One of life’s most simple pleasures is curling up with a good book. From fiction to non-fiction, romance to thrillers – there is a book for everyone. Whether shopping at your local book store, going online at Amazon, or browsing USA Today’s best-seller list, millions of people are keeping this great pastime alive.

Without having to quote statistics, it’s certainly self-evident that reading leads to knowledge, perhaps even “food for thought.” So I offer two ideas for your consideration.

First, if you haven’t already authored or co-authored a book in your area of expertise, I would urge you to consider doing so. Books have always been a great selling tool – adding a level of credibility that the book publishing business has known for years.

Further, ask anyone that has been published how they value the return on their investment, and you will be sold on the concept. And while I realize it’s not quantifiable – it’s just my opinion – I’ve noticed over the last 10 years that most advisors that make it on the top producer lists have also authored/co-authored books.

There are a number of ways to be published these days, but self publishing has been the most popular. And for good reasons – content, control and timeliness being the top three. Additionally, co-authoring with a well-known writer is also a smart option. But don’t let that stop you from turning your “great idea” into what could be the next best seller. Hire a ghost writer to put your idea into words and then get published.

If you have already been published, I hope you haven’t fallen into the woes of those that haven’t read their own books. Especially if you have co-authored a book. It may seem trivial to mention, but if you put your name on it, make sure you’ve read it in its entirety. You will be asked questions.

The other idea is to offer a book of interest… one that gives food for thought. For example, if you have just finished reading a book that you found particularly interesting, give it to your best clients, prospects, business associates and even employees. In fact, I just received not only a book, but an invitation to a private showing of the book that was recently made into a movie, “The Ultimate Gift.” David Peterson, president of Peak

Capital Investment Services, wanted to thank his top clients for their business and their referrals. But what’s more important is that it opened up a new level of communication due to the book’s theme and the movie that brought it to life. Needless to say, it was a huge success.

Books are always going to be in style, and book clubs have long been popular with women. Sending a new book once a year to your female clients, either for a book club that you might sponsor, or their own, is just one more way to show you value them as clients. Sending them a book that you’ve authored will not only highlight your expertise but confirm why they hired you in the first place. So go ahead, get published.