Being able to call yourself a published author can be much more than a simple ego boost. In today’s competitive business and job market, being able to add a published book to your list of resume credentials can put you at the head of the pack. Authorship can be a great boost to your credibility, highlight your expertise, solidify your position as a thought leader, and improve your chances of advancing in your career. But that can only happen if you gain wide readership with a high-quality book. If you don’t use proven strategies and tactics for creating, publishing, and marketing your book, your book-writing efforts could go unnoticed — or even backfire.
Many eager entrepreneurs and scholars are so anxious to get their names on book covers or get their groundbreaking research published that they take shortcuts. Instead of building names, platforms, and audiences for themselves and then creating books that capitalize on their strengths and cater to their audiences’ needs, they haphazardly create their books and expect readers to propel them to the best-seller list.
Those who do try to take this path of least resistance are in for a rude awakening. They may have written the greatest books of all time but, if people don’t know about the books, can’t find them, or don’t recognize their authors, the publications are likely to languish on a retailer’s shelf or page 28 of a Google search. In other words, very few people will read what they’ve written.
Other authors believe getting their books in front of large audiences is more important than earning royalties. These writers give their books away. However, problems exist with this approach, too. Free books rarely boost credibility or authority, and audiences often perceive them as low quality. Also, authors who rush the editorial and production processes can end up with poor-quality books that add little to the already-available body of knowledge — and can even damage their reputations.
From concept to product and beyond
If you’re looking to produce your book the right way, you need to start with a well-thought-out manuscript that presents a subject of interest to a well-researched audience in a new and different way. Then you need to realize you’re only at the start of the process.
You’ll need a reputable editor who can go through it with an unbiased blue pencil. You’ll need to understand the benefits and challenges of distributing in print, electronic, or both book formats and determine which is best for your title. You’ll also likely need a quality website to help you introduce, sell, and deliver your finished book as well as create an active social media presence to promote it. In addition, you’ll want to arrange speaking engagements, publish snippets of your book on related websites, and find those in your audience willing to generate reviews.
Self-publishing your book can offer a less-expensive quick publication option, but you need to work just as hard promoting your book as you did writing it. That’s why many authors opt to work with reputable publishers or publishing service providers who have tried-and-true processes for ensuring quality products, promoting them to relevant audiences, and providing platforms for delivering books to consumers.
Plan before you publish
There’s no question having your name on a published book can have many benefits. However, from increased authority and better name recognition to more clout for promoting your products or services, these benefits are not given. They require a sound idea, a properly defined audience, and a well-executed promotion plan. Before you commit to writing a book to boost your career, ask yourself:
- Do I have a high-demand topic with a broad potential audience?
- Do I have deep knowledge of the topic and the skills to present it in an interesting and effective way?
- Can I consult with other experts or conduct focus groups to gain additional insights?
- Do I have the ability or resources to create a strong marketing program for my book?
These can all increase your chances of publishing a successful book and leveraging the related benefits. But one of the best ways to increase your chances of success is to invest in reputable publishing services. Work with an expert who can help you navigate the tricky road to getting published — before you even write the first word.