark book you may meet haters. You are leading people to your chosen destination, other people will want to subvert the direction, and lead them astray.
Nassim Taleb — his landmark (I think) is think— all his books ask us to learn to think better, to question our thinking. He’s not the only person writing for this landmark, but he is especially vocal.
This type of book needs stories, personal stories, inspirational and motivational stories. It needs the stories to get movement in a direction without a map or directions. The reader needs to be able to picture the destination, you use stories to create a picture.
Are you getting the point?
Stories — case stories, life stories, anecdotes…
Not even on the same map
Readers will come from all directions, all lifestyles, every skillset and career. Landmark books don’t need everyone to start at the same spot, they don’t even need everyone to be on the same map, as long as you can see the shining star (the landmark) you can enjoy the book and benefit from it.
Readers are inspired to follow you to attempt to reach the landmark — even though you may never get there…
Landmark books could also be called Legacy or Lindy Effect books.
I came across the term Lindy Effect from our thinker friend Taleb in The Black Swan. The Lindy Effect is a theory of the life expectancy of non-perishable things that suggests for some non-perishables, like a technology or an idea or a book, every additional day “alive” may imply a longer (remaining) life expectancy – in other words the mortality rate of the item decreases with time. Unlike us fragile humans.
The best example for a book with the Lindy Effect is The Bible (or Quuran) – the longer it’s been around the better chance it has of continuing to be around. More business-y examples are books like The E-Myth by Michael E Gerber, How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie, Getting Things Done by David Allen or Influence by Robert B Cialdini. They have a timeless quality, that creates believers and followers, for generations. I’m sure you can think of plenty of other examples.
How cool would that be for your book, , to still be on the shelves in 30 years time?
Types of book in the Landmark category? Philosophy, religion (should be here but they frequently end up in directions!), manifestos, calls to action, better world, hope.
Biographies come in this category — they are the ultimate story, with a landmark. Think about Richard Branson’s autobiography. Or biographies of Steve Jobs…
How can you tie a Landmark type book in to your business: licenses (franchises, train the trainer), more books, keynote speeches, government or industry consultancy, advocacy.
Why your landmark book leaves you alone on the mountain…
Finding yourself alone at the top of the mountain you might wonder where it all went wrong… Unless your landmark, bright shining star, is where people really want to go, they won’t follow you.
How sure are you that there’s an audience of vegan, flat-earthers, who want to build a caterpillar-tracked tank to get to the other side of the disc? And are you really the charismatic story-teller who can lead them there?
It’s hard to be inspiring… I know!
Remember: You must decide what type of book your are writing – Directions, Map or Landmark – before you write the outline or decide on the title and subtitle.
If you’ve already started writing, you might be writing the wrong book! Call me to find out.