In one of the GRE questions, I encountered with the beneath inquiry:

A book is your golden ticket into the speaking business. If you had a book published by a "real" publisher within the last 12 months in your hands, you have the calling card you need to get those speaking engagements now. Some authors-to-be and new authors have trouble figuring out precisely how to ___________ that book into speaking.
A. apply
B. leverage
C. utilize

I mused that the right answer is A or C, but I found that neither is correct. And B is the accurate item. It seems that the blank space should be filled with the synonyms of use, exercise, etc. and to me, "leverage" is out of the question.

  • to use the fact you have published a book to get other benefits: leverage means to use something to gain something else. Typical business-speak. – Lambie Jun 9 at 19:40
  • To leverage is to use borrowed capital for (an investment), expecting the profits made to be greater than the interest payable. It is the only meaning of the verb, in business and literature. It seems that the answer is not correct. – kngram Jun 9 at 19:55
  • 1
    The most possible answer is apply here. – kngram Jun 9 at 20:32
  • 2
    Nothing makes sense here. "that book"?? which book? "into speaking" -- what does that mean. I don't think this GRE question makes sense at all, even as meaningless business-speak. – James K Jun 9 at 20:39
  • @JamesK I updated my question. – Alan Jun 9 at 20:49

The question seems to be based on a quote from this source:
Streetdirectory.com "How a published author..."
"How a Published Author Can Become a Paid Public Speaker"
"Some authors-to-be and new authors have trouble figuring out precisely how to leverage that book into speaking."

Including that as a question in an exam seems a little odd. They seem to depend on the examinee rejecting A and C as ungrammatical, and choosing B by elimination, unlikely though the expression is.

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