When we proposed writing a thought leadership book to educate the market and indirectly promote Nimbus, our VCs rolled their eyes and wrote us off as a bad investment. We wrote the book and built a global business on the back of it, with a great exit that made the VCs very, very happy. That book, Common Approach Uncommon Results is still as relevant today and is still winning clients. And since then I have written 6 more books which have built the Nimbus and IanGotts brand.

The business case for writing books is surprisingly powerful vs other marketing material, as I set out in this blog.  But the real power was when you were one of the only people doing it. Now it is a standard tool in the marketers toolkit, yet most are still at the white paper / ebook lite rather than a proper, valuable printed book.

A while back, I co-founded a publisher Smart Questions, with a simple structure and access to great quality print on demand printers in Europe and USA to help corporates write and publish books that really help differentiate themselves. A number of companies have written Smart Questions books and have been staggered how quickly they have been able to write them (based on the SQ structure) and how effective they are at educating customers.

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Wiley with its Dummies series has done a fantastic job both helping individuals and its sponsored series of business books. Their range of their books is amazing, but when I saw this, it really had gone too far.

Having said that, it may be relevant to some of you who will be pleased to hear that there is a free download.

2 thoughts on “Writing books: no longer a marketing secret

  1. Hi Ian

    I agree – I love the Dummies range and have found them great for learning hobbies fast (Photography, Piano etc). However when I spotted “Breast Cancer for Dummies” in the library I had the same reaction as you.

    Beyond this, I’m interested in what you think of the concept of e-books as a marketing tool, if you don’t have the bandwidth or funds to go down the print route?


    1. eBooks are an alternative to physical books, but they can easily be lumped into the “free white paper and therefore marketing” camp. The time and cost is really taken up writing the book. After that each book with print on demand (ie print run of just ONE) can be £10 pr less. That is a small marketing cost especially when you consider that a physical book is sitting on a shelf, passed on or resold so works a lot harder in PR and marketing terms than an ebook which is downloaded to gather dust, unseen, on a kindle or ipad.

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