Before Anna David founded her own company, Legacy Launch Pad Publishing — which provides writing, editing, distribution and marketing services — she wrote the successful novel Party Girl. She also contributed to top-tier publications such as Vanity Fair and Playboy. In 2017, David saw an opportunity to guide entrepreneurs through the writing/publication process.
She has plenty of advice for businesspeople contemplating the journey.
Know Why You’re Writing the Book
Your book needs a purpose beyond the simple desire to see your name in print.
“For people who know everything about their field but no one knows who they are, the book exists to showcase them as a legitimate expert,” says David. “Ideally, we want somebody who can say, ‘I have hundreds of prospective clients and if I send them a copy of this book, they will hire me or my company.’”
She cautions that if your goal is to simply “help people,” you might be better off donating to charity.
Partner With a Writer
Some businesspeople are excellent communicators, but others are … well … more talented at running a company.
“Maybe everyone has a book inside them, but maybe they should not be the one writing it,” David says. “If you have not spent decades, day in, day out, writing, you should not be writing your own book.”
Even if you don’t hire an end-to-end service like Legacy Launch Pad, which David admits isn’t the cheapest option, working with an established ghostwriter will hone your voice on the page and add structure to your life story and business advice.
Understand Your Audience
The key to a successful book is not that different from any other form of marketing: You need a well-defined target audience.
“Business owners interested in publishing need to get really clear about who their book is for and what they want the reader to do once they finish it,” David says. “If you don’t have that, you’re probably not going to have a successful book, and you’re not going to be able to talk about it successfully.”
You Must Promote It Yourself
A publicist can’t wave their hand and instantly make your book a bestseller; you must personally commit to getting the word out.
“For better or worse, I do believe social media is becoming more of a requirement,” David says, adding, “Take transcripts from the book and make them into posts, Instagram captions, email newsletters.”
Accept invitations to appear on TV and radio programs. Look for opportunities to deliver keynote speeches. Also, there’s no better marketing than a personal conversation.
“Keep the book on you at all time,” David says. “You never know who you will meet.”