These days the word “progressive” often connotes sleek tablets, mobile apps, tech start-ups, and the like. I bet you don’t hear book and progressive in the same sentence very often. But let me tell you why you should.
Why your business should custom publish a book
Books are brand-builders:
Books breathe life into your brand. They suggest permanence, professionalism, authority, and expertise. The digital world can, at times, feel fleeting. Facebook posts travel the length of your newsfeed in a matter of hours; tweets have a window of opportunity lasting mere minutes; emails are read, responded to, and disposed of. We are entering an era where content is king, and the art of discoverability rests on a business’s ability to get the right content in front of the right people, again and again. Books are trusted, established content. A book communicates time and attention to detail while it reinforces a content message that sells not just you, but your brand, your history, and most important, your legacy.
Jennie Jones, an esteemed Cleveland photographer, has completed two book projects with us, and each is an excellent example of brand-building. Her photography is featured alongside Ian Adams’s in a photographic exploration of the Cleveland Botanical Garden— A Paradise in the City. She also did a book that exclusively showcased her own photography, called Cleveland Inside Outside. It is a gorgeous, full-color coffee-table book that she can hand to potential clients, long-time friends, and community organizations to show off her skill and diversity and to build her individual brand.
Because of her success with these books, the Cleveland Museum of Art has commissioned her to photograph its newly renovated museum to be showcased in its new book.
Books are profitable:
If you’re thinking about creating a book for your business, it is important to think about its intended audience and purpose. Is this a book to give to associates, employees, and loyal partners as a show of gratitude? Is this a book to give to all of your salaried employees as a Christmas gift? Or is this a book that leverages your unique expertise and history to sell your brand?
If it is the latter, you can think about return on investment, or ROI. Focus on profitable distribution channels—speaking events, conferences, festivals, independent booksellers, online retailers, your own bricks-and-mortar establishment—and make a plan that you feel would work best for you. Understand that you will have to sell the book all the way through, particularly if you want to sell in traditional book retail locations, so it may not be easy. But, if that is where you intend to be, have a plan ready. Orange Frazer Press assists interested custom publishing clients with warehousing and distribution, making this step in the process easier and more accessible.
Books can be profitable when they are specifically written and conceptualized to meet an audience’s need, and professionally edited, designed, and printed. A custom publisher like Orange Frazer can give you the edge on your self-published and big-house-published competition, creating a book that looks like it came from New York, but costs like it came from friendly Midwesterners.
Our cookbook project with Cameron Mitchell of Cameron Mitchell restaurants is a great example. It was titled, The Art of the Meal, and it displayed in beautiful, full-color format many of his beloved recipes. The book was only sold in his own stores, and still went into four printings. It had a specific audience and a precise purpose, and it sold beyond expectations.
Books are memorable:
A book can be a wonderful way to leave an impression on those within your organization or company. Books tell stories, affirm dreams, and celebrate accomplishments. One of our clients created a book that celebrated the history and legacy of Ronald McDonald House Charities titled Entering These Doors of Compassion. It was a full-color, intricately designed coffee-table book showcasing each and every Ronald McDonald House in the world, and it was given to each and every Ronald McDonald House in the world. It isn’t sold in stores or online, making it an exclusive, valuable, and memorable item that reminds each house why it is a home.
So, should my business self-publish a book?
We have a long history of working with individuals and businesses, and we have seen tremendous success with these projects. No book is a guarantee, no profit is written in stone, and no benefit—sentimental or otherwise—can be quantified to the decimal, but, with hard work, precision, focus, and determination, you can custom publish a book that will stand out in today’s content-driven world, and succeed.
Has your business self-published a book? We would love to hear about your experience! You can comment on this article, or visit our Google+ self-publishing custom publishing community page here.