The following is a guest post by Melissa Sileo.
What is 6" by 9," usually weighs roughly one pound, and is giving an increasing number of business leaders an advantage over the competition? A book.
Thanks in large part to the explosion of Indie book publishing, the use of 'the book as a business card' has added a new and powerful tool to the marketing arsenal of many successful business people. For a few hundred dollars, seasoned experts and professionals are putting their knowledge into professionally-published books - a calling card sure to make a much bigger impression than the traditional business card.
"When it comes to business and establishing yourself as an expert in a specific area, nothing provides more credibility than a book," says Keith Ogorek, vice president of marketing for Author Solutions, Inc. - the world's leading indie book publishing company. "A book instantly establishes you as someone who has reached a level of expertise and that people should listen to what you have to say."
"Imagine one business consultant calling on prospective customers with traditional marketing materials, and another calling on the same customers and supplementing materials with a book written about the field of expertise," adds Ogorek. "Who do you think has the better chance of landing that sale?"
Securing extra income from book sales typically isn't paramount for business authors. Media coverage in the form of book reviews, interviews and feature stories not only spreads the word about the author to their target business groups, but also provides excellent fodder for meetings with prospects, and priceless material for other marketing collateral. The marketing power of TV and radio shows appearances or an expert's book featured in various public and trade publications is undeniable. Once again, it is the book that makes the media interested in the author; another benefit of publishing.
One case in point is AuthorHouse author Stacey Hanke, whose book Yes You Can!: Everything You Need From A to Z to Influence Others to Take Action, has received interest from over 120 media outlets.
"My book has given me the opportunity to promote my business in ways I could not have done before," says Hanke.
Randy Petrick, a writer, speaker, and money coach with more than thirty years of experience teaching financial concepts, has received nationwide media attention for his book Money Games: 85 Ways to Save Money and Attract Abundance. Petrick's book and expertise has made him a particularly attractive source for the media in light of the recent economic difficulties and many Americans' increased focus on stretching their dollars.
"Writing and publishing Money Games has been a wonderful opportunity to enhance my business as a financial consultant," says Petrick. "I can't imagine a better 'business card' in these financial times than my book."
The expansion in the popularity of indie book publishing, more commonly referred to as self-publishing, is drawing attention from prominent media in a time when publishing as a whole is experiencing contraction. Recent features in the Time Magazine and The New York Times draw a distinct contrast in 'old publishing' -- which was often fraught with obstacles and disappointment for prospective authors -- and indie book publishing which is opening up the goal of publishing a book to everyone, including business professionals.
"If you're a business person selling your services, a prospective customer isn't going to necessarily care who published the book -- that's not their mindset -- they're going to read it and discover that you really do know what you're talking about, and you've proven it in the book," adds Ogorek.