It’s an age-old question: How does one go from selling washing machines to leading a USA Today and Wall Street Journal-bestselling press? Just ask Alinka Rutkowska. Rutkowska is the Founder and CEO of Leaders Press, a publishing company that offers “a custom book creation experience” for entrepreneurs interested in releasing a book. To date, the company has turned almost 100 entrepreneurs and business leaders into bestselling authors.
Founded in 2017, Leaders Press takes control of the writing, editing and book launch process for entrepreneurs. It ensures that each book released will be a bestseller. Leaders Press only invests in titles that are sure to sell. The company has published titles by entrepreneurs like Kristin Cripps, Areva Martin and Tamara Nall. Renowned publishing company Simon & Schuster distributes Leaders Press’ books.
So how did Leaders Press come to be? Prior to starting the company, Rutkowska worked in operations and marketing for major companies like Shell and Whirlpool Corporation. But after a few years in the corporate world, she lost her initial enthusiasm. She decided to write her first book. When that book became wildly successful, she left her corporate job to embark on a new adventure.
Business owner to best-selling author
Rutkowska believes that publishing a book lends an entrepreneur a certain credibility as an expert in their field.
“So many of the entrepreneurs that we work with…call themselves ‘founder’ or ‘CEO’ of their company. And by the time we’re done working together, they call themselves ‘bestselling authors… and founder or CEO of this company,’” Rutkowska said. “It’s just so important to them – the perceived authority. The perceived credibility is so high when you become an author and even higher when you become a bestselling author. And even higher when you become a USA Today bestselling author. That is extremely sought after by entrepreneurs who want to stand out.”
Publishing production process
Leaders Press follows the same general production process. Once the company has found a project that they believe has serious commercial potential, the first step is to strategize. The entrepreneur/author speaks with Rutkowska and a Publishing Director. Together, they will discuss the book idea and form the book’s outline.
Next, the entrepreneur will participate in a series of interviews to help the Publishing Director. The interview transcripts will then go to a ghostwriter, who will use them to produce a manuscript. Then comes the editing process, which the entrepreneur/author takes part in, and, finally, the book launch.
Leaders Press specializes in two kinds of books: lead generators and legacy pieces. Lead generators are meant to introduce your brand to a wider audience. Legacy pieces offer already-established business leaders the chance to tell their personal success story.
Whether the ghostwriter is putting together a lead generator or a legacy piece, the goal is to make each title a bestseller. “It starts with the positioning,” Rutkowska said. “The book has to fit into a specific category. It has to be something that people are already reading. And once we have that, we want to make sure that there is a reason why the reader should pick up this author’s book and not another one.”
There are a number of crucial elements that increase the chances of having a bestseller. First-rate writing, marketing savvy and a keen understanding of the Amazon algorithm are all important to this process.
Bringing personal experience
In addition to running Leaders Press, Rutkowska is an author herself. Her books include “Outsource Your Book,” “Write and Grow Rich” and “How I Sold 80,000 Books.” In these books, Rutkowska offers insights on the ghostwriting, publishing and book marketing processes.
“I am so appreciative of entrepreneurs who share their knowledge, because [a book is] decades of their wisdom, all put on a silver platter for the reader to read and apply,” Rutkowska said. “That’s why I think everybody who has something to share that we can learn from should write a book.”
In this video, Alinka Rutkowska discusses her career journey, the hiring process at Leaders Press and the importance of a unique selling proposition.
Read our feature on “10 Books For and From Business Owners“.