Can A Book Brand You as an Industry Expert?

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In today’s economy, when businesses are struggling to stay afloat, corporate execs need to think out of the box more than ever before.  They need to find a way to set themselves apart from others in their industry.  Thus my mantra: a book is America’s new business card.

As the author of a book you are more than just a published writer – you are a valued expert, a credible authority, a proven professional AND a go-to source for print journalists and talk show hosts.

But just the idea of writing a book and wondering how to get started can be a daunting concept so I thought it might be helpful if I shared with you my own personal experience on the road to becoming a published author.

I’ve been in the publicity business since 1990. Every day we develop winning angles and secure interviews for our clients on radio and TV, and coverage in newspapers and magazines. As this is my expertise, when I talk to prospects, business and professional groups – they always ask the same question: how can they get more media exposure for themselves or their business?

So, when the time came for me to figure out the message for my book, it was natural for me to consider writing a “how-to” book to answer people’s most common questions about publicity. In fact, I could write the manuscript with my eyes closed, so to speak! But when I actually sat down to put pen to paper, I realized it wasn’t a message I was enthusiastic about.

And, if you’ve ever before attempted to write a book, you know the dedication required to bring it from concept to completion. I knew if I wasn’t excited about that theme, there was no way I would find time in my already hectic life to actually sit down and write about it.

I have a thriving business with employees and clients who rely on me. I’m at my office seemingly 24/7 and, when I’m not at the office, I’m either working on my radio show, involved in my church, or at home wearing my hats as wife and mother. I knew enough about myself to know that if I wasn’t passionate about writing this book, it just wouldn’t happen. But, how could I resolve this problem? How could I possibly guide others if I couldn’t even guide myself?

As I went through this process, the answer seemed impossible. I mean, what else would I write about? Publicity and marketing is who I am; it’s what I do.

So then I asked myself two important questions: “what do I most enjoy about my professional life?” and “what message am I enthusiastic about that I want to convey?”

The answer came easy. I knew what I loved most was talking to people who are on a positive mission to help others with their personal expertise and directing them on how to make it happen!  Once I had that single idea which really excited me, I had the unifying theme for my book.

Now, I won’t blithely pretend that once I identified the message I was passionate about sharing, the book just wrote itself!  Like childbirth, writing a book is a labor of love – emphasis on “labor!”  But when you really “own” your message, the writing process flows and the book will take shape.  Then once it’s completed, getting it published with your name on the title page becomes almost soul-satisfying!

But the first and most critical step is to zero in on the one singular, unifying idea that excites and energizes you and defines who you are and what you represent. This one central idea will be the driving force behind every single word within your book.

I know from my own experience how formidable the goal is of writing a book – especially for the busy professional. But there are so many services available to assist you, so don’t allow time constraints to stop you before you even get started.

As you probably heard me say many times before, being the author of a book sets you apart from your industry peers with an authority that cannot be disputed.  It opens doors for speaking engagements and media interviews, and adds great credibility to your position as a leading expert in your field.

One thing I can guarantee is that the payoff will be worth your investment, providing you take advantage of all the opportunities the book can provide.  It’s a marketing tool that is almost essential in the world of business today.

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