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The power of the printed book


Using a combination of self-publishing and digital print-on-demand, it’s never been easier or more cost-effective to achieve your ambition of being the author of a printed book. 

Think of that proud moment – the photo of you holding the book and how much more powerful that photo will be than one of you holding an iPad with an electronic picture of its cover.

To be able to feel, touch and smell your book will be the exciting moment of payback for all the hours and the effort expended in getting it to that point. And then, once your book is in the hands of your target reader, think of the life that your book takes on.

You now have your name as the author, along with your book title, on your book’s spine, facing out at your customers and your prospects. Most readers of business books keep these in their office, in their workspace as opposed to on a bookshelf in their living room. As a genre, business books are kept separately from fiction, biography and other books read purely for leisure purposes. So, there you are, suddenly rubbing book-spine shoulders with perhaps the likes of Seth Godin and Richard Branson on your clients’ bookshelves. In that space, suddenly you are their equal – your book has been given equal prominence and space along with all those others.

And it stays there! As I have commented in this blog, books have a way longer shelf-life than any other business communication which you give to your customers or prospective customers. Every day, for years probably, your name is peeking out from that bookshelf, ready for that moment when the area of your expertise which you have showcased in the book, is exactly what is needed right now. The book is reached for, pulled out, flicked through, and the relevant chapter, passage and hint/tip/piece of wisdom is located. It may well be that the passage has already been highlighted, the margin written in, the page corner turned down. Good luck finding the relevant passage as quickly and easily from the e-book version.

Cherished business books are meant to have scribbled-in margins, Post It notes peeking out from key pages, page corners turned down, passages underlined or highlighted, extra bits of paper jammed into them. A book which has really resonated with you becomes uniquely your version of that book. It becomes a diary of your business-thinking. It may even make sense to add a date reference to your own comments, so that, over time, you can look back and see when it was that you first picked up on a particular idea or technique and can then see when and how you applied it to your own business or your way of life.

All that presence, all that interaction, all that inhabiting of your book, you frankly just can’t achieve that with the e-book version. Sure, invest in creating the e-book version too, but lead with the printed book, let that be the version which people cherish, use and yes, keep on their shelves.