Can you use a book as a business card?


I’ve been thinking about writing a book for years. What’s stopped me so far have been the questions I asked myself, like “Why would anyone want to read what I write?” and”What can I say that hasn’t been said before?”

Then I realised that I could write about my take on things – my opinions on marketing and what makes a business successful. And so I’ve started and I’ve nearly finished the first chapter! I’m not planning to make a million from book sales (although it would be nice!). Instead, I’m going to use my book as  a business card – another way of promoting my business. When I go networking or give presentations, I’ll have copies of the book with me to sell. I’m going to develop some talks and workshops around the content of the book. I’ll send it to people I want to keep in touch with. And I’ll add it to my CV!

So what is my book about? It’s about how I’ve survived the first ten years in business (I’m really looking forward to our birthday party this summer!) and what I think makes a successful business. Over the coming months, as I write more of the book I’ll share sections of it here on my blog. Feel free to tell me what you think of it, as your input will be helpful. Here’s a tiny snippet about ‘grown up marketing’ for new businesses.

“I took the decision even before I’d actually set up my business, that I needed to present it properly. I spent some time with a graphic designer who came up with a logo for my company. She created letterhead and business cards; she designed a leaflet for which I wrote the words. Then I had everything printed on good quality paper – nothing flimsy or cheap. I meet many new business owners who use free software to print free business cards from their own computers. It might save you money; it won’t create the impression that says “I’m in business and I’m here to stay'”. You need to show that you’re serious and that you’re different from everyone else.

“Next I bought a domain name – not a great one, as I’d already decided on the name of my company and had to find a domain name that fit – and used it for my email address, instead of telling people I had a free beeb account. A friend of mine set up a small website for me, for which I wrote the copy. I knew nothing about the technical side of websites, so there was no way I would consider building my own site. I’ve always stuck to doing what I know and paying someone else to do what I can’t. There are too many homemade looking websites and business cards out there. Needing to make the right impression is especially important when your business is all about communications and creating impressions.”

What do you think?

And could you write a book to use as a business card?


2 Responses

  1. Hi,

    I have just read a chapter in “The ASJA Guide to Freelance Writing” explaining precisely how you can use your book for self-promotion. You can even use it on name tags in professional conferences to foster discussions.
    There is a variety of routes you can go to use your book as a business card to assert your expertise — including self-publishing.
    And tips about making the right investments are always useful for new businesses. There’s a fine line between keeping costs at a judicious minimum and being cheap.

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by TopMarketingTip: Appletree’s update: Can you use a book as a business card?

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