Most small business people have neither the time nor the inclination to write a book. Yet, as was covered in the first and second parts of this article, they want the results that a book can help them achieve: authority, more leads, more clients, or even a new line of business, such as consulting or speaking.
The first and second parts of this article contained advice on how to write and design your book. In this, the last part, we’ll look at how to use it to create business-building results.
When Is a Book a Door?
In Part 1, you found out that your book, by itself, is not a business. The reason is that there is little to no profit margin. The price that you can reasonably charge (i.e., a price that people would be willing to pay) is not enough to offset the cost of the advertising you would need to make people aware of your book and to direct them to where they could purchase it.
Yet, if you don’t advertise, few, if any of the people who could benefit from your book will ever know it exists. It will sit, available, yet virtually unknown and un-purchased on Amazon or iBooks. Maybe some people will find it and buy it. The vast majority won’t.
But the small business owner or entrepreneur who already sells a product or service can bear the zero-profit margin. “How?” you ask. This will become clearer in the next section.
Until you get there, consider that for a small business owner or entrepreneur, a book is a door through which readers enter the author’s world. Inside, they discover that the author is an expert.
“The trick to making this worth it,” said author-entrepreneur Mike Dillard on his Self Made Man podcast, “is to have a mechanism on the back end to capture the value that the book creates because there’s no money or profit to be made off the actual book itself, unless your name is Tom Clancey.”
For the author, the book is a door that can lead to greater recognition and business.
“I’m a Published Auth—err … a Published Marketer.”
Have you heard of Robert Kiyosaki, Dan Kennedy, or William O’Neill? Each of these men has published numerous books: Kiyosaki on a range of prosperity topics; Kennedy on marketing; and O’Neill on successful stock market investing.
None of these guys is writing books to sell books. While all three are capable (and even enjoyable) authors, where they truly succeed is as marketers; their books are relatively inexpensive, value-packed front-end products that lead people to purchase their back-end offers:
1. Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad” financial success training services
2. Kennedy’s GKIC small business marketing services
3. O’Neill’s Investor’s Business Daily subscriptions and other investment consulting services
“In order to be a legitimate marketer, you’ve got to have a couple of decent books on Amazon.”—Tucker Max
A business can afford to lose money selling books (or giving them away) because, as Mike Dillard mentioned above, the book leads to sales of their more expensive back-end services or additional sources of income, such as consulting and speaking services.
“In order to be a legitimate marketer, you’ve got to have a couple of decent books on Amazon,” said author-publisher-entrepreneur Tucker Max during his Self Made Man interview.
For the business owner or entrepreneur, the book is a marketing device.
How to Do It
Earlier, you read that a business can afford to lose money selling a book because the book leads to sales of their higher-priced, back-end services.
The way this comes about is by building a list of leads and book buyers and then marketing your back-end services to them.
“A list of 10 or 20 thousand people is worth six figures a year in revenue.”—Mike Dillard
For business owners un-acquainted with the process, you need to discover where the audience for your book hangs out. Which websites do they visit? Which blogs do they read? Which “gurus” do they follow? (Read this article to find out more.) Those are the places where you want to advertise your book:
1. Facebook pay-per-click ads targeted at people who follow certain gurus or who are interested in topics associated with your business.
2. Banner ads on particular blogs or forums.
3. Solo ads to audiences of people who have purchased products similar to yours.
In addition to these online methods, you might even use direct mail to promote your book, such as to a list of certain types of customers or businesses.
“You can use a book to generate an email list and customer list better than just about anything else out there,” Dillard said.
Once you begin to build a list, market and sell to it, you can use a portion of your profits to scale up your successful paid ads, which will bring in more leads, customers, and income. Eventually, it can become a sustainable system.
“Launch your book—essentially, give it away for free—and have at least one offer on the back-end to help monetize that and pay for advertising,” said Dillard. “Once you have a list of 10 or 20 thousand people, that is worth six figures a year in revenue when you come out with other products.”
That’s how you turn a book into a business.
Creating a book (or several) may be the best marketing decision you make for your business because, unlike other forms of marketing, books can remain available for a very long time, thanks to platforms like Amazon and iBooks.
As you build your business and your reputation, your name will become more familiar to prospects in your niche. They will seek you out online, and among the things they find will be your books.
So, the sooner you get your book out there, the closer you will be to attaining greater influence, more leads and clients, or the other results a book can bring.