The business of writing

The business of writing
Samuel Agyeman-Prempeh is a corporate trainer and professional ghost-writer assisting busy executives to write and publish their books, articles, and speeches

When I was in Primary 5, I was made the library prefect for my class. My role was very simple; go to the library every morning, pick up some books and bring them to my colleagues for us to read. I recall the all-important session was called ‘silence hour’. I wish I could tell you that my colleagues and I really enjoyed this session, but I cannot even pretend to lie. One thing I am certain I can extract from the rather boring silence hour is the fact that we did learn a lot from the books we read, even though reluctantly.

Why do people write books anyway, is it to punish students to find something reading or it is just to occupy some important aspect on our timetables in school? There are some books I can recall reading back in Primary, JHS and SHS. I recall books like Ola Rotimi’s ‘The God’s are not to Blame’. I have read this book for the umpteenth time. Chinua Achebe’s ‘Things fall Apart’ and some other all-important literature. ‘Things Fall Apart’ was a mandatory read for my big brother when he was in SHS. He has narrated the story to me more than I have hand-picked the book to read.

Why should any leader, business person or entrepreneur want to write a book? In this publication I make some important suggestions you may want to consider.

  1. Story

Most books we have read tell stories. At least the good ones do. As a businessperson, a book is an important tool to tell your story. Authoring a book is a strategic PR strategy to project the tale of your journey for others to appreciate. When you think of Ben Carson, be honest you know him more because of his classic ‘Gifted Hands’. That book recounts the life story of Dr. Ben Carson that perhaps you wouldn’t have known.

Yes, this book has moved forward to be portrayed in movies et al. My point is that just the same way Ben Carson and Kiyosaki have used their books to tell us the stories of their lives, occupation and business, you need to write a book to talk of yourself and business too. You know Robert Kiyosaki is an investment expert because of his books. You know Dr. Carson is a paediatric neurosurgeon because of his books as well.

Donald Trump’s books on Real Estate make people appreciate the real estate industry and understand the nitty-gritty of it. Very importantly, anyone that reads the former president’s book gets to know some aspects of his story.

  1. Credibility and Authority

I chanced upon an interesting statistic that explains that only 1 percent of the world’s population ever publishes a book. Beyond this statistic, you’ll agree that not many people write books. How many people within your circle are authors? Usually, when you write a book you set yourself apart. Being an author is therefore a distinguishing factor. You get to boost your professional credibility.

My friend Bernard Kelvin Clive likes to describe himself as an author(ity), and indeed he is one. Bernard has authored books on personal branding; he stands out in these areas significantly, and one of the reasons is that his books on the subject have made him the go-to person. When my team and I authored ‘Hello Intern’ we found that we had become accepted in guiding students in the area of internship significantly. To a large extent, I have received invitations to be a guest lecturer on some university campuses because of my books, Hello Intern and Career Advantage. Authoring a book affirms your credibility and authority.

  1. Wealth

Perhaps I should just say money instead of wealth. But the truth is, depending on the jurisdiction you find yourself in, through the appeal of your books and the strategy used in sales some authors have amassed amazing wealth through the publication of their books. JK Rowling of Harry Potter fame can attribute her name to first being an author – and although her book is replicated in several formats, her wealth is essentially from writing. She is considered the 196th richest person in the UK.

You claim you have many brilliant ideas. I certainly agree with you. But of what use will your ideas be in impacting your financial circuit if you keep them to yourself alone. Share that idea in a book, publish it and earn some money. I see my books in just the same way Coca-Cola sees their beverage. I come up with sales and marketing strategies for pre-launch, launch and post-launch sales. When such campaign plans are well deployed, every author can be credited with some money. Very importantly, you get to earn royalties on books sold – especially on online platforms including Amazon, Selar, Sayda and Booknook.

  1. Succession Planning

The impact of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah is widespread. Interestingly, the closest many have come to such legendary figures as himself and Nelson Mandela is in reading their books. When you author a book, it allows you to document your impact and legacy. You get to share ideas to benefit humanity. Up and coming executives and leaders can read your publication as blueprints in their chosen fields. Books by Pastors such as Bishop Dag Heward-Mills have helped raise leaders across the world to Pastor and grow Churches.

  1. Solution

For most theses and project work we do during undergraduate and postgraduate education, the goal is that we get to contribute to the body of knowledge. Essentially, we identify a problem and propose a solution. My books Hello Intern and Career Advantage provide helpful information to readers on internships and the job market respectively. Readers get their needs solved.

I have benefitted well from reading books like ‘Lord, Madiba and the Eagle’ by Albert and Comfort Ocran. This book, for instance, provides a solution to some leadership blunders every leader can make. If you are a business person you can propose solutions to some challenges in your industry, you add to the knowledge economy and become a preferred person for solutions in that area.

When you read a recipe book, it helps you to cook. When a gym instructor affords you a guide, you trust him more. Let me say it this way: if you have some ideas on how people can cook better, live better healthy lives, put them together in a book to solve such problems. Once you do, you receive commercial value for providing solutions.

>>>the writer is a corporate trainer and professional ghostwriter assisting busy executives to write and publish their books, articles, and speeches. He has served as Head of Protocol at a diplomatic mission, Corporate Affairs Officer at a French multinational agribusiness and as Events and Media Correspondent for a digital ad agency. You can contact the author via: [email protected]

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