Alan runs a successful chain of restaurants in the greater Memphis market. He’s decided he needs a more robust marketing strategy but doesn’t really want to hire a full-time marketing manager. He makes contact with Rob and Andrea who both run small marketing firms in town. Rob meets with Alan and hands him his business card and a nice full-color brochure. Andrea meets with Alan and hands him her card and a copy of her book, Small Business Bonanza – 99 Keys to Making Your Marketing Count. In this hypothetical scenario, who do you think made the make a stronger impression?
Besides generating revenue from sales of your book, oftentimes the greatest value of being a published author of a book related to the service you offer, is the strength of positioning you ahead of your competition. You become the perceived “market leader.”
How many new clients would you have to sign up over the next couple of years to cover the cost of your time and investment in getting a book written and published? Depending upon the business you’re in, just one new client, or keeping one existing client may more than cover the time and money you spent getting your book written and published. Today’s technology affords you so many more options for becoming a published author than even 10-20 years ago.
However, before you jump into the “publishing waters” — which I have to warn you are shark infested — consider these three essential tips:
1. Work with a professional publisher and/or editor to help you.
No matter how good of a writer you are, every writer needs a good editor. A reputable publisher will provide an editor for you, but if you choose to “self-publish,” then at least hire a good content/rewrite editor to work with you. Don’t assume that all you need is a copyeditor to check for spelling and punctuation. Getting good council on the direction and flow of your message is critical and should be done up front, before you start worrying about misplaced comma’s and misspelled words.
2. Get a blazing title and cover design.
There’s an art to writing copy that draws people in and communicates value. Don’t assume that your editor has that art down. Most editors and not good at coming up with creative and compelling book titles, subtitles, and back-cover copy. The same goes for cover design. Almost every week, I talk with folks who have self-published a book of which they are personally proud… or at least they were in the beginning. But I take one look at their cover and immediately can tell that the book is not likely to resonate with its target audience. To be blunt, it looks self-published. When that happens, you somewhat defeat the purpose of writing the book. Instead of coming across like a true professional, a “guru” in your field, you look like a “wanna-be.”
3. Have a clear strategy and plan for how you are going to distribute and sell your book.
Don’t assume that like the Kevin Costner movie, Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” It sometimes happens that way, but not often. No, having a well-thought out marketing, sales, and distribution strategy will be important for you to develop. Getting your book published is only the first step. Having a well-thought-out plan for how to use that book to build up your business or ministry, and how to get it into the hands of your target audience is essential.
Think you don’t have enough to say to make a book? You’d be surprised. Most people know more and have more to offer than they realize. So if you’re thinking about publishing, or just need someone to bounce your ideas off of, contact us. We’d be honored to help. Even if we tell you what you don’t want to hear, that can still have tremendous value to you and save you a ton of time and money.