Books are becoming popular marketing tools for the self-employed. An estimated 764,448 titles written by entrepreneurs and other non-traditional authors were published in the U.S. in 2009, including reprints.
That’s more than double 2008’s figure and six times as many as in 2007, according to Bowker LLC, which, for U.S. publishers, assigns the unique ISBN numbers that identify books.
Entrepreneurs in most cases are not actually looking to produce best-sellers. Instead, most are taking advantage of new forms of publishing, including electronic publishing and print-on-demand, to generate a marketing tool and additional income at the same time. That income stems from speaking, consulting, press and new customers. It’s not about selling copies.”
The National Speakers Association, a trade group in Tempe, Arizona, USA, reports that about 70% of its 3,200 members are authors and more than 60% earn $100,000 a year on average just from giving presentations.
The trend wouldn’t have been possible without the emergence of print-on-demand publishers and the advent of the e-book. The electronic-book market and the Internet in general have eased the distribution process for authors. Within minutes you can now upload a file and have a book.
Mr. Witty is the author of “21 Ways to Build Your Business with a Book.”