The business of books…

In case you haven’t noticed, the subject matter throughout my blog this past month has gotten rather “bookish”!  That is because I agreed to participate in an Author’s Blog Challenge for 28 Days in June.  We all need to do things that provide opportunities to interact with our own communities.  Targeted blog challenges are a great way to do that.  The key however is to attempt a level of creativity that allows you to participate within the optimal subject matter for the challenge while still creating value and words of interest for your continuous community.

One of the things that made this challenge unique were the writing prompts provided by the facilitator.  Those prompts just by themselves generated some creative treatments across the various participants.  Some really brilliant writing and thought leadership resulted.  And those were generally the posts where the prompt was not followed literally.  You see we all have as much creative license with whatever we do as we allow ourselves.  We can play within the field, follow the guidelines and still show up with our own incredible gifts and style.   I love that about my communities.

For today’s writings, the prompt focuses on the business of books vs. the writing or creative processes.  This is also often where my own audience struggles within their respective genres.

How do I generate a business base while staying true to my work or passion?  Or perhaps, how in the world can I make money doing this?  The range is broad but the sentiment is the same.

We are great at bringing forward ideas and taking action.  We are not always great at the longer view of the business.  This is true for just about any solopreneur endeavor.  Dentists, doctors, lawyers, artists, writers, actors – all professions where the primary business “brand” is the person and what they do.  This particular group of professions are also ones that can benefit quickly in every area of their business by embracing the idea of books as part of their mix simply because of their business value.

When developing our businesses, we all often turn to the “masters”, the gurus, the industry experts.  We don’t have personal access to them physically but we DO have access to their writings, their books.  Investing in the right library is a great business investment for the solopreneur.  Having that virtual “board of advisors” can only make you better and by extension, make your business stronger.

The next progression can be natural.  Readers of those books can become writers of those books.  Growing a business through book marketing is one of the easiest ways to establish true expert credentials and to also be able to approach others for interviews or collaborative ventures.

When we are innovative with how books are integrated with our business, they can generate revenues beyond their sale.  Book coach and publisher Lynne Klippel wrote a book that she rarely sells.  That is by design.  She gives it away.  Is it worth it?  Of course.  Because the book has been used as a marketing and expert status positioning tool that has generated tens of thousands of dollars in other fees from publishing and coaching.

Even if you do not want to write an entire book, you can still leverage publishing as part of your business plan.  Consider collaborating with other experts in your field by creating a collection of ideas or stories within a single book.  Or write an endorsement for someone else’s book that would put your name and expertise front and center with their audience.  However you incorporate books, with all of the “buzz” today with e-readers, virtual print on demand publishing and information based businesses, you will not be disappointed with the range of value you can generate leveraging books as a business development tool.

But here is the thought that I love when I think about the role of books in business:  When you describe someone who holds the $$ reigns of a company, that provides oversight on the profit and loss statements and everything financial – isn’t it marvelous that they are called the “book”-keeper?  So for authors and the rest of us: Keep the books, literally and figuratively and by extension you will without question improve your business.

About Kathi Laughman

Referred to by her clients as “The Plan B to Z Expert”, Kathi inspires them to see beyond probabilities to possibilities. They are stronger, happier and more financially secure than ever before. The result is the creation of far more value in the rest of their story than they ever dreamed possible. She serves professionals committed to continuously creating new pathways to success and significance.

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