How to Build Business by Self-Publishing

Orlando Associate Christopher Cain wrote a book on vacation properties to build credibility in his market. He insists that you can be an author, too!

By Stephanie Visscher

ChrisCainBookCover Publishing didn’t die, it just grew up into a more accessible and dynamic industry. At least that’s the experience of Christopher Cain.

Cain, a Sales Associate with RE/MAX Realtec Group in Palm Harbor, Florida, is a recognized authority in the growing vacation-home industry. For more than 10 years, he’s built his reputation with successful results, unmatched service and – thanks to three top-selling books – author credits.

“People are very impressed when they meet me and one of the first things I do is give them a copy of my book,” Cain says of his latest title, Your Made in the USA Vacation Home. “Writing a book immediately gives you more credibility with clients.”

For other agents thinking of writing a book, Cain’s advice is simple: Go for it.

“Certainly, if you have expertise in an area of real estate and can back it up when you’re working with clients, you should write a book. It’s a great marketing advantage,” he says.

Adding “published author” to your credentials is easier than you may think.

With the advent of eBooks and digital publishing, writers no longer have to compete against famous authors for a spot on Top 10 Lists or hope a major bookseller will spotlight their title in order to find readers. The Internet has been key in connecting niche audiences with independent authors.

Digital publishing has also built a bypass around the incredibly competitive publishing houses. A variety of affordable agencies and resources are transforming everyday Word documents into polished eBooks, ready for purchase on sites such as the Amazon e-book store. For his most recent title, Cain outsourced cover design to a graphic designer and worked with Portland-based company Book Baby to finalize and layout the manuscript.

“It’s a lot easier and faster to write a book these days,” Cain says. He remembers when his second book, Road Map to Your Vacation Property Dream, was published in 1984, and he had to pay for the storage and insurance of 10,000 printed copies. The books had to be repackaged before being sent to stores. Today’s self-publishing services distribute copies – both digital and print – directly to booksellers.

However, the biggest obstacle to publishing still remains: How do you turn years of experience and new ideas into a readable book? As a trained journalist with a background in public relations, the writing came easy for Cain. For the rest of us, there’s no shame in hiring a ghostwriter.

“If you have the ideas but not the writing skills, you can hire someone to help,” Cain says. “A ghostwriter will take your ideas and, with your input, turn them into a manuscript in your own voice.”

Cain’s latest book, Your Made in the USA Vacation Home, is now available in the Amazon Kindle Bookstore. Find Cain’s top vacation home tips to share with consumers in this post for Buyers & Sellers.


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