For many people, writing the book is the easy part. Whether you have a body of work ready to repurpose (such as a blog you’ve maintained for several years) or a ghostwriter at the ready, or you just really like to write, getting your book on paper is simple.
Publishing and selling it is another matter altogether. You basically have four options when it comes to publishing your book, and each one has its pros and cons.
Probably the simplest method to publish a book, all that’s required with an ebook is to click “Save as…” in your Word document and choose “PDF.” Then you can sell the resulting file on your own website, list it on ClickBank or E-Junkie, or upload it to a number of other ebook marketplaces online.
Ebooks don’t quite have the authority that printed books carry, but if you’re on a budget and don’t have the skills to format your book for print, then this can be a viable option to get you off the ground. It’s also a great way to share your book with advance readers to get those all-important testimonials.
The darling of the self-publishing world, Amazon’s Kindle marketplace makes it easy for you to publish your book. In fact, with just a few minutes of formatting, and another several minutes spent on their step-by-step uploading system, you can have your book on their virtual shelves in less than an hour.
With its incredible popularity and the ability to offer “free days” during which anyone can download your book at no cost, Kindle is a great way to build a buzz quickly.
Print on Demand
The best choice for self-published authors is a relatively new technology that allows for a single book to be printed on demand. Until just a few years ago, if you chose to self-publish your book you’d likely have to shell out for hundreds if not thousands of copies up front, leaving you with a garage full of books to sell on your own.
Print on demand is different. Buyers order your book from sellers such as Amazon (whose Create Space arm is itself a print on demand enterprise), and the book is printed and shipped the next day. This makes it easy and cost-effective for everyone to become a published author.
The most difficult and time consuming option, getting your book published with a traditional print publisher will also get you the most audience and press. The drawbacks are many, though. To start, it’s extremely difficult to get a traditional publishing house to take on a new author. If you do manage to get the attention of a publisher, your royalties (the amount you earn from your book) will be very small—maybe as little as 8% of the net cost. Finally, the length of time it takes from manuscript submission to final publication can be years.
All that said, a book with a traditional publishing insignia on the spine does carry a bit more weight when it comes to press opportunities than does a self-published book.
Many new authors initially choose the ebook format, and then move to Kindle and print on demand. Given enough buzz and sales, traditional publication becomes easier to attain as well. The important thing is to get your book written, and then publish where you’re most comfortable. The rest will come naturally.
Need help writing your book, check out our book writing bootcamp
Comment below...traditional publishing or self-publishing? Coach Deb
Here’s a big fear we all have when it comes to writing a book: What if no one buys it?
While that is always possible, with a little planning and advanced buzz, it’s highly unlikely. The key is to get others excited about your book, and to get them talking and sharing the news with their friends.
Host a Launch Party
Weeks before your official publication date, it’s time to start revving up the launch engine. Offering bonuses for early purchases, incentives for a review, and free chapter downloads are all proven strategies for building the buzz for your upcoming book.
There’s a lot of moving parts in a successful book launch—landing pages, mailing lists, JV partners, social outreach, and more.
Make the Interview Rounds
Two to three months prior to your book release, have your virtual assistant begin researching podcasts, blogs, and other media outlets for potential interviews. Create a press package to send out, including headshots, book cover art, blurbs and testimonials, and let everyone know that you’re looking for interviews and guest posting opportunities.
Blog About It
You are your own best publicist; so, don’t be afraid to toot your own horn on your blog, in your email newsletter, and on social media. Include images of the cover, blurbs from advance readers, and give your audience plenty of time to get excited about the upcoming launch, so when the buy button finally goes up they’re eager to get a copy.
Facebook is a terrific way to get new eyes on your book. Paid ads leading to your launch page are ideal, and can generate a lot of traffic for a very low cost.
Free Kindle Days
This technique alone can catapult your book to bestsellerdom in a matter of days. The key is to build up a buzz on your mailing list, share, share, share on social media, and ask your friends and colleagues to do the same.
Book marketing isn’t as easy as simply listing it on Amazon and becoming an instant bestseller. Anyone who tells you that is the exception to the rule. But that doesn’t mean selling your book is impossible either. With some strategic planning and a little effort, you can have a fantastic launch, whether it’s your first book or your fourteenth.
Comment below with your favorite book marketing technique, Coach Deb
What makes you read a blog post or article or email?
Interesting stats? A clever turn of phrase? An attention-grabbing headline?
All of those things can pique your interest, but they won’t keep your eyes on the page. For that, you need a story.
As a coach, service provider, or blogger, your job is to craft a narrative that draws your reader in and keeps her interested. Do it right, and she’ll share your content with her friends and colleagues, greatly expanding your reach. Do it poorly, and she might read your post or your email, she might even buy from you. But she won’t remember you, because you won’t have made a connection.
