Writing a book is hard. And doing it right is expensive. So today, as I launch the paperback version of my book Updraft: The Aerodynamics of Great Leadership, seems an appropriate day to assess whether all of the effort and investment has paid off. When I started this project, I made a very conscious decision to go top shelf all the way (which is why I worked with Diane). After all, my target audience is CEOs, executives and business owners and the final product had to appeal to that audience.
My expectation wasn’t that I would necessarily break-even on book sales but that just one or two new clients or speaking engagements would make the whole thing worthwhile. I spent a few years in what seemed like a never-ending cycle of writing and editing and then, after the book came out I, spent several months getting a handle on the art and science of book marketing and PR – something I’m still learning. So was writing a book worth it?
I can answer with a resounding – YES!!
And here are 5 reasons why:
1. A book is a heck of a selling tool.
When I meet with clients or prospects and hand over a copy of my book, in almost every instance, the eyebrows get raised. Then, when they flip through the book and get a quick look at one of my “brilliant” insights, beautifully highlighted in a call-out (thank you, Diane), they get a sense of who I am as well as what my message is. Just imagine the power of sending a book after an introductory meeting with a note that says, “Great to meet you. Based on our conversation, I think you’ll find pages 70-78 very interesting.” Not only do I understand the issues you have, but I’ve written about them. Which leads me to…
2. “Poof” – you’re an expert!
I don’t feel any different and I don’t know exactly when it happened but writing a book makes you an expert…or maybe it forces you to own your expertise. That expert status carries a lot of weight with prospects and clients. It raises your profile and allows you to command higher prices. On top of that, it so happens that….
3. The media loves experts who have written books.
And media opportunities make getting business even easier as clients and speaking gigs find you rather than the other way around. In addition, a list of radio interviews, magazine articles and TV appearances help to enhance your expert status. I’ve done 4 radio interviews and have 3 more scheduled and I’m working with several freelance writers on articles for both print and online publication. That kind of media exposure also means that….
4. You’ve become a celebrity.
Most people haven’t written a book. Most people haven’t been interviewed by the media. Most people don’t do speaking engagements. As these activities become the norm for you, you will find that your communities start seeing you differently and you become, at the very least, a local celebrity. You start getting invitations to speak and attend events as a special guest. This fall, I’ve been invited to do a speaking event for Rutgers Business School Alumni Association and a professor there has approached me to do an event for several hundred students! As a result….
5. After writing a book, your network explodes.
You start getting your message out to a much larger audience which brings business and speaking opportunities your way and, at the same time, builds your social media lists. And let’s face it, sitting at the head table means rubbing elbows with the event sponsors and the keynote speaker – you’re going to meet people who are difficult to get access to and who can help and support you at an entirely different level.
Writing a book is definitely worth it. If you are prepared for the expense and are ready for the work necessary to create a book you’ll truly be proud of, go for it. It will change your business – and maybe even your life. It did mine.
Jackie Freedman is a leadership expert who specializes in aligning and energizing leaders and their teams. She is a consultant, speaker, facilitator and author of Updraft: The Aerodynamics of Great Leadership. Jackie has worked with a wide variety of businesses including Merck & Co., ShopRite, Dun & Bradstreet, Wiss & Co. and J.P. Morgan. She earned her Master’s degree in Business from Rutgers Business School and her Bachelor’s degree from Tufts University.
Any friend of Diane’s is a friend of mine so I have a special offer for anybody who buys a copy of Updraft: The Aerodynamics of Great Leadership by June 16th. I will send a signed, personalized bookplate for your copy of Updraft. Just go to www.DeltaVstrategies.com/paperback and fill out the form or, if you prefer, you can go directly to https://www.amazon.com/dp/098615606X. Thank you so much.