Most of my previous book-writing posts have been focused around the idea of writing a book that can use be used to market your business. In this post, I am changing the mood and I am going to talk about the choice to write a signature book instead.
What is a signature book?
Unlike a book that has a predominantly marketing-led purpose, a signature book is about getting across your unique message and sharing a specially designed method or system you have developed.
You need to approach writing a signature book with an entirely different mind-set than if you were planning to write a book that you were going to use as a marketing tool.
Now, this doesn’t mean that your signature book cannot also be used as a marketing tool or that a book designed as a marketing tool does not have heart in it. It’s a matter of emphasis.
What is different about a signature book?
In brief, a signature book has more gravitas, is more risky to produce (there is far more of you in it) and will need to perform in your business in a different way. Here are some other key differences:
- It will be a longer (i.e. more words and pages)
- It is more likely to be published in print as well as Kindle.
- It will take you longer to get right on a conceptual level.
- It will probably take you longer to write it.
- You will need more professional help and support to produce it.
Of course, none of this is a given or set in stone. You could produce a short signature book very quickly and need no help at all if the idea is clear in your mind and you have been thinking about it for a while. But usually, a more heart-felt book will need more time to mature in your mind.
What a signature book can do for you that a marketing book can’t
Unlike a more basic ‘how to’ marketing-focused book, your signature book will be more PR friendly and more newsworthy. It is far more likely to have an impact in terms of your reputation and will raise your profile faster.
Signature books will bring more quality to your marketing. It will be easier to put together a speaking tour because your book is more noteworthy. The speaking engagements you get will attract a more interested crowd because your book is not simply a vehicle for selling, it is the start of a conversation, and that draws people in.
You are more likely to get attention from the press, especially if your book has a bold statement to make or is controversial in some way. However, controversy is not essential – again, it is about starting a conversation or a discussion.
When it comes to the business end of the deal, a signature book will probably bring you attention from higher-qualified clients who want what you are offering and who understand what you can give them. You will also find it easier to charge higher fees because your status will be enhanced.
A signature book starts a conversation. It is all about quality; quality of writing, quality of message and quality of return on investment. A signature book is not going to be a fast win when it comes to growing your business, but it will probably work harder for you and for much longer than a more marketing-led book.
One type of book is not better than the other. They both have a role to play both for you and for your readers. The question for you to decide is which is right for you and when. One does not exclude the other and it is perfectly possible to produce a series of marketing-led books that serve a purpose for your business and your target market, and to write a signature book that gets you noticed in a completely different way.
The question is: do you aspire to write a signature book?
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