Needless to say, owning a small business is a learning process. For those of you who have the benefit of years of experience, you might consider sharing your accumulated knowledge with others by writing a book.

For whatever reason, the printed page still carries with it a certain amount of integrity that is not necessarily shared by digital counterparts. And you, as the author, establish yourself as an authority on the subject. It probably wonít get you a permanent spot on the best-sellers list, but it can be a great way to attract attention to your business.

Donít get me wrong, though. Writing a book is more than just a marketing ploy. It takes a lot of time and dedication to write something of substance. For those of you with a resolve to take on such an endeavor, here are some guides to help you get things underway.

Get Your Ideas Together

The difficult part of writing an informative book is figuring out what subject you know enough about to fill a hundred or so pages. On top of that, they have to be an engaging hundred pages.

When picking a subject, it is useful to first think about what you would like your readers to walk away from the book with. Every text is meant to be persuasive, so figure out what you are going to convince your reader of. This will be the main theme or thesis of the book. A strong book will always tie everything back to this main theme.

From there, generate a list of things you would like to cover in the book. Sort through the list of possible topics and select those that best illustrate what you are trying to achieve. Keep in mind that a book of this sort revolves around relevance to the reader, so try to pick topics that will not only be useful, but also interesting. An informative book wonít be very informative if it is so boring that the reader canít make it past the first chapter.

Make an Outline

An outline helps to guide you as you begin actually writing the text. It will also help you to organize your ideas into a logical order. An outline is arranged as a series of points and sub points. The major points will end up being chapters and the sub points will be the closely related subjects that will be covered in that chapter.

It helps to think of the outline as a tree (you can even draw it as such if it helps). The trunk of the tree is your thesis. The large branches that extend out from the trunk are your major points, and the smaller branches extending from those are the sub points, so on and so forth. The key is that everything links back to the main thesis and works together to build the whole.

Style Counts

A book composed purely of information can end up being pretty drab, so it does not hurt to add in some character. If you have witty or funny anecdotes that relate closely to the topic of topic, then employ them to help entertain readers and drive your point home. They can also help to create a sense of connection between the author and the audience, but be careful not to make the book into an autobiography.

Another thing to keep in mind is that once the book hits the printer, there is no taking it back. The words are permanently embedded into the annals of literary history, so you need to be wary about what you say and about whom. One loose-lipped sentence can do more than just discredit your book; it may be a black mark on your career and company for years to come.

Getting It to Print

After you have the manuscript completed, it will need to go through the editing process. It will probably need to be edited by several different editors for content, grammar, accuracy, etc. If you intend on having the book published for a national market, then it is best to approach larger publishing houses. In these cases, you may need to hire an agent to pitch your book to the publishers, as many will not accept individual applications. If you want to just have a few copies printed, then there are many companies that handle low volume, self-published works.