Incorporate Books into Your Professional Career

This is an excerpt from Writing Better Books the Agile Way, you can get a copy here.

Let us look at another approach to publishing books: in this case, it is not the book, but a service you provide, that is the actual product. You can make the book itself a marketing tool. You will then have the following options:

  • Referencing your book. Having written a book about a subject means you have spent a significant amount of time studying the matter. So, be it in your CV or résumé, having one or several books can help you to get the edge over your competitor. I recommend taking a copy to your next job interview. A printed book offers your interviewer physical proof of your abilities. Another place to “namedrop” your book is in speeches at conferences. A published book establishes you as an authority on a subject.
  • Recommending your book. When you are dealing with many customers, you can simply recommend that they read your book. Depending on the nature of your work, the topic of your book could revolve around extending your teaching (if you are, for example, a professor), or around explaining your unique approach. Some people are more receptive to the written word than to other forms of learning, so this can help them to better learn from you. Others might want to add your book to their collection to share it with friends or as a way of personally connecting with you.
  • Using your book as a resource. Even if only a few people buy and read your book, you can still reuse all the notes and the edited content for speeches at conferences, and (properly cited) in future books. This way, you can see any book you release as a stepping stone to you becoming a master in the topic about which you are writing. Even if it is a work of fiction, the research you have invested in the book is valuable. Another option is to expand your audience by moving your content to a different medium and creating, for example, YouTube clips based on it.
  • Making the book part of your offer. This can be done as a free bonus on top of your services, as part of a premium offer, or as an incentive to subscribe to your newsletter. If your services are more physical with direct customer contact, you might think about giving away printed copies. If your services are primarily on the Internet, you can simply give your book out as a PDF e-book.
  • Releasing your book for free. If the goal of your book is to serve as a marketing tool, ignore any income you are possibly making by selling the book and focus only on having it read by as many people as possible. Set the price on Amazon and Google to a minimum, and either use free book promotion services (KDP select) or split your book into individual WordPress articles to attract people to your website. In this case, you do not need to be afraid of the possibility that your book gets “stolen.” Because you are already giving articles away for free, nobody wants to make the effort to assemble the WordPress articles into a book and release it themselves. Still, if you are worried about people pirating (copying) your work, please check out Chapter 10 where I discuss strategies for how to protect your work or make the person copying it work for you.

If you want to use books to not only help you with your career but also provide additional income, you need to focus a significant portion of your time on marketing. With that goal in mind, your book itself becomes the product and you have to invest (indirectly with advertisement or directly with valuable content) in engaging potential customers for them to spend time learning about it.