By Wendy Keller, Literary Agent and Chief Talent Launcher
Thinking about writing a book but not quite sure whether it is a good use of your time? Have you heard “bad” things about self-publishing…about publishers…about literary agents?
If you have an inkling that you might want to write a nonfiction book on the subject of your expertise, here are the three biggest benefits our authors tend to get:
1. New Customers to Your Products or Services
A book is an almost magical process. The marketing spin you will get from a book is unlike anything you can get – anywhere else – no matter how much money and time you pump into social media or formal advertising.
A very successful author called me today. We’ve done two books together. (I’m a literary agent. I sell nonfiction books to publishers on behalf of authors.)
Dave said, “Wendy, I’m ready to write a third.”
I asked him why.
He said, “My company is launching a new product. There’s nothing like a book to give you that extra credibility and marketing boost. I plan to use the book to promote the next product to my existing clients.”
I expect to have it sold in January, if not sooner. His book proposal (the critical sales document that every nonfiction agent must use to present a nonfiction project to publishers) will be ready in about a month.
2. Extreme career prestige
Lots of people may know how to do some or all of what you do, but when you literally “wrote the book,” you put yourself in a rare category. What HR person or hiring committee can resist someone with that level of confidence and knowledge?
It’s a lot easier to get a legitimate publisher (read: one who pays you, not one you pay!) if you have a strong idea, a “platform” in place and a great nonfiction proposal. (Click here to find out how to write a proposal)
If you’re looking for work, looking to move up a level, or trying to set yourself apart from your colleagues or competitors, a published book could be your single best move ever!
3. Start a Business
Got an idea that you’d like to start a business one day? Do you want to found that new business on your expertise, your passion, your favorite hobby? Writing a book is a fantastic way to ease out of your day job (and get paid for it!) while you prepare.
Perhaps best of all, a book’s production cycle will give you a year to make the transition – but even a year is a deadline.
The Process of Getting Published
Excited by this article? Eager to transform into a published author with a book that will give you a tangible benefit? Here are the steps:
- Come up with 1-3 solid ideas for a book
- Write a terrific book proposal (Want some help with that? Click here.)
- Select a literary agent who has sold in the past and is still selling in the present books like yours. (Want some help with that? Click here.)
- Work with your agent to improve your book proposal, if requested.
- Let your agent sell it to a publisher while you watch the magic
- Hurray! Cash the publisher’s check!
- Write the book
- Promote the book
- Reap the benefits
Really, that’s all there is to it. There are plenty of people along the way who will help you.
The first step is your knowledge – and the courage to transform a good but fuzzy idea into action!
Wendy Keller is the “Chief Talent Launcher” at Keller Media, Inc., a leading US nonfiction literary agency.