Many authors write a book and expect an audience to find it. As a result, their sales are disappointing — most likely, dismal. You can’t think book writing is a Field of Dreams and all you have to do is build it and they will come. They won’t know it’s there. They won’t know what it’s about. They won’t know where to get it.
So you’ve got to identify who they are and get the word out to them. With book writing, you’ve got to market the book. That means telling readers about the book, how it can help them, and how they can get it. We’ve talked quite a bit about book marketing in this space. But there is another side to marketing your book and building your brand. It’s about productifying your book.
Yes, productifying. Turning your one book into multiple products and services.
I’ve told you on this blog that I’ve done that with my own books. In fact, I’ve built a whole writing business from my one novel I first self-published in 2002. I’ve added other books, services including ghostwriting, editing, and design, and lots more. My husband and I have a multilayered business, all thanks to our willingness to see beyond one book.
What can you do if you choose to see beyond your one book?
It can be as simple or as complicated as you want. Not only can you turn your one book into multiple products or services that grow your business. But you can give away the products and services for free to market something else or you can offer the products and services for a fee so they become income-generating tools. So, before, where you thought the only way to make money off your book was to sell copies of it one by one, now you realize there are lots of other ways! I’ll share a few with you here.
By the way, this works for nonfiction and fiction, both. If you offer any value in your book, then you can productify that book.
Hallelujah! You don’t have to hoof it to tons of book events, hoping to sell 10 or 20 books just to have a good day. Instead, you can build additional products and services around your expertise or elements you share in the book and make a lot more money off your book that way. In fact, you can make more money off your book and even generate more sales of the book, by taking the productify approach. Imagine selling one product or service based on your book and earning 10 or 20 times (or more!) what you’d make selling one book. That’s very possible with the productify approach.
Most authors stop at the book, thinking that’s all there is to it. But it’s not. Your book is merely the beginning. Your book can be the centerpiece in your book empire. Here is how:
Determine which one or two products/services you want to develop from your book
1. Videos. Does your book lend itself to video? Perhaps you want to develop a video series about the book’s topic or a particular idea you share in the book. You can offer a free video series on your blog or decide to charge for your video by creating a course.
2. Audio. You can create a free podcast based on some element of your book or create a CD series or the audiobook version that you charge for.
3. Blog. You can blog your book’s topic and share information for free or even build a membership site that offers additional, valuable information for a fee.
4. Speaking engagements. You can develop a workshop, seminar, or keynote based on some element or information from the book. You can speak for free, of course, at local organizations, or build a program around your book’s information and charge a fee for presenting it. You can do this by holding your own signature events or by presenting at conferences where you get a fee.
5. Coaching or mentoring. You can offer a coaching or mentoring program based on your book’s topic or expertise you share in the book. You can offer brief coaching or consulting sessions for free as a marketing tool, or you can offer coaching, consulting, or mentoring for a fee to clients who want to get a better knowledge of your topic or learn how to apply your teachings in their lives or businesses.
6. Webinars and teleconferences. These are tools to present your coaching, mentoring, or consulting. Again, as with the other options I’ve shared, you can offer a free version as a marketing tool or a paid version as an income-generating element to your business.
7. Events. You can host a free event as a marketing tool built around your book, or you can host an event as an income-generating element. For instance, let’s say your book is about weight loss. Your free weight loss event may be a health fair or a workshop where you discuss the Top Ten Ways to Lose 20 Pounds. It’s a marketing tool because it’s aimed at attracting your target audience, people who are specifically interested in the event’s topic. Or, you can build it up and make it a paid event that becomes an income-generating part of your business. There, you may seek sponsorships or charge an admission fee. You earn money from the sponsorships, the admission fee, and selling any products or services you choose to sell. You may provide a copy of your book in the registration packet based on the fee the attendees have paid, or sell the book separately at the event.
8. Software or apps. Does your book or your expertise lend itself to developing a new software program or an app? As with the other options, you can offer some version of your software or app for free or you can ramp it up and offer it as a paid tool.
These are just some of the ways you can productify your book! Regardless of which way you choose, make sure you are high on quality. Even if you are offering a scaled down version of a product or service as a free marketing tool to bring in leads that may turn into buyers of the paid version, what you offer has to be good. Nobody wants to waste her time on something that is clearly just fluff. So if you promise valuable information, deliver valuable information. If you promise an entertaining or educational time, deliver an entertaining or educational time.
See your book through new eyes
As you can see with each of these examples, there is a way to turn your book into a new product or service and offer it for free to your target audience, and there is a way to turn it into a paid product or service for your business. All of this is based on your one book! If your book is offering enough value in terms of information, inspiration, or entertainment in its current form, there is a way to leverage that book into some other product or service. You’ve just got to be creative enough to see your book’s potential beyond its pages.