by Leslie “LAM” Miller | Featured Contributor
You know the feeling you can get reading other women’s stories. That mm-hmm, uh-huh, Amen! when you discover another woman’s experience that mirrors your own. When she writes about the issue that men aren’t writing about, that maybe they don’t care about, or perhaps just don’t have to think about. That feeling you get when she validates you, teaches you, inspires you.
That’s one reason you’re reading this right now. Sites like sheownsit demonstrate how hungry we are for more women leaders’ voices on social, connecting and sharing their stories. And that extends to print media. Because, just as women are underrepresented in business leadership circles, there are too few of us on the bookshelves. The stats are clear: In business, men publish more, are reviewed more, their books receive more attention, and they’re more likely to land a book deal. All while women buy more books than men. Don’t let men dominate the business leadership space! Here’s why YOU should consider becoming an author.
1. Help other women entrepreneurs avoid some of the mistakes you made.
Don’t let the business quo fool you: the collaborative side of women business leaders and founders is a strength, not a weakness. The entrepreneurs, founders, and leaders-turned authors we work with at Girl Friday share our own values: they are more than willing to be vulnerable and share their mistakes. Women leaders are not about saving face; we’re about continuing to learn and grow and impart what we know to our peers and to a whole new generation of women entrepreneurs. Chronicling your journey as a leader, with all your missteps and triumphs, lifts all boats.
2. Enhance your brand with the most enduring form of media.
Books hold special gravitas in the thought-leadership world and add dimension to a robust digital media portfolio. Don’t underestimate the role of a book as a business card and as a legitimizer. Don’t constrain yourself to the one option of the standard business book, either. With the rise of self-publishing, you can control your message and your format. Create an inspirational book as a companion to your TED talk, design a workbook to use with clients, or publish a gorgeous visual book showcasing your Instagram-worthy pics.
3. Promote your thought leadership.
So long as we have one category of authors writing business books—namely, white men—we are limited in our ability to envision a new way forward for leadership and entrepreneurship. We all benefit from a greater diversity of voices talking about innovation and creativity, about how to reach new customer bases, about unconventional paths to success, about new ways to work and thrive as teams, and about those non-negotiables. We need more people like my former professor and associate dean, a brilliant woman who is currently writing a book about the role of empathy in driving business success. Or the founder of an innovative funding model relaying her lessons learned. Or the consultant turning her philosophies into a hands-on workbook. I know you have a story to share. What is it?
Leslie “LAM” Miller, CEO/COO and chief instigator of girlfridayproductions.com
Just-call-her LAM has worked in publishing for longer than her teenage children have been alive. In the beginning, she acquired, edited, and wrote a range of books for traditional publishers. In 2006, she and her work wife struck out on their own, cofounding a book production firm that’s 83% female and 100% into creativity, balance, and excellence.