Friday, May 18, 2007

Need new patients? Write a book.

I always wondered how colleagues of mine were able to publish books on such seemingly boring topics in medicine. I know of an oncologist out here, in the stix, who has published several books. Just talk to him for a minute and he'll tell you about his books, and he'll give you a copy. Now I know how he did it.
The other day I received a letter from a publisher asking me if I wanted to author a book on male infertility. Actually, the publisher was not given my name and it was not a personal invitation, but a form letter from a mailing list. In any case, I have always wanted to write a book, so I emailed the publisher. He responded immediately and wrote that he would send to me a "packet" in the mail. It came today.
Here is how it works. I sign a contract and then professional writers, with my help, write the the book. My total time commitment would be 15 to 20 hours. All costs for layout, artwork, distribution, etc would be paid by the publishers. And I get royalties. Sounds great! What is the catch?
I have to purchase 1000 books. List price, $14.95 per book. I don't know what the discounted rate would be, probably $10.00 per book.
So there you have it. For $10,000 you too can be an author of a book.
Now the better question: why would I do that? Actually, it is not a bad idea, and the price tag may be reasonable. Being an author of a book, any book, is seen by patients and colleagues as a major accomplishment and helps in the "branding" of you and your medical practice. It helps in "word-of-mouth" marketing--the best type of marketing. It makes you be a true expert. Also, giving out copies to patients can be an effective form of marketing as well.
I'll think about, plug the numbers into Bayes Theorem, and decide.
The IU.