Publishing a book is a considerable undertaking. You should expect to make serious investments in time, energy, and funding. And you will need considerable patience before you start to see results.
Have you ever observed the construction of a multi-story structure? The construction equipment moves, and soon enough a hole is dug in the ground. That’s about all you see for what seems like forever.
One day, a building finally begins to pop up. As with publishing a book, laying a foundation can be a temporarily unrewarding long-term process that you must stick with before you can start to see the result you want.
So before you commit to the process, its best to have a clear understanding of why you are publishing a book. This may seem like it would be a no-brainer for many authors, but this is not always the case, and reasons for publishing a book can vary widely.
Perhaps your reasons are primarily creative or academic – you have a story to tell or a point to make and you want to put it out into the world. Perhaps you have an idea you think will connect with people, and you see your book as a path to financial success.
But there are still more reasons authors will seek to publish a book, and most often it will be a combination of several
Your Book Goals
It is important to keep these goals in mind as you work your way through the process of writing and publishing. This is especially the case for self-publishing authors who will also deal with design, production, marketing, and promotion.
Publishing a book can help to enhance your personal credibility on a topic. Whatever your field, having a book published will help you to be considered an expert, and will likely help to draw more business.
For example, professionals such as psychologists, chiropractors, doctors, not to mention academics, are likely to benefit from having published work in their area. This kind of recognition is one way to move your business, whatever it may be, to the next level.
The Business of Being an Author
Even without making large sums of money directly from your book, financial benefits can come from finding new business leads, more deals, the ability to charge higher fees, as well as new opportunities for profitable speaking engagements.
These speaking engagements serve to promote your book in and of itself, but can also offer a lucrative way to further promote the rest of your business. As an author, you may not be used to speaking in front of an audience, but the benefits of doing so could be well worth the effort.
If you want speaking engagements to be a regular part of your work as an author, get as much practice as possible. Start small and local – consider opportunities to speak to students and religious organizations. Look into opportunities at your local library.
Find your niche – for self-help authors, or those who have written stories about overcoming specific obstacles, look into support groups.
For business writing, look into entrepreneur’s groups or your local chamber of commerce. Speak to other writers about their own experiences and what advice they may have for another author just starting out.
If you can translate your writing skills into the ability to be an engaging speaker, this can be a lucrative practice in itself. Publishing a book is a great way to open the door to becoming a popular, sought-after, and well-paid speaker.
Books as Promotion
A book can act as an oversized business card, one that can gain a life of its own promoting your business and your personal expertise. Having a book published is like an instant addition to your resume, offering an additional selling point for clients.
As the old saying goes, when you “wrote the book” on a certain topic, you will often be considered a top authority on the subject.
You can also benefit from increased clarity on your business model, principles, and intellectual property. Publishing a book can help the public understand what you can offer clients that other businesses cannot.
Of course, not every author is publishing a book for business reasons. Some are seeking a sense of accomplishment, and the possibility to spark a writing career, that successfully publishing a book can offer. Sometimes, it really is just about reaching people with an idea of an experience.
Regardless of what other opportunities you may hope to create, you will appreciate the sense of accomplishment in seeing the final product. To hold a finished book in your hand after nursing an idea through all the stages of publishing is itself enough to keep you going through the long process.
In any case, don’t be afraid to think big, and keep these ultimate goals in mind as you work toward becoming a published author.