What do Zappos, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Nasty Gal, and Tory Burch have in common? Aside from being incredibly successful businesses, they’ve all written and published books that have cemented them as top companies in the eyes of consumers.
Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that a book can be one of the most powerful tools for promoting your business.
It’s a physical product that embodies your brand and tells a compelling story about your mission.
Even better, when a brand is able to make the leap to the book world, they also cross into a higher tier of public awareness. They’re now a company that is worth talking about, worth reading about, and worth telling others about. They’re not just a company—they’re a household name and a part of the cultural conversation.
Publishing a book may not seem like a top priority when you’re just getting started on building a business, but the savviest entrepreneurs understand one simple thing: growing a business is about telling a story. This story (otherwise known as your mission) is what sets you apart from the competition. It tells potential customers what you believe in, what you stand for, and how you want to improve their lives.
Books like Delivering Happiness and #GIRLBOSS have been successful because they were able to tell a compelling story about a company and its founder. But successful books aren’t limited to business titles—as a Literary Agent, I work with everyone from life coaches, to food bloggers, to fitness pros, to interior designers. The one thing they all have in common? They’re all savvy business owners who understand that a book can launch their brand onto the national scene.
How? Well, you might not realize it, but book releases can attract big time publicity. Books are inherently worthy of news coverage, which is why almost every time you see someone on The Colbert Report or on the Today show, they’re talking about the book they’ve just published.
That’s because there’s a professional publicist behind the scenes, who works for the book publisher and has the personal connections to get authors in the media. These publicists pitch your book (and you!) to their media contacts, write press releases, and send review copies of your book to everyone from TV producers, to magazine editors, to high-profile bloggers, to journalists. And as we learned from Carrie’s fabulous masterclass, getting publicity for your business can be a big gamechanger.
That’s not to say that publishing a book is all sparkles and rainbows—like anything, it still requires hard work and dedication. But it’s also a wild and thrilling adventure, one that can change the way people perceive you and your business. And when you do make the leap, your business can become more than a company—you can become part of a cultural conversation that can change the world.
MARIA RIBAS // Literary Agent at The Howard Morhaim Literary Agency
Maria Ribas is a Literary Agent at The Howard Morhaim Literary Agency based in Brooklyn, NY. She specializes in helping entrepreneurs, bloggers, and other creatives expand their brands by landing book deals with publishers. You can read more of her thoughts on business, creativity, publishing, (and food!) at www.cooksplusbooks.com, or you can follow her on Twitter @maria_ribas.