During my eight years of writing books that were published by the Big Five publishing houses (five by HarperCollins, one by Simon & Schuster), I assumed I knew a lot about how a book could help build a business. I was a New York Times bestselling author, I figured. I had to know!
Turns out, I didn’t have a clue.
My entire education about what a book can do for an entrepreneur’s career came after I founded my own publishing company, Legacy Launch Pad, five years ago. Since then, my team and I have launched over 50 books for entrepreneurs in industries as varied as franchising, sports agenting, health, finance, and medicine. With each book, I’ve learned a bit more.
Most entrepreneurs are in the situation I was in before I became published. They’ve heard that a book can help, if not radically transform, their business. What they may not know is how.
Here are 10 key ways that publishing a book can help take an entrepreneur’s business to the next level.
You’ll spend less on ads
According to the Small Business Administration, the average small business—which is defined as making up to $5 million in revenue—spends 7 to 12 percent on marketing every year, whether it’s through Facebook, Google, TikTok, or Instagram ads. This means that if you have a business that makes about $250,000 a year, you’re likely spending up to $30,000 each year on marketing alone.
So, stop giving your money to Mark Zuckerberg and publish that business book, because it’s going to be a lot more effective.
You’ll find it easier to acquire clients
If you have a service business, there’s no easier way to help your business grow than to land new clients. It’s a simple fact: People want to hire the expert on the topic. I had a client who, within a few months of his book coming out, brought in half a million dollars in new clients. As he said, “I can’t guarantee that it’s the book that did it. But I can guarantee that every new client has read the book.”
The truth is, if you’re an entrepreneur without a crazy story behind your success, there may not be much to write about. A book gives you an angle for the media to care about. We’ve had clients who went from complete unknowns to being booked on shows like Today, Tucker Carlson, and The Doctors immediately after their book launches.
Podcasters, especially, love to book authors. Why? Because podcasters know that authors are going to have something to say—that if they were able to stick to a topic throughout their table of contents, they’re probably going to be able to do it on a podcast as well.
You’ll have content for days, weeks, or even years
Social media posts, blog posts, podcasts, newsletters, video scripts, and anything else you create for your business can come from your book. Last year, I wrote a book called Write and Launch Your Book in a Year that had a different tip for every week of the year. This means that each week, I have a fully fleshed-out piece of content to post. While you can easily do this once a book is out, you can also post different sections of your book as you’re writing it, to test how your audience responds. This strategy does double duty: You’re keeping yourself relevant while also using your followers as a test group to see what material you should be including in the book.
You can take your pick of keynotes
If you’re an entrepreneur writing a book on what your business does, you’ve probably been asked to speak about the topic. Coming up with a speech can sometimes be challenging when you know so much about the topic, because it can be difficult to get out of the fishbowl long enough to understand what people who know less about your topic want to know. If you’ve written a book, you’ve already figured that out. Your book can be made into a speech or several different speeches. I had someone on my podcast who says he creates every chapter with the intention of developing each one into its own keynote.
You’re more likely to get the media hit or speaking gig
If an event organizer or TV producer is deciding between two people, and one has a book while the other doesn’t, the author will always be the choice. While of course publishing a book doesn’t mean you automatically get everything you want, you are far more likely to.
It will impress potential clients, friends, and your family
Look, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to impress people, and there’s no faster way to do that than with a book. As a recent guest on my podcast said, “I was a professor for 25 years but no one cares about that. All they care about is that I wrote a book.” Plus, almost everyone I’ve published who has kids has told me how excited their kids were when they saw mom’s or dad’s name on a book.
It can be the world’s best business card
I had another guest on my show who talked about seeing a celebrity he really wanted to work with on a flight and introducing himself while handing him a copy of his book. Within a few weeks, the two were working together. (That guest recommends always carrying copies of your book with you, along with a Sharpie to sign them, for that very reason.)
You’ll find yourself skipping to the head of the line
I know when I decided I wanted to do a TEDx talk in 2017, I applied to all the TEDx events in the state of California that were open for applications. I got into every single one I applied to, and many of the bookers told me it’s because I was an author.
It’s a great way to synthesize your ideas
If you’re a successful entrepreneur, chances are you have a specific set of skills and genius that helped get you there. But it can be overwhelming to try to condense decades of experience into a specific set of beliefs or thoughts. A book helps you do that.
There you have it—10 of many different reasons all entrepreneurs should publish books. If you’re an entrepreneur who’s published a book, please let me know any additional ways a book has helped your business.
Anna David is a New York Times bestselling author of eight books, founder of Legacy Launch Pad Publishing, and three-time TEDx speaker who has appeared on Good Morning America, Today, The Talk, and dozens of other programs. Her podcast, Entrepreneur Publishing Academy, has been named one of the best publishing podcasts by LA Weekly, Feedspot, Kindlepreneur, and more. Her writing has been published in T New York Times, Time, The Los Angeles Times, Playboy, Cosmopolitan, The New York Post, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, Psychology Today, GQ, and Buzzfeed, among others.