Authoring a Book and Opening Doors

Dear Professor Bruce: As a consultant in the financial services industry, I have been developing an expertise in a very lucrative niche for my clients. What’s the best way to go on record as the go-to person for this topic?

There is nothing that provides a greater impact of a person’s expertise in an area than to see that person’s information in print. According to Grace Freedson, president of Grace Freedson’s Publishing Network, “more and more experts in all categories are turning to the book format as a means to validate the information they are offering and the advice they are providing. Authoring a book has become a much sought after 21st century calling card that ultimately opens doors to new clients and new business opportunities. Perhaps it is the selectivity on the part of publishers that provides the cache that will lead to career advancement.”

Of the millions of books you see on bookstore shelves it represents only a small portion of the proposals that aspiring authors submit to publishers. Proposals must be presented in such a way that the unique qualities of the topic, the approach, the quality of the writing, and the potential size of the audience for the book are immediately evident. It is usually a lengthy process from submitting a proposal, usually through a literary agent, until a final decision to publish is made. Publishers rely increasingly on literary agents to filter the types of projects that are submitted, and to assure the credentials of the author and caliber of the writing. Literary agents have therefore become much more selective in the type of books and authors they will represent. Content will be vetted at every stage of the publishing process so that the final product can be assumed to be authoritative. Ultimately, the book that you can hold in your hand may lead to media appearances, speaking opportunities, and interviews that will lead to revenue from the sale of the book as well as an increased client based.

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