Why Business People Need to Publish a Book

Why Business People Need to Publish a Book Outskirts Press

Certain professions need to be published. They can go on forever: entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, journalists, consultants, self-help experts, freelancers, and so on.

Even if your profession is not on this list, read on to evaluate whether publishing a book is right for your job. After all, publishing a book can contribute significantly to your career.

For the typical professional, it’s easier than ever to publish a book. Self-publishing and eBook publishing are both viable. You can release your book without waiting years for publication, keep control of your vision for your book, publish in both physical and digital formats, and retain a larger share of the royalties.

A book can serve as your best form of marketing in any profession, working better than any business card. A piece of paper can be easily thrown away, but a book can remain on your reader’s bookshelf forever.

Any reader who picks up your book becomes a prospective client, attracting attention and increasing your reach and visibility. Your book’s content can also testify to your authority, credibility, and professional expertise. On top of that, it extends your brand by giving you another avenue through which you express and practice your profession.

Finally, a reader-turned-client is more informed about your goods and services, improving the experience for all parties. Of course, any good professional can explain what they do, but having a book do the explaining is neat too.

For another example, take public speaking. If you’re a speaker for a living, you must have a book.

You can publish a book that serves as the companion guide to everything you speak about on stage. It gives you space to expand on topics you cannot discuss at length during your speech, and audience members who buy your book on the way out have another way of expanding on what they learned from what you said.

It’s also smart from the standpoint of marketing. Your speeches will promote your book, and your book, in turn, will open up more speaking gigs: a positive feedback loop!

A book can serve as the linchpin for your online content strategy. If you put in the work, you can increase the opportunity of your book snagging that blue-chip client, sparking word of mouth, or even garnering media attention, reaping you an ongoing stream of new customers. It’s a win-win.

So, how do you sell your book after you publish it? First, consider giving your book a strong presence on LinkedIn. If you’re a professional, you’re likely already using LinkedIn, so why not get more mileage out of a platform you’re already leveraging?

Your book gives you another reason to post regularly on LinkedIn, especially if you’re prone to leaving LinkedIn alone for months at a time. To fuel your posting, you can repurpose content from your book as LinkedIn content. Alongside the standard post, LinkedIn has features to publish an article or create a newsletter. Also, in these various forms, you can include a call to action to check out your book or otherwise begin a conversation with you.

This also applies to other social media platforms. You could even tweet quotes and excerpts on Twitter. You can create short videos for Instagram or microposts for Facebook. You can even launch your own blog or newsletter. The exact platform may vary (as any of these platforms may not exist in a few years), but as a medium, the book will remain.

You can also bundle the book as part of your product, increasing its value for your customer. This is especially effective for digital products, where you can toss in an eBook at no extra cost to you. So while you may give up a potential sale, it’s a worthwhile trade if your main product sells for significantly more than your book’s sale price.

Marketing aside, a book serves as another nifty format for your work, depending on your profession. If you’re a lawyer, you can teach the basics of law without having to sit a prospective client down. If you’re a consultant, a book can be a solid alternative for any client who’s unable to book an appointment with you. The possibilities are endless.

And above all, there’s always the chance that you start writing a book and find publishing to be your calling! As beneficial as the promotional aspect is, a book is also an opportunity to express your thoughts, work, and love of your craft.

Many professional authors start in different professions before making writing their full-time vocation. So now, don’t rush to quit your day job, but do recognize that the act of writing can lead you down a rabbit hole of authoring.

No matter how you’d leverage a book, know that there’s an exciting business world full of books. Will you write the next one?

Over to you: What are some of YOUR favorite examples of professionals who’ve published books? If you’re a professional who’s published a book, how has YOUR book served YOUR career?


Elizabeth Javor Outskirts Press

ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Outskirts Press. The Sales and Marketing departments are composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.

How COVID has made self-publishing even more popular than before

How COVID has made self-publishing even more popular than before. Outskirts Press

Yes, the book industry, in general, is profiting from an explosion of sales. The sudden rise of homebound readers has led to them substituting outdoor activities with books. As a result, while other entertainment industries plummeted, the book industry has rebounded from the initial lockdown dip to levels higher than before!

Self-publishing authors, in particular, have thrived the last two years. The first round of pandemic lockdowns upheaved the job situation of many potential self-publishing writers. The circumstances of these writers varied. Some workers were laid off. Others left their jobs for health or family reasons. Many quit as part of “The Great Resignation.” Countless others remained at their jobs but shifted to a work-at-home environment and filled newfound time by taking up another pursuit, such as book writing.

No matter the reason, a number of aspiring authors faced change during COVID-19 and turned toward self-publishing as an even more desirable career path.

The self-publishing model endured when the pandemic forced most workers out of the office. The self-published author can write, edit, and publish a book—and never have to leave home!

