A book on its own will probably not make you much money.
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. So why bother doing one? Because it can be the catalyst that bolts your business to the next level and makes a lot of money in other ways. In this video, we’ll talk about what those ways are so you can make money from your book, even if it’s not through direct sales.
I’m Liz, the writer behind Green Goose Ghostwriting. I help entrepreneurs who want to write a book to demonstrate authority in their niche and get more speaking engagements. I write their book in their own voice so they can share their message, inspire others, and finally level-up their business.
This post is part of a series on five questions to ask yourself before you write your book. See the first post in the series here.
An example of strategic decison-making
I want to tell you a bit about my brother who graduated university today. I want to brag because he’s awesome, but I also want to share some strategic decisions he made about his career.
About five years ago my brother was living in Sydney with his lovely now-fiancé, working in banking and not loving his career prospects. But he didn't know what he did what to do with his life.
So he started trolling through job listings online and made a list of jobs that were in high demand in that area. He took that list and scratched off those that didn't pay well. Then, from that shortlist, he chose the job that sounded coolest. (I don’t think building surveying sounds that cool, but it appealed to him.)
He researched what was needed to get into the industry, apply to university, and today, thanks to the wonders of the internet and live-streaming, I watched him walk across the stage, shake some important person’s hand, and start life as a building surveyor graduate. And he’s already had a job offer.
So what can we learn from my brother’s awesomeness?
Before he began to write his university application, he considered how this job would fit into his bigger life plan. He looked at the demand and pay, and the education programs required.
Before you start to write your self-help book, memoir, or other non-fiction book you must know how it will fit into your bigger plan. Because book sales alone don’t usually make much money.
But here are some strategies to use your book to make plenty of money in more indirect ways...
Strategies to use your non-fiction book:
1. As an “in” for speaking engagements
Use the book to introduce you to the people who make decisions about speaking engagements. Use your book to get in with conference organizers, committees, and the people who book keynote presenters. It can serve as the “in” to get you on stage, and to command those big fees for speaking engagements.
And then you can sell the book at the back of the room, or include sales of it in your contract. Double whammy!
2. As a marketing tool for a bigger program
Use the book as an introduction to a bigger education program. This could be:
• A print workbook;
• A downloadable self-study guide;
• An online video course;
• Live one-on-one or group coaching; or
• A membership site.
People will pay good money for these if they can see from your book that you’re able to deliver value.
3. As the first in a series that demonstrates authority
These days, non-fiction readers are happy to read a short book if it still has value. So you can write several shorter books on all aspects of your subject, and become known as an authority in your niche.
If a reader enjoys one book, they’ll likely buy another, and the sales snowball.
So don’t rely on book sales alone to build your business. But do remember that, when fit strategically into your business, a book can be incredibly powerful.
What's your strategy?
What’s your strategy for fitting your book into your business, and using it to make money? Are you going to use one of these techniques or something else entirely? Share in the comments below, because I would love to hear.
While you think about this stuff, you should be working to improve your writing, as that will benefit you in every aspect of your business. So enter your email below and you’ll get 15 writing tips from today’s top entrepreneurs, including the likes of Marie Forleo and Jeff Goins. You’ll also get more cool stuff about writing for your business every week.
See you next time.