Write Your First Book to Enjoy These 6 Benefits—They’re Better Than You Think

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There are obvious benefits of writing a book.

We assume authors enjoy credibility, passive income, and a sense of self-accomplishment.

As I went through the process of writing my first two books, not only was it more challenging and complicated than I expected (you just put words on paper, right?), it was also more rewarding than I thought it would be.

In this article, I am going to share the key benefits I have experienced from publishing my first books:

  1. Expanding Your Network
  2. Earning Additional Income
  3. Learning New Skills and Expertise
  4. Becoming a Better Writer
  5. Creating a New Marketing Channel
  6. Boosting Your Personal Brand’s Credibility

1. Expanding Your Network

I am putting this one first for a reason. Not only is it an overlooked benefit of book publishing, it is also the biggest benefit in my opinion.

Unless you have a massive audience, the prices books sell for and the associated profit margins are not going to pay your bills or lead to an early retirement anytime soon.

For example, I don’t mind sharing a behind-the-scenes look at the pricing structure and margins for my personal branding book, “The Personal Brand Blueprint: A No-Nonsense Guide to Personal Branding in the Age of the Creator”:

  • My print book is priced at $19.99—a price I think is reasonable given the value the book provides and the stage of my career. I am not a 30-year marketing industry veteran who can command top dollar for a book in my opinion. However, I think this price point is fair for my level of expertise and the practical value it provides.
  • It is 160+ pages of case studies, strategy frameworks, and actionable tips that can pay people back for their $19.99 investment in multiples.
  • After printing fees and other fees, I make $8.98 for each book someone purchases. This is a profit margin I am happy with. It pays me back for the significant time investment I spent putting the book together. However, it is also not significant enough to make monetary profit the primary publishing benefit for me.

With these details in mind, financial gain is a secondary goal for my book publishing projects.

The real value I see comes from the network growth I’ve experienced during this journey.

For example, I’ve expanded my audience on channels like Medium and LinkedIn. Among the new members of my network are fellow marketing professionals I have grown close with, and speak with regularly to compare notes and help each other on our projects.

I can’t put a price on that feedback. It is coming from people I trust, and highly targeted in terms of being the exact information I need. This value exchange has been incredible in terms of informing my strategy as a content creator, and in giving me tangible advice I can use in my role as a marketing executive.

The particular benefit of book publishing that is most valuable may be different for each individual. However, network growth will certainly be toward the top of the list.

2. Earning Additional Income

The book revenue breakdown I did above was not meant to deter people from book publishing, or to say writing books can’t be profitable. It was more so meant to give people a transparent view of the profit margins you can expect.

That said, book publishing can be an awesome additional revenue stream. Having digital products out in the world making money while you sleep is a welcome addition to anyone’s income.

A Natural Progression for Content Creators

Modern personal branding is built on a content marketing foundation. This makes creating premium, revenue-generating content like a book a natural progression.

Giving people more of the content they already value to consume in a paid format is a minimally disruptive strategy for making money with your personal brand.

That is why so many entrepreneurs are creating digital products in one format or another to monetize their personal brands.

To do this, you can leverage subscription platforms that help you to create digital products, and accept payments from your subscribers.

Marketplaces and ecommerce tools to check out:

  • Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing — This is where I primarily sell my books. KDP has plenty of tools and resources for helping authors with self-publishing.
  • Gumroad — Gumroad makes it easy to sell products and services like books, courses, guides, and membership programs. I am experimenting with my first paid Gumroad product with this ebook version of my new book.
  • ConvertKit — Create monetized content and host products. I am experimenting with hosting my own newsletter here, but have not tried hosting paid digital products yet.

As you consider book publishing, marketplace selection will be important. Which marketplace you choose will help to determine how your book is sold, and what your profit margins are as you seek the book publishing benefit of monetization.

3. Learning New Skills and Expertise

Writing a book was a first-time experience for me that had plenty of other new experiences baked into the process.

For example, I had never:

  1. Submitted work to a copyright office.
  2. Purchased an International Standard Book Number (ISBN). I didn’t know what an ISBN was before my first book project.
  3. Listed or sold an item on Amazon.
  4. Marketed a book. I have marketed plenty of other products in my career, but the nuances of book marketing were new to me.

