The idea behind writing a nonfiction business book is not to generate revenue directly from book sales (although that is always nice), but to use the book to generate income for your business. That means putting the book in front of your target market is more important than actually selling the book to your target market.
Here are some more Revenue Generating Activities for business authors that you can employ to leverage your book and find your ideal clients.
Speak to Meetup and business networking groups
The world is opening back up and that means people will be meeting in person again. Now is the time to start booking speaking engagements—in person or virtual—to networking groups, business groups, industry associations, etc.
If you’re a paid speaker, offer your books at a discount (most groups that pay speakers also have a “materials” budget) or ask if you can sell your book at the back of the room. The line is, “If you would like, I can make signed copies of my book available for sale after my talk.” Some authors will speak for free if the group buys a minimum number of books. It’s all in how you want to work it. If it’s a small group, you might give away the book for free at the end of the talk. Or raffle it off to people who put their business cards into a fishbowl. Whatever way you want to do it, the idea is to get your book in the hands of your target audience and then let your book sell your products and services for you.
Hold Your Own Seminar
Can you teach a topic from your book in a two, three, or four hour seminar? As I mentioned in a previous post, you want to charge for this seminar. This does a number of things. It brings in people who are willing to pay for your information, i.e., somewhat qualified prospects. It creates a much higher chance that they will actually show up. (You don’t want to speak to a half empty room.) It will help defray any costs for renting a room or AV equipment or even turn a profit.
Spending time with people in your target market increases your “know, like, and trust” factor. This is your time to shine. You are the authority figure in the room. Give people valuable information that they can apply immediately. That gives them proof that what you offer will work for them. It also breaks down the barrier of approaching a stranger, both from their side and your side. Many of us don’t like cold calling. A seminar creates a relationship and gives you a reason to follow up with attendees. By the same token, if someone needs your services, they now have a sense of who you are and what they do. They are less likely to hesitate to call on you because you now have common ground. They feel as if they know you.
Do a Demo
Does your book show how to do something? Think of a place that would tie in to what you do. If your book is on crafts, contact local crafts shops or even senior centers that have crafts classes. If your book shows how to build something, contact local lumber or hardware stores.
So many authors think their local library or bookstore is their only option to talk about their book. Those might be your first option, but even those will want you to do more of an “event” than a mere book signing or reading.
The demo is even better if it encourages the people attending to purchase from the venue where you are doing it. So, if you wrote a book on how to build PVC furniture, and you are doing a demo on how to build a side table from PVC, have a handout with a list of all the parts they will need and can purchase immediately. The same goes for recipe ingredients, or craft projects, or software programs. Give value beyond bringing people into the venue that is hosting you. Increase their sales and you may get a regular gig. If you ask for a short testimonial from the host, you can use that when you approach other venues to host demos. Remember, these are revenue generating activities–work to create win/win scenarios.
Use Your Book as a Fundraiser
Can you offer a copy of your book and tie it into a charity, splitting the proceeds? Cookbooks are an obvious fundraiser for many groups, from churches, schools—really, just about any charity because everyone eats. That’s just a starting point. Did you write a book on insurance? How about the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund as a tie-in? Health, fitness, or dieting? Donate to a food bank or kids’ fitness group. End of life issues? Hospice. Leaving an abusive relationship? Womens’ shelters. How to set up your business books? Tie in with SCORE or a charity sponsored by your local Chamber. The only guideline is to make sure you choose a charity that will appeal to the people you want as clients.
Don’t be shy about letting people know what you’re doing. Once you’ve reached an agreement with the charity, ask if you can send out a joint press release on your program. Offer to write it—you want to make this as easy as possible for the group. If they say no, send out your own press release. A joint press release carries a bit more weight, but either way works.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize: Finding Your Ideal Client
When you have written a book specifically to increase your profile and your business revenues, the income from royalties is gravy. The real money is in finding more clients or getting more speaking engagements. The more well known you are, the more people will want to work with you. That’s your goal: To have clients coming to you rather than you having to seek them out and convince them to hire you. These revenue generating activities for business authors will help you do just that.