“Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are. The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences. In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul."
I can think of so many reasons why writing a book is fulfilling. If it doesn't come from ego, but a deep desire to make a difference, it is the perfect way to connect with others. And for many of us, share our unique gifts with the world, which means emphasising the essence of our brand - personal and business.
Some of my clients had not thought of a book as part of their marketing strategy, until I asked them some questions:
Do you want to boost your business?
Do you understand what people carry around in their heads about your personal and/or business brand?
How much money did you spend on marketing last year and what return did you get?
Have you thought of being a speaker to increase your professional profile?
Many did not know the answers to the questions, or had not thought of them. I probed deeper with those who knew they had a book in their heads but kept putting it off:
What's in it for you? I mean, really in it for you?
What's in it for them? What legacy will you leave or value will you give them?
How will you market it? (And the wrong answer is, "The publishing company will do that for me."
Who are your star clients and what would they get out of it?
What are you doing to attract more of those people you love getting out of bed for?
Tell me about your personal brand.
What is your personal mission statement?
Have you developed a central idea for your book?
What do you know about publishing?
I realised quickly that while many of us are keen to write a book, the gaps in our knowledge and awareness are so huge, the creativity process is effectively squished.
So we stop. We do nothing. And another year passes.
So, why finally get to writing (even) an e-book in 2016? Is 2015 closing in with a final bang that will see your goal for a book delayed yet again?
Here are some compelling reasons I share with cleints.
Eight reasons why a book will boost your business
E-books are a prime way customers connect with brands. If your marketing only includes advertising, brochures and social media, you are missing out on a massive opportunity to be meaningful in the lives of your customers.
By having an book, in conjunction with using the marketing tools freely available, you will connect with many more prospects than just by having a website alone.
An book can be short. This is why it can be completed quickly. It will also be read quickly and if done well, help your customers not only understand what you offer better, but feel they know you personally better as well. In fact, the shorter it is, the more you can write.
Books can be personal. You get to share your journey, give your knowledge and help others.
Producing an e-book can be far cheaper than advertising. Once done, it becomes part of your social media marketing mix and is a long-lasting testimony to your business.
An e-book will boost the power of SEO on your website.
E-books have a worldwide reach.
Writing a book helps you define your business better, become a better writer and marketer of you and your business, and learn more about your customers. As a marketer with over 20 years experience, books are the most exciting addition I have yet seen for business owners.
Writing an book the right way from the start, means you can have a printed and an e-book. However, many engage individuals to do the various components, leading to inefficiency in time, process and loss of money. So, the book doesn't get done, again, because the pot runs out and other priorities stack up.
If only I could sit you all down and plan the process with you, so you could see that this is a valuable investment in you!
Many book publishing courses don’t tell you how to mind map, plan and write and design your book so that people want to read it. They get you writing first, with no attention to marketing or the why's and who's. I know from years of experience that without starting with branding principles, your book is doomed to fail. So those who punch out one book lose faith in the process and go back to the more expensive marketing methods that they don't measure.
Writing a book is not just about being published. It is who you become on that journey. I have found that the more I write, the more focused I become. My business plan is captured within the pages of my books. Sure, I write a number of different kinds, but when I look at manuscripts for business owners, I get a strong sense that this whole process is going to kick them into gear, the same way than if I sat and did marketing consulting for them.
Your marketing blueprint and massive big calling card
Writing a book can become your marketing blueprint, your calling card, your who, what, why, when, where and how of your business. And, it is a lot more fun to do it this way, than putting off writing a marketing plan or business plan.
So, why write that book? Let me explain with some of my own story.
There’s always a compelling reason why someone writes a book. Once you understand that you will grow in the process, you will be more open to receiving the many gifts a book gives.
For me, writing over nine publications since March 2014, my creative ability has soared. In fact, I call it Creative Freedom. I am successful in several areas, including writing, authoring, design, photography, drawing, publishing and marketing. My specialty is branding. However, that is one area that has taken a sharp twist in recent years. In short, branding ain’t what it used to be.
This is when I found my Achilles heel. I sucked at Social Network Marketing. Big-time.
After bashing my head on my desk for months, I literally stumbled on a book by Natalie Sisson, who was offering it for free to a Bali group I was a member of. I downloaded it, curious of the title - The Suitcase Entrepreneur.
Enter Natalie Sisson’s book. Within the first few chapters, my brain was spinning with ideas.