Whether you choose to work with a book publisher to help with these logistics, or embark on a self-publishing journey like I chose to, I guarantee you will learn plenty of new skills and expertise along the way.

I’ve found these skills to be beneficial as I published my second book, and they have also provided value in other areas of my career.

If you’d like more info about these lessons, I wrote an in-depth article on the book publishing learning journey in this piece: Lessons I Learned Publishing My First Two Books.

4. Becoming a Better Writer

This is technically a skill, and could have been mentioned above. However, this benefit is important enough to deserve its own section.

I can’t think of many writing projects or writing skill tests bigger than getting through writing your first book.

It’s a significant workload, with many books being hundreds of pages long. When I wrote my first book, it was the longest thing I’d ever written, one-upping my master’s thesis project by 60-some pages.

Embarking on a writing project of this significance hones your writing skills in a way I didn’t expect. I could feel myself becoming a better writer from one proof-read to the next.

Repetition

Some of this growth is purely from the practice. You are writing and editing a document that is hundreds of pages long several times.

For example, my second book is 168 pages. I read it cover-to-cover over 20 times and spent hours editing it. As I edited, I’d reference grammar and formatting rules I hadn’t revisited in a while, debate better sentence structures, and remove unnecessary words to make for sharper copy.

This repetition felt like practice repetitions for a sport, and I noticed my writing improve in other avenues of my life because of it.

Outside Perspective

If you choose to work with an editor on your book, it represents an opportunity for more practice and feedback. Working with an editor can help you learn new writing styles and phrases, and to refine your grammar and punctuation.

One tangible example is my editor is a big fan of the em dash—now I look for opportunities to leverage it to change up the pace and length of my writing when I want to.

5. Creating a New Marketing Channel

Books are a product. However, they can also serve as a marketing channel.

Let me explain.

The act of publishing a book and making it available on a marketplace like Amazon or Gumroad unlocks access to new audience segments for your personal brand.

For example:

  • I sell my books on Amazon’s marketplace. This marketplace represents a new audience I would not normally reach or have access to. New people can discover my book, discover my other work, and become a part of my network and audience.
  • My book itself contains links to my other work, like articles on my website, Medium articles, and my other products. People who buy my book may access these other resources, and become fans or customers.
  • The promotional content you create for your book, like ads, social posts, and newsletters, represents additional digital real estate. These byproducts of book publishing further expand your personal brand’s footprint.

Books and their associated promotional mechanisms can become a channel that expands your audience and complements your other content and revenue streams.

6. Boosting Your Personal Brand’s Credibility

A book is an asset that becomes a part of your personal brand. Not only is a book a new marketing channel, it also becomes a new element of credibility that can be displayed on your existing marketing channels and content.

For example, I mention that I am a published author in my personal brand statement, or professional bio, on platforms like LinkedIn, Medium, and my website.

This is an awesome additional piece of credibility you can add to your personal brand as you continue building social proof and trust among your audience.

Book publishing projects can also be listed on platforms like LinkedIn, or included on your resume.

Looking for opportunities to add your book and status as an author to your professional channels is a nice additional benefit I didn’t originally think of when I first started writing.

Final Thoughts on the Benefits of Publishing Books

Book publishing has proven to be an adventure that has yielded personal enjoyment and tangible benefits I didn’t fully appreciate previously.

I’ve learned that through the publishing process, authors can significantly expand their professional network, enhance their skill sets in meaningful ways, and elevate their personal brand’s credibility. The opportunity for building new passive income streams is also an exciting one.

I hope this article helps you consider these benefits, especially if you are in the process of debating whether or not to embark on your own book publishing project.

To start your brand building journey, get my Brand Credential newsletter, or join 20,000+ readers on my marketing and personal branding blog, brandcredential.com.

About the Author

Hi, I'm Justin and I write Brand Credential.

I started Brand Credential as a resource to help share expertise from my 10-year brand building journey.

I currently serve as the VP of Marketing for a tech company where I oversee all go-to-market functions. Throughout my career I've helped companies scale revenue to millions of dollars, helped executives build personal brands, and created hundreds of pieces of content since starting to write online in 2012.

As always, thank you so much for reading. If you’d like more personal branding and marketing tips, here are more ways I can help in the meantime:

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