Build a Better Business Book

How to Plan, Write, and Promote a Book That Matters. A Comprehensive Guide for Authors

Your brain burns with a powerful idea worth sharing. Could writing a business book spread that idea, create real change, and launch your career on the path to visibility and influence?

Definitely. But don’t start by piling up words. Instead focus on the story. What urgent problem does your reader face? How can they solve it? And what journey must your reader take as you guide them from confusion to understanding, action, and success?

Build a Better Business Book is the first accessible and comprehensive guide for authors who want to create impact. Josh Bernoff, a bestselling author, veteran editor, and insightful writing coach with decades of experience on 45 successful book projects, explains the systematic way to refine your idea and then research, write, publish, and promote a book that matters. Learn how to:

  • Build your book not just from ideas but from people and their compelling stories—and how you can research and tell those stories.
  • Write a first chapter that creates powerful motivation by emotionally connecting with readers.
  • Select among the three major publishing models—traditional, self-publishing, and “hybrid”—on the axes of speed, cost, and influence.
  • Plan your book as a project, then efficiently execute on that plan with a low-stress, high potency tool: the fat outline.
  • Structure chapters that no reader can put down.
  • Collaborate with coauthors, editors, and ghost writers without excessive bloodshed.
  • Promote your book to maximize your sales, revenue, and influence.

Josh Bernoff’s book projects have generated over $20 million for their authors. This guide includes results of an extensive author survey and secrets from interviews with successful business authors like Jay Baer, Laura Gassner Otting, Phil M. Jones, Joe Pulizzi, and Scott Stratten.

Don’t waste valuable energy without accomplishing your goals. Construct your business book as a compelling story, and you won’t just get your words in print. You’ll create change in the minds of your readers. And that is the first step to making a meaningful impact on the world.

ISBN: 978-1-64543-255-5
SKU: 18-614-02
Categories:Amplify Publishing, Business and Finance, Thought Leadership, Professional and Technical

Endorsed by more than 50 successful business authors

“Priceless advice from a business book nerd, destined to save authors time, money and heartache. Anyone who is smart and generous enough to take on writing a business book needs to read Josh’s book asap.” —Seth Godin, author of This Is Marketing

“If you’re serious about writing a business book that matters, then look no further. Josh Bernoff’s step-by-step approach, backed by years of experience and insider knowledge, will show you how to create a compelling story that connects with readers and drives real change.” —Daniel H. Pink, #1 New York Times bestselling author of When, Drive, and To Sell Is Human

“There are way too many business books out there, but no guides to business books quite like this. Josh is the architect behind the blueprint for success in this industry.” —Scott Stratten, coauthor of UnMarketing and five other bestselling business books.

“Josh gets what countless teachers of this craft seem to forget: Your book should not be fancy packaging for yet another hollow guide, checklist, or personal success story. Your book should share something profound that transforms readers and shapes markets. If that’s the business book you aspire to write, start by reading this one.” —Jay Acunzo, author of Break the Wheel: Question Best Practices, Hone Your Intuition, and Do Your Best Work

“If you’re thinking about writing a business book, start here. This book provides the formulas for your success, from concept to writing to launch and all the in-betweens you didn’t even know you needed to know.” —Melissa Agnes, author of Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World

Build a Better Business Book is staggeringly useful, and I’m more than a little angry that I had to write six books without it. This is the new, definitive guide to making a business book happen.” —Jay Baer, coauthor of Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype

Josh Bernoff

Bestselling Author and Ghostwriter

Josh Bernoff is an expert on how business books can propel thinkers to prominence. Book projects on which he collaborated have generated more than $20 million for their authors.

Josh’s most recent book is Writing Without Bullshit: Boost Your Career by Saying What You Mean (Harper Business, 2016). Toronto’s Globe and Mail called it “a Strunk and White for the modern knowledge worker.” He is the coauthor of Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies (Harvard Business Review Press, 2008), which was a Businessweek bestseller. He has authored, coauthored, or ghostwritten eight business books.

He works closely with nonfiction authors as an advisor, coach, editor, or ghostwriter. His author clients include Mitch Lowe, former Netflix cofounder and Redbox president; Kevin Tracey, CEO of the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research; and Stefan Falk, former lead trainer at McKinsey & Company. He has collaborated on more than 45 nonfiction books.

Josh writes a blog post on topics of interest to authors every weekday at His blog has generated 4 million views.

He was formerly Senior Vice President, Idea Development at Forrester, where he spent 20 years analyzing technology and business. He appeared on “60 Minutes” and got quoted everywhere from The Wall Street Journal to TV Guide. The Society or New Communications Research recognized him as “Visionary of the Year.” Prior to Forrester, Josh spent 14 years in start-up companies in the Boston area.

Josh has a mathematics degree from The Pennsylvania State University and studied mathematics in the Ph.D. program at MIT.

He lives with his wife, an artist, in Portland, Maine.

Contact Josh on his blog or at