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Do You Have a Book in You?

Yesterday, I had a call with a prospect who wanted to talk about the value of public relations in their company and what it was going to take to achieve their goals.

It seems they recently interviewed a PR firm whose primary strategy was for the CEO to write a book; once the book was written, the PR firm was going to promote the book and soft-sell the CEO as an content-matter expert.

While this sounds like a good strategy, I think it could be something the CEO does down the road, but not right away. While it depends on the subject of the book, there are just too many moving parts in order to see any kind of tangible results within any reasonable amount of time.

Let’s say the book is about the CEO’s life and the journey she took to get to where she is today. I immediately say, “who cares?” unless you are a public figure with a compelling story to tell – and most of the time when I see these kinds of books, they are based more on scandal or personal rehabilitation than anything else. While I’m certain her story would be interesting, would there by an audience for it?

If the book is about a business topic, that’s fine, too, of course, but I encourage any potential author to research what’s already out in the marketplace. Specifically, what is going to make your book different from others who have already written about the same topic?

Finally, what is the goal to writing the book? Notoriety (fame) or more business coming through the door? If you’re going to write a book, take the time to figure out your goals. After all, it can’t be written overnight and will take weeks and months of work to accomplish.

I did not write this posting in order to promote 2 books … but having said all this … I wanted to give a shout out to 2 colleagues who recently wrote books:

Marty McCutcheon, a CPA I’ve known for quite a long time, wrote The Pocket Guide to Obamacare in which he examines the tax effects of the Affordable Care Act. Send Marty a note and ask him to mail you a free copy of the book.

Edi Osborne, an expert provider to the accounting profession who focuses on how to recruit and retain clients, just published Firm Forward: A Journey From the Land of Compliance to the World of Reliance and it is available on Amazon. It is a “firm fable” about a managing partner at an accounting firm and the strategies he takes to build his practice.

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