Simon Kolz

A weblog by Simon Kolz

Does Becoming a Published Author Enhance a Business?

There is a boom occurring lately, especially in the online world. More and more business people are authoring their own print book and e-books. These materials can run the gamut from information books to personal life stories, as well as coaching materials, and life skills training manuals.

With so many doing this, it would seem apparent that this is a great way to escalate a business to the next level. After all, if a person can set themselves up as an expert by publishing materials on certain subjects, others will obviously buy more, and revenue will skyrocket, right? This is not necessarily so.

While it is an advantage in some instances, it can be a disadvantage in other instances. There are parameters that need to be followed for successful publication, and there are certain requirements that must be met for successful publication.

The advantages of authoring and publishing are as follows:

1. An individual can set themselves up as an expert in a specific field of interest, thus enhancing sales and trust with clients and customers. If a publication is effective enough, and the marketing done well enough, massive exposure will occur, and an individual can fast become a “semi-celebrity” in their chosen field.

2. A print book or e-book can drive intense amounts of traffic to a Web site, if a URL is included in the publication. Publications are a well-known Search Engine traffic tool.

3. The revenue from a successful publication can itself be lucrative.

4. Backend sales can be made effortlessly, by including “mention” of other products/services within the published materials.

5. Public relations are increased, with some authors and publishers enjoying extensive notoriety. When this occurs, oftentimes individuals will buy “any” and “all” subsequent follow up products that are produced by the author and publisher.

6. Lucrative joint ventures can be established with solid publications. Many large sized print publishers and online publishers will give massive exposure to authors that produce a well-written, wide selling publication.

The disadvantages, however, do exist, and these are as follows:

1. Producing a quality publication is time consuming, at best. Materials need to be researched, written, and re-edited many, many times before the publication can be released.

2. Producing a quality publication can be costly as well. Although the field of self publishing has increased exponentially (the amount of software and services available now for self publishers is astounding), there are significant costs related to the authoring and publishing of materials, i.e., publication software and services, marketing costs, research costs, editorial and layout costs, etc.

3. If the publication is not well written and researched, and doesn’t effectively reach it’s target market, the author and publisher may very well create “negative publicity” which will hurt the business, not enhance it.

4. “Negative fans” may appear. These are individuals that seem to magically appear who disagree wholeheartedly with the published materials, and may very well create havoc for the author and publisher. Jealousy is many times a motive here, but motives are varied. This is an occupational hazard for all authors and publishers.

5. Legalities must be followed to the letter. All copyright laws, distribution laws, and all other laws pertaining to authoring and publishing must be followed explicitly. Many “novice” authors and publishers are unaware of these, and find themselves in a “legal mess”. A consultation with a lawyer versed in copyright is usually in order prior to authoring and publishing.

6. Plagiarism is rife in the world of writing, authoring, and publishing. Especially if a work is good, there will probably be recurring instances of this. Methods to defeat this behavior, such as online security measures and offline follow up, leads to an increase in overall costs.

Overall, any work must be extremely well written and professional to succeed. Many times, beginning authors and publishers, who have never written a word prior to this in trying to contain costs, will attempt to churn out the work themselves, leading to a disorganized, somewhat “unreadable” work. It is always prudent, if a person is not a writer themselves, to hire a ghostwriter that is proven, to effectively write the “best materials” possible. A publication that is disorganized and ineffective, will not “sell” in the end, and only cost the author and publisher more money overall as charge backs and returns will occur frequently, and the materials will need to be redone eventually.

Also, there seems to be a wave of new books appearing each month, that are written by those that know “little to nothing” of the materials they propose to be experts on. This is the largest mistake possible in the world of authoring and publishing. No one can be an “expert” on something that they know “nothing” about. Readers are quick to “catch on” when an author or publisher knows nothing about the subject matter. If in doubt, forego authoring and publishing until you have become an “expert” rather than write about a subject that you know nothing about, or pick a subject in which you do have a good grasp of the materials.

Be truthful, be honest, be adept, and be determined, and if you do choose to author and publish, you will indeed see success and a great business benefit! To be less than truthful, honest, adept and determined, and authoring and publishing will soon become a nightmare!

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