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Maybe you've never fancied yourself an author—that's okay. Most people haven't. But writing and publishing a book has never been easier thanks to the upswing in self-publishing, e-books and on-demand printing.
Writing a book isn't an overnight venture, but neither is it as difficult as you imagine. Even if you don't consider yourself a writer, there are multiple ways to get a book written and published, and you and your organization can reap benefits for months if not years to come once you have your name—and your stories, experience and expertise—in print.
Not yet convinced? Here are six reasons you should start writing a book in 2017.
You can tell your stories on your terms.
A published book gives you a platform that you control—you get to talk about your nonprofit and your cause in the way that you see fit, without the filter or influence of the news media or anyone else. It's like your website—it's an opportunity to put your organization's best foot forward with you leading the way. And if you have other leaders or experts you want to collaborate with, a book is a great way to bring all of your history, expertise and ideas together in one place.
It'll create a ton of shareable content for your website and social media channels.
A well structured book can create a wealth of content, quotes, stories, potential blog posts and even imagery that can be shared on both social media and your website. As you're writing and researching, you'll have several “ah-ha” moments where you'll think, "this would be a great story for our blog" or "I need to write about this on our website." Fresh, relevant content is still king online. Writing a book will help you uncover and discover more of that valuable content for your organization.
A book gives you street cred as a thought leader.
Becoming a published author automatically makes you an expert in your audience's eyes, even if you choose the self-publishing route. Imagine you’re at an event, and you have the opportunity to hand out business cards or signed copies of your new book. Which do you think is going to leave a bigger impression? In fact, you can think of a book as a sort of glorified business card—but instead of just your contact information, it also includes your thoughts, passion and expertise about your cause.
It can help bring in revenue for your nonprofit.
You might not necessarily get rich, but if the cost is reasonable and there is a market for your book, book sales can definitely raise funds for an organization. You can also create strategic marketing opportunities, like building the cost of your book into an event registration fee, then handing out copies of the book at the event with directions for where people can purchase additional copies or refer friends and colleagues. If you publish a book that's relevant, interesting and valuable to your audience, you may very well find yourself with a new revenue stream.
It can also bring in new supporters and volunteers.
A published book not only raises your personal credibility factor, but it boosts your organization’s street cred, as well, and introduces your cause to potential new supporters and volunteers. That's a roundabout way of creating a revenue stream with your book, but still—it works. If publishing a book about your cause and/or organization motivates more people to financially support your nonprofit, it's a worthwhile initiative for that and that alone.
It creates foot-in-the-door opportunities.Sending your book to potential companies and organizations you'd like to partner with is a natural way to get your name and nonprofit in front of the right people. There's professional networking for that, of course, but sometimes you may have a difficult time making the connections you'd like or need. That's when it's handy to be able to sign a copy of your book, drop it in the mail to the people or places you want to connect with and let your written words do the talking. A book not only gets your name in front of the right people, but your expertise, knowledge, experience and passion as well. Sometimes you need a little more than a LinkedIn profile or a blog post to capture someone's attention.
Of course, at Firespring we believe your best opportunity for creating thought leadership, building credibility, sharing relevant content and engaging with your audience is through your website. Much like a book, it's your chance to say what you want to say on your own terms and on your own platform; it's your nonprofit's most important real estate, and you call the shots in terms of content, voice and direction. If you feel like you’re missing out on that opportunity, we’d love to change that for you. Simply sign up to request a free demo of our nonprofit website platform or call 877.447.8941.
After all, we wrote the book on captivating and engaging websites.