If you believe that the only way to make money on your books is to sell them, let me share a story about Jeff Nally, author of Rethinking Human Resources and Humans@Work. Jeff participated in two of Cathy’s anthology projects (where 15 authors come together to each write a chapter and become authors with a book with all their names on the cover). Jeff decided early on that his strategy would not be to sell his books, but rather, to gift them!
Perhaps your strategy will be about gifting your book.
First, Jeff created a list of his friends, colleagues, and prospects, and wrote a personal message to each recipient. Then the books were beautifully wrapped in color-coordinated tissue and wrapping paper, with a postcard detailing his offerings carefully tucked into his chapter within the book. The books were then mailed to his list.
Within just one week, Jeff booked five paid speaking engagements as a result of this strategy.
We don’t recommend indiscriminately giving away your books in order to book business, but we do believe that Jeff executed this plan flawlessly. Here’s what he did:
- He participated in book projects that allowed him to focus on his expertise and his unique value proposition. In each of Jeff’s chapters it was apparent that Jeff had expertise in how to become more human at work using brain-based leadership strategies. His chapters spoke about his experience and highlighted how clients might utilize his expertise.
- He created a list of his friends and contacts who would value the book. Jeff is an amazing connector, and he leveraged this aspect of his strengths to reach out and reconnect with those who might not know what Jeff is currently doing (and therefore, how the recipient might engage with Jeff). Note that he didn’t send his books to a list of strangers or leads; these were individuals who had a relationship with Jeff.
- Jeff used all the strategies as outlined in Gift-ology, John Ruhl’s excellent book about how to build business by strategically gifting clients and prospects. Jeff beautifully wrapped each book which contained a personal and tailored message to each recipient, making the gift highly valued by each person receiving one.
- Jeff let others know, in a non-salesy way, what he was doing and how other clients were engaging with him. In other words, he painted a picture of how he might work with each person receiving a book.
Another author, Lee Quinn, wrote his book with his business partner Lewis Rudy. On Your Own Terms: Building a Sustainable, Value-Creating Business highlighting their consulting company’s process for using the MORE (Master of Reverse Engineering) process.
Their goal was to create a book that would be a highly tailored calling card for their most compatible prospects. His company could not be more pleased with the results.
So, you don’t have to sell a book for the book to pay for itself. It can pay for itself many times over when you use smart strategies to book high-ticket engagements.
This blog post is excerpted from the new book from authors Cathy Fyock and Lois Creamer, The Speaker Author: Sell More Books and Book More Speeches. To contact Cathy, email her at Cathy@CathyFyock.com.
Cathy will also be a guest teleseminar presenter on October 2nd, 2019, see details here.
If you like this blog post, you’ll love our Author Toolkit on how to create revenue streams for your author-publisher business. It includes checklists, templates, worksheets and more. Check it out!