Books are a generous gift. As an expert writing about your expertise you will share so much of your wisdom, your experience, your hard-won lessons. Typically, within the stories and ideas you capture with sheer dedication and determination, is everything you know about how people can get out of a problem they face. Often, the contents of your book are the very intellectual property (IP) that you charge your clients thousands of dollars for, such as:
- an approach that wins big sales (Mike Adams, The Seven Stories every Salesperson must Tell);
- a way to build teams that allow people to shine (Tracey Ezard, Glue);
- a way to communicate that will get results (Leah Mether, Soft is the New Hard).
But authors tell me they worry about publishing everything they have ever learned about their topic. Will that support or risk their business? Is it a better strategy to hold back a little and not tell the whole story?
The truth is that writing your book protects your IP in many crucial ways. It’s a stake in the sand that proves you had these ideas first. Here are just three ways your books protect your business.
As soon as you publish anything, anywhere, you are instantly covered by copyright laws, which, in Australia, means you are the author of what you write and can assert your moral and legal right to those words. This applies to songs, poems, books, and stories published in blogs, books and brochures.
Putting the copyright symbol © isn’t necessary to assert that right. All it does is tell potential copyright infringers that you know your rights. That means that if other people quote you, they must attribute the quote to you. It means they cannot take your words and pretend they are your own.
The only exception is if you are employed (which you are not because you are a thought leader): whatever you author while employed is the copyright of your employer unless otherwise negotiated.
People don’t like cheaters
If someone pinches your ideas and gets found out, you’ll find that people are on your side. If you have written a book that another expert in your field sneaks ideas from without attributing them to you, they’ll lose their reputation. Their clients will call them out, spread the word, and probably contact you to let you know so you can take action. People don’t like cheats.
Get the right clients
Only some of the people who buy your book will become your clients. And they are the ones who really want to change. They are the very best clients.
Yes, some people can apply what they learn from a book with your help. But the people you want to do business with are willing to pay you to help them quickly apply the knowledge that you have so generously shared and clearly laid out. And because you have outlined it all in a book, they will feel even more confident to engage you to show them how.
Those people who do not want or cannot afford to pay more than $30 for your wisdom will go no further than buying your book (for now). But they will love its generosity and generously share it with others. Others will be the clients you would most love to work with.
Get it down and get it published.
Once you publish your book, you’ll be known as the expert you are and you will have more business than you know what to do with.