You wrote a book to generate revenue for you and your business. Unfortunately, the royalties from your business book, unless you have a Big Five publisher behind you and a large following, are probably not going to put you on Easy Street. But you knew that.
There are over 250,000 business books fighting for the market’s attention. Sadly, the average book (any book, not just business books) sells fewer than 250 copies. Smart authors know how to generate revenue even with few to no actual sales.
You can use your book for both direct and indirect revenue generating activities. Your business book should be designed as a marketing tool. It should establish you as an expert, an authority, someone who knows that the heck they are talking about. One way to do that is to use case studies and stories that show how you have solved problems for people. That in itself helps market you and your business. But once written, you need to get that book working for you.
1. Do a webinar or Zoom training on one chapter or one part of your book.
Most business books explain a process or lay out certain principles. Choose something you can teach in a 45 minute or even a two or three hour segment for a low fee. You can include a digital or print copy of your book as part of the training.
By teaching one of the fundamental or basic principles or processes, you are leading people into working with you. If people pay, for example, $49 for the training, you can apply that amount to any products or services they buy. This lowers the risk for people, it brings in people who are demonstrating that they are willing to pay money to know more about this topic, and it provides warm prospects for you to market to. In essence, it covers the cost of your lead generation and can turn a profit for you.
2. Send a copy of your book with a personal, hand-written note to 20 or more event promoters.
One of the best ways to generate business is to speak in front of an audience that is looking for what you offer. Do some research on events in your field or, if you’re just getting started in speaking, look for Meetup groups or local business organizations whose members are in your target market.
Prepare a “media kit” that includes your one sheet, a personal note, your business card (or a book mark with your business card info) and your book. The personal note should be short and include why you’d be a good fit for their audience. Think in terms of how hearing you speak would benefit the audience.
Event promoters, bookers, etc. don’t want to hire a “dud” speaker. Your one sheet should mention a few media appearances or places you have given talks so they know you have experience. You should also have a link to a media page on your website that has video and/or audio clips of you presenting.
Use a brightly colored envelope so it stands out in the day’s mail. (Even better if it is one of your brand colors.) The idea is that you want your package to look as professional as possible while still having a personal touch. Set a goal to send a certain number of kits each week or per month. This is a strategy I learned from David Chilton’s course for marketing nonfiction books (with a LOT of emphasis on bulk sales). I highly recommend this course: The Chilton Method.
Clue: You can do the same thing with podcast hosts and talk radio hosts/producers.
3. Use your book as a free giveaway online or offline in exchange for people’s contact information.
Some people just want free stuff; we know that. But if someone is willing to give you contact information for a copy of your book (print or digital), they are telling you that they are at least mildly interested in what you offer.
Please note: This is different from handing everyone you run into a free copy of your book. When you offer up a free copy without being asked or without taking the time to ascertain whether or not someone might be a good prospect, you not only look needy, you are devaluing your book and throwing money away to boot. Don’t be that person.
Once you have their contact information, you can market your products or services to them. But you can also speed up the process. You can put “triggers” in your book that cause them to contact you instead of you contacting them. For example, you can put a little note at the end of a chapter that says, “If this [whatever they just read about] is something you need help with [or would like more information on], let’s chat. You can schedule a no-cost 15 minute appointment with me.” Then include a link to your scheduling calendar or your email. Alternatively, you can send them to a video training that leads to an offer. And of course, your book should have a “How to Work with the Author” page that is basically a well-written commercial for your services.
Don’t Let Your Book Collect Dust on a Virtual Shelf
Print on demand technology has made printing books for promotion incredibly affordable. Most books can be printed for around $3 per copy. Always have books on hand to give to a qualified prospect or to send to someone who has contacted you to speak.
While I balk at people who say “A book is the new business card”—frankly I rant about that one too often, authoring a business book is the new minimum in both the speaking and business worlds.
You worked hard writing your book. Make it work hard for you.