Have you ever considered publishing a book? When you publish a book it provides customers and others a tangible example of your work, which can establish your personal brand.

I know, I know…you are saying:

Come on, write a book? Really? Who would publish a book I wrote? You would!

In my last post, I suggested you write a blog to establish your personal brand. Now I am suggesting that the natural next step is to turn the blog into a paperback, or even easier, an e-book.

The first step is to decide how you are going to undertake this effort. There are a lot of books about how to write books. But I have to recommend one written by my good friend Gudjon Bergmann, who has self-published twenty books. His latest book is the The Author’s Blueprint: Successfully Write a Non-Fiction Book, Conquer Procrastination and Never Get Writer’s Block Again.

Gudjon’s book takes readers through the process of coming up with a title, chapter list and actually getting the book written. Gudjon says that when writing your first book

You need to write A book and not THE book!

Just having a book published is a right of passage. These days, fewer and fewer publishers buy books from new authors and many more buy books that were originally self published. Publishing a book is a major accomplishment. And, it helps establish your personal brand. Your book is a huge statement of who you are and what you know. I speak from experience. My first book, Repurpose Your Career – A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers catapulted my business. But it’s not my last. There are more in the pipeline including a second edition slated for release in 2014.

Create a team

You could do this alone but it is best to create a team:

  • Co-author – Your partner in this endeavor could be a peer or someone who is just going to help you write. Susan Lahey was my ghostwriter who is not a ghost. Her name is on the cover of the book! If this is a technical topic find a peer who can share the load of writing the book.
  • Editor/Proof reader – Depending on your writing skills you may want a full-blown editor. In my case, I hired several people to proof read the book. In fact, I sent out so many review copies to potential readers, we received lots of comments including suggested edits.
  • Cover Designer – If you are just producing an e-book and have some artistic skills you could do this yourself. If this is going to be a paperback (much larger format and has both front and back cover), I highly suggest you hire someone to create the book cover for you.
  • Book Layout – This is not for you. Spend a little bit of money to format the book. This is especially true if you want to include graphics in an e-book. There is an art and a science to book layout.

Leverage your blog

About 60-70% of my book Repurpose Your Career – A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers came from my blog. As you write blog posts, pay attention to which posts get comments, and are socially shared. Engage your readers who write comments for both what they write but why they are interested in the material.

Remember what Gudjon says You need to write A book and not THE book!

When you have written enough material to create a 60 page book, you could publish this as an e-book. You then could expand on this book and release a second edition as an e-book and a paperback. (Tip – You need to reach 131 pages to be able to have a binding for your book. You need to have your title and name on the binding to get into a bookstore!)

There are a lot of resources to assist you in self-publishing the book. The hard part is actually writing and finishing the book!

You ready to get started on writing your first book?


Marc Miller is the founder of Career Pivot which helps Baby Boomers design careers they can grow into for the next 30 years. Marc authored the book Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers, published in January 2013, which has been featured on Forbes.com, US News and World Report, CBS Money-Watch and PBS’ Next Avenue. Marc has made six career pivots himself, serving in several positions at IBM in addition to working at Austin, Texas startups, teaching math in an inner-city high school and working for a local non-profit. Learn more about Marc and Career Pivot by visiting the Career Pivot Blog or follow Marc on Twitter or Facebook.