The digital age is upon us, and things are becoming more and more…digital.
With that, there is the ongoing argument over whether print books and books in general, still have a place in society. More specifically, a place in the business world. If you can download content on your smartphone in seconds, and consume content in smaller pieces much quicker, what’s the point of a book?
There’s also the argument that print books are destroying our trees.
All valid points.
To give into this way of thinking, however, is to give up and decree that books are now an outdated technology that no longer serves any purpose whatsoever.
But books, like many things in this world, are evolving. And not just in how they’re produced, distributed, and marketed…but their purpose is evolving as well.
A book is still a powerful vehicle for entertainment, conveying ideas, and packaging information. The very notion of a book gives the impression that there is a lot within. For an author to sit down and spend that amount of time working on a book means that person has a lot to say. They could just as easily partitioned that information out into small chunks and distributed it out slowly over a longer period. This strategy works for bloggers or those who want to play the long game.
For those who want to create a feast instead of snacks, there’s the book.
They’ll put the whole story, all the information, and everything relevant to a topic into one package and let the reader decide how fast to consume it.
There is still the option of rationing it out in little bits over a long stretch of time, and then putting it all into a book. Nothing wrong there. It’s a unique marketing strategy that works for some people.
Writing and publishing a book is a better way to go.
Because held within all of those pages and words, is the author’s message. Their goal. The reason they felt it necessary to spend months of time writing, editing, rewriting, editing, rewriting, and proofreading to produce a polished manuscript. And then turn that polished manuscript into a book.
It’s in there.
And that’s why they write it.
Who’s would want to do all that?
There’s a statistic out there that 80% of the US population feels they have a book in them.
But there’s an even smaller number of people who have the drive to actually write it down. And an even smaller percentage of that group who will finish, and a smaller group within that group who will pursue publishing in one form or another.
There are those who do it for themselves. There is no clear cut demographics to illustrate this group, it’s everybody.
And then there are those who want to write a book for themselves, and see it as a useful marketing tool for their business.
That group is a little easier to define.
For me, as a certified ghostwriter running a ghostwriting service, I work with the career coaches and executive consultants who want to have a book as part of the overall brand.
The book is how they’ll tell their story. Usually, the career coach will include the concepts and methodologies that guide them in their practice. And suggestions and helpful information is part of the whole package too.
But the main point is their story.
By telling their story, they want to connect with the readers in their audience whom they can actually help. Sure, they’ll sell a lot of books, but with the goal of connecting with those select few who will want to work with them directly.
That’s the primary goal here.
Some other goals
A book can also open doors.
Throughout the marketing process, the author will seek out relevant markets to pitch their book. They can offer to speak at conferences, be a guest on radio shows and podcasts, and host book signing events at bookstores.
Having a book greatly improves the odds of landing these speaking engagements and guest spots. In fact (my numbers are a little rusty), 90% of podcast guests are published authors or soon-to-be-published.
And those speaking engagements? The career coach can sell the books at the back of the room.
Books will also serve as a business card.
The next time the career coach (now an author) meets with a potential client, they can hand out their book as a free gift. And no one throws away a free book. Sure, they may not read all of it, but they’re likely to hand it to someone they feel would benefit from it.
The book will become a passive marketing tool.
Business consultants, career and life coaches aren’t the only ones utilizing books as a marketing/lead generator. I’m simply using that specific industry to highlight the benefits.
Anyone with a story to tell can write a book. But the book shouldn’t be the only goal.
Reaching out to a specific reader is the main goal. And to do that, you’ll need to first create a polished manuscript, publish it, and market it properly.
Listen to the Chirp on this topic, and soon I’ll have a video as well.
I’m also working on posts/videos/chirps on the marketing aspect and expected return-on-investment of a book.
Until then, keep reading and writing.
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