Manufacturing your book, is only the start
Coming from the world of manufacturing I am intrigued as what your notion of manufacturing is. For many it is dirty factories with people sitting on the shop floor turning out widgets. In reality they are amazing places full of people who create innovative solutions to other peoples problems and that’s not just the R&D people, that is everyone in every department, because unless everyone is pulling together the eventual output will not hit the streets on time and at a price that is acceptable to the consumer and of course the manufacturer will not make a profit.
What is manufacturing?
For me manufacturing is about making, invention, building, producing, developing and imagination.
During the 18th century, often cited as the beginning of the industrial revolution, the way in which we worked changed forever, we moved out of the home and into factories to produce goods to make other peoples lives easier.
With each step more industries popped up – we needed coal to make steam engines run to produce iron and so the mines increased production and as the mass production of goods increased, we needed faster ways to deliver goods to customers, so the transportation industry grew and changed shape and when we needed other things that weren’t available at home we went overseas to find it – global markets grew.
Fast forward to today and I am going to disregard the fact that there are still traditional manufacturing businesses out there doing a sterling job. I want to consider home manufacturing. The manufacturer and disseminator of knowledge is you.
If I go back to my original idea of people sitting in long lines doing stuff, you can see very clearly what is being made in a factory.
Stop for a moment and look at you and your business, you may potentially be selling something, like coaching or consultancy, which is essentially you, your intellectual property and know how. It’s something the others often can’t see or grasp.
How many times have you thought I need a product? I need to find some way to package what I do and sell it in another way?
Writing a book is a manufacturing process.
A book gives you an opportunity to share what you do in concise easily consumed format. But for a moment, stop thinking about it as a book, think of it as a product you have manufactured for others to consume which will enable them to become more effective. Coal, steam, iron, transportation.
Your book is a product
Of course your book is a product, it’s a product, which you manufacture.
Let’s look at the stages:-
Concept – you have an idea(s) for a book.
Idea screening – you brainstorm and spend a lot of time thinking. Additionally you undertake some research, looking at competitors and your micro and macro environment.
Concept development and testing – you chat it over with your family, friends colleagues, maybe even mapping the whole book idea out.
Marketing strategy – you consider how your book would fit into your overall business strategy and how you could bring together those important elements of strategy, reader and content to make it marketable. You relook at your research and make some adjustments.
Product development – now you are working on getting your prototype ready – outlining and writing to first draft and beyond.
Testing – you give it to your proofreader and copy editor or maybe your friend who pulls it apart and gives you feedback, which takes you back into development and product refinement. You may even test the market by writing a few blogs to see if anyone has any appetite for your ideas and concepts.
Commercialisation – OMG you have published and marketing the heck out of your business using your book as a brand building, credibility busting resource.
The product development pipeline is the future lifeblood of any company, so now you have written your book and are holding your product in your hands (or your Kindle if digital) what next?
Bringing the right products to market can lead to amazing rewards not only personally but for your business.
My question is – is the book a product which you sell – of course you would like to or is it something which is bigger than the book?
Because you build it, doesn’t mean they will come and many an author slides into failure mindset because their book is not selling.
It’s all about marketing
In my experience people or companies who are most successful are those which:-
Create and deliver products or services which meet the unmet needs of their target market.
Understand that the market doesn’t just want one thing, it needs a range of things – think Ferdy dog, he loves his dog food, but he also likes his dog treats and our food but that’s a different story (mmm product idea – Sunday roast for pooches).
Doing it differently – unique, can’t be copied by the competition and sustainable
Keep their eye on their current and future competitors.
Price it right – think cost, price and value.
Back to my question
You have manufactured your book, been through a gamut of emotions and processes, you have published it, you want it to sell, so…
Is the book a product to now sell or is it something bigger?
Slap on your wrist if you say it’s a product to sell – of course you want to sell it, that goes without saying (I think I am repeating myself here).
Wake up and smell the coffee – your book is bigger than the book (I know I have said this somewhere before).
This book is part of your marketing arsenal. It is part of your sales toolkit, it will help you to open doors and sell other products and services on the back of it. It is a HUGE business card, a big FAT brochure, but it is never just a BOOK.
The costs to manufacture your book are now sunk costs, they are the investment that you make to differentiate you and your business, it is your unique intellectual property and if done well can lead to sustainable business growth and future profitability.
As a book coaching marketing consultant with too many years of nagging under my belt, I just want you to a) have the best book ever and b)write it for the bigger picture.