By Jennifer S. Wilkov, host of the “Your Book Is Your Hook!” Show on WomensRadio
As authors and writers, we’re always learning about resources and industry tools that we can use to improve our book project performance and the enjoyment of our writing and marketing experiences. Today let’s talk about using your book as your hook to make your brand bigger.
A book can be the genesis of a whole big brand or it can enhance one that’s already established.
Books bring a means of “hooking” your audience and market by providing insight into your business, system, creativity, imagination and ultimately – your brand. Even you!
On the credibility front, there is no question that books create instant credibility for you in your area of expertise. It also gives you the opportunity to be a little bit more transparent and a lot more accessible to your book reading audience. When they read your books, they feel more connected to you and why you do what you do.
Take a look at bigger, more established brands that have used books to tell their branding stories and how they got to be the big brands and businesses they are. Whether they’ve written them themselves or not, the brand benefits as a result of the books:
STARBUCKS – When you do a search in Amazon in just books, there are more than 1,000 results! Everything from The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary to Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built A Company One Cup At A Time to It’s Not About the Coffee: Leadership Principles From a Life At Starbucks to even Everything But the Coffee: Learning About America from Starbucks and Finding the Next Starbucks: How to Identify and Invest in the Hot Stocks of Tomorrow.
GOOGLE – There are more than 3,000 results alone when you type the word “Google” into Amazon. A company that grew up on the premise that people would use their search engine over others to find what they are looking for on the Internet has turned into so much more. Books include for example
The Google Way: How One Company Is Revolutionizing Management as We Know It; Planet Google: One Company’s Audacious Plan to Organize Everything We Know; The Google Story: For Google’s 10th Birthday; and even What Would Google Do? and Google Speaks: Secrets of the World’s Greatest Billionaire Entrepreneurs, Sergey Brin and Larry Page.
TOYOTA – More than 4,000 results show up for “Toyota” when you search for it in Amazon. Here’s a company in a very different competitive space than a $5 cup of coffee or a free search engine. This is a brand that wants you to spend thousands of dollars on a vehicle that is going to require even more money after you buy it in order to maintain it. Yet books have been used to expand the visibility, credibility and confidence in their products and methods in the marketplace. Some of the books written about Toyota include The Toyota Way; Toyota Kata: Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness and Superior Results; Toyota Culture: The Heart and Soul of the Toyota Way and even The Toyota Leaders: An Executive Guide among others.
There are even people who are their own brands who use their books as their hooks. Take a look:
MARTHA STEWART – From cookbooks to craft books to cupcake books to housekeeping and organizational books, not to mention a leadership book or two, Martha Stewart has successfully used her books as her hook to continue to deepen her connection with her loyal following who just can’t wait to find out what secrets she’ll reveal next to improve the lives of her reading and viewing audience. Her brand extends to linens, paints, cooking products and even her own magazine – and her books do too. In fact, Martha has been producing and publishing books around her brand for more than 20 years. Here’s a smattering of them as a tasty sample: Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts: Basic Techniques for Sewing, Applique, Embroidery, Quilting, Dyeing, and Printing, plus 150 Inspired Projects from A to Z; Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook: The Essential Guide to Caring for Everything in Your Home; Martha Stewart’s Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook; Martha Stewart’s Hors d’Oeuvres Handbook; Martha Stewart’s Gardening: Month by Month; all these and more topped off by The Martha Rules: 10 Essentials for Achieving Success as You Start, Build, or Manage a Business.
LARRY KING – Since the 1980’s, Larry King has not only been one of the best known faces of CNN, he has also been a prolific writer. Establishing his own brand through his books, he has commented on everything from his own life, health, even his love of baseball as well as what he’s learned from pundits, politicians and Presidents. Here are some samples beginning with one of his earlier books from 1989 entitled Tell It to The King to a more recent book published 20 years later in 2009 entitled My Remarkable Journey. Then there are others before, in between and after these books including Remember Me When I’m Gone: The Rich and Famous Write Their Own Epitaphs and Obituaries; Love Stories of World War II; Powerful Prayers: Conversations on Faith, Hope and The Human Spirit with Today’s Most Provocative People; Anything Goes: What I’ve Learned from Pundits, Politicians and Presidents; Beyond a Reasonable Doubt; Taking On Heart Disease: Famous Personalities Recall How They Triumphed Over the Nation’s #1 Killer and How You Can Too; to even Why I Love Baseball and Daddy Day, Daughter Day, a children’s book he wrote with his daughter, Chaia.
Books have been used to brand people, systems, methods, philosophies and businesses for years.
When you start seeing your book as your hook for your brand, you’ll find it is so much more than just a book.
For more information on this Education Corner topic and others, please refer to www.YourBookIsYourHook.com/blog for more articles and resources to help you with your books.