This book originally appeared on bookbaby.com
As venture capitalist James Altucher says, “… having a book is the new business card.” In addition to displaying your expertise in a given field, publishing a book can bring you personal and business credibility.
Business leaders engage in a host of activities designed to propel their careers, improve themselves, and promote their businesses. Writing is the most powerful of those activities — even though it has little to do with increasing sales or impressing investors. And I’m not talking about emails or blog posts — the most influential leaders in business commit significant chunks of their schedule to writing and publishing their own books.
There are many reasons why, but here are three of the most critical:
1. Personal credibility
Having a published book gives you credibility as an expert in your given field. With your book in hand, doors that were once closed seem to magically open — people simply pay more attention to what you’re doing and saying.
2. Business credibility
If you’re running a business and you publish a good book, your business becomes more credible, too. It lends an air of legitimacy to your enterprise and even pays dividends in helping you establish connections with potential clients and business partners.
3. Brand clarity
Publishing a book that defines and details the core principles and mechanisms of your business crystallizes what your company is all about and how it can create value for outsiders. It can also help clarify your company’s mission internally.
That said, writing and publishing a book is not easy — even for seasoned and talented business executives. It demands diligence, grit, research, and preparation.
If you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, or anyone embarking on a mission to write a book, here are five books about self publishing you should study before setting pen to paper.
Authorpreneur: Build the Brand, Business, and Lifestyle You Deserve. It’s Time to Write Your Book.
Jesse Tevelow is an entrepreneur and author whose work has appeared in Businessweek and Forbes. His book, Authorpreneur: Build the Brand, Business, and Lifestyle You Deserve, is built around one key principle, summed up neatly by the author: “Giving yourself an edge requires playing a different game. Writing books is the new differentiator.”
This book is divided into two sections. The opening chapters detail why entrepreneurs should write, along with how to go about researching and selecting a topic.
The second section gets more specific, providing guidance about how to prepare outlines and eventually take your book to market.
Book Blueprint: How Any Entrepreneur Can Write an Awesome Book
Author Jacqui Pretty is the founder of Grammar Factory, a publishing company that has helped over 100 entrepreneurs write and publish their own books.
But don’t fret, this book is not a 200-page advertisement. Rather, Book Blueprintserves as a step-by-step framework for writing a quality book quickly, providing a blend of technical practicalities that every good book demands. It also serves up fair helpings of inspiration and encouragement that can benefit any writer.
APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur — How to Publish a Book
Guy Kawasaki was one of the original hires at Apple, serving as the brand’s first chief evangelist. Today, he’s a brand evangelist for Mercedes Benz, a keynote speaker for premier business conferences, and the author of 13 books.
APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur — How to Publish a Book, co-written with Shawn Welch in 2012, remains one of his best — and one of the best books for executive writers, period. It’s full of practical, realistic solutions for overcoming hurdles in the writing process as well as strategies and tips for wading into the world of self-publishing.
APE is also noteworthy for Kawasaki’s introduction of the concept of the “karmic scoreboard,” the notion that what you create and release into the world will eventually come back around to either haunt or glorify you. With that backdrop, he urges the reader to really think about why they want to publish a book. The goal, he suggests, should be founded in kindness, generosity, and the intellectual enrichment of others.
The Writer’s Process: Getting Your Brain in Gear
Anne Janzer is an award-winning author and writing coach who has worked with hundreds of high-tech business leaders around the world. In this book, she shares insights into the writing process that she’s found to be prescient in helping her clients write more effectively. Her work is grounded in science and seeks to explain how our brains function and how we can more purposefully generate moments of brilliance and productivity — as opposed to writer’s block and procrastination. Writing and publishing books demands a unique mindset. The Writer’s Process details exactly what that mindset looks like.
The book received high praise upon its release. In a review, Seth Godin proclaimed, “The Writer’s Process delivers research-based, hands-on, step-by-step wisdom that can help you wrestle with the lizard brain. Certain to help thousands of would-be writers write.”
5 Steps to Self Publishing
While it might be a bit presumptuous to put my name alongside these great writers, I’m adding 5 Steps to Self Publishing to this list because of the unique purpose it serves.
The world of self publishing is awash in information about — what else? — self publishing. I’d argue there’s too much information available. This tidal wave of text inundates new writers and many find themselves paralyzed by the sheer volume of information, unsure where to start.
I wrote this guide to help aspiring authors cut through the glut of opinions, information, and misinformation. It addresses the essential issues every author must work through on their self-publishing journey. It might be a good place to start if you’re just beginning this process.
Is publishing your book a requirement in achieving your personal and business goals? Maybe not. But it certainly helps.
One person who can speak on that is James Altucher, the famous hedge fund manager, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and podcaster. He has founded or co-founded more than 20 companies, including Reset Inc. and StockPickr. He’s also the best-selling author of acclaimed business books, including Choose Yourself, and he believes that self publishing was a critical component of his success.
“Every entrepreneur should self-publish a book, because having a book is the new business card,” Altucher says. “If you want to stand out, you need to show your expertise. Publishing a book is not just putting your thoughts on a blog post. It’s an event. It shows your best curated thoughts and it shows customers, clients, investors, and friends what the most important things on your mind are right now.”