Writing a book can be terrific for business. The process forces you to bottle your unique thinking; the publication and launch give you wonderful moments in the limelight; and along the way you create your own stamp of authority.
However, in speaking regularly with business owners who’ve written books I’ve noticed some common holes in their planning, resulting in books that don’t perform well as they could.
Here are my suggestions for making sure your book is a boost for business.
A business book is not a marketing plan
Some new authors believe publishers, book distributors and readers (including Oprah Winfrey) will fawn over them for writing this great book. Many think once they write and print a book, all the sales, marketing and cash-flow challenges of their business will be instantly solved.
A business book is not a marketing plan. It should be viewed as one of the pillars of business marketing, not the whole bridge.
A business book needs its own business plan
Your business book needs a strategy if it’s going to do its best work for you.
It especially needs:
- A communications plan: website/blogging/social media/e-news
- Affiliations and associations: it’s time to leverage all those professional and industry organisations you’ve been paying membership for. Can you launch your book with them; can you speak at their next major event or present a smaller event with them? Can they promote your book in their store (online and on site)?
- Activity that puts you and the book in front of your market: launches/talks/workshops
- A budget that doesn’t predict you’ll become a millionaire from book sales
- To be fully aligned to the business (don’t write a book about a subject that doesn’t speak precisely to your audience)
And all this needs to occur without heavy spruiking.
Want more articles like this? Check out the business marketing section.
Warning: Put the business-book plan in place early
As you’re writing your business book, ensure you make progress on the other planning elements along the way. You want to build an audience and appetite for you and the book and create pathways for it to flourish once published.
Importantly… Is your business ready for its moment in the limelight?
If you’re not fully committed to your business, it’s hard to imagine a return on the money and time investment of a book. Get your business in order so the great benefits of a business book can be felt and appreciated. If you’re only in business half-heartedly, or the business vision is incomplete, don’t write a book until that changes.
Are you considering writing a business book? Or if you’ve been published already – what tips can you add for getting the most out of it?
Read Katie’s article on ‘How to write a business book’.