From “PR Rules: The Playbook—The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Supersizing Your Small Business.” Available in April 2014
By Hope Katz Gibbs, with Kathleen McCarthy
PR Rules: The Playbook
Why is it important to write a book? In this section of PR Rules: The Playbook, we offer in-depth insight into why it’s beneficial to pen a book. We also offer interactive exercises to get you started on your journey. Here’s a taste.
What it is:
- Instant credibility. The key is having something important to share with the world, and being able to do it in an interesting, articulate, thought-provoking manner. Not everyone should write a book. And most books published aren’t very popular. But if a book is burning to pop out of you—then write it!
- A great way to make a splash in the news. Books with heart, depth, and soul that strike a chord with readers also often strike a chord with reporters.
- Something to talk about as a public speaker. In fact, almost all of the experts we have invited to be on the Inkandescent Speakers Bureau are authors. Not only do they have something to say, they have something more than a speech to sell—and that’s good for them, their audience, and us.
What it isn’t:
- Writing a book isn’t a way to stroke your ego. While many people fantasize about seeing their tome hit the best-seller list, the odds are against it.
- It’s not a million-dollar revenue stream. Even if you do get an advance from a publisher, it will be a long time before you see a check. And since most publishers no longer give advances—is this your best option? Self-published books are a great alternative, but expect to spend a minimum of $25,000 to publish and promote it. How long will it take you to earn that back?
- It’s not a way to test the waters with a theory or idea you haven’t fully researched. Successful authors know their stuff. And they often have businesses behind their books. That’s a good thing, because as we said earlier, books are often loss leaders. They are great for marketing your business—but most authors end up giving their books away. So know why you are writing the book, and be clear on what you expect to get in return!
Why it’s important:
- Books give you a voice. Despite the odds, the expense, and the time spent—writing a book is an invaluable opportunity to share your thoughts, ideas, and vision with the world. That may be reason enough to write one.
- Books are great marketing tools. Many company heads write books because they want to give them away to clients, potential customers, and reporters. If you have money to invest in marketing yourself and your company, this may be one of the most valuable opportunities you can invest in.
- Books are a stepping-stone to new possibilities. All practical realities aside, you never know who might pick up your book. There are countless stories of books that sit dormant for years until the day the person you’ve been waiting to meet picks it up and gives you the call that makes your dreams come true. Even if a book isn’t popular with the masses, there may be one important stranger—or more—with whom your thoughts and ideas resonate. It’s a gamble—but so is being an entrepreneur.