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Books Are The New Business Card

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I’ll begin my story with the real life tale of two would-be authors.

The first was a very successful professional in her industry. We had been discussing the publication of her book with my publishing company when she stated that she was very excited about publishing the book because she wanted to retire and live off of the royalties.

The second was a young executive in a growing startup in a new industry who wanted a way to gain some credibility and visibility for his new company. He recognized that he wasn’t going to become rich from book royalties but instead viewed his book as his new “business card” and would use it to gain visibility with prospects and position himself well in an industry that knew little about him or his company.

My independent publishing company, People Tested Media, decided to move forward with the young executive and wished the first professional well in her retirement. This may have much to do with the business model of my independent publishing company. We’re not a major publisher and rather than working through agents, we work directly with authors, most of who are interested in using their books as a means to grow their business.

I hope that the first professional finds an opportunity to publish her book as her years of experience will produce an informative and valuable book. Her options will be to find a major publisher or to self-publish. Either way, she will find herself working hard in retirement because either option will require her to market her book.

Yes, the reality is that even if you find a major publisher, you need to be prepared for marketing your own book! Finding and securing a major publisher can be a boon for many authors but by no means will it allow the author to sit back and just watch the royalties pour in – unless you’re Stephen King or John Grisham.

We published the book by the young executive and he has worked diligently to use the book as his new “calling card” to gain clients and visibility in his industry. With it, he has been able to secure speaking engagements, meetings with prospects who wouldn’t answer his calls before and gain opportunities in his industry that he didn’t even know existed. His business has grown significantly, along with gaining respectable sales on Amazon that continue to grow each week due to the domino effect of increasing visibility and referral sales.

Just as many professionals have recognized the reach they can have with blogs and online forums, converting content into a print book or ebook can provide a professional the ability to gain credibility and visibility for themselves and their business.

This credibility can lead to speaking engagements, meetings with prospects and additional revenue sources for those professionals who are willing to use these books for business growth. Many small businesses are incorporating the creation of a book into their business plan.

“Having a book with your name on it may not indicate that you’re the smartest person on a topic, but it clearly shows that you’re knowledgeable on a subject, and often this is all that’s needed to get you in the door with those prospects and clients who are going to allow your business to grow,” says Dan McGrath, author of “What You Don’t Know About Retirement Will Hurt You!’ 

Dan brought a number of professionals who were focused on the growing concerns of healthcare costs in retirement together as co-authors for his book. “The book allowed us to bring a wealth of knowledge together in one place and provided a unique and valuable book for the reader, while also providing a platform for all of the authors to showcase their knowledge and gain visibility they didn’t have before,” McGrath says.

The book has succeeded on many levels for McGrath and his fellow authors. The book has allowed them to gain speaking engagements, meetings with large investment prospects as well as strong sales on Amazon, where the book had reached number 1 in the retirement planning category.

“The success of the book on Amazon is due to the fact that each of the authors is marketing the book when they market themselves as we all use the book as a calling card to allow us to gain prospects for our businesses,” McGrath points out. “When you have six authors marketing a book, it helps not only the sales of the book, but everyone’s credibility and visibility as well.”

As stated earlier, the reality is that whether you publish a book on your own or with a publisher, an author will end up doing the majority of the marketing themselves. By self-publishing, partnering with others or using a small publisher such as People Tested Media rather than fighting the battle to get a major publisher interested in your work, the marketing that an author has to do can be rewarded by gaining more control over their product as well as earning more in royalties.

McGrath cautions, “Although it’s easy to self publish a book, you need to make sure that the quality of your book matches what you want to convey to the public or else a poorly written and conceived book can do more damage to your business than having no book at all.”

McGrath stresses the benefits of not “going it alone” and finding partners who understand the book creation process such as an independent publisher like People Tested Media because he still finds that publishing with a publisher, even an independent, still adds further credibility to a book. However you choose to publish, and whoever you use, McGrath feels that success for a book and a business will always take hard work and effort mainly on the part of the author.

“I’m not sitting around waiting for the royalties to come in. I’m out there everyday fighting for business, but using a successful book with my name on it as a calling card is opening more doors for me and allowing me to reach prospects I couldn’t get in front of before,” McGrath says.

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