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Publishing A Book to Market Your Business

Using a non-fiction book to boost your company's presence


Bonnie Daneker, CEO of Write Advisors

Bonnie Daneker reveals how to use a book to market your company.

Image courtesy of Bonnie Daneker
Does a book help to market your business? According to Bonnie Daneker, CEO of Write Advisors, the short answer is probably yes. Many businesses will benefit from publishing a book that shares information and expertise with the marketplace. According to Daneker, whether you are able to publish with a traditional publishing house, or use independent book editing and production resources, writing a nonfiction book to introduce your ideas, your company, and its offerings to the world can be among the best uses of your marketing resources.

Bonnie, you feel that writing a book is an effective way to market a company. Why is that?

Today’s consumers and service buyers have been enlightened. They are looking for companies, products, and services that exhibit reliability, substance, innovation, and value. They’re not fooled by outlandish marketing slogans and vaporware. They research everything by comparison shopping, collecting opinions, and sampling to know their options and exercise the best ones.

With information so plentiful, it’s easy for a business to get lost among the competition. A big buzz word in marketing now is “discoverability”: How can your audience find you? How can you attract the right kind of attention to your company? Maybe your business needs you to write a book.

So, how exactly does publishing a book help market someone’s business?

When a nonfiction business book or biography is used to help market a business, it’s a marketing tool, a big business card, introducing your company’s offerings, starting conversations and providing a path to “get your foot in the door.” With international and electronic distribution from companies such as amazon.com, your book is a plane ticket, taking you and your business to places you haven’t been before – new geographies, new industries, and new customers. A book is also a “Chance” card, opening opportunities to distinguish your business from your competitor’s.

How do you know you’re the right person to write the book?

You should consider writing a book in your company if you hold one of two roles:

Company Leader - Take a lesson from Jack Welch or Starbucks' Howard Schultz. If you are the founder, chief, or president, writing a book will help you to: establish your company’s brand; attain speaking engagements at major events; garner positive coverage by media; communicate directly with consumers; inspire new lines of business; and leave a legacy for the next generation of business.

Subject Matter Expert - Would we have known Stephen Covey without The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People? Or Suze Orman without The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom and the other books that led her to Oprah? If you want to be recognized as a thought leader, writing a book can help you to raise your visibility; increase your credibility; position yourself as a peer to established authorities; teach; establish complementary streams of revenue; and build new social and professional networks.

Remember what your consumers want: reliability, substance, innovation, and value. Company leaders or experts can describe your company’s history – its successes and its failures. They can give insight into the strong people that comprise strong companies. They can provide the “backstory” of strategic decisions and idea generation. They can also illustrate how the company’s offerings are important to their markets.

Writing any book can be a daunting task; what’s the best way to approach to writing book for one’s business?

  • First, understand your purpose and your competition. What are you trying to accomplish with your book? Think about your audience and be very clear about your goals before you begin the process.

  • To finance effort of the book, explore the possibility of company sponsorship. Will the company provide financial and other resources? Consider that when pulling together your team.

  • Organize your materials. Get a rough outline together. What company materials exist that you can quote? What needs to be written from scratch? What stories you can use from your clients?

  • Produce the work. Give yourself a realistic deadline. Enlist book publishing professionals to bolster your weak spots: What do you honestly need help with? Writing and research? Those and the functions traditionally handled by publishing houses—various editing duties, book design, and printing—are easily outsourced through companies like Write Advisors or through self-publishing services or vanity presses.

  • Market and distribute purposefully. Ask yourself: where is the person who needs my book most likely to discover it? What conferences should feature this book, or which analyst needs to review it? Assemble good Q&As for media. Try moving in different circles like academia, associations, or literary groups. If you produce a quality book, these people will likely want to purchase and promote it.

  • How can someone ensure that the book they write/create to bolster their business credibility?

  • First, show that credibility in the substance of the book; include the history of the business, case studies, testimonials/quotes, your credentials and contact information.

  • Make sure to hire a professional editor and a professional cover designer so the book package itself presents your company professionally.

  • Create a focus group of five people that you trust to review your manuscript before it goes to press.

  • Ask for samples and client references from printers before you hire them.

  • Before you pay for a large run of books, request a galley (a prototype of the printed book, sometimes known as an ARC) from your printer. You’ll want to correct any errors you see in the printed piece.

  • Those are some of the steps that will ensure your book is a high enough quality to represent your business well.

    Before becoming CEO of Write Advisors, Bonnie Daneker was President of BD Donaldson Publishing and she is the author of Publishing as a Marketing Strategy. Read more of Bonnie Daneker’s insights about writing and publishing books.

    Considering writing a book to help market your business? Also read about:

    Crafting a book proposal

    How to create a “selling” book title

    How to publish and/or market your book around an event

    Book marketing and publicity

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