Have you heard that saying? That I’m going to write a book… it’ll be a great business card?
Seriously, the last time someone said that to me, I felt like slapping him. (Sorry fellas, it’s invariably a he who says it.)
The whole idea comes from the Internet Guru/Entrepreneur/Hustle World. You know, that world where everyone is building a $10 Million dollar startup, is getting funding from gullible people with too much cash, and bragging about the things that they will do, instead the things that they have done?
Here’s a case in point.
Today, scanning through my bookshelf for a book to recommend to a new client (it was Jeffrey Gitomer’s Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless, if you’re curious), I found the perfect example.
It’s a little book about business improvement.
About six years ago, I witnessed the author of this book strive so hard to write it.
It took him more than a year to write.
Every time I ran into him, he was up‐beat and cheerful about it, but it was clear that writing it took its toll on him. It’s even a little bit evident in the product itself: The title is bland and has a stock photo cover. It’s on a topic that is not unusual. It positions the author as my city’s ‘most trusted’ strategy expert. For context, my city has just 1 million people in it. It’s not like he was in Sydney, let alone somewhere like New York City.
Anyway, it’s a decent little book, filled with good (if vanilla) advice.
But here’s the problem.
It was developed as a business card. As a result, the people quoted have since disappeared; the case studies are tired; the author himself has moved to another country!
The book was never properly published. It doesn’t have an ISBN; it isn’t in the National Library of Australia; it isn’t available for sale, anywhere.
This means that the immense amount of pain and effort he went to, to write a hefty 250‐page book, sacrificing more than a year of his time, all went to waste.
He sacrificed loads of money getting it to print, money that he never got back — and will never get back.
Can you IMAGINE? It’s like doubling down to write a doctoral thesis, and then withdrawing just before you submit.
This is why books are not business cards.
Business cards are business cards. Books are still held in enormously high regard, because they are permanent records of your work — as they ought to be! They take effort, skill, talent (and money) to write and produce.
If this guy had been one of my clients, he’d have ended up with a book that makes him money year after year after year. He would probably have a second book by now, also making him money. The more books you have, the more robust is your passive income stream. It isn’t in the launch of a book that you make your money. It’s in the back‐catalogue.
The lesson for you in this very blunt missive with a sad story, is this: Every piece of content can become something else. Every single one. If you publish a business blog, it can spin out into a whole lot of things, from books to fact‐sheets.
If you know what you’re doing, anyway.
It’s the kind of publishing strategy that our thought leadership blogging clients get access to on a daily basis.
If you want that too, go to http://brutalpixie.com/thought-leadership-writing-service/
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