If you’re having a business meeting with a potential supplier and, instead of a business card, they put a book in your hands, what does that say to you?

Most people perceive a book as having value, outside the materials it’s printed on.  So it has a more positive impact than a business card, no matter how high quality that business card might be.

If a business contact gives you a book, most people will see that person as of higher status than their competitors who haven’t produced a book.  This can mean they expect to pay a bit more for your services!

Giving a book creates reciprocity (hard to pronounce!) in other words, a feeling that the recipient ‘owes you one’!

But I can’t write!

If the idea of scribing 30-40,000 words fills you with dread, don’t worry.  A book doesn’t have to be a big production.  A booklet of tips or ‘How to …’ can be just as effective.

Given that a printed version needs to have a multiple of 4 pages, it can be as little as 20 pages, with a heavier, card cover, that leaves 16 pages to fill.  If the page is a third of an A4 page, you shouldn’t have any trouble filling that up – and you can always add diagrams, models and other graphics to help get your message across.

If you’re still stuck for ideas – think of all the questions your customers ask and use them to create your content.

Why do I suggest one third of an A4 page as the optimum size?

That’s easy, because it slips into a jacket pocket, a handbag, briefcase or computer bag easily without getting scrunched up.  An A5 size can be a tiny bit too big to fit some pockets.

Invest in a smart cover design and ensure all your contact details – phone, email, website – are on the back cover and you’ve got a valuable alternative to a business card.