Do you have a strong passion for what you do? When you talk about your business and tell stories or relate amazing case studies, do people say: “You should write a book?”
The most interesting aspect of writing “a book” is that now people will think differently about you because you are an author, an expert, albeit self-proclaimed. Your status has risen as others have a higher perceived competence of anyone who is published—especially if your book looks great, and has good content.
Today we have options that include the traditional print book, and electronic readers like Kindle and Nook. These books need to be written and formatted the same; just the presentation is different. Business book readers want a clear message in an informative book that can be read quickly.
What could you do with a book? Use it as:
- a traditional book for sale in book stores and online
- a sales tool to promote your knowledge and expertise
- a give-away to gain contacts/names
- back-of-the-room sales item when you speak.
Books come in all shapes and sizes. For example, a corporate health coach created a 24-page 5”x7” book with a striking four-color cover, professional editing and layout. This was his new calling card. It was his words, his passion—and his way of standing out in the crowd. A few weeks after it was printed, he called and exclaimed, “My first contract already paid for the book!”
And, a very talented man wrote a 164-page book on marketing, with an attention-grabbing cover, and professional editing and formatting. The square shape set the book apart from others. His book successfully promoted his expertise to prospective clients, and it was invaluable for back-of-room sales when he spoke to groups.
Have I piqued your interest yet?
Also, the book by a large financial services firm provided strong, clear and easy-to-access info that their niche market needs, and showed how well they understand those specific needs.
Could you use a book as a sales/marketing tool, a give-away, or for back-of-the-room sales when you speak?
The next steps:
Now that you have seen the possibilities for you and your company, it’s important to understand book publishing. If your book is going to be a marketing piece, it will likely be self-published, so let’s start with the different steps. The total costs will be determined by number of words/pages. This is where the economics of publishing a book is relevant, and includes these essential parts.
- Words/Content – You can write the content yourself because no one knows it better—or work with a ghostwriter and together determine content: What do you want them to know, and what does your reader want/need to know?
- Editing – Let the good people on your staff give input and review the work, but hire an outside professional editor. A qualified editor will make the book better, and the editor’s knowledge of grammar, punctuation, word usage, etc. will make you look very smart, trustworthy and thorough!
- Proofreading – Proofreading should be done both by people in your company who know your business, and a different editor/proofreader than the one who edited your book.
- Cover design – Hire a book cover designer—even if you just want words on the cover—to design the front and back cover as required by a book printer. The designer knows colors, type styles, etc. IMPORTANT: The cover makes your first impression—and announces your title and subtitle.
- Inside formatting – Hire a professional book designer to create a topnotch layout. If the inside design looks amateurish, readers might even perceive your best words negatively, and it can also mean your book will not be read.
- Printing – Use only printers with experience in book printing. In small quantities (under 800 books) digital printing is the answer. After the initial run, you can order in small quantities (publish/print on demand) as needed.
No author wants his or her self-published book to LOOK self-published. It’s all about attention to the details so that you reach your goal of a well-written and professional-looking book.
When writing about your business or passion, often the most difficult thing is finding the time and the most efficient way to get your intellectual property (what you know that others don’t) out of your head and onto paper.
I will be happy to answer your questions, and also guide you to other publishing professionals.
NOW, get writing!