[Step 2] 📚 Write an AI-Assisted Book, Become Known as the Category Leader

Hello friends!

In this lesson, we talk about why you should Writing an AI-assisted book to become known as a category leader.

In the last lesson we discussed the importance of creating a new category so you don’t compete with everybody else.

We talked about the importance of becoming a category of one.

Of creating something different, instead of being “better, faster, cheaper.”

Today, we’re talking about why you should write a book, and the 4 steps to do it successfully.

This is important, whether you run a custom software development company, a manufacturing concern, or you’re a lone wolf in the desert.

Why should you write a book?

In my interview with Chris Lochhead, one of the founding members of the category pirates, Chris said a book is way more impressive than having a successful podcast, blog, newsletter, or Instagram channel.

When you go to a cocktail party and you tell people you’re a writer, You’re a published author. They go, what? When you tell somebody you have two podcasts that are in the top 0.5% of podcasts in the world, they go, “Oh, that’s cool.”

Chris Lochhead, Category Pirate

Let’s face it: writing a book is a game-changer. 

  • It’s the key to creating your new category
  • You can use it as a lead generation tool
  • It establishes you as an instant thought leader
  • You can use it to get invited to speak at conferences
  • You can also use it to get on podcast interviews.

…and so much more.

StartupBook Examples

Let’s take a look at some examples of companies that have created successful categories with the help of a category creation book. 

Inbound Marketing by HubSpot

HubSpot created the new category called inbound marketing, and HubSpot founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, wrote  the book, Inbound Marketing that described the new category, and provided detailed steps for how B2B companies could implement an inbound marketing strategy to generate leads.

37Signals

Jason Fried, founder of 37Signals, the design company turned software company that created Basecamp and HEY, two SaaS business applications, has written several books: 

  • ‘Rework’, a New York Times best-seller, which introduced the concept of the minimalist entrepreneur, which resonated with many in the startup community. 
  • ‘It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy At Work,’ which calls for a kinder, gentler work culture
  • ‘Remote,’ which argues for the benefits of remote work arrangements, for both companies as well as employees.

Terminus

Terminus didn’t create the ABM category, but quickly became the category leader with their Flip My Funnel content marketing approach. 

CMO and co-founder Sangram Vajre wrote the book ‘ABM is B2B’ to help establish their ownership of the category.

These examples show how a category creation book can help companies establish themselves as leaders in a new category and unite its superconsumers around a shared purpose.

Following are the 4 steps to writing your category-creation book.

1. Choose Your Book Category

The Category Pirates (Yoon, Lochhead and Cole) conducted a study of 444 best-selling business books. 

They found that there were essentially seven categories that were the most popular books in the business or non-fiction categories:

  1. Personal development
  2. Personal finance
  3. Insights/thinking
  4. Leadership
  5. Case study/allegory
  6. Functional excellence
  7. Relationships

Personal Development Books

Among all business and non-fiction books sold on Amazon, personal development books were by far the most popular. 

These books, written by CEOs, thought leaders, and business gurus, offer practical steps to develop various aspects of one’s profession, career, or business. 

They are highly educational and functional, providing useful how-to guidance. This is why personal development is the number one category.

If you’re thinking of writing a category creation book, consider personal development as a prime topic to explore in your writing.

Personal Finance

The next most popular category of books is personal finance, which is a how-to category covering everything related to wealth, saving, investing, making money, and starting a business. 

Personal finance books are very practical and focused on maximizing return on investment, making more money, starting a business, becoming wealthy, and gaining financial freedom.

Insights/Thinking

The third most popular category of books is insights/thinking books. 

These books are a bit more esoteric as they focus on introducing new ideas to the marketplace, offering new ways of looking at and thinking about things. 

Examples of such books include Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point” and Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why”. 

Leadership

The fourth most popular category of books is leadership.

These books are primarily written by personalities such as former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, famous athletes, other thought leaders or gurus. 

They offer practical advice mixed with insights into the personalities of the leaders. 

Unless you’re very well-known and well-loved, readers may be less interested in a book that focuses on a particular leader’s style and story.

Case Study/Allegory

This is the fifth most popular category of business books. 

These books focus on very specific cases of how a well-known or not so well-known company became successful. 

