During the past twelve years that I have been helping authors publish their own books, I’ve had the privilege of working with over 175 different authors and have assisted in the publication of over 220 titles.  That wealth of experience has allowed me to gain valuable insight into what makes a successful business book.  Not just in terms of bestseller rankings, but those that go on to have a significant impact on the success of the author’s wider business.

I have been able to collate these insights into five key areas that underpin a successful business book publishing project.  They are:

  1. Alignment: Alignment between your book and your business
  2. Quality: A professional book that is a true reflection of your business
  3. Ownership: End-to-end ownership of rights and the publishing process
  4. Distribution: Multiple distribution channels that allow for the widest reach
  5. Integration: Integration of your book into all aspects of your business ecosystem

These key areas form the “5 Principles of Successful Business Publishing” that I use as the basis for our ‘Ink 2 Influence’ publishing model.  These Principles are integrated into every aspect of the self-publishing process that I teach to authors and that we employ for every SWATT Books client, regardless of the subject or genre of book they are writing.

In this 5-part article series, I want to unpack each of these Principles and explain why they are each so important to writing and publishing a successful book that will revolutionise your business; starting with Principle #1: Alignment.

Principle #1: Alignment

Alignment is the first pillar of the Ink 2 Influence model because it is the only one out of the five that affects every aspect of the book writing journey and not just the publishing.  It should impact your decisions from the very day that you decide to write a book to support your business and is one of the most crucial in determining the success of your book with your readers.

In simplest terms, Alignment ensures that your book and your business work in complete harmony with each other; supporting each other seamlessly.  It will allow your book to slot into your wider business ecosystem in such a way that will strengthen both properties equally.


It all starts with consistency in the message.  Aside from the obvious task of ensuring the topic of your book has some level of relevancy to what your business does to generate revenue, you need to maintain a consistent message, tone of voice, and application of brand between the book and the business.  Quite often during the writing process, things like tone of voice and how you talk about your work grow and evolve, which is great, but you may need to update other pieces of business collateral before publication to maintain that consistency.

Trust & Credibility

Getting Alignment right is crucial in building trust and credibility with your readers as it reinforces you as an authority, but one that practices what they preach.  There is nothing more off-putting to a prospective client who reads one thing in the corporate literature and then sees the author doing the complete opposite.  If it’s good enough for you as an expert, then readers will automatically believe that it is good enough for those who aspire to be like you.

Reinforce Brand Identity

Alignment also helps to reinforce brand identity, not only of you as an author but of your business as well.  If you take the time to weave your brand identity into your book in terms of cover design, font choice, image selection and messaging, it will make it much easier for potential clients to recognise and remember you and your business when they are ready to purchase.

All of this helps your book fulfil its purpose to you as the author in terms of fulfilling the specific business goals you may set for it, such as lead generation, client acquisition, or thought leadership.  The stronger the Alignment, the easier and more successfully these goals will be fulfilled.

So how to go about ensuring there is Alignment between your book and your business?  

It starts with identifying and understanding the book’s target audience.  Whenever I discuss ideal client avatars with authors, I make a point of telling them to start with their current ideal clients as a reference.  The reason for that advice is that Alignment starts with making sure the target audience for your book and your ideal business client are one and the same.

From there, Alignment continues through to choosing your book’s content; taking the time to ensure that your book’s content directly addresses the needs, challenges, questions, and pain points of that target audience, i.e. your ideal client.  It even filters down into the writing process by using a similar style, tone of voice and language to maintain consistency between your book and other pre-existing or future business content.

It is also important to incorporate your business’s core values, mission and vision into the content and messaging for your book, again to reinforce brand identity and ensure that readers make the automatic associate your book and your wider business.

But Alignment doesn’t stop with the content of your book, it should also extend to how you integrate your book into your business’s sales and marketing strategy.  When done correctly, both book and business should contribute to each other’s; allowing for cross-promotion seamlessly between the two which will ultimately elevate the growth and success of both entities.

When done right, this cross-promotion should allow for the consistency of your message to extend to marketing content across various platforms such as your website, social media, and any other public-facing marketing channels.  It should come across in the way you talk about both your book and your business in interviews, podcasts, videos, seminars, and keynote talks further; reinforcing the connection in your reader’s minds between you, your book, and your business.

The benefits of getting the Alignment between your business and your book right are not only multi-faceted but can extend well into the long term.  A perfectly Aligned book can effectively engage readers and convert them into loyal customers and clients who often turn into your most avid supporters.  It also encourages these raving fans to actively support you in providing feedback and helping you to adapt and refine your book and business strategies to help boost both your book and business to greater success.

And don’t forget that the shelf life of a book can extend years, or even decades into the future depending on its subject, so getting the Alignment right with your business and then maintaining it as your business grows and develops will ensure that both you and your business will reap the rewards of your book will into the future; making it the most valuable and lucrative investment you can even make.

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