Your Book as a Marketing Tool: Don’t Forget These Two Things
More than any other medium, a book is perhaps the most effective tool for conveying your expertise and credibility within a specific field. For this reason, publishing a book can prove a powerful marketing and business development tool for thought leaders, consultants, and public speakers (not to mention executive chefs, architects, and celebrity interior designers).
Whether you are publishing with a traditional publisher or a hybrid publisher like Figure 1, here are the two big things you must keep in mind before you put pen to paper:
Keeping it Real
No matter how you intend to use your book, whether as a giveaway at speaking events, a promotional piece for prospective and new clients, or as a book for sale on Amazon and in bookstores, your book will have the greatest impact if it comes across as a real book. By real I mean it must read, look, and feel like any book you see in your favourite bookstore, and not as a glorified brochure or longwinded advertorial or extra-verbose advertising campaign. It should be a book with a fresh take on a specific subject, delivered in an intelligent and engaging manner. It should be well-edited, handsomely-designed, and professionally printed. Don’t plaster it with company logos and mission statements and self-congratulating passages that will only serve to alienate folks. Make the book memorable and useful and attractive, the sort of thing that your readers will actually keep, if not even read from cover-to-cover.
Make it Part of Something Bigger
My authors are probably tired of hearing me say this, but I will tell you something you already suspect: publishing a book is a terrible way of becoming famous. Or, to put it another way, if you are expecting your book alone to drive business to your door, then you are going to be disappointed. Publishing a book as a marketing or business development tool can be very effective if you make it part of a broader marketing strategy. In fact, you would be wise to develop the comprehensive marketing strategy first so you can determine what role the book will play in the execution of this strategy. (You may, in fact, determine that publishing a book is not a useful component of the strategy.) Building your profile via an engaging, integrated, and consistent social media strategy should be part of this broader plan, as should connecting with key influencers in your field; finding ways to get in front of audiences; guest blogging for subject-relevant media; and joining industry boards or organizations. You should devise a strategy that will commence well before your book is available for purchase, as well as one that will continue well past the official publication date.