An Entrepreneur’s Guide To E-Publishing
According to author and investment guru James Altucher, every entrepreneur should publish a book. Altucher believes that “self-publishing is the new business card”, and in order to ensure your product or service stands out in a space increasingly saturated with content, it is important to position yourself as an expert.
Hold up, I hear you say. Isn’t that what Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, WordPress and all those other content marketing tools are for? In a word, yes – these platforms offer you the best way to engage directly with consumers on a real time basis. A book has other benefits. While content marketing is all about creating short, snappy and engaging content, a book gives you the opportunity to expand on these posts and talk at length about your expertise.
So you’ve spent hour after hour typing away, and now you have your book. What next? Whether you are interested in releasing a ten page booklet to give readers a taste of your business, or a comprehensive tome full of revenue-enhancing insights, here is the essential checklist for any entrepreneur turned author.
If your business is large enough to comprise copy-editing staff, then this is the point where you hand over your baby. Even if you are a one man/woman start-up, you need an impartial perspective on the content you have created. The spellchecker on your word processor won’t suffice; an editor will help you structure the entire book to ensure that your story and message are conveyed in as clear and reader-friendly a way as possible.
Since Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) democratised the world of authors, a slew of amateurishly designed book covers have populated Amazon. A professionally designed cover is absolutely crucial to how your book is perceived, whether you are distributing entirely online or also selling physical copies. Sites like Lulu and CreateSpace enable you to independently design the cover and layout of your book – collaborating with a designer at this stage will differentiate you from the hordes of shoddily Photoshopped content that is already out there.
The process of uploading and publishing your book is actually incredibly simple; Kindle’s platform is particularly user-friendly (there’s got to be a reason it’s the current leader in this area, right?). The tricky part comes next…
So your book is out there, ready to be purchased. And it will sit there, gathering digital dust, unless you pre-empt and accompany the launch with an effective, multi-channel marketing strategy. The blogosphere is a rich space to tap for an online book tour; interviews, guest posts and samples of your book are all content-led ways to drive traffic to your Amazon page.
Of course, this post barely scratches the surface of the work involved in putting out a book to a wide audience – and the potential impact it can have on your business. Book sales can be a nice little revenue generator on their own once you’ve established yourself as an authority in your field. A longer, monetised book can be preceded by a free download which gives readers a brief look at what’s to come. In each case, the direction you choose should reflect what it is precisely that you want to get out of the self-publishing experience.