Sunday, May 27, 2018

Hall, Ideas, Influence, and Income

I’m not sure what prompted me to read Tanya Hall’s Ideas, Influence, and Income: Write a Book, Build Your Brand, and Lead Your Industry (Greenleaf, 2018). I have a hard enough time writing a few paragraphs about books for this blog. I have absolutely no desire to write a book myself.

But I thought that some of my readers, especially those who want to promote their brand or company, might be more ambitious. If you are, Hall’s book is a remarkably useful guide. Yes, this book promotes her own company, Greenleaf Book Group, a hybrid publisher and distributor that offers the benefits of both traditional and self-publishing. But in the process it explains a great deal about the new realities of publishing and marketing. Start with the sobering fact that more than 800 books are published in the U.S. every day.

If you’re contemplating writing a financial book, be forewarned that publishers are cutting back dramatically on titles in this area. (You may have noticed that the number of reviews I write has shrunk over the years. This, I assure you, is not from sloth.) So you’ll probably have to do all of the work yourself, not just write the book but see it through publication and market it. And expect to come out on the short end of the stick financially.

Hall cites a survey of book-buying behavior that says that author reputation is the most important factor in a book purchase decision. So, she recommends, build your platform early through tweets, social media platforms, newsletters, blogging, videos, presentations, webinars, and articles. Become known to a wide audience as an “expert” in the field you eventually plan to write about. Connect with your potential readers. Only then do you stand a chance of having your book end up on some kind of bestsellers list.

Let’s put it this way, Hall’s marketing suggestions only reinforced my decision never to write a book. But for those who are not deterred, Ideas, Influence, and Income is an informative read.

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