Maybe Charles Dickens was too cynical about authorship when he wrote, “Don’t be afraid! We won’t make an author of you, while there’s an honest trade to be learnt, or brick-making to turn to.” Perhaps that was his 19th Century way of saying “don’t quit your day job because it won’t pay the bills.”
He’s right you know. Unless you’re a big name author, tycoon, or celebrity, don’t expect to massive profits from book sales or publishing royalties. So why even bother writing a book? That’s a question that Jacky Chua, professional coach and founder of Black Unicorn Publishing Consultancy will answer.
Writing a Book Is Financially Beneficial… In a Different Sort of Way
Let’s be honest. When it comes to writing a book, the biggest concern on your mind is the return on investment (ROI). You want to how long it will take for your $10,000+ investment and countless hours of writing to pay off. And if you’re a working professional or a business owner with limited time and capital, you definitely want to recover your costs quickly.
“Frankly, you aren’t going to make money through selling books. Even if you’re the author of a best-selling book, you’re not going to make enough money from it to retire,” says Jacky. “If your objective is to make money through book sales, forget about it.”
If you’re not going to see an immediate return on your investment, why even write a book?
Jacky has three reasons why it’s worth becoming an author:
- You Can Make Money Through Back-End Programs: If you’re marketing a particular product or service you provide, writing a book can be a great way to generate new leads while strengthening your bond with existing clients.
- You Can Enhance Your Credibility as an Expert: If you’re an expert in your field who believes that more people should know about your original viewpoint(s), writing a book is a good way to enhance your credibility as an authority in your subject.
- You Can Create More Business or Networking Opportunities: If you’re an author, you’ll open doors to opportunities that can boost your personal and business brand, such as invitations to speak at events.
“These strategies are applicable if you’re in the training, coaching, speaking, or consulting. But if you’re self-employed or a business owner, writing a book can indirectly boost your sales,” relates Jacky.
Mistakes to Avoid When Becoming an Author
If you’re talking to two financial advisors (FA) with comparable experience, but one of them mentions that he’s a published author of a retirement planning book, which one are you more likely to take advice from? Unless the unpublished FA is a close friend, you’re more likely to go with the FA who is an author because of credibility.
That’s the power of writing a book. It may not give you a fast return on the time and money you invested in it, but it’s a form of marketing that’ll boost your “brand” image as an expert in your profession – especially if you’re in the coaching/consultation business.
When deciding to write a book, here are three mistakes you should avoid at all cost:
- People Do Judge Books By Their Covers: Books with attractive covers are more likely to be purchased and read outdoors, which is another form of “free” advertising for your book.
- Don’t Fill Your Book With Bland Content: Don’t expect your book to sell if it isn’t interesting, well-written, or aimed at a particular audience. The worst thing you can do is to write a book simply for the sake of calling yourself a “published author.” You’ll just waste your reader’s time.
- Don’t Just Rely on Book Stores to Sell Your Book: If you’re really looking to profit from book sales, relying on just book store sales won’t cut it. Advertise your book through multiple platforms including a website and via social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
Still interested in being an author but want to know more? Then you should visit Jacky’s blog, Coffee with Authors, to find out about the publishing process or ask him your questions directly.
Would you publish a book to boost your career or business, or are there other ways to do that without being a published author? Tell us all about it on Facebook! And to find even more useful information on everything personal finance, visit MoneySmart today!
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