One morning, you open your inbox and find several e-mails that will boost your business. There is an invitation to speak at a local group comprised of your best prospects. Several emails have arrived from people who’ve “heard of you” and inquire about your services. There is a message from a potential joint venture partner who has invited you to be a guest on a teleconference that will reach 500 people, all of them prospects. Later that day, a journalist calls. She wants to write a story about your business, which she heard about on a radio interview you gave weeks earlier. Is this a fantasy? No. This could be a typical day in your life as a published author. More and more business people are realizing the power of writing a book to catapult their businesses to a higher level. Speakers, consultants, coaches, therapists and other small business owners are learning that publishing a book is one of the most powerful marketing strategies available. Published authors report that their lives change, often dramatically, when their books reach the marketplace. When you become an author, you become known as the expert. When you are known as an expert in your field, whatever your field, you will find that the world will beat a path to your door. A Book Generates Visibility and Attracts Clients Of all the information products you can create, a book has the greatest potential to open doors. A book can give you more recognition and professional credibility than audiotapes, CDs, videos, seminars, workshops and public speaking. Since my book Get Slightly Famous (2nd edition) was published last year, I have been amazed at how it has transformed my business. Publishing my book was a newsworthy event that resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in new business, high-profile media coverage, speaking engagements, radio interviews, partnership opportunities, and too many other benefits to mention. Prospective clients now hear about me from all over the world. The media regularly call me, and I appear in newspaper articles and radio interviews. Get Slightly Famous is not just my most effective marketing tool. It has become the core of my brand identity. My book provides a marketing platform for my business that gives all my marketing efforts a natural, sharp focus. Best of all, marketing is not such a struggle anymore. As a successful author you will find the stress of constantly seeking new clients can largely become a thing of the past. Clients will seek you out, ready to pay good money for your services, because you are seen as a leader in your field. You become their first choice. It’s Not Just a Book — It’s a Business! Your book is the seed from which you can grow a multi-faceted “empire” of related products and services, including seminars, teleclasses, reports, consulting packages, audiotapes, and other profitable information products. Imagine selling thousands of books to trade associations as premiums for their members. Or how about creating a $49-a-month newsletter, a $995 home-study course, a $499 a year membership web site? Could you use your book as the basis for a year-long mentorship program for which individuals or groups that pay thousands of dollars a piece to participate? The idea is to see your book as a launching pad for new business opportunities. Barbara Hemphill used her book Taming The Paper Tiger to develop a multi-pronged branding strategy. Hemphill offers organizing skills services designed to reduce stress and increase productivity. Her business is based almost entirely on her book. Barbara has used her book to develop Taming the Paper Tiger software, gain an endorsement by Pendaflex, and found the Hemphill Productivity Institute. Her company now employs more than 70 Paper Tiger authorized consultants across the U.S. and Canada. You can write a book! Me, publish a book, you ask? Yes, you. It is easier than you might think, and you don’t need to be a seasoned writer to become a published author. Writing a successful book is not the easiest thing in the world, but it is entirely possible. The talents and expertise you bring to your clients can form the basis of a successful book. If you know your subject area, and can communicate your ideas in a clear, compelling, organized manner, becoming a published author is within your reach. A strategy that works for many is to break the process into smaller steps by writing a series of articles. They then become the basis for a book. Or, you can work with a talented freelance writer to help you express your ideas clearly and with conviction. The most traditional route is to find a publisher who will handle the production, marketing, promotion and distribution. This involves up front work (you write a detailed proposal, a table of contents, sample chapters and a market overview). Then you shop the proposal around to potential publishers, either on your own or with the help of a commissioned agent. Self-publishing has many advantages over traditional publishing, the most compelling being greater financial returns for the author. “When you self-publish, you keep all the profits,” says Dan Poynter, author of The Self-Publishing Manual. “Additionally, you get into print quickly, own the copyright, and take all applicable tax breaks.” On the downside, self-publishing can be expensive. You pay up front for all the production and distribution costs, and if your book does not sell, you will be stuck with the leftover inventory. However, if your book is successful, you will not only have the satisfaction and advantages of being a published author, you will make more money. Whatever publishing route you choose, the Internet provides a global marketplace for your book. Never before has it been so easy to market a book if you are willing to invest the time and energy to write one.