Are Books the “New Business Card”?

Are Books the “New Business Card”?

“Books are no longer simply books, they are branding devices and credibility signals — not to mention the reason their authors command large speaking or consulting fees.” So says Ryan Holiday, in a column today on the Fast Company website. His point is that authors of non-fiction books are increasingly diversifying their income streams, with many making “substantially more money through new business generated by a book, rather than from it.”

This is a trend that’s been building for some time; I’ve seen it reflected in my own work with clients. Discussions about non-fiction book projects go beyond content and audience to encompass ideas about what the book can do for the author and the author’s business. Smart thought leaders think of their non-fiction books as multi-purpose tools. Books can be a calling card for the author’s business, a demonstration and confirmation of his or her expertise, a vehicle for sharing new ideas and valuable content, and a way to build additional revenue streams from consulting and/or speaking engagements. For a concise take on how this works, see my colleague Ken Lizotte’s excellent book, The Expert’s Edge.

If you are in the Boston area on September 27 (please note date correction!) and are interested in learning more about how a book can help your business, attend “Publish and Flourish! Got a Book in You? Let’s Get It Out!” This networking event features an expert panel (including yours truly) and breakout discussions on the process of creating, publishing, and promoting your book. For more information, visit Boston Women Connect. If you can’t attend but have an idea for a book that could promote your business, contact me ( to schedule a no-obligation chat about how we might work together to make that happen.


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