Publishing a book can be a great way to showcase your unique experiences and share your niche expertise. But when done right, self-publishing a book can also become a valuable source of revenue in and of itself.
While you shouldn't go into self-publishing expecting to become the next J.K. Rowling or Stephen King, your writing endeavors can still help you make big money and grow your business. Books can be life-changing, for you and your readers.
1. Use giveaways to build business relationships.
You might think that selling your book is the best way to make money off it. While you can't ignore the sales potential and high royalty rates of listing your work on Amazon, book giveaways can prove even more lucrative in the long run.
Entrepreneur and author Danny Iny explains that his marketing focus with his books is to create relationships with his readers. Iny gives away his books for free on his website in exchange for readers' email contacts. This ensures additional interactions with Iny through his email list, resulting in greater exposure to his services. Giveaways of a single book helped him earn more than $250,000 in business revenue.
The secret to this method is that while a customer may not have to pay for the book, you are still getting something in return. Using a free, insightful book to build your email list helps you curate warm leads who will be more likely to buy from you in the future.
While website e-book giveaways are easiest, authors can also give away print copies of their books at conventions and other networking events. A book will be a far more memorable reminder of your brand than a business card could ever be.
2. Build authority so you can charge more for your services.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with J.J. Hebert, president of MindStir Media. Hebert's self-publishing company has produced several award-winning and best-selling authors in categories ranging from nonfiction to children's picture books.
Hebert noted that for nonfiction authors, a quality book becomes the basis for their entire platform. It proves that an author is a qualified expert on the subject, and dramatically changes the perception others have of their skills and abilities. As just one example, paid speaker John Ruhlin was able to increase his rates for keynote engagements from $5,000 to $30,000 -- all thanks to his having published a book.
The same principle holds true regardless of the type of services you provide. Whether you are a business consultant, graphic designer, or software developer, a well-written book shows that you are worth an extra premium -- one that high-end customers will be willing to pay for.
Writing a book instantly makes you a go-to resource for media outlets, as well. Journalists want to get insights from experts, and as an author, you have this built-in credibility. The result is additional press for you and your brand, leading to more demand for your services. This in turn gives you the leeway to choose to work with only the most profitable clients for further revenue growth.
3. Get reviews -- and fast.
While a book can go a long way in building your credibility and helping you achieve revenue growth, these outcomes depend on your ability to successfully market your book with both everyday readers and relevant media outlets.
A study from the Spiegel Research Center found that displaying reviews can increase conversion rate by as much as 270 percent, with the earliest reviews having the greatest impact on sales. This is also true for individuals considering buying your book.
Giving away advance copies of your book in exchange for honest reviews on Amazon or other listing sites will help build that initial credibility that gets hesitant readers to make a purchase. The more reviews you can get, the more authoritative your book will appear.
Authors should also make an effort to obtain reviews from professional outlets or other known authority figures in their niche. Forming relationships with publications and influencers in advance will make them more likely to provide a positive blurb when you send them a free copy of your book. This authoritative endorsement makes your work even more persuasive for establishing your platform.
Writing and publishing a book is a lot of work. But if you have unique insights to share, few outlets are better suited for helping you grow your personal brand and increasing your revenue stream. Use these tried and true techniques so you can leverage your book into lasting growth for your entrepreneurial efforts.