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Heather Townsend

The Excedia Group


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How to build your profile by writing a book pt2


In the second of this two-part article Heather Townsend shares her methods of how to use a book to propel your career forward.

Get your book reviewed as soon as the manuscript is finished

When your book hits the shelves, you want to make sure that plenty of people have already endorsed the book and are singing its praises. In fact you can’t have too many reviewers for your book in my opinion. Therefore, ask the people you interviewed for the book to review it when its finished. Also make sure you have asked the key influencers in your network to review the book.

To help make sure you get the right type of reviews back, I always find it handy to send out some ‘draft’ or ‘sample’ reviews for your reviewers to either use or adapt. Let’s be absolutely honest here, most of the words on the book jacket of a business book have been written by the author or the publisher. 

I picked up several large pieces of work by getting my former colleagues, who were still in-house learning and development professionals, to read the manuscript of my books before they were published.

Have the book in multiple formats

Your readers who want the information in your book will probably favour an ebook version of the book. However, your network, clients, interviewees will really treasure and value a signed physical book. Plus, when you are training or speaking, it is great to be able to wave an actual copy of the book about. (If you leave it on the front table, quite a few people will come up and leaf through it.)

Make it easy to build a relationship with committed readers of your book

Whilst there will be some readers who feel they can do it all after reading your book, there will be some who want to pay for your help. Therefore, build into your book a mechanism to capture the email details of your committed readers. The best way to do this is to give away further resources, detailed in your book, in return for their email address. If they are committed enough to download further resources then there is a strong possibility that they will buy more products and services from you. For example, if you buy a copy of ‘The Go-To Expert’, there is a free accompanying workbook to help you translate what you are reading into tangible action steps to implement all the great stuff contained in the book. 

Freely give copies of your book to your clients and prospects

There is nothing quite like starting a sales meeting by giving your new potential client a signed copy of your book. Do make sure it is signed. I’ve never failed to impress and gain valuable brownie points by this small gift. When your book is published, do send your current clients and potential clients a copy of the book. When you send the book, offer to come and discuss the topics raised within the book. You will find that this offer is accepted by quite a few people.

At this point you may be querying the commerciality of such a move. However, if your book costs you £10 to buy, plus a few extra pounds for postage and packing, this is still peanuts compared with what you can charge for a couple of workshops.

Contact the press

The days of the press reviewing books are very much numbered. There are still a few media outlets who will review a newly published book. Training Zone’s very own book club will do this for you. Therefore, use the fact that you are newly published author to pitch some articles you are willing and able to write. This will, of course, be on an unpaid basis, but this is all good PR for you. 

Look out for speaking engagements

Conference and event organisers love to book a newly published author. However, they seem to expect that all newly published authors will turn up for expenses only. Don’t neglect this valuable profile raising opportunity and aim to accept a few of these engagements. Sometimes you are allowed to sell copies from the back of the room, so always make sure you have a few copies of your book with you to sell on the day.

Heather Townsend helps professionals become the Go-To-Expert. She is the author of ‘The Go-To Expert’ and the award-winning and best seller, ‘The FT Guide To Business Networking’. Click here to receive a weekly email to help you become the Go-To Expert and enjoy the luxury of clients coming to you

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Heather Townsend


Read more from Heather Townsend

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