The Business of Book Publishing

You’re a leader in your industry. If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’re wondering if you should finally put your thoughts in print. Publishing expert an EO Austin member Clint Greenleaf offers insider information on how to get started with your business book.

As an entrepreneur, what’s the first thing I should know about writing a book?
“Publishing is very competitive. There are a lot of different business models, so you need to do your homework to find the proper fit. Determining the best partners and strategy for your book requires an honest evaluation of your goals; i.e. striving to make it a New York Times bestseller versus gaining credibility in your field. Experts can step in and help with most every aspect of the process, but your time, money and energy will be critical to the success of the marketing component.”

I finished writing my book. Now what?
“If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to evaluate the different publishing options available to you. I recommend looking for a partner who does an evaluation of incoming manuscripts for quality of content, marketability, author platform, and willingness and ability to promote. You’ll need good, honest feedback before you pour more time and money into the project. From there, factors such as timeline, your risk tolerance mand financial resources will help determine the best publishing model for you.”

There are a million business books out there. How can I make mine stand out?
“With 2,000 books being published every day, differentiation, quality content and production, strong distribution and marketing are the keys to success. Turn to your publisher for information on competitive titles. Also, brainstorm ways to position your book so it is in alignment with your branding needs, while offering something fresh in the retail marketplace. At the same time, don’t resort to gimmicks. They almost always backfire in the long run if your content is not valuable.”

I’m thinking about self-publishing my book. What should I be aware of?
“Self-publishing offers the upsides of time to market, ownership of rights and creative control. However, with the majority of new releases coming from self-publishing companies who do not vet for quality content, self-published books often face distribution and publicity roadblocks due to the poor-quality stigma. It’s critical to be attached to a strong brand so that you can get face time with reviewers and retail buyers, or at least get your work distributed by a reputable book distributor.”

Clint Greenleaf is the chairman and CEO of Greenleaf Book Group, LLC.

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