Authoring a book can bring added value to your business, especially when you take the time to uncover golden opportunities. Here are some simple ways to expand your reach, get more exposure, and increase revenues with books.
1. Create Bundles
If you’re a speaker, you can sell books at the back of the room. 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 attendance at 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. And aside from back of the room sales, you can also bundle books and products on your website.
2. 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 great exposure, book sales, and referrals for speaking engagements directly with your ideal audience.
3. 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.
4. Reach Beyond the Platform
You already know that authoring a book makes you an 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, and much, much more.
5. Go Digital
Ebook readers took off like a rocket in the last year, increasing ebook readership to 5% of the book market, a dramatic increase from just 1.5% the year prior. Ebooks are currently outselling hardcover books on Amazon and CEO Jeff Bezos predicts ebooks will outsell all books on Amazon by the end of 2010. 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.