Self-publishing site FastPencil has launched a new program aimed at helping aspiring thought leaders publish the books in their heads.

It’s been years since Amazon began allowing authors to sell their self-published books. Wired magazine sage Kevin Kelly did it and wrote about it in February 2005.

But as a professional writer since 1996, I know that what most aspiring thought leaders need to make their dream book a success isn’t a publisher. It’s a different writer.

FastPencil to the rescue! The company’s new Thought Leadership program is designed specifically “to help CEO’s and today’s business leaders to write a quality book that will establish and solidify their credibility with customers, prospects and partners.” FastPencil now offers these services to turn your big book idea into a book:

  • A personal book authoring team to manage the entire book writing process. You run your business, they co-write your book.
  • Full print and eBook distribution services to Amazon and elsewhere.
  • Social media promotion services. Sorry, you’ve got a business to run. Let FastPencil have all the fun on Twitter for you.

I couldn’t resist having FastPencil co-author my post about them. CEO Steve Wilson emailed me the following paragraphs, which I edited for punchiness:

Today, Thought Leadership books are the new calling cards. These books are a proven way to open doors, close prospects and partnerships. They serve as the starting point for meaningful discussions with their audiences.

But these leaders struggle to clear the many hurdles of traditional publishing. They are unable to take full advantage of self-publishing and social media. They are often simply too busy.

The Thought Leadership program promises to deliver a bookstore-quality thought leadership book in 90 days. FastPencil’s Concierge Book Program simplifies an often time-consuming, costly, and laborious book authoring process.

Because Thought Leaders are busy, it includes their own ghostwriter, editor, and cover designer. A dedicated producer keeps the whole project on track.

This program is for CEOs and other key executives, politicians, influencers, and others who desire to build their brand in well-defined communities of prospects, voters, peers, and organizations. By combining the power of self-publishing with community social networking, thought leaders can promote their views and co-create with their communities of interest, without having to type every single keystroke themselves.

FastPencil’s program is probably the best opportunity a Thought Leader will have in 2010 to publish a book.

The company’s basic self-publishing services cost nothing up front. They take a cut of sales. But the Concierge Thought Leadership Book Program will cost real money. FastPencil won’t talk about pricing yet — it’s negotiated case by case — but they claim to have several books near completion. When the first one hits print, we’ll check it out. From experience, I doubt most readers will know that FastPencil titles aren’t written by the author on the cover. What will matter is the quality of the writing and the actual thought-leaderdom of the ideas.

FastPencil, a Campbell, California company founded in early 2009, is privately funded.


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