Savvy business leaders recognize the power of a published book to establish a position as an authoritative and influential thinker. Businessman Harvey Mackay built his thought leadership brand with his first motivational book Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive, which has sold more than five million copies. 

However, business leaders often consider the book writing and publishing process overwhelming. They want to tell their stories and share their wisdom but don’t know how to start. They yearn to have a book to build or boost their brand but don’t know how to approach publishers. These five fast facts demystify the process of how ideas become books:

  1. You need a solid book idea. Publishers love book ideas that are U.N.I.Q.U.E: Unusual, New, Inspiring, Quotable, Understandable, Engaging. That means you need to research the marketplace to determine how your book idea compares to books currently in print. Conduct this research through, using key words associated with your topic.  How is your book idea better or different than those published books?
  1. Your book idea must be audience focused. Your book is not only a showcase for your stories but also a wellspring of your wisdom. Therefore, as you plan the content for your book, keep in mind your audience. Identify your ideal reader. What ideas, insights and knowledge will your ideal reader gain from your book?
  1. You don’t have to write the book first. Publishers prefer receiving book ideas – not book manuscripts – offered through a query letter, which provides details about your book’s message and content. If interested, the publisher will request a proposal, consisting of a chapter-by-chapter outline and sample chapters. Based on that proposal, you can secure a publishing contract to write the book’s manuscript.
  1. You have publishing options. You can publish your book through a traditional publisher or through a partnership publisher. With traditional publishing, you make no financial investment in publishing the book and receive a standard advance against royalties. The publisher handles editing, production, fulfillment, marketing and publicity. Control of a traditionally published book rests with the publisher. With partnership publishing, you share in the expense of publishing the book and receive a higher royalty rate than that offered by a traditional publisher. The publisher assists in editing, production, fulfillment, marketing and publicity as part of a menu of services paid for by the author. Control of a partnership published book rests with the author.
  1. You can benefit from a book coach. A book coach helps you throughout the book writing and publishing process. At the beginning, the book coach listens to understand your book’s goals, message and audience. Then the book coach synthesizes information, shares ideas and shapes the direction of the book with you. Next, the book coach serves as an objective first reader of your manuscript, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the material and making suggestions for revision. Last, the book coach helps you determine the best publishing path to pursue.

A published book allows you to tell your story, share your wisdom and build or boost your brand as a thought leader. Consider your published book as the new business card. Imagine the doors your book will open for you!

Author Bio: Pauline Bartel of Bartel Communications, Inc., works with clients that have great stories to tell. As an editorial and publishing consultant and book coach, Pauline guides her clients in shaping their stories for either traditional or partnership publishing.

Pauline is the author of nine traditionally published nonfiction books. She has also ghostwritten three books for business experts. An award-winning writer, Pauline is a member of the prestigious American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA).

She holds a Master of Arts degree in Public Communications and a Bachelor of Arts degree (magna cum laude), both from The College of Saint Rose.   Learn more by visiting her website (

To discover how your idea can become a book, request her complimentary consultation “Your Book Your Way” by contacting her directly (