By Leigh Shine
Image credit www. forewordreviews.com
Entrepreneurs, speakers, CEOs and business professionals all over are doing something a bit more compelling than cold emails and traditional PR to further their careers and better their lives. What is it? Why, writing a book of course.
Unique entrepreneurs are experts in something and a book is a way to make that topic incredibly sexy and share it with the world. Further, the most lucrative types of books are backed by entrepreneurial authors who treat their books like a startup.
Writing a book, however, may not seem like the most intuitive use of a CEO’s or otherwise busy professional’s time. So why do it?
What better way to show the world – or better yet, your target audience – what you know, who you are, and what you’re capable of, than to write a book? Many business professionals are writing books to share their message with the world increase credibility.
Entrepreneurial authors have usually already established themselves as experts in their field. A traditionally-published book is the ultimate business card for new deals, leads and prospects. Plus, you can get joy from telling people you literally wrote the book on it?
Authoring a book on a timely, trendy or hot topic is the best way to increase speaking fees and land new gigs. Speaking agencies represent authors from major publishing houses to earn five figure speaking fees. Seth Godin, Scott Bales and hundreds of speakers who become authors have experienced immensely improved speaking and lifestyle benefits to writing a book.
Add in a literary agent or distribution from a Big 5 publisher and your book is likely to make it into the hands of more people than you can image – and you’ll be earning passive income for years. Entrepreneurs who become authors understand that money is not a good short term strategy, but a result of opportunities to be hatched later.
How to succeed in anything is a story everyone is willing to read. Knowing we live in a diverse and varied world, everyone has learned different things through the course of their careers. Everyone knows something others would love to; do you get asked advice often? Might be time to pick up the pen.
James Altucher once said that “Every entrepreneur should self-publish a book, because self-publishing is the new business card.” And it seems to be true: entrepreneurs, consultants, businesspeople everywhere are publishing, and it works. Not only does having written a book come with a certain prestige, but it’s a bit harder to toss in the trash than a properly bound volume.
Or, like Tim Ferriss, professionals write to become an expert in something. You may know Ferriss from his groundbreaking book The 4-Hour Work-Week. In his book The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life. Ferriss turns his 4-hour formula into a way to learn how to cook: something he had known nothing about beforehand.
Writing a book requires research. Not only will you have to refine your ideas and arguments within a book, but the journey of writing a book is a long learning process, and if you weren’t an expert before you began writing, by the end you definitely will be, and with proof to show for it.
A book is one long form explanation, meant for an audience that isn’t sitting right in front of you. This forces speakers and entrepreneurs to refine their arguments, reduce verbosity and better explain themselves. Successful people understand that to build an audience you must share ideas that are relevant t0 them, not solely to the person creating them.
Lori Matzke, owner of Centre Stage Home said of her book Home Staging: Creating Buyer-Friendly Rooms to Sell Your House that outlining her ideas made her realize better ways of communicating them to her clients in person.
A major motive for writing a book isn’t to get rich—almost no one gets rich from books, unless you’re Seth Godin or J.K. Rowling —but it can garner your business in other areas of your profession. Writing a book is a great way to draw attention to your own business or consulting services, both establishing you as qualified and getting your and your company’s name out there.
A book is a great way to kick off a new business venture and get your name and cause on people’s minds. Of course, you’ll need some clout and platform to bring with you – perhaps from a previous company or role. People are more willing to listen to and invest in an expert in their field.
In the same vein, ideas for a wider audience in book-form mandate a forward thinking organization. It can also help make your ideas clearer to employees, colleagues, partners and yourself – and therefore more easily implemented.
A legacy doesn’t necessarily mean fame. Tucker Max recently wrote an article why that was a bad idea over at Entrepreneur. A book does, however, pass on knowledge to future generations, and ensure that your ideas and name will live on. Just look at Dale Carnegie, David Ogilvy or Napoleon Hill. Don’t write a book to become famous. Write a book to share your message with people who need it most.
Roughly 80% of people say they have what it takes to write a book, but very few actually do. The top 4% of authors who obtain a literary agent do so because of their hustle and determination to sell their book. Less than that ever get published and only 1% of those have standout success.
The publishing world is difficult terrain to navigate, but entrepreneurial authors stand a better chance of seeing results. If not, there’s always the benefit of vanity.