Have you noticed it? I have. Just turn on the TV, listen to practically any podcast, or view your favorite online news or interview programs, and you’ll see it.
They’re smart and insightful. They have the scoop on what’s happening behind the scenes, inside the beltway, in the boardroom, and in the courtroom. Their backgrounds are impressive. Their sources are confidential. Their opinions are . . . well, just take it for what it is.
What do they all have in common?
They’re authors. (You knew I was going there.)
Authors as influencers is certainly not a new phenomenon. For decades we’ve seen psychologists, sociologists, researchers, and other such deep thinkers as published interview subjects on the programs we like.
Celebrities have long shared their steamy tell-all stories.
Academics have often topped the charts with exploratory examinations of practically every subject. After all, they’re the smart people among us, right.
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However, the tables are turning a bit. Now, more than ever, the author influencers we see on the news are also the previously behind-the-scenes journalists who have penned the investigative exposés of evildoers and corruption.
In the not-so-distant past, reporters were heard from but never seen. They were the ones who dug up the dirt, then dished it in nationally known magazine and newspaper articles, with eyes on the prize — the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism, that is. No longer relegated to a mere byline, journalists are now penning books as a deep dive into their subject matter, further demonstrating their research and writing mastery.
Let’s not stop there. If you’ve really been paying attention, you’ve also noticed that the author experts du jour are also those who will eventually emerge on the campaign trail. They’re the politicians who are either eyeing a broader campaign run (i.e. President), or using the power of the written word to impact and influence the electorate (for better or for worse). Writing a book is the smart thing to do. As they rise to the next level, they have taken to heart the adage to “Tell it first, tell it all, tell it yourself.”
No matter your political bent, there’s a politician with an opinion-laden book targeted to you. The word is out that raising your street cred requires a published book detailing one’s humble upbringing, the people who influenced their rise to the top (or the middle, or wherever they currently see themselves), how they got where they are, what they believe, what they want to accomplish, and what they’d do if they’re ever elected to a higher office. (Oh, and be sure to humanize yourself by sprinkling in a few missteps and goofs you’ve made along the way.)
So, really, why should journalists, politicians, and celebs have all the literary fun? If they seek to use their books to impact and influence the masses, why shouldn’t you?
Anita R. Henderson is president of The Write Image Consulting, LLC and creator of Write Your Life. Known as The Author’s Midwife, her work with professionals and entrepreneurs has resulted in multiple award-winning books and has helped authors grow their media and online visibility, speaker platforms, industry credibility, and overall confidence in their ability to write a compelling, high-quality book and leverage it in their business or career. Get smart about book publishing with her free guide: Publishing Prowess: 36 Simple Must-Dos to Take Your Book Idea from Concept to Completion.