Look, you do not have to write a book. You can live your entire professional life (and personal life too of course) without a book to your name, and the sky will not fall. All I can tell you is that being able to add “author” to your list of accomplishments, being able to mail or email a copy of your book to people you want to work with or impress, and also being able to give out or sell your book at events (which your book more likely helped you book!) can move your business or professional reputation from good to great.
If you counter that fewer people are reading, that they are buying fewer books, that they are getting their information and entertainment from television, from cable, from social media, and especially directly from their electronic devices, you’ll get no argument from me. None of that takes away from my opening points: your book is the ultimate marketing tool. It opens doors. It establishes you as an expert, an author-ity. Even if the target CEO or client just reads the front cover and turns it over to read the back cover–with its (hopefully) explosive lift quote and positive blurbs–you will have made an impact. Whether they skim it or read your book word for word they will see you differently.
One of the first books I ghostwrote (have now done 45) brought in millions of dollars of added revenue for that client. We printed a hardcover edition, wrote an individualized cover letter to our targeted CEOs, mailed the book to them as gifts. The phone began ringing immediately and has never stopped ringing. This book also got the business owner on panels, keynote addresses, well-attended seminars, media, and much more.
Time short? Budget short too? No worries. Today if you write a weekly blog (or hire someone like me to ghostwrite it with and for you) around 6 months you can actually have a powerful book. You will need a great title, perhaps a subtitle, and a context (theme) that pulls it all together. As for cost, there are many companies and Apps that help you create a print on demand book, whether a full-length tome or a concise eBook, at relatively low cost, to fit almost any budget.
There is always the option to work with a ghostwriter/ editor like myself. If you have a more expansive budget and the ability to do some in-person or Skype or Zoom interviews with a professional ghostwriter or editor, one you trust and know that she or he truly “gets” you, you can be a lot more ambitious, perhaps go through a literary agent to find the right traditional publisher. Keep in mind that going the traditional publishing route means your book will not come up for at least a year or more, while a self-published book can be complete and working its magic for you with months.
One caveat: marketing is key. You would not start a retail business and on opening day just pray that customers come in. Of course not! You would market, and advertise, and use any and every promotional means to bring people to your door. A book urgently needs promotion and marketing. Untold numbers of broken-hearted authors have said to me that they spend years writing their book, they put it on Amazon, and yet no one is buying the book. When I ask them how they marketed it, they look at me blankly.
Of course, you now know better!