5 min read
Why publishing a business book is good for business
Why having a well-authored, well-produced business book can add authority to your business and professional profile while increasing your business's visibility. Business books are big business, with entrepreneurs using their book to create a platform to share their knowledge and expertise – while strengthening their author brand and reputation. However, it does not have to be just big names or big businesses that choose this path.
In fact, writing and publishing a book in your field of business, leadership or management expertise can be a solid way of bringing additional credibility to you and your company, cementing your brand and offering up new business opportunities as well. To understand more about the reasons and motivations of business leaders who publish their own business book, we spoke to two authors who have produced very different books using Troubador's self-publishing services.
Firstly, let’s meet Andrew Christophers. Andrew co-founded Brand Genetics 25 years ago. He previously worked client-side at Cadbury, as head of marketing for Guinness’s lagers, and as head of innovation for KP Foods. Brand Genetics is a brand growth consultancy and has a global clientele including Britvic, Electrolux, Meta, Mondelez, PepsiCo, Reckitt and Unilever. His book Starting Up & Scaling Up a Human-First Business was released in October 2022 and charts the journey from start-up to scale-up, unpacking many of the challenges that come with growing a small business. Andrew enjoys reading business and management books, citing The Joy of Work by Bruce Daisley and That Sh*t Will Never Sell by David Gluckman as particular favourites, but in his own writing wanted to focus on the practice rather than theory from his 25 years at the sharp end. The result is Starting Up & Scaling Up a Human-First Business. ‘I wished to look at company culture and the act of creating a uniquely human work environment. Each chapter contains real-life stories, summarised into key take-outs for readers,’ observes Andrew.
As someone whose career has been spent working within marketing and brands, writing and creating compelling content for the book was simple, but the processes involved in moving from words on the page to a printed book were not. Andrew knew that he needed flexibility and control when publishing: ‘I investigated several indie publishers but chose Troubador because I valued the bespoke options, which enabled me to have input into the design of the cover and internal pages, but with Troubador's support and experience of the market and technicalities of publishing always on hand.’
Published on the 28th of October 2022, Starting Up & Scaling Up a Human-First Business was launched at an event with attendees both in person and zooming in from North America, Rio de Janeiro and Whitley Bay in Newcastle, and the book has been well-received since publication. ‘Producing something tangible and then sharing it with others – including colleagues, friends and family – has been a fantastic experience,’ says Andrew on the process of self-publishing his business book. Andrew self-published Starting Up & Scaling Up because he wanted to share his experience and knowledge with others looking to scale and grow a small company. Knowledge sharing actually comes out as the number one reason for self-publishing in the informal poll of Troubador authors who have self-published a business book.
The top three reasons for writing and self-publishing a business-related book seem to be:
- To share knowledge and expertise.
- To raise a business and / or professional profile.
- Having a brand-specific product to direct sell to customers during talks, workshops, training and other events.
It is for the latter reason that Olympic gold medalist Ben Hunt-Davies and management consultant Harriet Beveridge came together to co-author and publish Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? Olympic-Winning Strategies For Everyday Success. Taking the coaching methods used by Ben when part of the GB Men’s Rowing Eight who won gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, they created a book that has been used in management training at some of the world’s largest companies. Harriet explains, ‘Our book tells the story of the GB men’s rowing eight. How they went from failure to Olympic Gold medallists. We explore how those same strategies can be applied in business and beyond.’
Since its publication, Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? has become a key part of Ben and Harriet’s business strategy, forming the backbone of the keynote and motivational speeches and training run by Ben’s leadership and performance consultancy of the same name. Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? was written and published as part of a wider business plan – to have an authoritative and tangible resource to sell as part of management training events. As a result, Harriet and Ben knew what they wanted to get out of the publishing process which is why they chose to self-publish. ‘We wanted control! We’d seen other authors have zero say on the cover, title or even the content and structure of their books. But more importantly, it made commercial sense for us as we were confident we could sell copies as part of our speeches.’ In fact, since its first publication in 2011, the book has gone on to perform phenomenally well – with a second edition published in 2020 and ebook and audio versions also now available. ‘We’re both extremely proud of the book. Getting messages from readers, and sharing how they have put the ideas into practice is incredibly humbling and rewarding. From the business leaders who have used it to build their companies, to the individuals who have used it to achieve their dreams. Our goal was to make a difference to readers – but actually, the book has been an invaluable long-term addition to our businesses.’
For business professionals, a book is a fantastic way to share knowledge and experience and gain the advantages and reputational leg-up that being a published author can bring. However, for this to happen, the book itself has to be well-written, well produced and easily discoverable. So when planning how and if self-publishing is for you, make sure you do your research, and fully understand your objectives in publishing. The authors featured in this case study, Andrew and Harriet, chose to work with Troubador whose skilled team, publishing knowledge and years of experience ensure top-end design, production and distribution. Andrew comments that he has ‘genuinely loved the efficiency and responsiveness of the whole Troubador team, at every stage of the publishing process.’