Self-publishing has improved a great deal since 2002, when Lulu first broke the mold and began offer writers a means to publish without going the traditional route. Today, the book market is flooded with self-published titles. While many of these are story tellers seeking publication, there has been a noticeable uptick in the number of businesses and individuals using book publishing to promote themselves.
The published work takes on a different role when the book is a tool for promoting oneself or one’s business. The book is a mechanism to share expertise or knowledge, as well as promoting a brand. The book, in essence, becomes an expanded business card.
Imagine you’re an entrepreneur with an exciting new product. Or a speaker with knowledge valuable to a specific industry. You might attend trade shows or speak during seminars to promote yourself and the product/service you offer. And often times at these kinds of events, you’ll hand out numerous cards with your name and contact info on them. You’ll take in a variety of these cards from other interested individuals and organizations.
What happens to those cards? If you’re like most, the contact information and name go into a database, and they are added to your mail list. Because that is, in the end, the real role of a business card. Both parties are engaging in a tacit agreement to add each other to their respective mailing lists. This in and of itself is a great thing. You get to grow your mailing list and your get access to the content and information from the other party. Knowledge is shared and potentially both parties are better for it.