Using your book to build a business - Dale Darley
Using your book to build a business #amwriting #writingabook

Using your book to build a business

I was gifted the Book The Business Model Generator many years ago by a friend, who gently suggested that I used it to build a business. It was one of those gifts that I was delighted to receive because it came at what appeared to be the right time. His invitation was to look at my business in a new way. My dusty old business plan needed a shake and I adore new ways of looking at old things.

At the time I was writing a book about planning a book, this wasn’t just about the book plan, it covered the whole of the prospective writers personal brand plan as well. It seemed to me little point in writing a book for your business if that book wasn’t a business. Does that make sense to you?

Let me explain.

A book to me is never just a book. It is a one thing. This is where the business model canvas comes into it’s own.

It provides clarity when you start to build a business

Planning and writing a book gives you clarity of core message and process. The business model canvas lets you look at it as a business. This will as it does me spark many ideas, the big picture, as well as keeping you focused on the detail.

What else is your book?

When you look at a book as a one thing that gives you crystal clear clarity you can begin to look at how else you can use it. Your book can be turned into many other things like workshops, online courses, speeches, retreats and to support your coaching or consultancy practice.

The whole process around a book brings together everything about your business. Think of it like a condenser and as an expander.


People often think that a book is just about creating an outline and writing it. Yes, you can JUST do that, but what if you want more from your business?

In this series of articles I would like to invite you on a journey where we can look at how the process of writing a book enables you to clarify and (re)build your business model.

The business model canvas

What I love about this is quite simply the whole plan is on one sheet of paper. As a person who can write and write and write, this canvas draws me back to simplicity. When it’s simple, I know I will use it.

Using a book to build a business

Let’s say you have a coaching or consulting practice. You generally do a number of marketing activities to generate business. When you have won a piece of business, you will have a process that you follow, some tools that you apply and perhaps some training or coaching that you deliver. Success is measured by something that you and the client determines from some goals you set at the outcome. And then that’s it. Job done, time to move on. But what if you could deliver more value?

  1. The book planning and writing process as we have said bring clarity of purpose, message and process.
  2. It also enables you to see what else you can create around it –  a product roadmap.
  3. As you research the market and undertake a competitor analysis you will learn where the gaps are and you can apply these to the business of your book.
  4. The book is like a pivot from which you can build a brand and take your inspirational message out into the world.
  5. As you write it, in the reflection spaces you build your business. E.g. When it comes to writing your book, you could blog it.

With a book in hand, you can use this now as:-

  1. A marketing tool. 
    • This becomes a big business card. Often prospective clients will choose someone to work with because they have a book and they may well have already read it.
    • At your first meeting when you are discussing their business you can leave a copy of your book with each of the meeting attendees.
    • You may wait to gift your book until you get the order and then you would use it to say thanks to the main person/people that you worked through winning the order with.
    • At the first meeting when you meet the team that you will be working with you can gift the book then. People love pressies.
  2. Coaching tool
    • As you work with your client and their team, you can request that they bring your book to meetings where once you have delivered your coaching or training you invite them to reference a chapter to support the content of the session.
    • You can send motivational emails to the team. Thank them for their time and remind them to check out a particular page.
    • In this way you are building fans who one hopes will tell their friends and you are training them to read your book.
  3. Turning your book into an online course
    • As you work with your clients and scan the marketplace you will gather more ways that you can support clients. Use this as case studies for your courses.
    • As you deliver pieces of work to a client based on your book, create PowerPoint slides and record your content in such a way that it can be used in an open to the ‘public’ course. Use this to reinforce a point that you have been working on. And add this to your course curriculum.
  4. Away days aka retreats
    • Retreats are wonderful ways to kick-start a process and dive deep into creating transformation. Your book becomes the core of the process.
    • Use the book to plan the retreat or away day. You already have the process, now you can have fun planning activities around it, and using the book to support you.
    • Use your book as a gift. Have it placed on the pillow of each guest along with chocolate or some other small gift.
    • As we have said earlier use it throughout the retreat as a reference point.

These are a few ideas, there are many more depending on the nature of your business and your dreams.

There is little point writing a book and planning all of this other stuff around it, if it doesn’t fit with your passion and where you want to go with it.

If you take me for example, my passion is around enabling people to find their voice, creating a strategy around it and typically writing a book. For me, books are inspirational messages, they are a vehicle for us finding our voices and being able to share our value.

At the point of writing this article, I am editing a book called Healing Osteoporosis Naturally. The book is about finding your root cause and creating a natural healing plan based on your unique ‘issues’. When my spine fractured and I was diagnosed I was horrified at the available medical advice and the rubbish that was being spouted by some people. I had to do something about it.

This book is a fantastic ‘product’ for me to also demonstrate how to live and write a book like this. It has been my hardest book to date. What an eye opener and that’s all I will say on the subject. However, this learning has given me new insight into my business and that can only be good for you, right?

My hope is that you can see how a book will benefit your business in ways you may have never considered. If it daunts you, you could plan and write the book from other products and services you have – as they say – there is more than one way to skin a cat (as an animal lover this makes me squirm…).

Your mission should you choose to take it is to connect with me and chat about your book and strategy.

If you are not quite ready then you can take the 7 days plan your book challenge, this has been designed to enable you to clarify your book.

Write your BIG Book

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Dale Darley

Strategist, Coach, writer and author. Helping you to make sense of your ideas and personal stories so that you can create simple strategic direction and design the right products and services for your business. Mum to three dogs and a family of swallows. Life without cake is a life unlived.