“Your books are your soldiers – send them out into the world and they will help you to promote your business.”
These are the wise words that I remember hearing Sue Richardson from The Right Book Company say, when I saw her speak at an event earlier this year.
Sue has been helping business owners and professional speakers to publish quality books for over 20 years. I’ve seen many of the books that she’s produced for her clients – and I’ve read quite a few of them. They are all well written, beautifully produced and professionally printed.
You Have to Write a Book
The number of books being self-published is on the increase. These days it is (apparently) quite easy to chuck a few thousand words into a Word document, send it somewhere like Amazon and have a dozen copies printed in a matter of hours. Why are people doing this? Partly because people like and Sue and I are telling them that writing a book can do wonders for your business credibility. It’s true – when you write a book, people start to see you as an authority on your subject. This could be why Sue also publishes a series of books called The Authority Guides!
A book can be a great business card – I give copies of mine to people who I meet at networking events. I send copies to potential clients and I give them to people as thank you gifts. There are boxes of my books in my office and since I heard Sue speak, I’ve been giving away more copies. Sue reminded me that books in my office are not helping anyone – I would rather give them away to people who will get something from reading them, than leave them in their boxes, waiting for people to buy them.
You Have to Write a Good Book
I advise most of my clients to write books on their subjects, but there is one caveat – it has to be done properly. If you’re not a writer, don’t expect that writing will be easy, or that what you write will be what other people want to read. Sue encourages people to think about why, who and what? Why are you writing your book? If it’s to make your millions, you should write a Mills & Boon romance, rather than a business book. Who is your book aimed at? Think about what they need to know and how you can help them. This will help you to stay focussed when you’re writing. What will you write? Having a plan of what you’re going to write, before you start, is essential – otherwise you’ll just waffle your way to your target word count.
People like Sue can help would-be writers to become great writers, by guiding them through the writing process and editing what they write. If you’ve never written a book before, I strongly advise you to get some help at the very beginning of the process, to get you on the right track.
You Have to Produce a Good Book
Writing a book can be an expensive process. You could save a few pounds by proof reading it yourself, or paying your teenager to do it for you, when they finally get out of bed at the weekend. Amazon etc will do the typesetting for you – no need to worry about accurate page numbers or text flowing nicely from one page to the next. They will even do the printing on demand for you – as long as you don’t mind a few wonky pages or binding that will only last a few months.
If you’re writing a book in order to build your authority, credibility and a profitable business, then STOP! Please don’t try to do it all yourself. I’ve seen too many self-published books that are full of typos, new sections starting on the last line of a page, all printed on cheap paper with a badly designed cover. Giving someone a copy of poorly written, unprofessionally produced book will do exactly the opposite of what you want it to do. You can seriously damage your business reputation by giving (or even trying to sell) a book that looks tacky and doesn’t read well.
If you’re serious about growing your business and using a book to promote it, I encourage you to first speak to someone like Sue Richardson and perhaps book a free half hour consultation with her, to talk about how to get started on the right track. It will be worth the investment of your time and then your smart soldiers can march out into the world and help to spread the word about your great service.
If you would like a FREE copy of one of my books, One in Ten, you can get it here. Just pay £2.50 for postage (if you want it sent to somewhere in the UK) and I’ll send you a copy. All properly written, proof read, typeset and printed, of course!