By Wendy Keller, Literary Agent and Business Owner
A book is a GREAT calling card…
…but only if you use it to “call” on people!
Are you published already? Have a book in the works or in your head?
For a few hundred dollars, anybody can self-publish a digital book. Add a few bucks more, and you can get paper copies printed. A few lucky readers will have done it the Old Fashioned Way and found a literary agent (like me!) and gotten a traditional publisher – Penguin Random House, McGraw Hill, Simon & Schuster, etc. But if your intention is to build a business by leveraging your book, good luck with that!
Very few books manage to swim to the surface in the tsunami of books published in the USA every year.
You’ll need to be both clever and motivated to make yours DO something for you – produce results. A “calling card” is useless unless you use it to call attention to yourself, your product or your service.
Here are 3 Ways to Use Your Book to Build Your Business.
Give Copies to Your Best Prospects or Customers Seems self-evident, but many of my author-clients hope people will buy it and then invest in their product or service. It may or may not work for you to give free copies to everyone, but certainly to your best people. In the case of existing customers, present it with a personalized note thanking them for helping you learn what’s important to customers/helping your business grow to this point/giving you referrals/etc.
Get Yourself on Local Radio or TV Shows If your book is in physical format, and has been published less than a year, use it to wriggle onto local media. Then put links to your interview on your website; email it to all the customers/prospects on your mailing list; frame a big photo of you in studio or smiling next to the host and put it in your reception area; etc. Create a relationship with the host while you’re there, and think up some creative ways to keep in touch, help them achieve their own goals, or hire them to do a promo at your next live event, etc. The ideas are limitless!
Start a Blog or Newsletter On the Topic of Your Book Send a newsletter out once every 3 weeks and/or blog 2-3 times a week on the content topic of your book. (If you have a traditional publisher, you need to get permission to use excerpts, but otherwise, you can have someone on your team post small pieces of the book online or into the newsletter). Tell stories about people who did/didn’t use your advice. Put your URL at the bottom of every page. Make a goal of increasing by 10% per month the number of people on your list who see your blog or get the newsletter. (Note: you can’t just put people on a newsletter list. Ask permission first, especially in Canada where there is a hefty fine for “spamming”.)