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Why writing a book can be good for business

Claire RustonHow would you describe yourself?  Business owner?  Entrepreneur?  Leader?  Author?

Many people nurture a dream to write a book but finding the time on top of the day job can be tricky.  However, if you’re a business person, writing a book could actually help boost your business. Publishing a book can help you build your personal brand, establish yourself as an authority in your field and promote your business.  A book can serve as a great calling card, introducing you and your business to a whole new audience.

There’s also a certain prestige and kudos that comes with being a published author, not to mention an enormous sense of satisfaction.

What makes a great business book?
As it’s representing you and your business, at the very least it should be well written, professionally produced and error-free (so don’t scrimp on the proofreading!).

A good business book provides genuinely useful content that’s of value and interest to the reader; it shouldn’t simply be a hard sell for your company.  Instead, it could perhaps help the reader learn a new skill, overcome a problem, or achieve a specific task, such as Andrew Gray’s Do More of What You Love which helps business owners undertake succession planning.

Where do you start?
There are basically two publishing routes to consider:  ‘traditional’ publishing and self-publishing.

In the traditional publishing model, you approach publishers with a book proposal and they decide if they want to publish it.  Competition is fierce and it can be very hard for untested authors to get a foot in the door.  On the plus side, the publisher covers the costs and you’ll be more likely to see your book in bookstores (if that’s important to you).  The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook is a great resource if you’re thinking of approaching traditional publishers.

The second option is self-publishing.  While there used to be a certain snobbery around self-publishing (or ‘vanity publishing’ as it was sometimes called), self-publishing is now a major part of the UK publishing sector, with 18 million self-published books sold in 2013 in the UK.*  For many writers, self-publishing offers a more direct and rewarding route to market.

What if you’re full of ideas but have neither the time nor inclination (or even ability) to write a book? You’re not alone and thankfully there are many excellent ghostwriters who can help turn your ideas into words on the page.

If you’ve a burning ambition to publish a book, there’s really no time like the present.  You could soon be adding ‘author’ to your list of talents.

Claire Ruston
is an editor and writer specialising in business books.  Find out more at

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