Should I Write Another Advertising Book?
Should you write your advertising (agency) book?
I’ve written and produced four books since I sold my Portland advertising agency in 2012. I am now thinking of “writing” a new advertising book based on a tight edit of the best thinking I’ve delivered on this blog. I currently have well over 300,000 words here. The blog posts have been viewed over 340,000 times.
I’ll discuss why to bother turning the blog into an advertising book a bit later in this post.
Some History. Books I’ve Written.
Boomercide: From Woodstock to Suicide. This was my training wheels book on the, dare I say it, interesting subject of using suicide as a financial planning tool. When I sold my agency, my accountant said there are two things we can control: how much money you have and how much you spend. However, there is another major factor we cannot control: how long your money has to last. I went, um, why can’t I control the length of my life. Buy Boomercide here.
The Levitan Pitch. Buy This Book. Win More Pitches. I have read every book on pitching and presenting. This is without question the best book on this subject. Join thousands of other agency leaders and buy this book here. Or, pitch against the agencies that read my tome, and, dare I say it, possibly lose.
Potlandia and Jointlandia are two photo books I researched and shot about the early days of the burgeoning legal cannabis market. I shot these because I am an in investor in Portland’s cannabis industry and was fascinated by the early attempts (almost hippie-like attempts) at product and retail branding in what is now a billion-dollar marketplace. You can see these books right here. While you are at it, take a look at my other photographs. I am currently traveling around the world to photograph people on every continent.
Why Write A Business Book?
I think that there are four reasons to write a business book – an advertising book by me, a consultant, or your agency.
- Ego stroking. Go ahead, why not do some personal strokage?
- You have something very valuable and important to share. Note that the bok does not have to be looong. Hey, start with a training-wheels book. get the taste of authorship.
- You will use the book to market personal brand or your advertising agency.
- You want to make a lot of money. Kinda wishful thinking…LOL. Very few business books make big bucks. That said, my The Levitan Pitch has made me a few thousand dollars and generated new clients. This has been a win-win.
I am betting that points 2 and 3 apply to me. Having some experience with books, I know I can deliver valuable information and use the book to market to people like you.
The How To Write A Business Book – How To Get It Done.
I’ve written about how to write a business book and have even presented my ideas as conferences like Hubspot’s InBound conference. I’ll put links at the bottom of this post.
These are the primary elements of getting a book written and printed:
- Have a solid subject.
- Have a subject that your potential readership will want to read. Ask yourself, “How can I make this book unignorable?”
- Study the existing market. Where will it fit in and be loved?
- Start writing. Write every day. Be dedicated.. Have a system.
- Use an outline.
- Work with an editor.
- Create a great title and, possibly, a more descriptive subtitle.
- Design a standout cover. Remember that your cover will be seen as a tiny graphic on sites like Amazon.
- Consider self-publishing. Working with traditional book publishers, unless you are Oprah or Seth or Malcolm, is a pain in the ass, is slow and really, do you really expect to sell hardcovers in the last remaining 42 book stores.
- Have a marketing plan. Realize that marketing rules here. In my case, I will use the book to generate leads for my consultancy.
I think that the most important point is — have a master plan and timetable. Deadlines work.
How Will I Write My Book? My Plan.
This is what I am currently thinking. First of all, this very blog post is intended to help me make the decision to write or not to write the new book. I am writing this to get my brain tuned into thinking hard about this project.
Here is my process.
- Make the decision to write.
- Make it a priority.
- Set deadlines for key milestones.
- I’ll study my stats. What are my best-read blog posts and why do I think that they deliver value?
- I’ll write a Creative Brief for the book. Be strategic. This book must excite my potential readership. OK, maybe not excite but at least have people go deep into a buying decision. Plus a buying decision to hire me as a business development consultant.
- I’ve spent some time and money to study the competition. Find an angle that will resonate.
- Build out that outline. I’ll ask myself, how do my blog posts fit into logical buckets/chapters? What is the right flow? DO NOT write one of those business books that try to be 250 pages when the author ran out of ideas in the first 75 pages. You know what I mean. Most books do not get read through.
- Study the blog posts and re-edit for relevance in 2020. Kill time-specific posts or edit them to be more universal and less time-sensitive. An issue with my book on advertising pitching is that some people think that the ideas are outdated. Bullshit. The core concepts and actions will rule for years. But… buyer perceptions account for a lot. So, just think through the buyer journey.
- Determine the book’s length and word count.
- Download the selected posts, rewrite for the book format vs. a blog and edit.
- Hire a skilled copy editor.
- Build out that marketing plan. This includes how to leverage Amazon, having stand-out cover graphics, and how I will distribute beyond Amazon.
- Turn the book into a PDF, get an ISBN number and select a publishing platform. My books are published by Portlandia Press. My own publishing company. I am only available on Amazon and Blurb.
- Run the marketing plan.
- Pricing. You control the pricing. If you use Amazon, there will be a base cost. Think about this… Is this book a moneymaker via sales or is it a moneymaker because you are going to send it to your business’s prospects. The cost to send a book to your next client is very low.
Links To Past Thoughts On Authorship.
So…………….. Go for it.