With tumbling stock prices and other negative economic factors in the news, we need to start thinking about the looming recession and what we can do to best position ourselves to survive it and be successful during it. Writing and self-publishing a short, nonfiction e-book (with perhaps a print-on-demand option), otherwise known as a “business-card book,” will help you weather the upcoming economic downturn. Here are nine reasons why.
1. It helps you add credibility and authority.
People assume that if you have written a book about a subject, you know a lot about it.
2. It sets you apart.
Because writing and publishing a book adds to your credibility and authority, it sets you apart in your field as a leader and expert. If someone is considering two (or more) people to buy from or for a job promotion, and many other situations, they will likely select the person who has written a book over someone who hasn’t. Why? Because . . .
3. It shows you are dedicated.
Along with making you sound smart and like you know what you’re talking about, it shows you are dedicated and can stick with a project long-term. Writing and publishing your own book isn’t easy, and there are a lot of steps that you must complete between page one and uploading the finished product to Amazon, Kobo, and other platforms. This will show prospective clients that they can depend on you following through with a project from A to Z.
4. It helps you learn more and be better at your job.
Writing a good nonfiction book requires research. Even if you are already very knowledgeable in your subject matter, you will want to verify that you are relaying the most current information in the best possible way, so you will want to do some reading. It’s inevitable that you will learn something new or better along the way that will help you hone your skills and improve the way you do your job.
5. It helps you bring in new business.
If your book helps someone in some way or teaches them something new, they very well may consider hiring you or buying from you. Likewise, it could encourage current clients to use more of your services.
6. It helps you turn your side hustle into your main gig.
Let’s face it: it’s possible you will lose your job during this next recession. In that case, you may have to turn your side hustle into your main gig, at least temporarily. (And then you may find you want to keep it as your full-time job permanently.) If you have already established yourself as an expert by publishing a book and have begun reaping the benefits of increased sales and connections, then you will be better positioned to transfer your side hustle to you main gig should the recession demand it.
7. It helps you get promoted or keep your job.
If you work within a company, it may also help you get promoted or at least keep your job during recession-induced layoffs. Your workplace may decide to shed the positions of those who aren’t the most equipped and talented, those the managers deem they can do without. Publishing your book will establish your level of knowledge and expertise and will prove your worth to the powers that be, making it more likely your job won’t be the one on the chopping block and, heck, you may even get a better role out of it, especially if your business is in the mood to lower their budgets and ax the highest-paid employees. (Note, though, that having your book can help you show your worth and negotiate a better salary, as well.)
8. It’s a marketing tool.
Your business-card book, by itself, is a good marketing tool to illustrate your knowledge and expertise. For your book to get noticed, you need a robust marketing plan that includes in-person events, such as speaking at conferences, and digital marketing. By marketing your book, you are marketing yourself and driving attention to how your skills are the solution to your potential clients’ problems.
9. It helps you get speaking gigs.
As I mentioned before, with a book you can market yourself as an expert in your field. For this reason, when organizers of conferences and other industry events seek speakers, they are more likely to choose a speaker who is published. Likewise, when you apply to present at conferences, you will be more likely to be selected over other applicants for this reason. You can also sell your books at public-speaking events.
What should you write?
If your goal is to sell lots of copies of your book, get national acclaim, and go on a big book tour, you need to be very thoughtful and purposeful in choosing your topic. Don’t write about the same general topic covered by a hundred books already for sale on Amazon. As long as you have selected a topic that fills A) a hole in the marketplace, or B) puts a new or unique spin on a subject AND you have a strong marketing plan, a wider audience of new potential customers and clients will learn about you.
But if your goal is foremost to position yourself as an expert in order to stand out from others in your field and get a better job/more clients, rather than have a stint on the red carpet, then the content doesn’t matter as much. (Yes, you heard a book editor say that. And, yes, it gave me a bit of heart burn. But it’s true.) It’s okay to write about a topic that’s already been covered. The point is to show your audience of potential clients and hiring managers that you know what you’re talking about, and in doing so to teach them something or solve a problem. And writing a book does that.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s okay to do a slapdash job with a homemade cover and your English-major niece as your editor. If your book doesn’t look good and read clearly, then instead of looking like an expert, you will show your audience you give no attention to detail and aren’t interested in doing quality work—the exact opposite effect you are aiming to achieve. With some studying on your part, it is possible to format the book yourself (though hiring a pro would certainly be easier and faster), but you absolutely must hire a professional book editor (wink wink; nudge nudge) and cover designer.
In addition to offering several levels of book editing, I also have an author-coaching program tailored specifically to businesswomen launching their entrepreneurships. I help writers set up their author platforms and develop their marketing plans, including help figuring out which social media sites and strategies are best for their individual businesses. To learn more about my coaching, click here. Then email me at Erin@dotanddashllc.com and mention this blog post for a free thirty-minute coaching consultation.
Erin Servais is a book editor, author coach, and owner of Dot and Dash LLC, an author-services company serving women author-entrepreneurs. To learn more about how she can help you with your book project, check out her website: Dot and Dash home page.
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