Tuesday, November 3, 2009

How Your Book Can Serve Your Information Business

Today we're happy to welcome Joel Orr of Joel Trains Authors. Joel "is a refugee from high-tech who has written 11 books, and now teaches others to write books--and to build businesses." He has graciously provided a post on using your book to help build your information business.

A book can serve your information business in a number of ways:

  • Book sales. Well, duh! Of course you can write a book that people will buy. That's an important reason to do it. But it might not be the only one. If your book offers a solution to a problem-- "Get rid of eczema using natural remedies"; "Teach your parrot to talk"; "73 sample eulogies to inspire you"--it will be relatively easy for you to locate buyers, and you can publish an ebook for little or no cost.
  • If you are a solo professional seeking to position yourself as an expert, a book can be your credential, your business card, your brochure, and your persistent link to buyers. Here's why: In our cultural, a book--meaning a physical book--is a mysterious cultural artifact. Write a book, and you are an author; authors automagically have authority. Poof! You're an expert.
  • We don't throw away books. We discard gorgeous brochures, we trash thick booklets, and we pick our teeth with business cards; but we do not throw away books. A book hangs around, reminding its possessor of you, especially if your face and name are on it.
  • Writing a book can be a transformative process. It requires you to nail things down, to get specific about stuff that may have been just floating in your consciousness. And if you do it right, the process can lead to the creation of a "backbone" of content for your information business.
  • If you want to be a public speaker, a book gives you a leg up on your competition. A book is easier to promote than an idea; it can be a way to build your list.