What if you had the resources to build an entire world, utilizing your creativity, emotions and writing talent to conjure it straight from your imagination? Writing a book is that very endeavor – and though it involves a considerable time commitment right off the bat, it has infinite staying power (once it’s written, it can’t be unwritten!) and can potentially be a lifelong, lucrative investment, making your manuscript as a financial asset.
So why are books an investment-worthy asset? If you think about it, books have survived centuries of trends, inventions and technological developments: from theater and cinema, to the internet revolution, books could have easily become obsolete, but instead, the industry is learning to adapt, and books continue to be sold all over the world and writers continue to make a decent living from their words.
In fact, the average personal library contains books that span over at least a century in publication dates. Several books considered to be great works of literature, still taught in schools today, have been written several thousands of years ago. A work of literature still has enormous staying power in today’s world, despite the seemingly breakneck speed of industrialization.
If you wanted to invest in real estate, you would need to have a decent amount of extra money to spend on your investments. Even so, those investments would be subject to changes in ownership, potential weather hazards, property management problems, and other unforeseen issues that may affect the value of your investment. Investing in your craft and your writing, however, requires a different sort of investment; in this case, the resource most needed is not money, but time. If you are able to allocate enough time to get your ideas down, there is no doubt you can turn your writing into an exciting, powerful, meaningful and asset that can continue to accrue wealth and value, several lifetimes over.
Investing in your own intellectual property will require you to build your own team of professionals who will ensure the integrity of your asset (your writing!) has the best chance of success. Among those in your team may include:
- A literary agent
- A developmental and substantive editor
- A line editor
- A graphic designer
- A marketing and PR agent
With a stellar team of experienced professionals, you are greatly increasing the odds that your book not only does well in sales but that it weathers the test of time.
Manuscript as a Financial Asset
Ultimately, the success of a book rests on three main things:
- A good book – one that takes the reader on an emotional journey and leaves a mark long after the last page – is the first and most important mark of potential success. Qualities of a good book include but are not limited to a unique storyline, relatable and memorable characters, surprising and unexpected plot twists, and an engaging writing style.
- Creative and technical editing takes a very close second place in importance for a successful book. Great ideas need to be well-crafted, developed, and expressed with a clear and cohesive voice – something that good editors will be able to help you achieve.
- A well-crafted marketing campaign will tackle online and offline strategies to get your book into the hands of readership and in the minds of potential readers. The key to a successful campaign is saturating your target market with advertisements in multiple areas they are likely to meet, shop, or browse. The more they see your book, the more likely they are to purchase it – and the more likely your sales will see an increase.
Essentially, investing in your own intellectual property allows you to gain two things: a sense of purpose in your life, sharing your work, and having it reviewed by valued peers and critics. Once your thoughts become part of a larger discussion, you’ll be invited to meetings, lectures, and home classes, and establish a long-term readership. There’s value in being valued, and it has a lifelong impact on your career, your mental health, and your sense of freedom.
The other big potential gain is financial. Some opt to do a pre-sale or fundraiser and use those sales to fund further investments in their marketing and distribution. Others go on book tours, charging ticket prices for their lectures – which also turns into a bump in book sales. In either case, being published distinguishes you as an authority, and allows you to charge more in your related work as an advisor, consultant, or teacher.
The best thing you can bet on is yourself. For every voice there is a market, and you undoubtedly have a story to tell or wisdom to share. If you invest time and a little money in your own imagination, the possibilities (and potential gains) are endless.