Ideas have been in the news lately with the 100 entrepreneurs getting into a room to create economic value for New Zealand.

Another way to get your ideas noticed is to write a book. Executives are rolling up their sleeves and turning their ideas into a book.

Here are ten good reasons to make a start on this idea:

1. A book is a much punchier introduction than a business card; giving a book on first meeting makes for a weightier first impression on a customer or other stakeholder. It tells them that you are serious about business, that you are credible and that you have knowledge and expertise worth sharing. What's more, it looks good in the reception area, can be a gift to valued clients or new associates, and makes a strong alternative to the usual Christmas cards or calendars.

2. Books provoke an emotional response. People understand books, they trust them, they have faith in what they read in them. That trust is easily transferred to an executive or business owner who presents a book to an existing or potential client.

3. Focusing on a book provides a measure of control in an uncertain business environment. In the currently volatile world of real estate, for instance, Ray White New Zealand CEO Carey Smith chose to publish his first book, Deliver, to share the management lessons he has learned over a 20-year career. Used to making things happen within tight timeframes, Smith opted for self-publishing over the more drawn-out traditional publishing avenues, and Deliver hit the bookshop shelves fewer than 12 months after Smith first put fingers to keyboard.

4. People place a lot of worth on books. Therefore, they carry a high perceived value while being relatively low-cost to produce. They look substantial, and communicate that your business is doing well - it is not an insignificant thing to produce a book.

5. Books last. Business mentor and life coach Fiona Christie says one of the drawcards for publishing a book is that unlike business cards or other giveaway items, you never heard of a book being thrown away: "Once a person has finished a book, they're likely to pass it on to others that could use your services."

6. For any executive, a book demonstrates expertise and allows them to position themselves as an expert; it confers an undeniable air of authority. Dr Tom Mulholland, the director of the Healthy Thinking Institute, says his books not only communicate his depth of knowledge, they provide a return on investment in the form of revenue (both active and passive) and opening opportunities that would not have otherwise emerged. It's no surprise that one of Dr Tom's ideas went right to the top of the pile in the recent entrepreneurs get-together.

7. A book differentiates your story, tells what makes you unique and shows your human side to the recipient. People love to read about a business person's triumphs over huge challenges. They think, if he can do it, maybe I can too! This is the reason books by the likes of Richard Branson and Donald Trump - and people successful in non-business areas, like Lance Armstrong - are always bestsellers; people find inspiration in the trials and triumphs of others.

8. A book is a great referral tool, and a value-add. For example, offering a free book with a quote in an advertisement (such as '10 things you need to consider when selecting your suppliers') is more powerful than a just offering a free quote. Making a quote or sales pitch more enticing makes it more likely you will get a response.

9. A well-written book opens the door to much more. It can be the perfect gateway for a business person looking for access to influential media (magazine or newspaper columns, guest spots on radio or TV, general business commentary). Books presented at seminars will rarely be left behind by attendees. It's also a great asset for the web: offering a book on your website gives greater search engine optimization, making it easier for people to find you or your company.

10. A book sets you apart from the opposition. It offers a distinct point of difference in a crowded environment, and can be an excellent way of profiling your company's successful outcomes. A landscape designer or interior decorator, for instance, could show before-and-after photos, with tips on how to achieve similar results: this will demonstrate their credibility and expertise, and create a desire in the customer (or potential customer) to employ the same services.

* Jane Beals is the managing director of PublishMe, New Zealand's largest assisted self-publishing community.