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You can grow a business (big-time!) with a book that markets your expertise only if you choose the right topic-type combination. And exactly what IS that right combination? It’s the content that’s important to the audiences related to the business growth results you hope for from your book.

Our proprietary Spark Ultimate Book Start System for starting a business-building book is based on four key foundational decisions. Choosing a topic-type combination that’s right for your business and your growth goals is the last of those four and what this post covers. [To fully understand this post, you’ll need to have read about the first three decisions (defining your book’s Why, its audiences and best potential topics) and have your notes about them handy.]

Decide the best topic-type combination to generate your goals.

Review Potential Book Types

Before beginning this step, you may need to learn what a book type is. Topics exist within the context of book types. And one can’t exist without the other. To make your book’s final foundational decision, it’s now time to review and select potential book types.

We have a family of workbooks revealing over 700 proven business-building book types we’ve compiled (each with two real-world examples). Dozens of them are in our blog posts. And many more are showcased in our bi-weekly emails. You’ll see that hundreds of our types often require less original writing, so take a look. You can also find numerous book types at and on any book list.

Your task is to choose appealing types that could benefit your targets when combined with your highest-potential topics. The more types you review, the more likely you are to find one or more you instinctively know are right for your topic and audiences.

Choose High-Potential Book Types

Review the types you chose. Eliminate any that interest you less than the others. On your list of surviving types, denote with a visual marker, such as an asterisk or a color, those that often require less writing so that aspect is front and center as you make your final choice of a topic and type.

Create Possible Topic-Type Combinations

On your revised top targets’ topic lists, note the surviving types that could work with each topic. Some types might work with several topics. And some topics may have multiple type possibilities. Then, exclude the topics that lack a type option. Select no more than 10 combinations to proceed with. List the targets for each of the 10. And label each as having either higher, medium or lower potential impact on the targets it would affect. The goal is to make a big impact on your targets, so the lower-impact combinations should be eliminated.

Develop a Short List of Highest-Potential Combinations

Assess and note the pros and cons of each higher- and medium-impact combination, keeping the specifics of your desired growth results in mind.

For Pros: Identify any combinations that have strong potential to leverage and integrate with your overall business or with any planned new products or services. Especially combinations that relate to or are congruent with your business’ mission, uniqueness or value proposition. Note whether any offer you special leverage such as by being able to be developed into a series of books or new products or services. Or whether any could become the basis for a pivotal new strategic partnership with an industry leader. Or are there popular courses in your field that your book could be used for if you choose certain combinations? Or a course you’d like to create through a certain kind of book? And don’t forget combinations that can more quickly become a book because they often require less original writing.

For Cons: Indicate and consider removing any combinations that require an inordinate amount of extra work, research or expense. Most important, eliminate any that don’t genuinely excite you because you’ll be living with this choice almost daily for the next year or two. And it will be what you become known for within many of your networks.

Then, sort your remaining options by listing them in order of their appeal. List the benefits of each short-listed combination to each priority audience it serves. Also note which top targets each one would not serve particularly well.

Choose Your Book’s Topic-Type Combination

Although we’ve consistently been talking about combining one topic with one type, consider whether your book would be a better means to grow your business if you blended a few topics or types, as I’ve sometimes done. (In my books about book types, I combined steps, ideas and examples into a workbook.) Be careful, however, about blending too many, lest your book appear unfocused or a bit of a hodgepodge.

Finally, spend a few days mulling over the possibilities, Then choose the combination with the best overall profile from your short list. If several excite you, consider creating multiple books in coming years. There’s no bad choice as long as you’re choosing among topics that would matter to the target audiences related to your goals.

As a reality check of your final choice, write a brief description of what your book will be about. If you can’t describe it in a sentence or two that instantly defines your content and reader benefits, you need to revisit and simplify your concept. Most prospective readers will only give a book a few seconds to get its main point across.

With that, you’ve seen all our highlights about making your book’s four foundational decisions. Hip, Hip, Horray! . . . Good for you! It’s not a simple or easy process. But you can’t have a book that delivers your desired results without it.

How else can we help you grow your business with a book?

Our multi-award-winning, groundbreaking workbooks showcase hundreds of book types for you to review, be inspired by and choose from.

And our Getting Started on Your Business-Building Book consulting program provides individual help making your four strategic decisions.

Grow a business with a book that has the right topic and type combination for your goals.

Related Posts:

Exactly What Is a Book Type?

Starting a Book to Grow a Business Begins with 4 Key Decisions

Write a Business Book to Grow Your Business — Initial Steps

Creating a Business Book That’s a Game-Changer — 11 Tasks

How To Start a Book for Your Business via 6 Steps About Your Why

Create a Business Book Only After Defining Audiences Related to Your Goals

Writing a Business Book That Ignites Growth Requires the Right Topic

Our Books to Help Aspiring Executive Authors

Getting Started on Your Business-Building Book consulting program

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