Some of the best books ever written are merely transcriptions of interviews with experts, celebrities, and gurus. Think of it this way, who would you absolutely love to speak with and pick their brain? Would you love to sit down and speak with the Pope? With Oprah? With Bill Gates? With JK Rowling?
What is the next best thing to being able to sit down and speak with these people? Reading a book that answers all of your questions.
Interviewing experts is a fantastic way to write a book that not only generates profits but that provides a real benefit to thousands of people.
As with writing any book, you do not want to just go out and interview someone and expect it to sell. You have to ensure that there is a demand for the information. This is accomplished by first determining what type of book you want to write don not worry about the expert just yet, first determine what you are going to write about.
Look to your interests, passions, and own expertise first. This is important because you will need to be able to market your book convincingly and if you are not truly thrilled to talk about your book then it will show. Plus, you will have a better more interesting and more productive interviews if you know what you are talking about.
Determine that there is a demand by doing a bit of online research, and online and off line networking. You want to make sure that the topic of your book appeals to enough people that you make money from it. Writing and publishing can be an act of creativity and passion but it can also be a profitable business with a little forethought.
Here is a little food for thought. People buy books that provide them with a benefit. That is why how to books sell so well. What will your book do? Will it tell them how to make more money? How to be smarter? How to be healthier, happier, prettier? It does not have to be as basic as that, your book can tell people how to coach a basketball team or how to take photos like a pro. The important thing to remember when determining your topic is that it must provide a benefit to your readers.
Decide how you want to structure your book. Do you want it to be a collection of interviews or a single interview? Do you want to make each question you ask your expert a chapter or do you want to write some of the copy yourself and mingle it with the interview questions? Not sure? Read a few interview based books to generate ideas. Ask your friends, family, and associates for their input. In the end, write the book that you believe in.
Now you can find your expert! In your industry, besides yourself, who is the go to person? Who is the person that people think of when they think of your topic? That is the person you want to interview. If there are many people consider interviewing several of them and compiling it into a book or generating several books.
The most difficult step in this process may be contacting your celebrity. I find that the best way to do this is to be 100% prepared. Have your market research ready and a book plan established. Show your celebrity how they can benefit from teaming up with you. If necessary, be prepared to partner with them or share in the profits. This can be a great thing because if your celebrity is also marketing your book, you stand to make twice the profits.
Once an agreement has been reached you are ready for the fun stuff. Interviewing people, especially people that you admire and respect, is a great opportunity. There are a few things that you can do to make sure your interview is a success.
- Prepare the questions ahead of time and send a copy of the question to your expert, or experts, in advance. This gives them time to prepare.
- Record the interview. Don not forget to ask permission to do this. A great book can be generated from a transcribed interview. Record the interview, send it to a transcriptionist, and then structure the transcribed copy into a book. Your book can literally be completed in a matter of days.
- Tell your expert how long you expect to chat and then do your absolute best to respect their time.
- Ask for the opportunity to speak with them again if future questions arise.
- Thank them verbally and with a handwritten note for the interview. It’s just a nice thing to do.