As a communicator, you’ve got a lot to say. Getting up in front of an audience is one way to get your message across, but it’s not the only way. We’ve talked a lot about slides, handouts, and summary sheets, but there is one even more powerful tool that you have at your disposal – the self-published book.
The best thing / worst thing about giving a presentation is that when it’s over, it’s over. If your audience got your message, then congratulations you made a difference. However, not everyone gets what you have to say the first time around. Providing your audience with a self-published book is a great way to either prepare them for your presentation before you speak or remind them what you spoke about after you are done.
The world of publishing can get quite complicated very quickly. In order to find our way through this new territory, we should talk with Patricia Fry who is not only an author, but also speaks on publishing topics.
Fry reminds us that there are multiple paths to get to where you want to be. Specifically, there are three different ways that you can get a book published. These include:
- “Self-Publishing” Companies: These firms will, for a fee, work with you to create a cover, file for an ISBN number, format your manuscript for publishing, and then print on-demand as many copies of your book for you as you request.
- You Self-Publish: basically this means that you set up your own self-publishing company and make all of the decisions. This requires more time and effort on your part, but it does give you full control over the final product.
- Traditional Publisher: these are the guys who print all of those books that you see down at your local Borders book store. You provide the manuscript and then they take it from there – you have very little control over the final product.
Writing a book proposal should be your next step. Even if you plan on self-publishing your book, writing a book proposal BEFORE you write your book is a good idea in order to make sure that your book will line up with your target audience. A book proposal is basically a business plan: it discusses who you think will buy your book, what the competition is, and what’s going to make your book special.
If you decide to go the self publishing route, then you need to be prepared for the steps that you are going to have to go through to get your book into the hands of your audience. Once the book has actually been published, you will need to locate and strike a deal with a wholesaler / distributor who deal with the places that your target audience shops for books. This can be as diverse as a Borders or Barns & Noble or maybe even university bookstores.
Since you are self-publishing, it’s going to be your responsibility to contact and talk with each possible outlet in order to get them interested in your book. Once they are interested, then you can have them work with your distributor to get copies of your books.
Self-publishing is a great way to make sure that the message in your presentation lives on well beyond your delivery to your audience. It’s a lot of work, but the rewards make it all worthwhile.
Have you ever been published? How did you get published – did you self-publish? Do you think that you have enough material to write a book about what you talk about? How long do you think that it would take you to write a book? Leave me a comment and let me know whatÃ‚Â you are thinking.