Before you begin to think about marketing plans for your book, you need to first be clear about your goals. For some authors, the only thing that matters is book sales, and that is just fine, though the reality is that it’s not easy to make a living with a book. If you’re lucky, you will probably earn between $5 to $15 per book, depending on the sales channel—and that’s if you self-publish. Traditionally published authors typically earn around $1 per book sold through a retail outlet! Regardless of how much you earn for each book, you would probably have to sell a truckload of books each month to earn a living.
For the majority of nonfiction authors, books are a sideline. You probably have a day job, a family, and a life. Sales earned from your book can be a nice supplement to that. But if you want to make real money with your book, then also consider different ways you can leverage your book for other opportunities.
A book is your ticket to open doors, and there are many ways you can use your book to reach personal goals and to generate bigger revenues, especially if you are already a business owner (or you want to be). Here are some options:
- Attract new clients by giving copies of your book to prospects.
- Reach high-profile contacts by sending them a copy.
- Get booked for speaking engagements.
- Attract media interviews and leverage those to promote your business.
- Sell books in bulk to companies, trade associations, chain stores, and schools.
- Build new revenue streams around your book, such as companion coaching programs, events, or information products.
- Capture corporate sponsorship dollars.
- Build a following to attract readers for future books.
- Get paid to write for magazines and websites.
For me personally, I’m never very interested in my total book sales numbers because I’m far more focused on how my books help me serve my target audience, build a reputation and grow my business. Each book I’ve written has brought substantial opportunities including new clients, corporate sponsorships, spokesperson roles, paid blogging opportunities, a column that I write for the Forbes blog, speaking engagements, partnerships with peers, bulk sales, and much more. So my goals center around how each book will benefit my business and lead to more of the opportunities I want to create.
Answer these questions for yourself:
- What do I ultimately want to accomplish?
- What opportunities can I create with my book?
- How can I stretch out of my comfort zone?
- What do I need to learn to be successful?
- Who are some people I can model on my way to achieving my goals?
- How much time can I commit each week to pursuing my goals?
- What would my life look like if I reached these goals?
This post is an excerpt from The Nonfiction Book Marketing Plan by Stephanie Chandler. Grab a copy and receive more than a dozen bonus downloads!