Speakers Should be Authors, Too

Updated: Jan 11

Why Authoring a Book Provides Value to the Presentation Package


By Michael Heath / selfpublishingUS.com

speakers should be authors

Earlier in my career I manned a booth at an event held in Sacramento by the National Speakers Association (NSA). While chatting with one of the members, I referred to him as a public speaker, only to have him correct me. He informed me that public speaking is a hobby, while professional speaking is conducted for a fee. Many professional speakers are compensated with large sums of money for what they do. What often attracts organizations willing to pay a professional speaker such fees to speak to their group or employees is that he/she wrote a book on the very subject presented.


If you plan to speak professionally or do so now, having authored a book elevates the whole presentation package. Here are some things to consider:

  • A book gives the speaker authority: the man or woman who wrote the book

  • The book can attract more speaking engagements

  • A book is a keepsake; people may toss away a business card but not a book

  • If you speak well, the audience will want more by buying your book (don’t disappoint!)

  • Residual income: sell the book in the back of the room

  • A book helps attract interviews and guest appearances

  • Each chapter can be a topic about which you speak

  • Creates the potential to reach a very wide audience

Be the Expert

Imagine that an emcee introduces you by giving a short biography. He or she mentions your education, your work history, and accomplishments relating to your presentation. Then he or she makes known that you wrote a book about the topic you are to discuss. That’s right! You are the one who wrote the book. Does that impress the audience? It sure does. People know how much work and knowledge goes into writing a book, so right away they are ready to listen to the expert. What a great way to get their attention.


Talking Heads Do It, Too

Does it ever seem that every talking head on television wrote a book? When interviewed, did you ever notice that their book just happens to be displayed on the bookshelf just behind them? These “experts” know that they need a book to be taken more seriously by the networks. Here again, the book helps attract the television time they are given while providing some free advertising for both the book and future speaking engagements. One can easily see how each piece connects to the next.


Self-Publish Your Book

The audience cares that there is a book, and many will want to know how to get it. There are several reasons why you will want to be the one publishing rather than relying on a traditional publisher.

  • No need to query agents

  • Timeliness: get the book out now rather than on a publisher’s schedule

  • Have full control over the writing and rights

  • Do not need permission to update (edit) the message

  • Keep all book profits

I have met many authors/speakers who keep a box of books in their car ready to distribute much like a business card. Some sell their book on their website. Plugging a book on a website or social media is a great way to reach those decision makers who schedule professional speakers for their organizations. Even mailing a free copy of a book can initiate communication.


The Time is Now

Karen Lamb, who wrote The Coulson Boys, said, “A year from now you may wish you had started today.” If you speak professionally consider writing your book now. An author may not need to be a speaker, but in today’s lecture circuit a speaker almost certainly needs to author a book if he/she expects to be successful.


Contact SelfPublishingUS for a free authoring consultation.


For more on the National Speakers Association, visit: https://nsaspeaker.org/


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