Are you measuring the success of your business book solely by copy sales?

If you are, then you are missing the point of what makes writing and publishing a business book so impactful! Nearly half of the first-time authors that I work with come to me with a book ready to publish but no idea how they are going to integrate that book into their wider business strategy beyond just selling a bunch of copies.

Rethinking Success: The Sales Myth Debunked

Sure, it’s great to receive that royalty deposit into your bank account each month; to feel that you have created an asset that can generate passive income for you.  But it is short-sighted to only focus on that one metric.  Equally, it is a common misconception that a business book without high sales is a failure.

Both of these viewpoints overlook the strategic value a business book can have and the benefits it can generate for both you and your business.  

The Bigger Picture: Your Book as a Business Catalyst

A business book can be a powerful marketing tool and a huge brand enhancer when you start to look at it as more than just another product to sell.  There are numerous ways in which you can integrate your book into your wider business ecosystem, but a few of the most common are:

  • As a tool to attract speaking engagements & PR opportunities
  • To raise your profile as an expert in your industry, allowing you to increase your rates
  • As a lead magnet to attract higher-quality clients willing to pay a premium to work with you
  • As a starting point for other spin-off product offerings such as training courses or memberships
  • As a focal point to build a community of like-minded professionals within your industry or niche
  • To attract potential collaboration partnerships or investors
  • As a vehicle to allow you to give back to the community

You may be thinking that all sounds a little abstract, so let me share some empirical evidence showing the long-term benefits of publishing a book that goes beyond royalty income.  RainToday.com and Wellesley Hills Group commissioned a study into the business impact of writing a book[1].  Here are the main highlights from that study:

  • 94% reported that their book improved their brand
  • 95% reported that their book generated more speaking engagements
  • 96% reported that their book generated more clients
  • 94% reported that their book generated more leads
  • 87% reported that their book allowed them to charge higher fees
  • 87% reported that their book allowed them to generate a more desirable client base
  • 76% reported that their book allowed them to close more deals.

Strategic Moves: Leveraging Your Book for Maximum Impact

So how do go about integrating your book into your wider business?  The specifics of this is going to be different for every business, but the best place to start is to use your book as a lead magnet.  Don’t be afraid to give copies of it away for free to potential high-value clients.  Not only will that cement in their minds the idea that you are generous with your knowledge, but it will also help them to see the value of what you are offering because they can see in black and white just how knowledgeable you are on your subject.

Also, look at ways you can talk about your book in your marketing and social media that aren’t “buy my book” type of posts.  Quote short passages from it or use references from it to answer common questions you get asked or see frequently in public forums.  This strategy can have the knock-on effect that once people start to associate you as an author, you will start to attract opportunities to speak at events and be interviewed in the media and on podcasts.

Consider whether you can build on the content of your book and either offer it in a more interactive format or expand it into workshops, courses, or webinars.  These can either be offered as paid-for services in their own right or as additional sales tools for your main product or service.

Navigating Hurdles: Overcoming Common Resistance

When I talk to many of my authors about the subject of integrating their books back into their wider businesses, I often come across similar points of resistance.

Time & Effort. Many people think that the idea of doing more with their book on top of the normal marketing activities required to generate book sales will be prohibitive and will pull their focus too far away from the task of actually running their businesses.  This doesn’t have to be the case.  With a little bit of initial planning and implementation during your initial book launch, and your book can seamlessly fit into your existing business practices without much additional effort.  More often than not, your book can replace existing collateral that you using to promote your business and generate new leads and sales.

It’s worth too much to give away for free.  I hear this a lot and is one of the hardest mindset shifts an author needs to make.  But the truth of the matter is that you can make more money from your book by giving it away for free than you can in copy sales royalty alone.  The reason for that is because it IS worth so much in terms of value.  Giving it away for free builds loyalty and trust with your audience.  It fosters a sense of openness and honesty that goes a long way to creating raving fans.  It allows your potential clients the opportunity to learn what you do, why you do and why you are best suited to solve their problem without the pressure of a sales expectation.  The best way to think of it is this… if you are willing to take someone out for coffee and pick up the tab as the start of a sales conversation, then why not give them a copy of your book instead?  Its financial cost to you is about the same, yet your potential client will get far more out of the exchange than they could get from picking your brains over a one-hour coffee meeting. 

Taking the Next Step

Hopefully, now you can see that your book is more than just another product to sell; it’s a multifaceted tool that can be integrated into all aspects of your business. One that can have long-term benefits and attract diverse opportunities far into the future beyond just your initial book launch period.

I encourage you to start looking for ways you can use your book in various different aspects of your daily business management and promotion.  I also invite you to share your experience or plans of how you are going to use your book that is outside the box.

If this is an aspect of business publishing that has you a bit stumped, reach out to me by booking a one-to-one consultation.  We can look at what you are doing with your book now and brainstorm ideas of where else it can be put to good use so that you can fully optimise the amazing asset you have created.

[1] https://www.prnewsonline.com/can-writing-and-publishing-a-book-generate-a-vigorous-pr-roi/, last accessed January 22, 2024

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