People write books for many reasons. Some just want to be an author because it sounds cool. Some people have stories burning inside them that simply must get out onto the page. But more and more people are realizing the value of writing books to help grow their businesses. Publishing technology has changed so dramatically that it’s become almost a no-brainer to write and publish a book spotlighting your expertise, your products, and your services.

A book can benefit just about any business. It doesn’t matter if you sell products or services, online or in a physical store. It doesn’t matter if you’re a butcher, a baker, or candlestick maker–no matter what your business, there’s a book you could write about it.

Butcher: Better Meat ~ Better Body: Healthy Cuts For Your Diet

Baker: Surviving Holiday Entertaining Without Breaking the Bank

Candlestick Maker: Tapers to Tea Lights: A Short History of Candles in Europe

(Still not convinced? Try to stump me — I dare you!)

Here are four ways writing a book can add dramatically to your bottom line.

1) A book positions you as an expert above your competition. Given the choice of hiring two experts which one would you prefer? The expert who says he’s great, or the expert who has taken the time to explain his methods and knowledge on the subject by writing a book? Naturally, you’ll likely be drawn to the expert with the book. Books lend credibility and give you boost like nothing else.

2) A book educates prospective customers on your industry, your techniques, or the benefits of working with you. For many businesses, a hefty part of the sales cycle is spent educating a prospect. You repeat the same information over and over, answering the same questions and helping them see how you can help solve a certain problem. Writing a book is one of the best ways to shortcut that time-consuming process. Prospects who have read your book come to you pre sold on working with you.

3) If written correctly, a book can be a powerful source of traffic to your website or brick-and-mortar store. The 3-D publishing model [link to download page for 3-D blueprint] provides a way to capture information and market to previously anonymous readers. Skillfully written marketing materials for your book also drive traffic to your website even if the visitors never buy your book.

4) Finally, a book is a rich source of content you can use for marketing purposes. My clients are often amazed at how many blog posts, email articles, tweets, and Facebook posts are hidden in the pages of their books. Mining your book for social media content can dramatically improve the return on investment you may pay to a ghostwriter or book coach.

Of course, your book still has to be excellent quality to reap these benefits. Your book needs to be useful or informative, and it helps to be entertaining, too. In addition, you’ll need to follow the conventional rules of grammar, spelling, and style.

If you’re looking for a way to jump ahead of your competition, or establish yourself as the go-to expert in your industry, publishing a book highlighting your expertise should be a top priority.