They offer insights into personal development, finance, thinking, and leadership, but are lower down on the popularity scale because they are often focused on particular companies or instances and are not easily transferable to other readers.

Functional Excellence

This is the sixth most popular category of business books. 

These books focus on topics such as process improvements, efficiency, and effectiveness. 

For example, think about books that discuss ISO 9001 or other process-oriented books.

Relationships

The seventh and least popular category is about relationships. 

2. Introduce the new category

To introduce your new category, divide your book into 3 broad sections: 

  • Introducing the problem 
  • Introducing the category-as-solution
  • The framework, processes and guidelines for your category

Introduce the Problem

In the first section, introduce the problem and discuss the current state of the market that your target audience finds itself in. 

Highlight the problems that the current category is not addressing. 

This could be either a non-obvious problem or an obvious problem. Dig deep and emphasize the pain.

Introduce the Solution

In the second section, talk about the new category as a solution to this unattended problem. 

This is not about introducing your product as the solution – yet – but rather a new way of looking at the problem. 

You’ll talk about the new point of view, the new idea. 

This could either be an obvious solution to a non-obvious problem or a non-obvious solution to an obvious problem.

Then teach the steps or the best practices for the category-as-solution. 

Similar to HubSpot’s inbound Marketing book, dedicate the bulk of your book to teaching the best practices of your new category to potential practitioners and others.

The framework, processes and guidelines for your category

The next part of the book is to talk in detail about your category. 

Introduce the new framework through which to approach the problem. Give the steps for the processes. Discuss the guidelines or “rules.”

3. Leverage AI to Write Your Book

If you like writing and feel like you can express yourself better by sitting down at 6 am to write everyday, then do that. 

I prefer writing by hand, though for three of the chapters I used AI to help me.

If you want expert coaching and immerse yourself in AI book-writing, I recommend signing up for the “One Book Millionaire Book Challenge” led by my friend Zachariah Stratford. Tell him “Fernando sent you!” 

(Follow Zachariah on Instagram to get a chance to sign up).

Use a Transcription App

If you’re time-strapped, as most startup founders are, and you don’t have an hour each day to sit down to write, then using AI to help you write is for you.

In The One Book Millions (no relation to the Zachariah Stratford initiative) Mike Shreeve of Peaceful Profits recommends using a transcription app to narrate your book whenever you have a free moment. 

I use Descript.com to transcribe all my audios (like I did with my interviews with Joe Pulizzi, Chris Lochhead, and Bryan Eisenberg).

Use ChatGPT or Content At Scale to Clean Up Your Transcription

Your next step is to leverage ChatGPT or Content At Scale (or any other text-based conversational AI tool) to turn your raw transcript into book appropriate content. 

I used ChatGPT for part of this book. If you want to use ChatGPT, then the following paragraphs are for you.

Use an AI-writing app to:

  • Infuse the correct voice and tone into your manuscript
  • Create a coherent outline
  • Organize the paragraphs and sentences
  • Correct grammar, spelling and wordiness

Here’s an example of a few voice and tone prompts you can use:

  • Can you write a short story in the style of Edgar Allan Poe, covering the theme of love and loss?
  • Can you write a blog post in the style of Malcolm Gladwell, covering the topic of success and the role of luck?
  • Can you write a poem in the style of Emily Dickinson, covering the theme of nature and its beauty?

Then you can then tell it:

“Please take the following transcript and turn it into book-appropriate text, using the following outline to organize the text, in my unique writing style.” 

ChatGPT will then ask you to paste examples of content you’ve written so it can emulate your established style. 

Copy and paste the text of two or three articles you’ve written, and it will instantaneously learn your style.

Then it will ask you to paste the transcript 

To avoid frustration during this process, paste about 500 words at a time, and only paste the corresponding part of the outline that pertains to the 500 or so words you pasted.

Before you know it, you will have a whole book co-written with ChatGPT!

4. Edit Your Book: Combine AI and Human Editing

After you get your first draft out on paper, it’s time to edit your manuscript. I recommend about three editing rounds: 

  • An initial human editing round
  • AChatGPT edit
  • Sending your manuscript to a professional editor.

Add Stories or Personal Anecdotes

Before getting into proper editing, read through your manuscript and see where you can add stories to enhance the points you make. Provide examples of your concept in action. 

