Get the Word Out: Why Every Business Should Have a Book
Books are excellent reputation-builders, and they can help you build your business.
- Business books continue to grow in popularity
- Writing a book does a more efficient job of demonstrating your authority, credibility, and expertise
- The standard business book length is around 50,000 to 60,000 words
“You should write a book.” Really. It’s not a rhetorical statement. You can do it yourself, and it can be a major boon to your business. Is it because of the giant advance you’ll get from a book publisher coupled with an inflow of the level of sales royalties that made JK Rowling practically a billionaire? Hardly.
Self-publishing to turbocharge your business is where it’s at. The number of ISBNs assigned to self-published titles has grown 156% since 2012.
Technology and services focused on self-publishing have made it easy. Publishing industry expert Beat Barblan explains that “authors who set out to self-publish, market, and distribute high-quality books now have more resources than ever.”
Here’s why writing a book is good for your business.
A solid return on investment
Mike Schultz and members of his marketing consulting firm undertook a survey of 200 business book authors to understand how the publication benefited their respective organizations.
When asked about their findings, he told several publications, “The vast majority of the authors we surveyed – 96% – said they did realize a significant positive impact on their business from writing a book and would recommend the practice.”
Schultz calls these business benefits “indirect,” noting that even when the books don’t sell well, there are powerful advantages. The advantage starts with an astonishing thing about physical books. Last year, the U.S. printed book sales were almost 690 million.
A business book represents the collection of information and perspective that is important enough to have in a physical state.
Meryl Halls is the managing director of the U.K. Booksellers’ Association. She observes that we really do judge a book by its cover – in this case, the physical version. “Cover designs are often gorgeous,” she recently told CNBC.
Seventy-five percent of Americans between 18 and 29 said they read a physical book in the previous year. How does this help you? It’s a brand impression each time the book owner sees it on their desk or library shelf.
There’s an inexhaustible source of information online about how and why you need to position yourself as a thought leader or subject matter expert. Bottom line: you can claim to be either just by putting it in your LinkedIn profile. Writing a book demonstrates your authority, credibility, and expertise.
We used to do this with our education. In 1940, only an average of 4.7% of the U.S. population had a college degree. Last year, 36% of us had one.
That distinction doesn’t carry as much weight. What signifies expertise or credibility today? Write and publish a book.
Ken Dunn, CEO, and founder of ReadersLegacy.com, says that writing a book on the subject of your business is like wearing an Armani suit to a meeting, except that you can probably write and publish your book for less than the cost of those sharp threads.
Entrepreneurs who write and publish a book on their business are twice as likely to generate new business as a result.
Sure, Google is the most powerful search engine on the planet. Marketers target Google as a way to be found.
And thanks to Google’s E-A-T, establishing your expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness is the best way to make it to the top of searches.
Google has humans using Quality Raters Guidelines to assign scores to search results. Content that ranks well is associated with authoritative experts – authors.
Does this mean you have to be a widely recognized authority? Google says no. Often, the best sources of information come from people sharing their life experiences,
But Google isn’t the only game in town. “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore” was how Amazon pitched itself when the company launched in 1995. Today, Amazon has pushed its way into third place as the most used search engine.
A 2019 eMarketer survey shows that 49% of searches for products or services start on Amazon, versus just 22% for Google. Being the author of a book featured on Amazon is good for your business.
How many words?
The standard business book length is around 50,000 to 60,000 words. However, depending on your industry, the book might need to be shorter, especially if it’s a very niche industry.
Do you have time to crank out up to 60,000 words and shape it into a book? Maybe the price tag of that Armani suit is starting to pale in comparison. Guess what? You might already have a process in place to create a bestseller.
There’s a growing list of bestselling books that began as blogs. For some writers, such as bestselling author Tim Ferriss, the shorter blog format matches his writing style. As a result, his blog is a top-rated management and leadership blog, and the book created from early posts has sold more than 1.3 million copies.
If you’ve got a blog, you’ve got a book-making factory at your fingertips.
Write a blog; get a book. Learn more
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