For the self-publishing business, work-at-home is an ideal office. Thanks to modern communication, a self-publishing writer not only can make business calls from home but also engage in Zoom meetings. In the previous century, a manuscript sent by snail mail would’ve taken days, if not weeks. Now, you can also upload a manuscript to a book distribution service within seconds with email and file uploading. Readers can click the “buy” button on your book within minutes. You can even log on to the website of a print-on-demand (POD) distributor and list physical copies without having to negotiate a printing quote.

Work-from-home benefits even extend to the other professionals involved in self-publishing, like editors, proofreaders, and cover design artists. For example, one self-publishing author could assemble an entire team of collaborators that span worldwide without any member ever meeting in person!

The story looks different for the major, traditional publishers. When the pandemic lockdowns began, traditional publishers had to pivot hard to work-at-home. Some publishing houses have yet to return to the office almost two years later. A number of them still feel the pains of switching workplace settings after a decades-long tradition of office work. Other publishing houses had to bend corporate procedures to get work done.

The pandemic also hit the areas where big publishers had an advantage over indie publishers and self-publishers. Even with book sales rising, bookstore sales in 2020 were down compared to the year before because much of the sales surge was from online book sales. Tragically, many indie bookstores closed, like many small businesses that were shuttered by the pandemic.

And as we covered earlier in the blog, the supply chain’s congestion has slowed print book deliveries and frightened large publishers to delay new releases. The supply chain situation has grown only direr since then, with companies unable to ship customers their orders before Christmas. Of course, it doesn’t help that the unpredictability of COVID-19’s variants keeps brick-and-mortar stores on edge.

However, self-publishing authors have been able to fill in the gap left by undelivered physical books through the ebook format. Most self-published books are already digital. For many self-publishers, it was a matter of taking advantage of the rise in ebook sales, with digital sales spiking in 2020, and in 2021 remaining higher than the prepandemic.

Furthermore, the self-publishing author is more adept at adapting to work at home than an organization. As a business of one, a self-publisher can leap over the red tape, starting and finishing projects in months when the same title would take years for a traditional publisher to release.

A self-publishing writer also has some perks over traditionally published authors, such as higher royalty rates and instantaneous publication. Most appealingly, should you decide to go into self-publishing, YOU get to choose what story you create and put out in the world. You don’t have to wait to secure the validation of agents and editors when you can get on a computer and let the readers decide for themselves.

This appeal aligns with the main thrust of The Great Resignation: in the face of catastrophe, many workers have looked at their earlier jobs and decided that their dreams can no longer wait. No wonder lots of workers have decided to pursue their aspirational novel, autobiography, or self-help book by going into self-publishing.

It’s important to remember that for all the benefits self-publishing authors receive, we must still remember the losses from COVID-19. Beyond the closed bookstores and the two years spent indoors, the pandemic has taken a horrendous toll on lives and affected many more people’s health and livelihood.

But if you DO decide to take the plunge and self-publish your book, recognize that you are joining a movement that’s making the best of dire circumstances, sharing stories that will comfort readers during the pandemic, and will hopefully continue to do so post virus.


Why You Should Have Your Book in Multiple Formats

Why You Should Have Your Book in Multiple Formats Outskirts Press

Even with technological advances, I still love the feel of a physical book.

Whether paperback or hardcover, I love to cozy up on the couch with paper and ink in my hands. But even with my preferences, I’d still advise that it’s a wise business decision for self-publishing authors to sell books in multiple formats.

The physical book isn’t going away despite apocalyptic predictions that digital will kill paper. On the contrary, paperback books remain the most popular format. That said, it’s unwise to self-publish your book in only one format.

Readers love choice more than ever, and that love of choice includes book formats: physical books, eBooks, and audiobooks.

Here are several reasons why you should publish your book in multiple formats.

Some formats work better for specific markets than others.

If you’re a romance novelist and you self-publish your book only in paperback, then you’re more likely to fail. Why? A great number of romance readers prefer eBooks over paperback, so you’re leaving sales on the table if you’re not getting your stories digital.

Conversely, children’s books fare better in paper formats, so a children’s book in only eBook form may not be enough. Format preferences vary wildly on genre and category, so you’ll glean a wealth of information by researching the format most of your potential readers are buying.

But even when one format is more popular than another, it’s wise to publish in multiple formats. Related to the above, many romance readers still prefer paper to electronic—airport stands for romance novels still exist! So, multiple options are crucial to reaching your potential audience.

You increase the number of platforms you can sell your book on.

Not every bookseller sells books in every format. If you self-publish your book only in the .mobi eBook format, then you’re practically limited to selling through Amazon’s Kindle section. While Amazon is the biggest storefront for self-publishing authors, you can do better.

If you take your manuscript’s file and export it to .epub, you open up most of the rest of the eBook market. You make it possible to sell your book on Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play, and more. Some retailers even sell books in .pdf form.

If you record your book as an audiobook, you can play in audiobook storefronts, such as Audible, iTunes, Google Audiobooks, Nook Audiobooks, or Kobo Audiobooks.

