There is no doubt that publishing a book is a great way to raise the profile and create an awareness of the ‘go-to’ status of any business owner, says Sue Richardson, at SRA Books.
Service businesses and professional firms particularly can benefit from sharing their expertise with an extensive and previously uncharted reading audience.
However, it is not the simplest of tasks! To write, publish and market a book is no mean feat. It is of course sensible to get as much expert help as possible, and there’s plenty of that around these days, but no matter who you get on board to help you, you will still need to invest a huge amount of time, effort and financial resource to make the book work for your business.
So you may well be asking the question, is publishing a book a worthwhile project for you and your business? Will it bring you any benefit or will it just be one big headache? Is there actually a business case for a book?
Here are some questions you could ask yourself:
Is my personal profile as a business person important? Is my personal brand likely to have a positive impact on my business?
If the answer is yes, to these questions, how well are you performing now? Do enough people see you or your business as the obvious ‘go-to’ choice? If you think there’s room for improvement in you being recognised as an expert in your field, publishing a book could be the perfect strategy.
Perhaps your business would benefit from you speaking about your expertise – to give talks or workshops to people who could well be good prospective clients for you? Being a published author certainly helps to open these doors of opportunity.
Do you have a strong vision and purpose for your business and yourself? Do you have a mission that you are confident you can deliver?
One of the most valuable things about writing a book for your business is the opportunity it gives you to refresh and review why you do what you do. The process of writing is a developmental one. We sometimes are unaware of how much we know until we start to write. Expertise is a funny thing – other people are often more able to see it in us than we can ourselves.
Writing a book can be a seriously confidence-boosting activity. And it can help you clarify in your own mind the way forward for your business, making goals easier to set and the messaging around how your business helps people clearer.
Do you need any PR for your business?
If you aren’t already getting lots of attention online and in the press then a book could be the perfect way to launch a campaign. Journalists love authors and books because the book lends such credibility. Expert status can be hard to establish and getting into the press is not easy at the best of times. The event of a book being published supported by a PR campaign creates a magical marketing combination that is bound to bring you rich rewards.
But publishing a book is not for everyone. If your profile is high enough, you are 100 per cent confident in your purpose and mission for your business and if you don’t need or want any more PR, then perhaps a book will not bring you any significant benefit over and above these things.
One reason you probably shouldn’t do a book is if your sole purpose is to make a profit from the sales of the books themselves. Although a book is usually a revenue generating product as well as a marketing device, book sales are unlikely to add significantly to your bottom line. Profits will most definitely result from writing the right book for your business, but probably they will come in other ways, such as the growth of your customer base resulting in increased revenue generation. You may also start to get paid to give talks or seminars, and many people find they can raise their fees because of the added kudos of being a published author.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sue Richardson is the founder of independent book publishing consultancy and services company, SRA Books, publisher of The Authority Guides and the author of The Authority Guide to Publishing Your Business Book: Take your business to a new level by becoming an authority in your field.