Writing and publishing a business book is another accomplishment to add to your list of achievements – many successful leaders, CEO’s and entrepreneurs have done it as a way to share their story and their legacy.
What’s more, authoring a book can also be a powerful way to build a brand or establish you as a trusted thought leader in your industry. We spoke to some experts and judges of this year’s Business Book Awards to find out their advice on how to use your business book to successfully build your personal brand.
“Writing the book is the easy bit; getting it published is another hurdle. And after that, you have the challenge of making the book work,” says Nadine Dereza, CNBC Business Presenter and co-author of Insider Secrets of Public Speaking. “Not everyone can be JK Rowling, and everyone will want to know how many copies you’ve sold, but if the book brings in clients and business then it’s done the job.”
So, should you be writing a book with the goal of selling hundreds of thousands of copies? Nadine Dereza argues not necessarily: “A more sensible strategy is to target your copies at an audience that can be useful to you: consider your book an 80,000-word business card.”
“Some of the best work you can do is build authentic relationships online – LinkedIn is ideal for a business focussed audience,” Dereza continues. “You can take sections of your book and rewrite them for a wider audience, tailor them to specific industries or make them topical. The more credibility you have, the more likely it is that people will come back to you when you reach out.”
Lucy McCarraher, who is the founder of The Business Book Awards, works with dozens of authors as a mentor and writing coach. She has seen first hand the different approaches to promoting business books and getting value from them: “If you’ve written a business book to raise your authority and influence and to act as a lead generator, you don’t want to waste time trying to get retail sales. You want to get as many copies into the hands of your prospects, clients, industry influencers and potential partners as you can.”
But with the rise of self-publishing and so many books now published each year, how do you make yours stand out from the crowd? “A great way to do a social media launch for your book among your tribe of followers is to run an ‘Amazon Best Seller Launch’ campaign” explains McCarraher. “After your book has been out on Kindle for 30 days, you can do a price promotion: reduce the price to 99p for two days and run an email and social media campaign to let all your contacts know they can buy it now. Your aim in getting as many people to download the Kindle version in one day is to achieve an Amazon #1 Best Seller ranking in at least one category, then you can call yourself an Amazon Best Seller forever after. It’s also a great way to announce your book to your tribe.”
While having a book might give you credibility, Martin Norbury, author of I Don’t Work Fridays, believes that the whole process of writing it can be great for business too: “People often forget that the process of writing a book involves delving deep and getting loads of value out of your head and onto paper. All this content can then be sliced up and constantly used for your marketing and sales messages, from blogging and newsletters through to PR and social media.”
Norbury is set to be one the Business Book Award judges again in the 2019 and says he has seen many authors use their books to open a variety of doors: “Having a book opens up more opportunities for comment in articles and press coverage because you’re an independent source rather than directly selling in a product for commercial benefit. This strengthens your personal brand which you then use to leverage your company/product brands by becoming an expert in your field.
“Whilst it may be quite common to write a book in the circles you mix with, the wider public associate writing a book with being an expert, so the mere publication will boost your brand instantly!”
The Business Book Awards welcome entries from all publishers and authors published in the UK. Entries for the 2019 Business Book Awards are open now, and close on 31st December 2018. Judging takes place in January 2019.