Share Your Personal Stories
One of the best ways to build a relationship and grow your audience is to share your personal stories. Tell your readers how you got started, what lessons you learned along the way, and how your life and business were improved because of them.
Personal anecdotes don’t even have to be business related to have an impact. Did you notice a fantastic marketing strategy while standing in line at the supermarket reading the magazine headlines? Share the story. Did you learn how to treat customers better by dealing with your cell phone company?Tell your story
By making the connection between a memorable event and your business, your readers will remember you long after they click away from your site or close your email.
Write Case Studies
Another powerful story telling technique is case studies. Tell your readers exactly what your client did to double her income last year, or how another client took your advice and grew her mailing list by 150% in six months.
These beefed-up testimonials (because that’s all a case study is) will keep your readers interested in learning more from you.
Connect Unrelated Stories in New, Interesting Ways
Want to really make an impression? Make unusual connections in your story. Share the struggles Frodo faced as he made his way to Mordor to destroy the ring, and how that relates to business today. Or talk about the squirrel in your yard that bravely defends his territory every time you take the dog out, and how it reminds you of your early days in business when you were convinced that competition was bad.
By making a connection between completely unrelated topics, you can quickly craft a blog post or email that will get readers thinking, and that they’ll remember for a long time to come.
Avoid the Awkward Segue
One word of caution though. Don’t toss in a story just because you think you need a “hook.” You’ll know you’re doing this if you can’t easily transition from the story to the purpose of your post or email. If you find yourself saying something like “Ok, that’s enough personal stuff, now let’s get back to business,” you’re trying too hard.
Your stories should naturally flow into business, if you want to make a big impression. And trust me, when you get this right, you’ll suddenly find your posts going viral and your profits soaring.
Share your favorite learning story below, Coach Deb
Struggling to bring in new clients? Not sure what to do next in your marketing plan? There’s one simple answer you probably haven’t considered:
Write a book!!
It’s true. This one thing—especially if it’s an actual printed book rather than a Kindle or eBook—has the power to grow your business beyond your expectations. You’ll experience a whole new world of opportunities simply by having your name on the cover of a book.
Imagine you’re at a conference or local networking group and you meet two people who both specialize in business branding—something you know you need help with.
One says all the right things. She’s been in business for years and worked with some top-notch business owners. She has great ideas for how she can help you solidify your branding.
The other has a similar history and story, with one added bonus: she’s just handed you a copy of her latest book. It’s a professionally printed, substantial publication that practically exudes confidence.
Which expert do you think shows more authority in her field? The one with the book, of course. There really is nothing better when it comes to establishing your authority in any niche than having a book with your name on it.
So why does a book speak so highly of you and establish your authority so well? Because it gives you a platform to show off your expertise. It’s like being invited to present on any topic you choose on the world’s largest stage.
Not only that, but your readers are a captive audience. They’re listening—in that moment—only to you. That’s a powerful position to be in, and one that gives you an opportunity to really show off your stuff.
3. Market Reach
No matter how many readers Google sends your way, no matter how much traffic your YouTube channel receives, nothing will ever compare to the number of potential readers Amazon and other online booksellers can bring your way.
Positioned correctly, your book can reach millions of new readers, and thousands of potential clients. Combine that with the expertise and authority we know comes with being a published author, and that’s a recipe for success that can’t be beat.
4. Better Than a Business Card
If you’ve ever been to a conference, you’ve no doubt collected a stack of business cards. You get home and toss them in a drawer, and six months later you throw them out, without ever having contacted the people who gave them to you.
But if one of those people handed you a book instead, what happened? You’ve likely read it (or at least leafed through it). You almost certainly didn’t throw it away. And you remember it—and the person who wrote it.
5. Press Opportunities
Turn on your television to any interview show, browse through Huffington Post, or listen to any of a number of popular podcasts, and you’ll quickly see that most of the guest speakers and interviewees have written a book.
The fact is, interview shows depend on interesting, insightful guests to keep their audiences listening, and there’s no better applicant than an author. Writing a book will open up many, many opportunities for appearances that you may never have without your name on that cover.
Do you have to write a book to be successful? No. But there’s no denying the fact that a published author will find she has a much easier time growing her business than the professional who keeps putting it off until later.
Need help writing your first book, learn how to write your book in 30 days here.
Leave us a link below to your book or success story related to your book, Coach Deb
If you would like to use any of our blogs on your blog sight, please do contact us. We would be happy to share with you.
What do top coaches, industry experts, and media superstars all have in common? They've all written a book. You can too. It's easy!