Books are a beloved gift. They can be the answer to all gift-givers’ quandaries; they can delight the recipient with a thought that really counted. Shift this weighty meaningfulness to a business situation and you have the ultimate piece of marketing. What can be more impressive than your company’s very own book, tastefully executed with stylish images and text just the way you want it? Everything can reflect and espouse what your company stands for.
To publish your own book with your images and text was once a hallowed path for the selected few. Being an author was not always so accessible. Furthermore, printing a thousand or more books was a risky investment. Now both those problems are behind us. Your marketing department, your colleague, or you can write the text. You can elaborate on past blogs posts, have an expert from your industry write the foreword, and perhaps outsource one or two features to a professional. Your images can come from your own marketing material, your photographer friend, your smartphone even. And what’s more, you needn’t print so many that you risk losing money and taking up space with unwanted books. How? By using an online self-publishing platform.
Let’s take a look at the two big book printers, Blurb and BookBaby. These publishers are an opportunity for anyone to produce a book that’s physical, that looks and feels good and one that is fully in your control. Think of Apple’s photo book service on iPhoto, and magnify it.
Blurb, for example, is completely set up for your designer with its very own (and completely free) Adobe InDesign plugin. This means that your marketing and design team can work on your book directly with Blurb in their normal design software. While selecting the document size you also select the print run, paper quality etc, the pricing is given in the InDesign file menu. Et voila! Your books arrive in a few weeks time.
Even if you’re not teamed up with a designer, you can download the free BookSmart tool and make it all yourself. The website is full of ideas and inspiration. If you know your company’s ID, the image it wants to put across, if you have the images you want to use, then there is no reason why you can’t do it.
BookBaby is another self-publishing platform with equal emphasis on e-book publishing. You can do both but converting your book to the other within BookBaby’s online system is super easy. With BookBaby, you can download Word, QuarkXpress or InDesign templates to design your book.
Each service will guide you through the process, covering everything from getting the ISBN to designing the best possible cover. If you are looking for a fully customised book that you will show off your business and impress clients and competitors with, Blurb is the way to go. If you want flexibility with e-book publishing and a great distribution set-up, then BookBaby is brilliant for getting your brand and your expertise out there.
Whichever one you choose consider this, how many marketing tools can have someone’s undivided attention for as long as it takes to read and enjoy a good book? The time a reader invests in your book is invaluable and it’s clear, a book is an important marketing tool.