CHICAGO, IL – You have spent many years of your life building something of importance, serving others, and leading people into a greater version of themselves, either as a business owner, corporate executive, motivational speaker, coach, or social media influencer. Should you consider writing and publishing a book? Writing a book is an enormous project – would it be worth your time and investment? Why are many more leaders increasingly willing to spend the time and energy it takes to write and publish a book?
The real leaders
Those are great questions, and I will get those in a moment. But first, let me congratulate you for the kind of leader and influencer you have become. It has taken tremendous skill, talent, and effort to get to where you are today. A lot of people throw around the words “leader,” “influencer,” or “change-leader” so glibly that one often wonders whether they truly understand what it means to be a leader or influencer. Many real leaders we know are weary of calling themselves “leader” or “influencer” or any other such labels. It is not because they are unaware of the fact that they are leaders, neither are they unmindful of the tremendous influence they have. It is simply that they are more aware of the responsibilities of leadership, what Myles Munroe characterized as the “burden of freedom.” Like Winston Churchill, these leaders recognize that “The price of greatness is responsibility.” It takes a lot of hard work to become a leader and even more hard cover to remain a leader. Even though the word, influencer, is now used generally in terms of social media context, the real leaders among us are the people of influence whether they have a title or not. So, to the real leaders and influencers among us – we salute you and acknowledge the many years of service and sacrifice as you quietly build up lives and products. To all these men and women, nationally known or locally celebrated, we congratulate you for leading lives that shape and inspire.
Find your “why”
Now, to get to the question about whether you, as a leader or influencer, should consider publishing a book at this time, the first thing is to identify your “big why.” Starting with, and clearly defining, your “why” is the only way you became a great leader in the first place. And that is also the only way to decide if publishing a book is right for you at this time.
To get help you clarify your “why,” let us look at some of the top reasons other leaders told us they decided to publish. As a managing editor at a leading traditional publishing house who has worked with several leaders and executives, here are the top 7 reasons they have told me why they finally decided to stop procrastinating and publish their books:
– Build credibility as a subject-matter expert
– Amplify my voice as a thought-leader and change agent
– Document and preserve my legacy for the next generation
– As an influencer, I want to create a tangible tool for personal development for my fans and followers
– Transform lives with a positive winsome philosophy of life
– Codify proven business and leadership principles in writing, in a way that helps others to become more effective
– Express my creativity
Build credibility as a subject-matter expert
The best way to establish yourself to the larger public as a subject-matter expert in any field is to write an authoritative book on that subject. Full stop. You could be the best there is in your organization. You could give the best speeches one could ever give on the subject, but until you have written and published a well-researched book on the subject, people tend to consider you to be just another “wanna be” expert, an imposter of sorts. But write a great book on the subject, however, and you are suddenly considered an authority on the subject, irrespective of your college degree or lack thereof.
Amplify my voice as a thought-leader and change agent
A lot of leaders are busy serving and making a difference or simply engaging with their followers on social media platforms that they have not given serious thought to how to magnify their influence and multiply the principles that have worked so well for them. Writing a book is one proven way to amplify your voice. And because it is in print, it lasts for generations after you are gone. Some people may never follow you on social media or be a part of your organization, but they are likely to read your book sometime, either in your lifetime or in the years after you are gone.
Document and preserve my legacy for the next generation
For many leaders, all they want is to carefully document their legacy for their children, for their proteges, or for the next generation. A case in point, we once collaborated with a very distinguished professor at one of the nation’s most prestigious universities. This man had accomplished as much as any scholar could hope to accomplish in their career. When he approached us, his only goal was to document his life’s journey and the principles and events that have helped to shape him, so that his children and grandchildren could have a written document of his life and legacy. Another example is an entrepreneur we worked with who has spent over 38 years building his business from scratch to a multi-million-dollar enterprise. His product is available today in many households with employees in over 25 countries. All he wanted was to document the lessons, victories, and losses he encountered in the journey so that both his children and the younger executives who would take over his business may have access to his legacy, carefully and properly documented. We call these “legacy writers.”
As an influencer, I want to create a tangible tool for personal development for my fans and followers
Recently, we are hearing about this “why” a lot more. There are many leaders, motivational speakers, coaches, and influencers with hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers who are simply yearning for something more to offer their followers – a tangible, workable tool that best articulates the philosophies or principles that they are sharing. For many of these influencers, writing a book is the best of both worlds. On one hand, the book solidifies their role as experts in the field. And on the other hand, the book serves not only as a physical product to sell to their followers but also as an organizing philosophy that becomes a reference material for the important work to which they have devoted their lives.
