So you want to write a book?


They say that everyone has a book in them. So, as an authority in your professional field, you may feel that the natural next step is to become an author. But before you face the blank page, it’s worth taking a moment to ask yourself why you want to write a book.

Do you think having a book published will consolidate your authority and take you up a step on the ladder towards becoming an influencer?

If this is the case, you need to be very sure that your book is every bit as professional as you are: not only must the content be top quality, but so must the production, as a badly edited, cheaply produced book can do more reputational damage than good. It’s worth noting that however correct your information is, simply regurgitating known information won’t propel you to influencer status: unless you add value through new ideas, a new approach, or a new way of organising existing ideas, it’s unlikely that your book will really stand out from the crowd.

Do you hope to sell lots of copies and enjoy a regular stream of passive income?

The actual figures show that this is unlikely to happen. Although there are some exceptions, even a successful traditionally published book may not make the author more than a few thousand pounds. As for going it alone, average sales of self-published books are around 250 copies; once you factor in the costs of production – assuming you pay professionals to do it well – there may be no profit at all. Either way, if you are hoping to set up an income stream, it is vitally important to make sure your book is actually marketable and that there is a readership for it beyond your immediate circle of contacts.

Do you want your book to complement consultancy work or talks and presentations?

As a coach or consultant, you may find it useful to have a book that consolidates the ideas and techniques you teach your clients. If this is the case, the book may hardly exist in its own right, but simply add value to something specific that you already do. Rather than focusing on content that will appeal to a general market, it will probably be quite clear what you need to supplement your face-to-face appearances. It’s worth noting, though, that this limits the sales and use of the book to your immediate audience.

To increase your authority, you don’t necessarily have to publish in your own field.

Although publishing a non-fiction or reference book in your own business field is the most obvious choice to increase your authority, there are other possibilities. If you write poetry, fiction or children’s stories, these are also perfectly valid genres and, depending on your reasons for publishing, may serve your purpose just as well. A well-written, successful novel may raise your profile as much as a non-fiction book would; a professionally produced poetry collection or illustrated children’s book may catch the public’s eye and generate just as much visibility, as well as making you stand out from the crowd. Be aware, though, that toilet humour or controversial topics such as politics can be a risky choice!

To increase your authority, you don’t necessarily have to publish in your own field: the important thing is that, whatever type of book you publish, it should reflect the quality and professionalism that you want to show to potential clients.

We read five words on the first page of a really good book and we begin to forget that we are reading printed words on a page; we begin to see images.
― John Gardner

We offer full editorial services for indie authors and professionals, so why not drop us an email or give us a call to talk over your ideas?