All posts by Matt Harrison

Why You Don’t Want a Cookie-Cutter Publication

For a business owner, scaling the business will always be a top priority.

One of the best ways to facilitate this growth is through lead generation, which can be done in several ways. You can capture leads through ads, SEO, Webinars — or you can publish a book.

While publishing a book is no easy task, the benefits it promises can make a huge difference. By establishing and increasing your authority and visibility, you’re not only going to increase your following but you should also see an increase in revenue.

There’s no better way to introduce yourself and your business to the market than by publishing a book. The question now is: How do you go about creating your future best-seller?

Do you have to be a writer to publish a book?

As an entrepreneur, you are capable of many things. Writing, however, is not a skill a lot of people possess. If we were living in the 70s or the 80s, the answer to this question would be a resounding “YES.”

The good news is, times have changed. You no longer have to be a writer to come out with a book of your own. While writing skills would definitely be an advantage, they are not at all necessary.

Doing a cookie-cutter publication will always be on the table, given the fast and easy way it can help you meet your goals. It’s important to understand, however, that there are now alternatives that can help you produce higher-quality books. That is, books that provide much better value and capture much more attention than cookie-cutter publications can. 

The best part for a busy business owner like yourself is that you don’t even have to write a single word for the whole thing to happen.

Are you still thinking of creating a cookie-cutter publication because you just can’t take on a book right now?

Below are several reasons why you shouldn’t go this route, and how you can get a book published despite your circumstances.

Quality is not guaranteed

The quality of any cookie-cutter publication is never going to be good. In fact, you can expect the final outcome to be sorely lacking. Templates just don’t cut it anymore. 

You need to keep in mind that these types of publishers service hundreds of authors per year. This means your book is just one of a hundred other titles waiting for its turn to run through the assembly line. It’s not going to get any special attention — or be noticed at all — which often results in a book that is mediocre at best.

If you’re aiming for a bestseller, a cookie-cutter publication isn’t the answer. You’ll need a publisher who’ll be on top of everything from the cover design down to the marketing and book launch. You’ll need a publisher that employs experts who can make the book stand out given the amount of competition you’re looking at.  

Unfortunately, these are things you can’t hope for with a cookie-cutter publication.

It’s not practical

It’s fair to say that opting to go with a cookie-cutter publisher isn’t practical considering what you get in return.

Developing a book is a huge investment. Not only will you be spending money on it, but you’ll also be investing time. From writing the draft, getting it edited and proofed, designing a cover, and marketing the book, the whole process takes a lot of work.  

As someone who runs a business, you know very well how important ROI is. Why would you invest in something that doesn’t guarantee a good return on investment?

It takes a lot to develop a high-quality, top-caliber book. If you want to create a book that will give your company the visibility and exposure it needs, you need to invest effort into it. You have to remember that book publishing is a huge endeavor. You can’t settle for something that’s just “good enough” especially if you consider the book as your life’s work. 

If you’re willing to shell out money for a great book, you might as well invest it in something that guarantees quality and good results, don’t you think?

You have little professional help

Another reason why you don’t want to publish the cookie-cutter way is because of expertise. With cookie-cutter publishing, what you submit is pretty much what ends up in the book.

Save for a few edits and a couple of suggestions that will fit their “template,” everything is pretty much standard. The problem with this approach is that developing a book is something you may not be familiar with. Yes, you may have done your research on what usually sells, but that won’t be enough.  

You’ll need the help of qualified professionals who know what makes up a best-seller. You’ll need a graphic designer who has experience designing attractive book covers; competent editors who have great attention to detail; and marketers who know how to sell books to the right audience.

You’re not going to get any of this type of assistance if you go with cookie-cutter publishing. This is crucial especially for first-time authors who don’t know a lot about the industry. You need the guidance and expertise of professionals so you can plan and make the necessary improvements before the book even makes it to print.

Is self-publishing the answer?

If your intention is to just get a book out without necessarily making the bestseller list, then the answer is probably a big “YES.” Some may even consider it a better alternative when money is the main concern.

The only problem with this type of publication is that you are totally on your own. No editors, no graphic designers, no marketers. Just you. And maybe a few of your smarter friends who are willing to read the book on their own time and give you honest feedback.

You may have total freedom if you go the self-publishing route, but without experts by your side, expecting tons of sales may be a bit of a reach.

Is there a better way to publish a book?

There definitely are better choices than a cookie-cutter publication if you want to sell more books and become an authority in your niche. Experts will help you modify your ideas to make your book more marketable and still keep it in line with your voice and goals.

Outsourcing is an excellent way to do it because of the deep talent pool you have access to. What’s great about this approach is that you’ll have a great deal of control without spending hundreds of hours on your book. 

With dozens of freelance marketplaces to tap into, the possibilities are endless. It’s also a very affordable route to take. Alternatively, you can outsource to an experienced publisher who is passionate about producing a book you’ll be proud to own. Hybrid publishing allows you to enjoy the benefits of both traditional and self-publishing. 

Creating a best-selling book doesn’t have to take a year or more. The whole process can be as short as five months if your target is online retailers and nine months for physical books. And the result will be the same quality look and feel as traditionally-published books. These experts can even help you organize a book launch online and/or in your local area.

Final Thoughts

To be fair, we’re not dismissing a cookie-cutter publication outright. It does fit a certain demographic and purpose. They just aren’t usually the right solution for business leaders.

As an entrepreneur, your expertise is that of growing a business. While writers can become entrepreneurs, not all entrepreneurs are born writers or marketers. We can all agree that for a book to sell like hotcakes, it has to be well-written and marketed correctly. Your reputation and your profits are at stake. Outsourcing and hybrid publishing are your best alternatives for making this happen. Establishing authority and increasing visibility and trust can all be accomplished by outsourcing the entire process of developing a book.

Matt Harrison is the VP of Strategy of FreeeUp, the preeminent freelance marketplace for hiring high quality, vetted talent. He has hired freelancers from around the world and built teams to service multinational brands resulting in over $100 million in web hosting company acquisitions. He currently lives in St. Petersburg, FL.