From blog to book

henry-book200My friend Henry has self-published a book (Picture of Health, Handbook for Healthcare Art). The term usually applied to self-published books is “vanity press,” but there’s nothing vain about my friend Henry and the story behind the book is interesting.

With a little help and encouragement from me (and others, I’m sure), Henry started blogging a couple of years ago. He wrote about health care art (his specialty). He was a natural but a little more serious than your typical blogger. His posts were more like essays than blog posts and took more time to write. He clearly saw the blog as a complement to his art business.

Somewhere along the way, I told Henry about services that convert blogs to books. He was immediately interested and began researching the idea. The result is Picture of Health.

The book is beautiful. Henry spared no expense. Heavy paper, embossed cover. It felt like it weighed five pounds. God (and Henry) knows what it cost to print.

Now here’s the part I like: The book is not for sale. At least not on Amazon or at Barnes & Noble (I see that you can purchase a copy from his blog). Henry published the book to give it away. Of the thousands of names in his client database, Henry selected just over 18-hundred to receive a copy of the book. (Do the math)

Henry is using the book to build on his relationship with important clients. By keeping the book (relatively) rare, he hopes to increase its value. It’s an expensive gamble and he has promised to share the results.

The part that I found most interesting about this blog-to-book story is that the book is the ONLY book about health care art. I couldn’t believe that when Henry told me but he insists it’s true. Not one book about a multi-million dollar business. Somebody else is writing one but Picture of Health is one of a kind for now. This blows me away. I mean, how many topics don’t have at least ONE book about them?

Oh, and the book is online as a PDF file so you can download a copy.

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