No matter what industry you’ve made your career in, there is always going to be a competitor out there who is more skilled, has more years of experience, or has better name recognition. You can narrow that gap though, by writing a book. Though digital media promoters might say otherwise, we are still a culture that respects the power of the written word. An expert who is confident and knowledgeable enough to set her expertise in stone with a book will win instant credibility in the eyes of potential partners, clients and customers.
Here are some of the how’s and why’s of writing a book as a public relations tool for your business or brand:
1.) Know Why you are Writing – Do you work in a poorly understood industry? Do you have radical new ideas about a stagnating industry? Do you want to motivate others to hire you? Or do you want to explain how to become like you? Most people, once they reach a certain plateau of expertise, know they want to write a book, but asking why you want to write the book will give you a framework to build on.
2.) Remember that the Book is a Product – Your book is a product that will reflect on you, your business, and your brand. Many of us are not writers, so it may be in your best interest to hire an expert ghostwriter, writing coach or book editor to give your book that professional shine.
3.) Don’t Expect to Get Rich – When writing a book to showcase your expertise don’t expect to coast off into retirement on the royalties. For most people, the book is simply a tool to further demonstrate their expertise and help them continue to succeed in their chosen field. Though actual book sales may not get you on the bestseller list, you will often find that the rewards from credibility and increased sales were worth the time and monetary investment.
4.) The Publisher Can Be as Important as the Book – While self-publishing is not as stigmatized as it once was, many readers still heap more credibility into books published by the major publishing houses. While not always possible, it is often worth it to find an agent and try to get the backing of a major publisher before going the self-publishing route. If you do self-publish, hire a graphic designer to assure that your book looks professional and not amateurish.
5.) Market Your Book as You Would a New Product or Service – Though the book itself is a PR tool, take the time to market it. The bigger the audience you capture, the more interest you will draw toward you, your product or service. Set up a website or blog before the launch, run contests and special offers, and generally market your book just like you would a new product or service. Send out a press release when the book has been launched.
6.) Books are a Great Media Relations Tool – Who would a journalist call first? A self-proclaimed dog walking expert with a website, or the author of Dog Walking for Dummies? With a book under your belt, you are more likely to receive called asking for your expert opinion.
Because they bestow credibility on the author, books are an important PR tool. If you have reached the pinnacle of your expertise and are ready to take your brand, business or service to the next level, it’s time to start scribbling.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download a free copy of the PR Checklist – a 24 point list of Press Release Dos and Don’ts here: http://www.ereleases.com/prchecklist.html