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HOW PUBLISHING A BOOK COULD BE THE BEST OR WORST BUSINESS DECISION YOU MAKE

Posted by Kerry McDuling on 1 March 2016

The business world has changed in multiple ways, largely because of the introduction and growth of the World Wide Web. Just as other industries have evolved, so too has the publishing industry. Published books are no longer available to a select few authors; nowadays, almost anybody can have their book published for the right amount of money. However, ease of access doesn't necessarily make publishing a book a good business decision. Just as your own book and expert author status could catapult your business into the stratosphere of success; it also has the potential to cause your business to come crashing down.

The World Wide Web has opened our eyes to a Universe of possibilities. Whereas, before we may have stayed in one chosen career our whole lives, now entrepreneurs have their hands in multiple cookie jars, all at the same time.

Publishing is one area that was opened up to entrepreneurs and business leaders, who realised that publishing their own book would raise their public expert status, as well as creating another source of income. All at once, everyone had a story to tell, or expertise to share, and, responding to demand, self-publishing houses began cropping up everywhere.

Unfortunately, this has also resulted in many clumsily written books, which are uninteresting and poor quality. It started to dawn on everyone that just because you think you have a story to tell, it doesn't mean it should be told.  Sure, what you have to say might be interesting to you and your family/professional peers, but  no one else really cares. Many of the early vanity publishers offered no filter for published works they just wanted the business and paid little attention to the quality of the story or writing that they were producing.

Consumers are bombarded every day with too much choice on how to spend our free time and money.  It may not be a question of which book to read for the consumer, but actually even whether to read, as opposed to every other leisure activity. If they make a choice to read a book, and then unwittingly purchase a poor quality and uninteresting book, they understandably feel deceived.

The result for the author of the disappointing book is a blow to his/her reputation, by way of negative reviews on Amazon and other directories, on social media, and relevant online forums. The public will certainly not purchase another book by this author, and a negative reaction to his book may even result in lost business for his other professional endeavours.

The decision to write and then publish a book should not be flippantly made. Obtain multiple opinions from other industry peers, employees, family, professional associates whether the subject matter you have in mind is worth putting inside a book. Make your decision to publish a business decision, rather than an emotional one. Even if you have the funds to publish, if your book is poor quality and badly received by your consumer base, it could do some real damage to your reputation and business. This could land up costing you a lot more than what you paid for publishing and printing the book itself.

Once you have identified that you do, in fact, have interesting and/or relevant information to share, work out how it will be communicated. Just because you are an industry leader in your field, it doesn't mean you are automatically an expert author. If you don't have the adequate time to dedicate to writing your book, it might be an idea to find a professional ghost writer to help create your book.

When it comes to finding a publisher, don't immediately seek out the most cost-effective quote, or the most impressive promises. Some vanity publishers make all kinds of promises, including high ratings on Amazon, etc. The reality is that no publisher can make that happen for you, regardless of who you are and what your book is about.  Why is it that smart business leaders are suckers for all the promises and marketing spiel from book publishers, yet when it comes to their accountant, for example,  will steer way clear of that kind of promotional talk?  Choosing your publisher should be just as important a business decision as choosing any other professional consultancy service. The result of the publishing process could either shoot your profile into the stratosphere, or ruin your business reputation.

To conclude, publishing a book is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Always work with respected professionals, who offer a quality service. Take advice from industry experts about the content and structure of your book, and have it professionally edited. Set aside time to focus on this project it's not something you should be passing on to family members or staff to organise on your behalf.

 

Author: Kerry McDuling
Tags: Andy McDermott / Director

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