Yesterday I started a post about personal branding without a blog and realized that it was going to be too long… so I turned it into a three-part series 🙂 Yesterday’s post was on writing articles. Today’s is to…
Write a Book
Stop laughing… I’m serious! This is entirely possible, even for you (I’m saying that for the people that are disregarding this idea and saying “no way, not me!”)
I’m not just saying this because I’m wrapping up my book I’m on LinkedIn – Now What??? As I’ve spent time with authors over the last year I’ve been amazed that these are just regular people with a passion. You just need to have an idea (I’m sure you have one), the discipline and a publisher.
The Idea: I’m sure you have a dozen ideas, and have probably even said once “I’m going to write a book on … ” So, what do you know about? What can you be passionate about?
The Discipline: In January I was dining with Thom Singer (and some other bloggers). He was working on his second book and he gave me excellent advice, something like “spend 45 minutes every day writing something. By the end of three months you’ll have your book.” I started my book a few months later and regretted not following that advice right when he said it… I felt that if I would have followed it I would have been able to get my book out a lot earlier. I’ll tell you right now, if you have an idea, sit down and start writing, each day, and you’ll make progress!
The Publisher: This is actually the easy part. There are four ways that I know about doing this.
- The hard way, where you write a proposal, need an agent, and probably get an advance. I’ve been totally intrigued by my friends Penelope Trunk, Alexandra Levit, Susan Strayer, Anita Bruzzese and others who have gone this route. What I have learned about their trek with a publisher is that the process is hard, seemingly impossible for someone like me. But it works, and it works out. Each of these four ladies have benefited greatly, I’m sure because they had a big-name publisher.
- The too-easy way, by self-publishing. You can write your book, go to Lulu.com or iUniverse.com, and have your book in print on demand. I’m not sure but I think that this is just a step up from an eBook (more on that in a second), and I’m not sure how traditional channels view this type of published book. I won’t think any less of you if you go this route but for some reason I have in my mind that this isn’t the best route if your are serious about having your brand reinforced.
- The almost book, the eBook. I love the eBook idea, but I’ve had a hard time with it because I like to read away from the computer (and mark up my book). If it’s long I want to put a bookmark in it… and reading a big paper on my screen just bugs me. I thought I was unique, and then I read a post from famous blogmaster Liz Strauss wrote 7 Reasons eBooks Are Losing Readers. Now, I’m certainly not knocking ebooks… my book is available in ebook format. And there are other excellent ebooks out there (Liz Handlin has one on Interview Tips and another on Ultimate Cover Letters, and Career Hub has put out three awesome free ebooks on interviewing, resume writing and the job search)
- What I chose, the “Happy About” publisher. Many have asked me who is publishing my book, and what my experiences have been. My experiences have been excellent so far. It’s not over yet, and it is a HUGE job doing what I’m doing. My publisher keeps reminding me that the hard part is marketing, which we really haven’t started yet. If you have a book idea, I strongly encourage you to reach out to Mitchell at Happy About and pitch your idea. You don’t need an agent, and I don’t know what the details of your agreement will be, but it seems to be an extremely fair (and out of the box) relationship compared to other publishers that I’ve heard about.
Now let me clarify one thing here… I am most certainly not knocking any of the methods above. I’ve come to some of these conclusions based on information I got at dinner with Scott Allen and Thom Singer (so blame them :p). Here are two things to consider:
- When I asked them whether I should do an ebook, self-publish or go with a publisher they said, hands down, go with the publisher. They said that the Harvard Business Review (or whoever those folks are) will not do a book review on an ebook or self-published book… I’m not sure if that’s entirely accurate but it sounded logical to me. While I doubt my book will be reviewed by them, it seems to add more validity by having it published by a publisher.
- The purpose of this post is to share ideas on how to build your personal brand without blogging. Even though there are better and less-better ways of going the book route, I think that anything along these lines is excellent. In other words, if all you can do, because of time or energy, is to put out one (or more) ebooks, then GO FOR IT! You can still say you are “author of.” Check out my new e-mail signature:
:: Owner – http://www.JibberJobber.com
:: Blog – http://www.JibberJobber.com/blog
:: Author – I’m on LinkedIn – Now What???
:: pre-order it here: http://tinyurl.com/22oh72
:: Career Management || Personal Relationship Management
Wouldn’t it be cool to put “author” in your e-mail signature? What would that do for your personal brand? What’s your book going to be on, and when can I review it on my blog???
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