How a Financial Advisor Can Become a Published Author

Last Edited by: Kate Pettit, Marketing Consultant

Last Updated: March 05, 2024

hand holding founding pen over open book

Books can be powerful marketing tools for financial advisors like you. While social media and video marketing thrive on short, concise messaging, books provide a longer runway to tell your story and share your expertise in greater detail. This gives you an opportunity to build trust and rapport with investors by thoroughly demonstrating your ability to help them pursue their financial goals and address any obstacles that they encounter along the way.

What should I write about?

If the goal of your book is to establish yourself as a credible source of financial education and guidance, consider your target audience and the problems you can help them solve. What questions are they asking? What life stages are they experiencing? How are you uniquely equipped to help them prepare for their future?

For example, if your book is focused on young investors, you might write about how to create a budget, begin investing in the market, or evaluate employment benefits and retirement savings plans. If you’re writing to middle-aged investors, they’re likely to be concerned about reducing debt, financing their children’s education, and caring for aging loved ones. Pre-retirees and seniors may be interested in learning more about how to manage their finances in retirement, create an inheritance plan, and begin drawing Social Security.

Whatever topic you choose, convey a sense of understanding and empathy with your reader by keeping them at the center. Remember, you’re writing to them and for them.

How do I start writing?

Once you’ve determined your target audience and main topics, organize your thoughts into an outline. This will help you shape the overall flow of the book and identify natural chapter breaks. You might also find that a particular section needs additional research, or that a subtopic doesn’t necessarily fit within the broader message of the book.

Aside from these practical uses, outlines can provide a much-needed mental break when you feel overwhelmed by the big picture. Writing a book is a significant undertaking and it’s easy to get discouraged — but don’t give up! Instead of thinking about the whole book, just focus on writing one chapter at a time. Your confidence, motivation, and likelihood of making it to the finish line are bound to grow with each section you complete.

How do I publish my book?

Once you’ve finished your manuscript, it’s time to publish and share it with your readers. There are three publishing options to choose from: traditional, independent, and self-publishing. Here, we’ll take a closer look at each method to explore their benefits and drawbacks.

Traditional publishing

  • What is traditional publishing? Authors submit their books to a publishing house in the hopes of landing a book contract. If they’re successful, the publisher will manage the book design, sales, marketing, and distribution. 
  • Benefits:
    • No upfront fees
    • Authors may receive a cash advance in addition to royalties
    • Established publishing houses carry more credibility in some readers’ minds
    • Publishing team handles distribution of the book online and to brick-and-mortar retailers
  • Drawbacks:
    • Highly selective and can take several years 
    • Author has little control over the marketing methods and scope
    • Average royalties are around 4-15%*


  • What is self-publishing? Authors manage all aspects of the book design, publishing, marketing, and distribution themselves.
  • Benefits:
    • Faster
    • Higher royalty rates – average 20-100%* (depending on the use of outside consultants)
    • More creative control
  • Drawbacks:
  • Responsible for every aspect of the publishing, marketing, and distribution process
  • Can be costly to engage outside consultants**
    • Developmental editing: $2,178+
    • Copy editing: $1506+
    • Proofreader: $948 +
    • Cover designer: Approximately $700
    • Book formatting: $250–$750
  • Traditional distributors don’t accept self-published works
  • Primarily sold online and in eBook format  

Independent Publishing

  • What is independent publishing? Authors work with an independent publishing house to gain the help and expertise of publishing professionals for a set fee.
  • Benefits:
    • Benefit from specialized publishing and distribution expertise
    • Total creative control
    • Get to market quickly
    • Take home higher percentage of sales
    • Can help you attract a literary agent or traditional publisher
  • Drawbacks:
    • Pay for everything up front
    • Can be more difficult to get in a brick-and-mortar store

Whichever method you choose, be sure to review LPL’s Advisor Compliance Manual and consult with your assigned MRR analyst for information on compliance submission and guidelines.

Questions and Consultations

Looking for more tips and suggestions? LPL’s Marketing Consulting team is here to help. Schedule a one-on-one consultation for guidance, best practices, and recommendations tailored to your business. To set up a consultation, email the Marketing Consulting team or call us at (800) 877-7210, option 9>5>1.


Katie enjoys all things social media and you will often find her researching all of the latest and greatest trends. View full bio.


* Is Self-Publishing or Traditional Publishing More Profitable?”, Forbes, May 15, 2023

** How Much Does it Cost to Self-Publish a Book?”, Reedsy, April 28, 2023 


Consult your compliance department for information about the rules and use of social media and the review of all advisor marketing materials.

For Financial Professional Use Only.
Tracking #549500