Transform lives with a positive winsome philosophy of life
People do not just get to the top of their field or become a people of influence without some core fundamental principles of leadership and personal growth that have helped them become who they are. Many leaders we know have come to identify a set of principles that they guarantee can help any person duplicate the same successes they have experienced for themselves. For these leaders, especially those ones who are passionate about training and raising other leaders, writing a book is the best way to change lives and train people in the leadership path that have worked so well for them.
Codify proven business and leadership principles in writing, in a way that helps others to become more effective
Many CEOs, senior-level executives, and small business owners have acquired many years of experience and skill in leading people and businesses to success. For many of these leaders, they are nearing retirement or are beginning to think about retirement and what posterity should look like. For these leaders, codifying in print the proven business and leadership principles that have worked for them is important. They have told us that this is important to them for two main reasons: for one, writing these things in a book helps them to preserve their legacy and document for others the philosophies that have helped not just them but the organization. For another, the singular art of writing such books have been more therapeutic and formative for many of these leaders! In writing such books, these CEOs reflect on their strengths, weakness, lessons, mistakes, and joys. They get a chance to relive their life in full and in one big-picture frame that gives them a tempered and grateful perspective. Many have told us that nothing they have done was more therapeutic than writing such a book.
Express my creativity
Often, we come across leaders and executives who said they just want to exercise their creative mojo. Many of these people tell us that while their day job may be about tasks or projects, or even managing people, they deeply appreciate creative thinking and writing and would love an avenue to let out that steam. They love reading and writing. They journal or write private poems, but they have not just had the time to sit on it and groom the inner rumblings of their soul. But by the time they are coming to us, they have had enough. They are ready to let their creative selves go wide and loose – imagining, writing words and stories that stir from within. For these leaders, writing is a creative outlet. They are writing for themselves, even if their writings end up being a blessing to millions of people. After all, as Carl Rogers once noted, “what is most personal is most general.”
So, should you write a book as a leader, influencer, coach, or speaker? As you reflect on your “why” and that of others, the decision is totally yours. Yet, one issue we have heard a lot from leaders who are considering whether to write a book is the seeming daunting nature of writing a book and finding a good publisher for the book.
For sure, writing a book and getting published is hard work, and will take a lot of dedication from you. But it is doable. If other busy leaders and executives have done it, it goes to reason that you too can do it. We hear a lot about how difficult it is to get published by a traditional publisher. Recently though, smaller and more innovative houses are appearing on the publishing scene, adapting the central benefits of traditional publishing to a changing technological landscape. Some of these smaller publishing houses are generally more flexible and are able to give you the personal attention that your book project deserves. While there are a few of such publishers that could make the process of publishing your books easier and effective, let me suggest just two, among many, of such publishers who have dedicated their entire enterprise to helping leaders like you to publish their book:
If your book falls within the following genres: leadership, self-help, business, memoir, health and wellness; then, you may want to consider Imprintos, the business imprint of Kharis Publishing group. Imprintos is a leading publishing and distribution house dedicated entirely to helping leaders, executives, and influencers publish their book, amplify their voice in print, and document their legacy for the next generation. As with all Kharis Publishing imprints, Imprintos will donate a portion of its proceeds to establish resource centers or mini libraries for orphanages in developing countries, so that those kids may learn to read, dream, and grow. Imprintos offers the traditional publishing model, which means that there is no out-of-pocket cost to the author to publish, distribute, and promote their book. But this requires authors to purchase some copies of their books for personal promotional use during the initial press run – a great option for leaders, coaches, influencers, and motivational speakers.
A major distinctive of Imprintos is that you will be assigned to a national book PR agent who works with you for media placements – TV, radio, podcast, blogs, and print media. This is an important service that has made Imprintos attractive to leaders, executives, and influencers who want to grow their brand in addition to promoting their books. For limited time, Imprintos is appears to be accepting direct unsolicited submissions through their website, with a focus on nonfiction (leadership, business, self-help, memoirs, health and wellness). Visit Imprintos submission guidelines here to learn whether your manuscript is a good fit.
Kharis Publishing is a leading faith and inspirational book publisher. They are a traditional publishing house, which means that once they acquire your manuscript, they will undertake the whole project from start to finish, without an upfront fee of any sort. Note however that, though they are a traditional publishing house, they expect their authors to purchase some copies of their own books at a huge discount to aid in their own personal promotional efforts as well. This is a phenomenon that is becoming increasingly common even among the big publishers as well, as they use this to gauge author commitment to their own project. Leaders with a faith-based background will appreciate Kharis Publishing and their commitment to empowering orphans in developing countries with literacy tools and mini libraries. Kharis Publishing is accepting unsolicited and un-agented submissions for a limited time for nonfiction (self-help, Christian, inspirational, memoirs, even health and wellness).
Visit their website to learn more: https://kharispublishing.com/kp/about-us/
Francis E. U. is the managing editor of a major publishing house based in the Greater Chicago Area, United States of America. Direct all questions or media enquiries to the contact below.