Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
As a leader in the business world, you’ve worked hard to get to where you are. Your colleagues and professional contacts know your track record for results. But does the rest of the world?
When you meet someone new, whether they may be a potential client or collaborator, does your reputation precede you?
No matter how big your “footprint” is inside a company or an industry, your message can always reach more people. You can always benefit from being recognized and understood before you even open your mouth to introduce yourself.
How can you do that? By writing a book.
The smartest business leaders have discovered that leveraging a book to get their thoughts out there shines a bright light onto them that shows the world who they are and attracts the right people into their lives.
If you have something to say, getting published is one of the best ways to get your message in front of the people who need it most, regardless of how many books get sold or which bestseller lists you are on.
Why It Makes Sense to Publish a Book
Think about it: You have a lot of valuable knowledge packed inside your head. Why not put it on paper?
Publishing a book can position you as a thought leader in your industry, make you a sought-after speaker and presenter, and reap benefits beyond mere profits.
Before you make the leap, though, here are a few things to consider:
- Do you have in-depth knowledge of the subject?
- Is the topic one that is in high demand? Is there an audience for your subject matter?
- Will your material be targeted to a tight, defined niche or be beneficial to a broader audience? Get a solid picture of who your reader is, and write as though you’re speaking to that person directly.
- Do you have content you’ve already created that you can use as a jumping-off point?
- Are there other experts in your field you can consult for deeper insights?
- Do you have access to a potential audience to serve as a focus group to make sure your content is relevant throughout the process?
Level Up Your Career
If you have deep knowledge of a subject that there’s a broad audience for, you’re onto a good idea that could catapult your career to the next level.
1. Build Authority, Credibility and Expertise
How many colleagues of yours have written books? Probably not too many.
But what about the top professionals in your field? How many of them are published, by authors?
In many circles, a book is considered the new business card. But that isn’t the right comparison. You can go to Office Depot and get business cards. You can’t go to Office Depot and author a book.
Publishing a book takes courage. You can’t fake it. Once your ideas are out in the world, anyone who reads it can see whether you know what you’re talking about or not.
That’s why writing and publishing are such a rare and reliable signal of credibility and authority.
The other side of the coin of this risk is that you get much more credit for a good book than other forms of content.
When others know that you literally wrote the book on your topic, you’ll be seen as an authority before you even walk into the room.
2. Attract Attention to Your Expertise
Everyone wants media coverage. But not everyone gets it.
On the flip side, there are journalists looking for experts to comment on topics.
And how do they know someone is an expert? Because they wrote the book. The experts are the ones who wrote the books. Commentators write blog posts.
Once you’re a published author, media coverage becomes much easier to get.
Sometimes the media comes directly to you, but most often you’ll have to pitch them. Proactive pitches are far more likely to land when you have the credibility of having authored a book on the topic.
Beyond just the media, a book is often considered a new standard to get to the next level in your career.
It helps you to get past the gatekeepers who control access to areas of the areas you most want to enter: lecture halls, television studios, boardrooms, media pages, and special events.
3. Get the Word Out
Businesses have known for years that word of mouth is the best form of marketing. For business leaders, that is your reputation. When someone you trust tells you to trust someone, you listen and you trust them.
Anything that helps other people talk about you helps your reputation, and a book enables word of mouth.
Writing a book gives you the ability to determine exactly what kind of story people will tell about you. A good book causes people to repeat your terms, phrases, and ideas to other people.
This is especially true if the book you write is valuable to people and solves a specific problem (perhaps one you’ve spent your career solving).
People can’t help but share your solutions with someone else who has that problem. Why? Because that makes them look better.
Think About Self-Publishing
When working with traditional publishing houses, they set the price for your book. This limits how much money you can make, especially given that you’ll be taking a significantly lower cut.
1. Editorial Control
Self-publishing gives you total control over your own content. You don’t have to deal with sending multiple revisions back and forth to an editor. But it’s a good idea to get a professional editor’s input before you put your book on the market.
2. Ongoing Analytics
When you self-publish, you have access to sales figures and customer data at your fingertips, anytime you need it. The traditional publishing route typically only provides you with bi-annual royalty statements.
3. Shorter Time to Market
Self-publishing allows leaders like you to get their products to market much more quickly, especially if you’re going the electronic route.
Traditional publishers can take months to get your book on the shelves. Self-publishing reduces that time to about a week once your content is finalized and edited.
4. Easy Revisions
Self-publishers typically use on-demand printing services or electronic formats to deliver their products to consumers.
If you go the traditional publishing route, you’ll end up with thousands of copies already in print.
Should you discover an error after publishing, there’s no way to go back and change the already-printed copies.
5. Marketing Control
Self-publishing removes all the restrictions that are sometimes associated with traditional publishers. You have total control over your own marketing plan.
You can secure placements in bookstores across the country, decide whether you’re going to issue re-seller rights to specific organizations and other entities, and pretty much anything you want.
Basically, you’re in charge, and you don’t have to answer to anyone, but you still get all the credibility that comes along with being a published author.
If you’ve decided that you have enough valuable expertise to offer, and the bandwidth to produce the amount of content necessary to create a book, go for it.
If you’re ready to skyrocket your career, interested in supplementing your income with consulting gigs or speaking engagements, or you simply want to be able to charge existing clients more, publishing a book can help you accomplish those goals.
With barriers to entry practically eliminated by self-publishing, there’s really no compelling reason to prevent anyone from publishing their own book.
Is It Time?
As a business leader, attention is the path towards better opportunities, a stronger professional brand, and greater credibility in the industry.
You’ve worked hard in your career, and you might imagine that writing a book will be just as challenging.
Fortunately, publishing doesn’t have to be as time-consuming or difficult as many believe. As business leaders, you understand the power of leveraging your team to achieve business results.
Why shouldn’t you leverage a team to create your book?
The point is this: If you believe a book – and the attention that comes with it – can contribute to your career growth, you owe it to yourself to find a way to make it happen.
Have You Published a Book?
If you have ideas about publishing a book that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!
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