Finishing a book is no small feat. The process can be a long and arduous labor of love. Occasionally, some other not-so-nice emotions may get mixed into the process, but the satisfaction of seeing a finished product with your name on it as the author is priceless. Publishing a book is the pinnacle of turning the ethereal into the material.
But what do you do once the book is published? That is a question many authors who did not create a marketing plan before writing struggle with. The sad truth is that the best writing cannot impact the world if no one reads it. Sure, you can ask your friends, family, and colleagues to support you and buy a few copies. But how does this help achieve a return on investment? Whether you wrote the book yourself or had help from other writers, editors, and designers, there is still a substantial investment of time, money, or both involved in bringing the work to life.
Through working with many professionals over the years, we have compiled this list of seven key ways to leverage your book to not only justify your investment, but to elevate your business and brand. This is not to say there are only seven ways, but these are tested and proven to yield results.
1) Use Physical copies as a mail ahead to high-value prospects:
This option is so underrated. Who doesn’t love to get mail? Email has become so prevalent and overused that most of us glance right over any solicitations or introductions from people we do not already know. But when something arrives in the mail, there is an air of excitement – especially a package. There is no way someone can overlook a nice padded envelope with a handwritten address and message inside the book explaining who you are and why you sent it.
Some may think this just sounds like another expense, and they wouldn’t be entirely wrong. But the cost of printing your books through Amazon and mailing them using the media rate from the good old USPS will only set you back about $5 per copy. How much are you currently paying for lead generation and marketing strategies now? Prospects are far more likely to take your call after receiving your book than if you called cold.
And the best part is, no one throws away books! Trust me, it’s a scientific fact (ok, maybe not, but humor me)! Even if it doesn’t yield an immediate result, that book will sit on a desk, a shelf, or get handed to someone who might be able to use the information contained within and the service you provide. When your business card is a book, the chance of being remembered increases exponentially.
2) Drive traffic to your website with a free chapter download:
This one sounds basic, but it is so underrated. It is also another area where business owners and entrepreneurs spend much of their marketing budget. Our websites are not only where we sell products and services, but also where we educate our potential clients and hopefully capture their email addresses so they can become a part of our ecosystem. The people you want to speak with won’t magically stumble across your page (unless you spend a boatload of money).
But there is something to be said for the power of a free giveaway. We are not suggesting you give away the entire thing for free, but a chapter or two can be the difference between someone visiting the site or not. It can also be the difference between you capturing their email addresses or them leaving as quickly as they arrived. The best part is you can place this offer for free on all your social media accounts. You already put the work into the book; don’t overlook the potential of leveraging it as a marketing tool.
3) Include QR codes and links:
This strategy works on two levels depending on the types of products and services you provide. The first is to leverage the power of an Amazon affiliate account. When you are an Amazon affiliate, you earn money on anything purchased through your link. So, if you mention other books and authors in your book, insert a QR code for them right below the mention. If someone uses that code to buy the book on Amazon, you will get paid! If they throw other items into their shopping cart on the same order, you will get paid for that as well.
This Amazon affiliate account works for any item sold on Amazon. If your book mentions specific types of products you have found useful (microphones, tablets, earbuds – anything at all), don’t miss out on the opportunity to drop a QR code and get some additional passive income.
QR codes work just as well for additional products and services you may offer on your website. Most people are lazy or lack the attention span to follow directions to your website if it requires an extra step. There is a higher chance of converting them to a visitor, a subscriber, or a paying client when the code is in their face.
4) Provide seminars and talks based on the content:
We already know having a book provides additional credibility to whatever else you bring to the table. This especially holds true on the speaker circuit. Covid may have temporarily halted live speaking events in most of the world, but there was a second effect of the shutdown.
Many speakers spent the downtime working on ways to reinvent themselves and stand out from the competition. One of the ways they did this was by writing their first book. For some, it may have been a second or third book, but the point is they invested in their brand. Event organizers, those who pay speakers for their time anyway, want to see a book in their toolkit.
When a speaker has a book, it serves two purposes. First, it allows the organizers to learn more about the message and platform before deciding if a speaker is a good fit for the venue. The second thing it does is prove that the speaker will have engaging content to share with the audience. There is a reason all of the highest-paid speakers in the world have multiple books!
5) Stuff swag bags for events you attend:
Whether it is the conference you are a paid speaker at or an event you are just an invitee to, swag bags are a nice touch. This combines a few of the leverage items we already learned about but allows you to employ them on a larger scale and in person, where there is an immediate opportunity to connect with the audience and convert the relationship.
When you are the keynote speaker or one of several presenters, having something to give the audience makes you more appealing to the promoters. Why? Because they are more than likely charging attendees for admission and giving away books and other items can lead to higher profit margins. It is also a nice takeaway for the attendee who will remember you long after the speech is over.
In networking events, it is a good idea to check with the organizer if they have already thought of a swag bag for attendees. Each person in attendance can be afforded the opportunity to include a promotional item from their business and increase the chances of being remembered. Most will probably include pens, notepads, or other items easily lost or thrown out. But remember, no one throws away a book!
6) Recruit new talent:
This option may not work for everyone, depending on the nature of the business, but it could be the difference between expansion and burnout for others. Much like books can educate a consumer or client on your area of expertise, they can also serve as a training manual for other professionals you may want to bring into your organization.
Books can impart both technical and intrinsic knowledge. The technical side is what you do and how you do it. Conveying it in an easy-to-understand way can shorten the learning curve and training time for new employees. Intrinsic value can be as simple as giving people a glimpse into your organization’s culture, your leadership style, or your personal story.
Say you wanted to open a new office on the other side of the country. Maybe you have potential employees in mind already, maybe you don’t. The book can create interest in the position as well as supplement a training program. The more specialized your skillset or industry, the more beneficial it is to have all this information in a centralized document. What better than a book?
7) Expand your marketing funnel:
In the professional services space, providers often offer several ways for their clients to work with them. Courses, training videos, courses, books, and private coaching are all viable revenue streams. The reasons a client may opt for one service over another can have a lot to do with price, but at the root of it, chances are they have a problem to solve and trust the provider can help.
Purchasing private coaching or consultations from a provider you do not know can seem like a costly investment, so people tend to start small. How many times have you dropped a few dollars to a few hundred dollars for a training course? How many personal development books are sold across a range of categories every year? The reason for this is because they are small, comfortable purchases. They help get a client acclimated to the way the provider does business.
The truth about courses, videos, and books, though, is that most people never take action on the content, no matter how good it is. There is a level of self-discipline and motivation required, and no one is there to hold them accountable. It is common for the same person to purchase a course, video, and book from the same coach or consultant and love the content, yet still decide they need the personalized service. The more tools you have in your funnel to bring clients into your universe, the better!