Published books can be powerful marketing tools: firms should encourage their executives and managers to write relevant books about the challenges and opportunities in their field.
Why? Because published books offer corporations the same rewards that published books offer entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals!
How firms can benefit from books
Here are some of the ways firms like yours can benefit from books written by their employees:
- Awareness. A published book can raise a firm’s awareness, especially if it offers helpful, relevant information to its customers. In addition to enhanced search engine visibility, invitations to speak at trade events often follow a book’s publication. Each speaking opportunity or panel appearance offers valuable networking opportunities.
- Credibility. It’s one thing for a firm to say, “We are innovative and forward thinking.” It’s another to prove it with a thought leadership book that introduces new ideas in an editorial, as opposed to an “advertising,” format. Consumers view a firm’s advertising as “propaganda.” But, an independently published book is viewed as “objective.” A book that helps its readers achieve desired change creates a “halo” all of the firm’s products and services.
- Staff development. Writing a book often benefits the author, and their employer, as much as it benefits readers. Writing a book provides the author with an opportunity to develop a new perspective on the firm’s role in their market, while improving the author’s ability to communicate. As the author’s abilities grow, so will their contributions to the firm.
- Introducing new ways of doing business. Firms should view books as “white papers on steroids.” Corporations spend millions of dollars each year preparing 10-12 page white papers introducing new products and technologies. Books a better, moe tangible, platform to tell more about breakthrough ideas and their relevance to customers and clients.
- Customer satisfaction. Today’s products are more complicated than ever. As a result, customer support costs are rising and many product features go under-used or under-appreciated. Books written not as documentation, but as “guides” or “handbooks” can increase customer satifaction by providing a user-oriented perspective that speaks the customer’s language.
- Merchandising and marketing opportunities. Published books offer numerous marketing opportunities in terms of highly-visible rewards to loyal customers and clients. They make it easy to track the effectiveness of marketing and public relations campaigns.
Technology has opened new doors for corporate publishing
Today’s publishing technology has made it easier and more cost efficient for corporations to become involved in publishing activities. No longer is publishing hindered by the need to gamble on the large press runs formerly required to get a credible book published.
New, more efficient formats have been developed, and new printing options allow books to be printed as they are sold.
Publishing offers win-win opportunities for everyone
My first book offers a case study in the power of a published book. In the early 1980’s, I was an observer and participant in the desktop publishing revolution that “democraticized” the design and production of brochures, newsletters, and training manuals.
I watched a generation of non-designers–secretaries, administrative assistants, and entrepreneurs–struggle with design issues, creating print communications that were not only hard to read, but also undermined the firm’s brand.
I then devised a solution that addressed the problem and enhanced the firm’s profits! The solution I conceived and wrote was a simple guide, The Aldus Guide to Design. This slim, 5 x 8 inch, 80-page book introduced and simplified graphic design principles so they made sense to non-designers.
Ultimately, the firm distributed over 250,000 copies, solidifying user loyalty as well as boosting software registrations and upgrade profits.
The principle of using a book to educate a market and introduce a new way of doing business is even more doable with today’s technology!
Roger C. Parker, has written over 30 books that have sold over 1.6 million copies around the world. Learn more about “writing for non-writers” by visiting Published & Profitable and downloading a free copy of his Write Your Way to Success 14-page author guide.