Resources  >> A Business Approach to Books

About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  March 27, 2014

A Business Approach to Books

Many experts are writing books, so perhaps a publisher’s perspective is in order. ┬áSteve Piersanti, President of Berrett-Hoehler Publishers, has some candid advice for authors in this “awful truths” report.

Although these findings are not recent (2012) they still hold true. The upshot: many experts don’t fully understand the journey they are about to take. Sales, marketing and getting your book in bookstores is easier said than done. And it is now done more by authors than by publishers. And all that effort has an opportunity cost as well as a budget.

Here are three questions I ask experts who want my help in positioning their book:

  1. What does success look like? What are the top three ways you plan on making money (or generating value) from this book? If you are writing for the intangibles (brand awareness, big media, etc.), what are those intangibles worth? Put a dollar figure on this.
  2. What is your timeline for getting this value? A year? Three years down the road? When do you plan on receiving the benefit of writing a book?
  3. What is the budget and opportunity cost for not only writing and/or publishing the book as well as marketing and promotion? In other words, how much time and money do you spend here? How many clients will you have to turn down in order to do all this stuff?

 

This simple (but not easy to do) cost-benefit analysis is a clear-headed approach to this curve-ball laden adventure. While your answers may not be accurate predictions, these questions force you to think about what you are getting (and giving up) for that big business card.

 

Other Resources You Might Like:

 


About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.