Writing a Book or Publishing Content for Credibility: The Literary Chicken and Egg
on July 29th, 2021
Waiting for Published Content Eggs to Hatch
An egg makes a chicken, right? Therefore, existing published content makes an . . . author? Well, truthfully, it depends. Often times, a prospective author brings a plethora of expertise to the table in preparation for writing a book. Perhaps they have been published by academic journals or have been featured on podcasts. No matter the exposure, if the content is aligned with the overall book mission and theme, it is a great idea to publish content for credibility.
In non-fiction book writing, authors typically need a platform. This is built through speaking engagements, published articles, and a social media presence to name a few tactics. Once the book is published, the author has generated buzz and has a platform audience for the launch and eventual sale of the book.
Having existing published content out there is a way to boost your credibility and inspire others to buy and read your book.
It Takes a Chicken (Published Book) to Lay Credibility Eggs
On the other side of the argument, a published book is a physical business card of credibility. As a published author, you have the opportunity to pitch your expertise to other outlets with the caveat that you can plug your book somewhere in your bio or the article. Sometimes digital outlets will even invite you to include a link to your book for sale. If you haven’t published articles or content elsewhere prior to writing your book, you can simply build upon your credibility with your book as the foundation.
There are many opportunities where you can take actual excerpts of your published book and pitch them as short blog posts or articles in the area of your expertise to digital and print magazines as well as specialty websites.
“The good news is that there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to which medium you should publish first.”
How Will I know What to Publish First?
The good news is that there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to which medium you should publish first. Ideally, if you want to seek a traditional publisher for your book and need to build your author platform, you should start pitching articles and building up your press kit. The more “well known” you are in your circles of knowledge, the stronger your platform will be.
If you have an existing platform, you can devote much of your energy to publishing your book. Be sure to let your devoted fans know that a book is on the way. Generate buzz leading up to the book launch to increase sales.
Let’s say you don’t have a platform or a book yet. No chickens. No eggs. Not even a nest. That is okay too! At the very least, you probably have a book idea. Take a look at your book idea and define two to three niches where it could live. Business leadership, memoir, humor, prescriptive non-fiction, arts and crafts, and psychology are a few examples.
Next, determine publications both print and online that are related to your niche. Check Twitter and Google for any “calls for submissions.” Even if these publications are not actively seeking submissions, research the editors for the different departments and submit a pitch for content. You never know. Your blog or longform article could end up as a chapter in your book.