Write Your Way to New Business by Writing a Book

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One of the best ways for a lawyer to build his own personal brand is to write a non-fiction book.  Getting published gives current and potential clients the sense that you’re an expert and that you’re well established in your niche.  All attorneys should be working to position themselves as experts.  There are a myriad of ways to do this like blogging, sending out e-newsletters with tips and ideas, and so on.  However, writing a book goes a long way in establishing yourself as an expert attorney in your field of law.

Before you throw up your hands and say that with running a law firm, there is no extra time, remember that you can utilize the services of a ghostwriter if needed.  Just make sure to edit the work so that it comes across as sounding like it actually came from you and that it represents what your law firm stands for.

Ways to Generate Ideas

What’s happening in the world?  What are some popular, legally irresponsible trends that you see going on around you?  Think of ways that you, as an attorney, can contribute to the national or community dialogue on issues that relate to a wide audience.  Almost anything that you have an opinion about can be transformed into an interesting, publishable work.
 
When you go to parties or take your children to school and people find out that you’re a lawyer, what kinds of questions do they ask you?  The answer may be the topic that you should write about.  You can also simply ask people.  Ask your non-lawyer friends what kind of general legal questions they’d be interested in having answered and would they read a full length book on the topic.

Once you have an idea, think about whether or not your topic is something that would be useful for one article or is it something that you could write on and on about.  Just like you have a niche market as an attorney, you can have a niche market as a writer.  You may come up with a topic that you can write volumes about either because your interest in it is vast or because the topic itself is intricate and detailed.  If you feel that you can right on and on about your topic, then you could write several magazine articles.  Having already written magazine articles will help convince potential publishers that you know how to write, that you have an understanding of the issue and that you may even have a built in audience who is interested in hearing more from you on the subject.
 
The Non-Fiction Book Market

In today’s market, an attorney who wants to write a non-fiction book actually has a decent shot at finding someone to publish it for them.  One of the great things about the non-fiction book market is that people like to own more than one book on the same topic.  For instance, someone interested in learning more about the legal ramifications of living with their significant other but not getting married, might purchase several books on the topic in order to study it from different angles.  So, even if someone else has already published a book on the area that most interests you, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still write a book on the same subject with different content.  As a matter of fact, if the other book was successful, then you already know that there is a market for your subject area.
 
Writing a Non-Fiction Book

When thinking about your writing a book, think outside of the box.  You can write a traditional, hard cover book or you can write an e-book.  You can even decide to write a hard cover book, but to self publish it.  Remember that freelance copywriters can be hired to ghostwrite a book for you as well.  This can be arranged a few different ways.  You can do the research, jot down or record some thoughts, and then have the writer craft them into a readable, user friendly book. Or, you can think of the main topic for the book, decide on what you want each chapter to cover, and have a copywriter do the research and the writing for you.

Of course, if you have the time, the best case scenario is that you write it yourself.  You have your own unique voice and style which will come through as you write.  Ideally, you’ll pick a topic that your feel passionate about or that is very interesting to you, and it won’t be difficult to sit down and write about it.
 
Remember, you aren’t writing to law students.  You are writing to everyday consumers who may one day require your services.  Think of a topic that would be interesting to everyday people, where you can provide general ideas and offer best practices without getting overly technical.
 
Deciding to write a book can be a huge endeavor.  However, if you keep in mind what you want to achieve, and then break the project down into achievable tasks, you can reach your goal of getting published.  Then, you’ll have even more evidence of your place as an attorney in your specialty area.