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How to Promote Your Business Book For Maximum ROI

In the final part of a three-part blog series, DigiWriting’s book marketing experts discuss how business leaders can market their book as part of their existing promotional strategies. With these tips, you’ll never miss a single sales opportunity!

Don’t miss the first two parts of this series by Graham Schofield, founder of Books from Start to Finish:

Part I – Why Writing A Book Can Be a Deal-Maker for Your Business

Part II — How a Book Can Lead to Increased Earnings and Brand Awareness

Marketing Starts Before You Begin Writing

In the previous two blogs, we have explored the value of developing a book to promote your business, and so now it’s time to talk about taking that to market. Some people have a false view that all they need to do is to launch the book on Amazon and sit back and wait; that, of course, is a very vain hope and there is much more to marketing a book.

Unless your subject is truly unique, there will always be intese competition from related books and other business leaders writing about similar topics. Thus, you have to find a way to make your book stand out and this means that part of the marketing strategy is developed before you even write the first word. When planning your book, you should read other books on your topic and look for a gap in that market. While your book may have similar ideas, how you present them is the key differentitor.

As you write, you should already be considering publishing options, and if you get a traditional publishing deal then the company will guide you. However, if you’re self-publishing and do not have experiece producing a book for print or digital distribution, we highly recommend seeking help from professionals. One wrong step can negatively impact the final product, and since the book will be a reflection of your skills as a business leader, you’ll want to put your best foot forward.

So, with a creative title, an eye-catching book cover (yes, book covers sell books!), a professionally edited manuscript—whether you get help or write it yourself, this an absolute must—and those key differentiators you planned for, you’ll be thinking you can now move into the production and marketing phase of publishing your book. Wrong. You should have started already.

When it comes to promoting your book, we recommend integrating your book into your existing marketing plan for your business as well as any daily business activities. This strategy is time-efficient and ensures you are reaching your target audience and as with any product—think the latest iPhone—there is much value in warming up your audience and building expectations. Yes, you’ll do more later once the book is finished, but there is immense value in starting promotion when still writing.

So What Can I Do?

As explored in the first part of the series, a business book is about opening doors and using it to leverage new opportinities. Get this right—with a book with sought-after content—and the ROI can be very significant. With that in mind, here are five things you can do to market your book once it is published and available, and also as it is being written:

1) Integrate Your Book Throughout Your Website

Many business leaders simply create a book page on their exiting website. While this is still an effective strategy, it’s no guarantee that site visitors will go to that page. Instead, feature your book throughout your website such as in the homepage header.

As soon as you have, say, a chapter available, you can set up a free excerpt download if people provide their email address. You can mention and promote the book in your blog, and in your biography section, and offer discounted or even free copies when it’s available.

2) Integrate Your Book in Your Existing Content Strategy

If you promote your business through email marketing or social media, you are likely to have some kind of content strategy. In simple terms, this defines how you will effectively use content (pictures, video, white papers, etc.) to promote your business. You can boost this with simple tips from your book or by creating a white paper based on a key point in your book and distributing it free to your email list. The possiblities are endless and again, you don’t have to wait until the book is finished.

3) Promote Your Book During Appearances and Speeches

Any successful business leader often makes special appearances and gives speeches at  conferences or forums. You can use these opportunites to work in your book, but the trick is not making it sound like a sales pitch nobody wants to listen to. If you can work it into an answer or part of your talk (i.e. “It’s funny because I actually write about this in my new book…”) then you’re going to be much better placed to maximize leverage.

You can also reach out to industry organizations about giving a speech on a topic from the book or even set up your own seminars. For these, you can invite ‘warm leads’ and, when the book is ready, give them free copies if they attend.

4) Make Your Network Work For You

In the book industry, word-of-mouth is still the number one way that people find out about a book such as the hottest new novel, and the same applies to business and thought-leadership books. Review your personal network of likeminded business leaders and offer to send them a compliementary copy of your new book, preferably before it is released. If they like the book (make sure you ask for a short review or quote), they are likely to tell their network and word will spread organically.

Sending free copies can also be used with those same ‘warm leads,’ especially if you work in some kind of advisory capacity. If you believe you have potential clients, send them a copy of the book along a with a ‘coupon’ offering a free consultancy with $ value attached to it. This approach and setting up the seminar can work with potential new clients, or ones you have served in the past who may have additional need for your services. If you have employees, encourage them to read the book and promote it to all their contacts.

5) Seek Professional Help

If you believe your book has the potential for some ‘serious’ ROI, then you might want to consider the services of a book marketing company who will not only offer advice on getting the best from your book, but can also manage things like social media and appearance booking on your behalf. Using their in-depth experience, they can offer guidance and support for book marketing–such as book reviews and publicity–and also for author promotion and platform building, which is very important if you are considering writing more than one book.

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Do you have any unique tactics for marketing a thought-leadership book?