You can't afford not to publish a book.
But books are for artists and creative types, right? Not business leaders.
That’s where you’re wrong. In fact, it may be time to rethink the book entirely when it comes to its role in the life of a business leader.
Books are as valuable today to growing your business as your business card was in previous decades.
I’ve tried to learn from every manager I’ve had in the past. Some have been good. Some have been not so good. (If I’m honest, I’m sure there are plenty of people who place me in both categories.)
My favorite managers have been people who wanted to invest in my thinking and creativity—even if my formal job at the time was very mundane and predictable. One way they did this was by giving me reading assignments that opened me to new ways of thinking, new perspectives, and helped me see the world through new lenses. I’ve tried to carry on that tradition now that I manage and lead teams of people.
Driving people along a production schedule is one thing. Teaching people to think differently multiplies their value and improves the strength of the team.
I am a HUGE fan of book publishing but not for the reasons you might think.
My interest in books is less about their artistic value or what accolades accompany them. My interest in books is a little more plain than most people.
I love books because they are the most efficient way to capture and transfer ideas from a brand, cause, or nonprofit to their respective support base. And if you are lucky enough to create or capture an experience worth remembering, then others will share your book and story as their own within their personal networks. Your book then becomes souvenir that represents a significant experience as well as a promise to benefit others.
So what is the problem with book publishing for nonprofits?
What happened to the music industry about 10 years ago is now happening to book publishing. Services like Spotify, Pandora, and others have commoditized music purchasing and broadened access to a greater number of people.This was bad news for music industry executives but a big win for the listening public.
You could probably say the same thing about this move by Amazon.com; it’s bad news for traditional book publishers but a big win for the reading public.
Brands hold the keys to the future of publishing.
Ghostwriters and collaborators are very much part of the publishing process. There is a clear distinction between the two amongst publishers. But if you’re not a publisher, you might be tempted to use the words interchangeably.
We live in a content dense culture. If every leader were responsible for writing all of their words, sentences, and paragraphs, so many ideas would never be shared and we as a culture would lose out on some incredible insights, wisdom, and perspective.
Nevertheless, the demand for content is relentless.
Books are the new business card. They capture your ideas, exhibit your expertise, and codify core messages that define your philosophy in an easily transferable, shareable, and efficient manner.
But creating a book is A LOT of work. It would be a shame to just leave your book’s content on the pages of an object most commonly found on the bookshelf. Instead, you should design your book from the very beginning to exist in a variety of formats.
Books should help readers reconcile the dissonance between their greatest hopes, desires, and dreams and real life.