Following last week’s post, if you think your book could use a bit more research, here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Interview experts
Interview some people who are experts in your book’s subject matter. Some of us get stumped on this one, because we think, “well I don’t know any experts,” but you might be surprised.
An expert is simply anyone who knows more than your target readers (and having a fancy job title also helps). For example, if you’re an entrepreneur writing a book on your industry, than anyone you know who works in your field is also an expert. If you’re writing about property investing, then experts could include mortgage brokers, financial planners, real estate agents or property developers. If you’re writing a book on online marketing, then your experts could include bloggers, info product developers, social media marketers, and even web designers.
So, now that you have a list of potential experts, how do you approach them?
Hopefully you’ll know them personally, in which case an email or phone call will do. If not, the next best thing is to find a mutual contact who can introduce you. The best way to do this is to search for the expert on LinkedIn or Facebook, and then look at their connections or friends. As you go through the list, see who your mutual contacts are. If you have a good relationship with one of their contacts, send them a message asking them to introduce you to the expert. This helps break the ice, and means they’re more likely to be receptive to your request.
If you can’t find a mutual connection, then you can always try approaching an expert through their website. They might welcome the publicity, and the opportunity to say they were quoted in your book, particularly if they haven’t been quoted before. And, this might make them more willing to help you promote your book.
2. Read books on your subject
When you’re planning your book, one of the best ways to research is to hop onto Amazon or The Book Depository and search for books on your subject. Then find the five or so with the best reviews (and the most reviews – if something’s been rated an average of five stars and only has one review, then keep looking) and order them.
Once they arrive, read them, taking down key points and good quotes as you go. You might find these authors give you new ways to tackle some of your points, as well as ideas or angles you hadn’t even considered.
3. Use the magical powers of the internet
Alongside interviewing experts and ordering books in your industry, use the internet to get instant answers to specific questions. Blogs on your subject matter are a great way to get started; however simply Google-ing your question is often the easiest way to get on the right track. If you can’t find anything relevant on the search engines, then send out your question on Facebook and Twitter – you never know who might be watching, and that person might be exactly who you need to answer your question.
As well as being able to answer your specific question, Google has a great way to keep you up-to-date with the latest news on your subject, with Google Alerts. Simply search Google News for a phrase relating to your subject, and scroll to the bottom of the news results. Click on the ‘create an email alert for xxxx’ link, set your preferences and click ‘Create alert’. Now you’ll get a daily email with the latest news on your topic.