Should You Write a Book?






[Editor’s Note: Steven provides an excellent list of possible
benefits–but he needs a reality check. Is it possible to
achieve these results? Absolutely; I’ve personally experienced most
of them. Is it likely? Not for 95% of book authors. About
150,000 books are published each year in the United States alone.
There are probably only a few thousand who are experiencing the kind
of success Steven describes.

How can you be one of the few?

  • Identify a strong need to solve a problem or better a common condition
  • Write the best possible book on the subject: clear, useful, and error-free
  • Either find a traditional publisher (which gives you
    significantly more credibility, but is extremely difficult to
    achieve)or learn how to be a fabulous self-publisher (time-consuming,
    but achievable and profitable)
  • Create (or hire out) eye-catching cover and interior designs, a
    well-engineered, easy-to-find website, and superb marketing materials
  • Promote, promote, promote, and promote some moreSteven has done all this. He and his staff work very hard at
    promoting Get Slightly Famous. His success is not accidental.

    As a book publishing and marketing consultant, I walk clients through
    every step of the process, from deciding whether to approach
    publishers or do it yourself to making the contacts for marketing,
    distribution, and so forth. I see, over and over again, that the
    people who take the time and trouble to follow the five points above
    are the ones who succeed.

    End of my rant; now on to Steven’s wisdom.

    –Shel Horowitz, editor, Down to Business magazine, shel@principledprofits.com]


    One morning, you open your inbox and find several e-mails that will
    boost your business. There is an invitation to speak at a local group
    comprised of your best prospects. Several emails have arrived from
    people who’ve “heard of you” and inquire about your services.

    There is a message from a potential joint venture partner who has
    invited you to be a guest on a teleconference that will reach 500
    people, all of them prospects. Later that day, a journalist calls.
    She wants to write a story about your business, which she heard about
    on a radio interview you gave weeks earlier.

    Is this a fantasy? No. This could be a typical day in your life as a
    published author.

    More and more business people are realizing the power of writing a
    book to catapult their businesses to a higher level. Speakers,
    consultants, coaches, therapists and other small business owners are
    learning that publishing a book is one of the most powerful marketing
    strategies available.

    Published authors report that their lives change, often dramatically,
    when their books reach the marketplace. When you become an author,
    you become known as the expert. When you are known as an expert in
    your field, whatever your field, you will find that the world will
    beat a path to your door.

    A Book Generates Visibility and Attracts Clients

    Of all the information products you can create, a book has the
    greatest potential to open doors. A book can give you more
    recognition and professional credibility than audiotapes, CDs,
    videos, seminars, workshops and public speaking.

    Since my book Get Slightly Famous was published last year, I have
    been amazed at how it has transformed my business.

    Publishing my book was a newsworthy event that resulted in tens of
    thousands of dollars in new business, high-profile media coverage,
    speaking engagements, radio interviews, partnership opportunities,
    and too many other benefits to mention.

    Prospective clients now hear about me from all over the world. The
    media regularly call me, and I appear in newspaper articles and radio
    interviews.

    Get Slightly Famous is not just my most effective marketing tool. It
    has become the core of my brand identity. My book provides a
    marketing platform for my business that gives all my marketing
    efforts a natural, sharp focus.

    Best of all, marketing is not such a struggle anymore.

    As a successful author you will find the stress of constantly seeking
    new clients can largely become a thing of the past. Clients will seek
    you out, ready to pay good money for your services, because you are
    seen as a leader in your field. You become their first choice.

    It’s Not Just a Book — It’s a Business!

    Your book is the seed from which you can grow a multi-faceted
    “empire” of related products and services, including seminars,
    teleclasses, reports, consulting packages, audiotapes, and other
    profitable information products.

    Imagine selling thousands of books to trade associations as premiums
    for their members. Or how about creating a $49-a-month newsletter, a
    $995 home-study course, a $499 a year membership web site? Could you
    use your book as the basis for a year-long mentorship program for
    which individuals or groups that pay thousands of dollars a piece to
    participate?

    The idea is to see your book as a launching pad for new business opportunities.

    Barbara Hemphill used her book Taming The Paper Tiger to develop a
    multi-pronged branding strategy. Hemphill offers organizing skills
    services designed to reduce stress and increase productivity. Her
    business is based almost entirely on her book.

    Barbara has used her book to develop Taming the Paper Tiger software,
    gain an endorsement by Pendaflex, and found the Hemphill Productivity
    Institute. Her company now employs more than 70 Paper Tiger
    authorized consultants across the U.S. and Canada.

    You can write a book!

    Me, publish a book, you ask? Yes, you. It is easier than you might
    think, and you don’t need to be a seasoned writer to become a
    published author.

    Writing a successful book is not the easiest thing in the world, but
    it is entirely possible. The talents and expertise you bring to your
    clients can form the basis of a successful book. If you know your
    subject area, and can communicate your ideas in a clear, compelling,
    organized manner, becoming a published author is within your reach.

    A strategy that works for many is to break the process into smaller
    steps by writing a series of articles. They then become the basis for
    a book. Or, you can work with a talented freelance writer to help you
    express your ideas clearly and with conviction.

    The most traditional route is to find a publisher who will handle the
    production, marketing, promotion and distribution. This involves up
    front work (you write a detailed proposal, a table of contents,
    sample chapters and a market overview). Then you shop the proposal
    around to potential publishers, either on your own or with the help
    of a commissioned agent.

    Self-publishing has many advantages over traditional publishing, the
    most compelling being greater financial returns for the author. “When
    you self-publish, you keep all the profits,” says Dan Poynter, author
    of The Self-Publishing Manual. “Additionally, you get into print
    quickly, own the copyright, and take all applicable tax breaks.”

    On the downside, self-publishing can be expensive. You pay up front
    for all the production and distribution costs, and if your book does
    not sell, you will be stuck with the leftover inventory. However, if
    your book is successful, you will not only have the satisfaction and
    advantages of being a published author, you will make more money.

    Whatever publishing route you choose, the Internet provides a global
    marketplace for your book. Never before has it been so easy to market
    a book if you are willing to invest the time and energy to write one.

    Steven Van Yoder is the author of Get Slightly Famous. He teaches
    small business owners how to duplicate his success and become a
    “slightly” famous author in your field. Visit http://www.getslightlyfamous.com to claim your FREE Slightly Famous Marketing Plan Workbook and learn how
    to attract more business with less effort by creating your own information empire.