Do you Resolve to Write a Business Book?

yes you can write a business book

It might surprise you to learn that when I tell people I published a business book, the first question I’m most frequently asked is not “What is the book about?” or “Why did you write it?”  Instead, it’s “Did you self-publish?”  When I tell them that my book was published by a traditional publisher that paid me to write it, I generally get an “Oh, really?” with an eyebrow raise—and then we almost immediately jump to a “How did you do that?” conversation.

It’s interesting to me that the assumption is that I self-published, and I think this has as much to do with an overriding belief that self-publishing is the path of least resistance and also that securing a publishing contract is impossible.

I’m here to tell you that getting a traditional publishing deal to write a business book is absolutely possible, and I’m not diminishing self-publishing in the least.Read More

What’s the Deal With Book Deals?

john p. david book artThe book publishing world has been in tremendous flux in recent years, but I had no idea how much so until I began researching options for my own book about how to defend your reputation online. I have included a link for anyone who wants to read the first chapter. But first, here’s what I have learned so far about the current state of publishing.

For decades, a limited number of publishing houses that distributed books through brick and mortar retailers controlled the book business. If you wanted to publish a book, you had to go through the traditional system. This meant finding an agent to shop your book to the publishing houses on your behalf. If they selected your manuscript, enlightened editors would massage it (at least that’s how I envisioned it) and carefully market it—including arranging a cover design, reviews, bookstore windows, signings, and maybe even a book tour.

The system worked for a long time, but a number of factors have contributed to recent erosion. Read More

Write The Book On It

Writing a business book offers many marketing opportunities: It adds credibility, speeds-up the author’s chances to be a media source and creates a marketing platform.  If you add-in that publishing your own book has never been easier and that we typically hold authors in high regard, it clearly makes sense to be the one who “wrote the book” on a topic.

Right now, I know several executives who are either writing or have finished books on subjects as diverse as small business loans, branding, IRAs, cruise line safety and financial planning.    

Be the Expert
While there are millions of books on the market, your category may still be open.  For example, my friend and client Chris Hurn of Mercantile Capital Corporation wrote his book “The Entrepreneur’s Secret to Creating Wealth” about a little known U.S. Small Business Administration loan program which helps small business owners grow their wealth by owning, rather than renting, their commercial property.  Hurn was already regarded as a media source on SBA “504” loans, but publishing the book cemented him as the leading expert.  He also has effectively boxed out his competitors, who may have thought about writing a book but are now likely discouraged.

Friend and branding expert Bruce Turkel has written two books: “Brain Darts: The Advertising Design of Turkel Schwartz & Partners” and “Building Brand Value: Seven Simple Steps to Profitable Communications.”  When I asked him about the benefit of writing his books, one of his first answers was credibility.  “They’re the best business cards ever designed as they provide almost instantaneous credibility,” he said.  Turkel has spoken about branding around the world and has recently been a guest on a number of cable news shows.  Being an author is another valuable line on his resume.

Another client is working on a book for the reasons mentioned above but also because it will help differentiate him from his competitors.  If you are in a business with an 800-pound gorilla, then writing the book offers a way to be viewed as an expert despite the long shadow of a competitor.  I recently advised a young entrepreneur to consider writing a book about her nascent industry.  While her market isn’t crowded, one major competitor secures a big share of the publicity.  If the new kid on the block can “write the book,” then she has a credential that can be used to differentiate her company from the more established competitor.

Marketing Platform
For Mercantile’s Hurn, his book has been the cornerstone of his company’s marketing in 2013.  He has done a number of local and national television appearances since his book was published last October as well as dozens of radio interviews to go along with blog mentions and other press coverage.  Hurn talks about his book but also the commercial real estate market, and his company gets a favorable mention too.  And for his PR team, the credential of being an author adds to the strength of media pitches.

Education Curve
Upon further discussion with Turkel, I learned of yet another benefit.  Your book can educate your prospects and directly aid your sales process.  “If our clients or potential clients read the books and use our nomenclature when they’re discussing branding, it makes it much easier for them to understand what we’re talking about and to hire us,” said Turkel.  Just imagine the value of a prospect “already speaking your language” before you even start your sales pitch.

“Amazon Democracy”
While the actual act of writing a book hasn’t gotten any easier, getting published certainly has.  I call it “Amazon Democracy.”  A quick search online will find dozens of book publishers who can not only help you write your book  but also secure distribution through and other online booksellers.  Getting into brick and mortar bookstores still remains a challenge, but sadly those companies have their own issues to contend with.

Let me know if you are interested in writing a book for marketing purposes.  While I haven’t written mine yet, I have heard a lot of war stories and can probably help you avoid some pitfalls.

Both Hurn and Turkel are active bloggers and social media heavyweights.  Visit Hurn’s page at, read his blog at and follow him on twitter at @thechrishurn.

Visit Turkel’s page at, read his blog at and follow him on twitter at @BruceTurkel.


Author: John P. David