If you’re interested in running for office, there are several lists of must-read books floating around the internet. Most of these lists include strategic classics like The Art of War, by Sun Tzu, or The Prince, by Machiavelli. But now that you’re on your path to public service it’s high time you consider creating some reading material of your own.
Here’s a breakdown of the three main reasons self-publishing is one route you’ll need to consider taking before starting on your own campaign trail journey:
Greater Reach, Stronger Pulse.
Publishing a book means that you have the (uninterrupted) chance to tell your story—on your own terms. Far too often, however, candidates succumb to the echo chamber of their surrounding supporters, whereas a book that’s distributed outside your network allows for insightful feedback (and potential support) from others aside from like-minded donors. This detail is especially crucial for first-time candidates and long-time incumbents who can be susceptible to viewing their campaigns from inside of a bubble. So, think of a book as more than a memoir or biography; consider it your brand.
Smarter Voter Education.
Books have traditionally been a vital component of voter education with purposes ranging from dismissing allegations to shedding light on a dark-horse candidate. Book sales, however (as noted by a recent Forbes article) revealed more than just monetary figures for prospective candidates. Where candidates often rely on polls for insights into the public, data taken from Nielsen’s “Election Central” points out that book sales can be an indicator of electoral popularity. This kind of behind-the-scenes information sends a clear signal that voters are interested in knowing more about their candidates and that they (still) like to read.
Unlike televised public service announcements or comedic late-night interviews, books immediately establish respect, rapport, and authority. In fact, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, and Inc. magazines all recognize books as the business card of the 21st century. In this way, a powerfully articulated book not only conveys what you stand for, but it also boosts fundraising and media attention, transcends stump speeches and sound bites, and gives voters incentive to stand behind you and your campaign. A book can also provide a reliable forum for effectively addressing your strengths and weaknesses. Use it as a way to prepare for any attacks your opponents might use against you.
In short, every move you make once you decide to run for office must be a calculated one. Make yours count by providing the public with an unalterable and transparent glimpse into the mind, life, and motivation of your campaign. Get the edge you need to win the people’s hearts and votes with a self-published book as part of your campaign strategy.
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