I already knew I was a talented, creative person. But I largely kept this knowledge to myself and rarely charged for my experience or advice. Creative women tend to undersell themselves in this way.
This, I admit, had led to disgruntlement with the many who would chew my brain (it literally felt like that sometimes!) and not even offer a cup of coffee for my efforts! Wow, one even turned up to my house twice seeking marketing assistance, and while they said thank you, never offered so much as a bottle of wine for the effort!
My fault. Entirely.
And it had to stop.
The time had come to value my skills and the years it had taken to acquire them, and share them with others. But the relationship with others was going to change.
I would do this in service to you. I would teach you, but it would be part of my business plan. There would be no more “can you just whip up a business card for me? ... paying job ...” and then disappear with concepts, and even steal the colour scheme on the way out the door! Again, without a word of thanks!
Nope, my emotional well-being and financial health were suffering under the weight of generosity. I was becoming jaded and no wealthier for my efforts! (Or popular, as it turns out - my pointed comments on social media were quickly understood by the guilty!)
The most important thing I defined was my personal brand. When Natalie came to Bali in early 2015, we caught up, and she came up with the title Creative Architect for me, which I love!
Deal with the fear (and some reality) AKA: the elephant in the room
When you write a book, there is a swag of people who will throw statistics at you about why it is a bad idea, so let’s throw a few of those elephants on the table.
Fact Number 1. Writing a book is top of mind for eight out of ten Americans. If you thought you were part of an elite minority, think again! Everyone wants to do it.
Fact Number 2. BUT! Less than two percent of the 81% of Americans who want to print a book actually attempt it. Far fewer finish and only a fraction of authors get published, (but is it still the most important thing you can do for your business). You are going to learn how to do it yourself and be one of the few who do it, and even less who do it successfully. This alone will make you a stand-out brilliant success.
Fact Number 3. Not a whole lot of people appear to be reading them! Let’s look at some statistics about the American population. Sure, it’s not the United Kingdom or Australia, but it gives an insight into what is happening out there.
A survey by the Jenkins Group that includes statistics collected by Dan Poynter and presented by Robyn Jackson, dash the romantic idea of writing a book against the rocks. But I give you the flip side. There is always a flip side.
One-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives. But two-thirds will.
42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college. But 58% will.
80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year. But 50 million did.
70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years. 30% took the time. And maybe publishers aren’t publishing what people want, or they are buying them digitally...or both.
57 percent of new books are not read to completion. But, they’ve been purchased.
70 percent of the books published do not make a profit. We won’t be in this just for the money - stick with me.
A successful fiction book sells 5,000 copies. Brilliant!
A successful non-fiction book sells 7,500 copies. Even better!
On average, a bookstore browser spends eight seconds looking at a book’s front cover and 15 seconds looking at the back cover. Likely to be even less on Kindle - first impressions matter. We can learn from this!
Building a positive brand image...YOU
Seth Godin, the best-selling author, points out that writing a book is slow, hard, and a horrendous return on investment. But there is brilliant news in sight for aspiring authors who write for business...which I hope is you!
“The return on equity and return on time for authors and for publishers is horrendous. If you’re doing it for the money, you’re going to be disappointed. On the other hand, a book gives you leverage to spread an idea and a brand far and wide. There’s a world-view that’s quite common that says that people who write books know what they are talking about and that a book confers some sort of authority.”
That’s right! A book can do marvels for your image; if it’s done properly.
So the long and the short is: don’t count on people reading your book to the end, but if done well, it can be a valuable tool for you, however you choose to use it. Don’t plan on getting rich from the book alone. Back it up with a business strategy that encompasses other income streams, and you can become the authority on whatever you choose to.
Start with a blog. Set out a time-line. Upload my book Book Benefits that will take you through the process. Do a mentoring program, such as a Mastermind class to have others keep you on track. But start.
Do an honest appraisal of the reasons why you have not written your book. You might find these insights flow into other areas of your life.
Another year beckons, and I know that many of you still have not finished your book.
Say it with me now. "In 2016, on 1 December, I will be holding my book in my hands. Finished. Beautiful. And a perfect reflection of me."
If there is only one reason to write your book in 2016, it is for that incredible sense of achievement I know you will feel and carry into the following year.
If you would like to book on one of my courses to help get you there, please browse the Learn tab on this website, or contact me. In January I will be offering free 45 minute Skype sessions to gather my publishing and branding tribe for 2016. Spots are limited!