And if you release your book in physical form? You can sell on most of the above retailers, like Amazon, and even keep open the chance to see your book at a physical bookstore. Sounds exciting, right?

You can get the best of both worlds with exclusivity and availability.

Some retailers offer the option to sell your book exclusively on their storefront. In exchange, you’ll often get better royalties and priority in promotions and algorithmic placement. The downside is that exclusivity commits you to only one storefront. So, if you sign up for Amazon’s KDP Select, you may not be able to sell your eBook with Barnes and Noble.

However, exclusivity deals usually only apply to one format. So, you could decide to give KDP Select eBook exclusivity but then sell your book in physical and audiobook formats elsewhere. You can mix-and-match exclusivity deals and benefit from both the perks of exclusivity and the availability of multiple formats.

You increase your book’s accessibility.

Not all book readers can read a physical book. For example, some readers are visually impaired. Other accessibility considerations include learning disabilities such as dyslexia, limits in motor skills, and language ability.

Fortunately, a self-publishing author has all the tools to make an accessible book. Audiobooks are an excellent alternative for accessibility. And eBooks are also beneficial in their adaptability. With an e-reader, a reader can increase the text size, change the font, look up dictionary definitions, or even enable text-to-speech.

But when formatting eBooks, be sure to follow accessibility guidelines. E-readers need a properly formatted file to parse text for the user. When you format your book with accessibility in mind, your product looks more professional, and more readers can enjoy your work.

Bonus reason: For another kind of accessibility, you can get your self-published books into libraries. This is especially easy with digital formats, and you can use book distribution services to list your book on digital lending services like OverDrive and Hoopla. In addition, libraries that you license your book to will financially compensate you without the reader having to pay.

You can even sell readers the same book more than once in different formats.

Some retailers make it enticing to buy in two or more formats. For example, for some Kindle eBooks, Amazon offers the option to “add Audible narration,” often at a discount. Through Whispersync technology, readers can switch between visual reading and audiobook reading without losing their place.

You can even set it up so that if a reader buys the physical version, they can also buy the eBook version at a cheaper rate or even get it for free! This bundling technique is a fantastic way to increase goodwill with your readers and entice them to buy your next book.

Closing

The case is strong: Multiple book formats are great for your self-publishing business and the culture of reading. Prepare your manuscript with different formats in mind, and you’ll be a step closer to success.

Now, I’ll turn it over to you: What book formats do YOU prefer? What factors influence the format YOU get YOUR books in?


elizabeth

ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Outskirts Press. The Sales and Marketing departments are composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays Outskirts Press

No matter what holiday you celebrate, I wish you a happy, peaceful one.

If you exchange gifts to celebrate, may there be plenty of books with bows tied around them. If you use this time for quiet contemplation, may you find some of that at your laptop, notebook, or typewriter. Best wishes for now and into the new year.

elizabeth

ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Outskirts Press. The Sales and Marketing departments are composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.

The Thrill of the Physical Bookstore

The Thrill of the Physical Bookstore Outskirts Press

Last week, I took my children to a bookstore and was happy to see it so busy. During that visit, I rediscovered the thrill of the physical bookstore.

There were long lines at the checkout counter, happy kids looking at books and toys, and exciting energy buzzing within the aisles.

Over the years, though, I’ve seen so many people skip physical bookstores. Instead, they’d save a few bucks and order online. How sad.

It’s especially sad with the pandemic forcing most bookstores to close for months. However, with most stores reopened now—at least the places that survived COVID-19—I’m keen to see how many readers return to physical bookstores.

While my family was perusing the aisles, I realized that bookstores are integral to every community. Bookstores give us a safe and quiet place to look at books, read, and enjoy the company of other book lovers.

While in line to purchase another stack of books, I thought about the enormous role bookstores have played in my family’s life. My children have grown up being surrounded by books—no surprise since I work for a publishing company. When my children were younger, I would indulge in a coffee and a grown-up book while they listened to story time.

As my children have outgrown books, we filled many of our community’s Little Free Libraries. If you don’t know what it is, a Little Free Library is a small, outside bookcase, often shaped like a schoolhouse on a pole, that anyone can use to borrow or lend books freely. We know not everyone is so lucky to buy books up front, and my family is blessed to be able to give forward the gift of reading.

Beneath every cover lies the work of one of thousands of authors. Each author had an inspiration, an idea, a compulsion to write. It fascinates me how an author’s words end up in a book that then excites, inspires, or motivates a stranger.

For all of you writing and looking to publish your masterpiece soon, I can’t wait to see it the next time I’m shopping for books. So keep writing and keep being inspired. You’ve got readers out there like me waiting for you!

Now that I shared my bookstore experience, I’ll turn it to you: What do you like about bookstores? What are you looking forward to doing or seeing the next time you shop for books?

You are not alone. ♣︎


Elizabeth
ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Outskirts Press. The Sales and Marketing departments are composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.