PUBLISH AND PROSPER: HOW WRITING A BOOK CAN BOOST BUSINESS
by Julie Bawden Davis
If you get published in your field, you can cement your status as an expert, increase customer respect and, ultimately, grow your business. Here’s how to turn this page.
“People began contacting me to see about working with them and their children,” says Ross, author of Managing The Gift: Alternative Approaches for Attention Deficit Disorder
Earning Expert Status
As Ross and Weiner both discovered, business owners who get published in their fields cement their status as experts, increasing customer respect and confidence and, ultimately, business.
Debora McLaughlin is CEO of The Renegade Leader Coaching & Consulting Group
and author of The Renegade Leader: 9 Success Strategies Driven Leaders Use to Ignite People, Performance and Profits
and the forthcoming book, Running in High Heels.“The Renegade Leader has definitely added to my credibility,” McLaughlin says. “I’ve been asked to speak at colleges, and I’ve appeared as an expert panelist for worldwide tele-summits. Running in High Heels, which is about women’s leadership, has already gained recognition and positioned me as an expert at colleges and organizations before it has even published.”
Try these tips for publishing a book in your field that will increase business.
Come up with a winning subject.
To write a book that gets attention and cements your status as an expert, think of a subject that piques interest and fulfills a need.
“Start by thinking about what you often tell your clients that interests them, and see if that works for a title,” Ross says. “Ask yourself what most people want to know from you and what problems you most want to solve or what misconceptions you wish to correct.”
Also look for subjects that haven’t been done before, so you can fill a niche, says Weiner, who was inspired to write the diabetes organizer when she saw her friend, professional organizer Leslie Josel, on a TV show organizing a hoarder’s home.
“It hit me that though it’s recommended that diabetics organize their supplies, paperwork and routine, there were no books on how to do that, so I approached Leslie about co-authoring a book on the subject using her organization expertise and my diabetes knowledge,” Weiner says.
Explore publishing options.
Several options exist for publishing your book, and each has its pros and cons. You can directly approach a publisher with your idea as Weiner and Josel did, get an agent to pitch the idea to publishers, or self-publish.
Approaching the publisher on your own has advantages, as it cuts out the agent, which means you don’t have to pay a commission. However, agents often can get a better publishing contract than you can on your own.
When done well, self-publishing can be lucrative, because you have full artistic and distribution control and get most of the profits. This option is more labor intensive, however, as you must take care of just about every aspect of publication or hire assistance.
Ensure quality writing.
However you publish your book, make certain it’s high-quality work. If you need help writing, team up with a co-writer or get an editor or ghostwriter.
“If writing is painful for you or just not your thing, then proceed carefully before you take the plunge,” Ross says. “A bad book can do more damage than an okay book can do you good. Once out in print, you have to defend what you said and the way you chose to say it.”
If you like to write, Ross suggests creating a series of blogs that can later be turned into a book. “Let your fans and friends give you feedback on your posts along the way,” he says. “My earlier books would have been much different had blogs existed as early testing grounds.”
Take advantage of your book’s marketing potential.
Capitalize on your book by promoting it as much as possible. Hold seminars and book signings, which will further bolster your credibility and authority. Give new customers copies of your book and feature contests to give away free books.
“Speak anywhere and everywhere to the appropriate audiences and stay liberal in that definition,” Ross says. “What works best is to get people who get what you do, and how good you are at it, excited, because then they’ll blow your horn for you.”
Keep these tips in mind for publishing a winning book in your field, and you’re apt to find yourself with devoted fans and increased business.
Julie Bawden-Davis is a freelance writer who has written for numerous publications, including Entrepreneur, Better Homes & Gardens and Family Circle.