Use a combination of third party stories and examples from your own life and experience. 

I find that when I’m reading through what I’ve written I always remember something I’ve read somewhere (I’m a voracious reader), or a story from my own professional life. 

Some of my favorite business writers are great at adding personal stories from their own life. 

Mark Schaefer, in his newest book Belonging To The Brand, told the story about how he went from being depressed and completely lonely as a teenager, to becoming one of the most popular kids at his new school.

After his parents moved him to a new private Catholic school from the public school he had been going to, he found himself without a friend in the world. 

But then he tried out for the high school musical, and everything changed for him. He auditioned by singing “Time in a Bottle” by Jim Croce.

When the day came for all who tried out for the musical, everybody crowded around the list pinned to the bulletin board to see who had made it. 

When he finally saw the list, he noticed his name was at the very top. Schaefer had been chosen for the lead role in his high school musical!

Schaefer comments in the book:

I had suddenly achieved a minor but significant celebrity status. As daily rehearsals began, I became part of a community that shared traditions, a common language and a purpose. The older, experienced actors mentored me. Girls flirted with me, and dating became easier. One of the other leads in the play, a kid who had teased me in the first semester, became my best friend and later a roommate and the best man at my wedding.

The production was a hit, and I stole the show. Decades later, a family friend surprised me with a shaky home video of this performance – and it was actually pretty good!

In one incredible stroke of  divine intervention, I was established as the Drama Club’s reigning alpha male. For the first time in my teen years, I belonged.

That story pulled on my heartstrings. 

It made his argument – that community is the last, great marketing strategy – a visceral experience for me. 

I hope it illustrates for you, in an emotional way, the power of stories to enhance your thesis.

Add Sources

In your initial writing round (whether with AI-assisted narration or not) you might have left out some third party data that could enhance the credibility of your argument. 

Even if you did your own original research, it’s still a good idea to refer to already existing studies, articles or other books.

Initial Human Round of Editing

There’s no getting around it: you’ll have to edit your manuscript yourself. 

We haven’t reached a stage yet where we can hand off 100% of our writing and editing to machine learning applications.

If you created an AI-assisted first draft, your first self-editing round will be to really flesh out the manuscript. 

Add personal anecdotes, stories, examples, references to external sources such as internet links or studies, or anything else you neglected to include in your initial narration. 

You might also find that the initial draft ChatGPT creates out of your transcript is a little dry. 

I like using a pretty casual, friendly tone. Even though you fed ChatGPT examples of your work, it still might miss that unique spark that is your particular tone of voice.

If you wrote the first draft yourself, you want to edit for two broad categories of corrections:

  1. Clarity and conciseness.
  2. Grammar and punctuation, otherwise known as as proofreading

Hire a Copy Editor

Now matter how careful you are, you’re bound to miss something. 

That’s why I recommend sending your manuscript to a copy editor for a final editing pass. 

They’ll catch anything you missed…and  you will miss something. I guarantee it.

For my self-published first book, Nearshore Marketing, I was just getting started as a marketing consultant, but I wrote the book to establish myself as a thought leader to my target market. 

However, I wanted to make sure my book was as professional as possible. I sent it to a copy editor who did a thorough job. It was well worth the price I paid for the work!

Conclusion

In this edition of our newsletter, we’ve explored the transformative power of writing a category-creation book for your business. 

As we’ve seen, a well-crafted book can be a game-changer, offering a multitude of benefits, from lead generation and instant thought leadership to speaking engagements and podcast interviews. 

We’ve also delved into the process: from choosing your category and introducing the problem to leveraging AI assistance and adding personal anecdotes. 

Remember, while AI can be a valuable tool, your unique voice and editing touch are essential. 

Don’t underestimate the power of a professional copy editor to ensure your book is polished and professional. 

So, whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or a lone wolf in the desert, consider the tremendous opportunities that await when you embark on the journey of writing your own category-creation book. 

It’s a path to unlocking new possibilities for your business and yourself.

If you found this lesson through search, or somebody sent you the link, register below for our free, 7-part mini-course!

Best regards,

Fernando Labastida

Tel/WhatsApp: + 1 512 945-9273