If you’re a professional speaker, instructor, or lecturer, writing a book can lend credibility, raise interest in and awareness of your brand, and promote further speaking opportunities. Here are some easy ways to leverage your book.
1. Create Bundles
Sell books at the back of the room at your speaking engagements. But don’t stop there. In addition to offering individual copies of your book, create powerful product bundles. You can package your book with audio or video recordings, a companion workbook, or admission to an upcoming event you are hosting. I know an author who makes a whole production out of his back-of-the-room sales. He bundles his books with books by other authors that he recommends during his engagements (he purchases them through IngramMicro.com), along with a wide variety of information products. You can also bundle books and products on your website.
2. Give Books Away
That’s right—I said give them away. Plan to send out a minimum of 100 copies of your book to media contacts, influential bloggers, peers, potential clients, and joint venture partners. The goal is to build buzz and get people talking about your work so the more you send out, the better. And after you send them out, take time to follow up. People send me books all the time that end up in a pile in my office. But when I receive a gracious follow-up e-mail, I’m far more inclined to fish a book out of the pile and give it some attention.
3. Target Trade Associations
If you do a bit of research, you can find several trade associations that reach your target audience. Tap into this opportunity by sending copies of your book to the newsletter editor and influential chapter leaders. Also, inquire about contributing articles to their newsletters or websites. These simple efforts can lead to greater exposure, book sales, and referrals for speaking engagements directly with your ideal audience.
4. Reach Beyond the Platform
You already know that in addition to your expertise and reputation as a speaker, authoring a book makes you a further authority in your field. It can also help you attract lucrative corporate contracts. Major corporations have big marketing budgets and are always looking for unique ways to reach potential customers. If your book has appeal to their audience, you could strike a deal with any number of options: serve as a media spokesperson, license copies of your book with the company logo added to the cover, get paid to write guest blog posts, distribute your books to their customers, deliver workshops via webinar or in person, and much, much more.
5. Go Digital
Ebooks are currently outselling hardcover books on Amazon. To take advantage of this huge growth curve, authors should convert printed books into ebooks.
To get on the ebook gravy train, set up an Amazon Digital Text Platform account (http://dtp.amazon.com) and distribute a Kindle version of your book. Also, submit your manuscript to http://smashwords.com. This handy service will convert your work into nine different ebook formats and make them available to Barnes and Noble Nook, iPhone and iPad, and many other outlets. With the combination of Amazon and Smashwords, you can cover the major ebook outlets, have immediate access to sales statistics, while reaching a growing network of readers.