If you haven't published one, you are at a disadvantage.
Why You Publish
No, you don't put the book out there hoping to earn a bundle from royalties. You put it out there because you have to include it on your CV, hand it out or sell it at the talks you deliver, and give it as a takeaway to the prospects at lunch or dinner.
But, like all tactics in marketing and sales, this one is changing. Therefore, you have consider how you go about publishing your book. Currently, there are three approaches.
One is the agent/publisher route. You ask around your network for their contacts who are literary agents or publishers. Then, you pitch your idea in a two-page note. The important parts are why this is marketable and how you will market it. It will help you to indicate you will hire a top publicist, even before the book is actually published, to get the word out. Marketing is everything.
If the agent or publisher is interested, you will then do a formal book proposal. That is time-consuming. If you hire a ghostwriter to do it, that will be expensive.
Then the agent will shop around the proposal to publishers. If your contact is a publisher then that person usually will have to pitch the proposal to the higher-ups.
Unless you have a brandname, a track record in publishing and/or the unique idea it will be difficult to have your book accepted by a publishing house such as Wiley.
The second option is self-publishing. Self-publishing firms I have effectively worked with include iUniverse and Outskirts. For a relatively small fee, they will print the book and list it on the major online sellers such as Amazon. They also handle copyrighting and so on.
If you invest in a top publicist, that could lead to a homerun, quickly. If you don't and the book doesn't grab attention, you risk being "shamed" with a poor ranking on high-profile sites like Amazon. Believe me, everyone checks those rankings. Having a sinking book hurts your brand.
If you are willing to invest in the services of a graphic artist, this could be the lowest-cost and lowest-risk approach. It could also achieve all your marketing and sales objectives.
Surely, you have already downloaded these kinds of free or low-priced e-books put out there by a public relations firm, management consultant, or tutoring service. At the same time those professionals are getting the book in your hand, they are gathering your information for their database.
The book can be as short as 30 pages. Even less. It could be as long as 200. The key is for it to be attractively laid-out and have adequate visuals. Inforgraphics are best. Increasingly, youth have been migrating from Facebook which is both text and visuals to Instagram which is primarily visual.
In my experience, formatting your data and marketing message in a book trumps creating white papers as your mode of outreach.
Through the Library of Congress you can copyright the book for a small fee.
If the book takes off, then you can do another version for self-publishing or the agent-publisher route.