It seems everyone you talk to is writing a business book (or thinking about it).

First, some credentials. I’ve seen a lot of business books; and publicised many.  I’ve run media campaigns for self-published books as well as books published by traditional publishers.

Why are you thinking about writing a business book? If you think a book will bring instant fame and fortune, believe me; it won’t. A business book is a marketing tool but not a quick-fix. People make the mistake of thinking a book will build an instant platform to become better known and in-demand for public speaking and services. And that is true to a degree. But unless you have other ingredients that demonstrate you are a respected expert; your book may only whistle in the wind. I suggest you read my article So You Think You’re an Expert, to understand what I mean by the ‘other ingredients that make you an expert’. I’m referring to activity like events; public speaking and playing a leadership role in your industry. Simply being good at what you do is not a strong enough platform to launch a book into the public.

It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation. So I’d suggest you go back a step and start by throwing some grain around the yard. Some people write the book first and expect the rest to follow. To fully leverage the significant investment in a self-published book, or before offering a manuscript to a respected publisher; I recommend ticking other boxes first. These days, even the publishers want to establish you have a public platform they can leverage to sell your book.

I’ve spoken to too many people with (literally) thousands of books in their garage and nowhere for them to go. I’d rather see you building the audience for your expertise and build your business’s credibility before you publish a book. Make your pylons strong first so the book can build a stronger bridge to the next level.

I hear you ask, what about an e-book downloadable from your site? An e-book offered free from your site plays a role in marketing and certainly offers lead generation and opportunities. But it has less credibility as a positioning tool within your industry and the media.  Think about it, if you were offered a free e-book to download as a PDF or a hard copy book; which would impress you as a builder of credibility?

A business book is a great tool to take you to the next level when it’s part of a mix that includes other marketing activities such as public speaking; writing a popular blog or playing a leadership role in your industry.

And it can launch you into the media; which is a very powerful way to position you and your business.  And this is a key to great leverage using the book. It’s not just the best business card you ever had; it gives you an opportunity to build credibility using business media. They are looking for new ideas and commentary from business experts and if you have a new book it gives them a reason to talk to you or print an article you’ve written.

But remember, you’re competing with all the other new books on an editor’s desk. What can you say about your reputation and credibility to persuade an editor you’re a respected authority?

So before you hit the publishing road, please consider the real why. Are you truly ready to optimise this great moment in the life of your business? If not, then look at what you need to do to give this book the best possible lift-off.