Books aren’t just for reading. They are for speaking. Paid speaking.
You see, a book establishes your authority and credibility like nothing else. Writing a blog is great, but it doesn’t have the same punch as a book. Tweeting is good, but it can’t compare to a book. Posting articles is all right, but nothing like having a book to your name.
All of these are great ways to create and distribute content, but when it comes to putting some heft to your name, a book stands alone as the best way to do that if you aspire to earn money speaking or sharing your expertise. That is because a book says, “This person knows what he/she is talking about.” Even though anybody who wants to can publish a book these days, thanks to technology, the value of authoring a book has not been watered down to reflect this. Adding a book to your name still means something.
And because technology has leveled the playing field so you don’t have to wait around for some New York publisher to choose to publish you — or not — you can take full control of your book-publishing aspirations. You can develop your concept, write your manuscript, hire an editor, hire a designer, buy your ISBN, and slap that book on your website or Amazon.com. Easy. Or, if you don’t have the time to do even that, you can hand off your ideas and notes to a ghostwriter and let that person write the book for you and then hire a designer to design it, then put it on your website, Amazon.com or wherever you want to sell those books.
Books boost your income
As an editor and a ghostwriter, I’ve helped clients both ways. I’ve massaged rough drafts into polished manuscripts, and I’ve taken clients’ ideas and helped them think through their concepts and turn them into finished books. In this way, I’ve written books for clients that have helped them share their messages, experiences, research, and concepts to build their names, brands, and businesses. Many clients use books to launch, build, or enhance their speaking careers. And because our company can handle an entire book project: writing , editing, design, technical details including ISBN, and print project management, clients turn to us for an easy, one-stop solution.
But I don’t have to look only to my clients to see examples of people successfully using books to build or enhance speaking careers. I’ve done it myself. I started out speaking for free, as many people do. But I moved into being paid to speak, largely due to my books. Whether it was a speaking fee for $2,500 or one for $5,000, I doubt I would have been able to get those rates without books behind my name. I love being able to include information about being an author on my speaking one-sheet. That immediately sets me apart. I’m not just someone who has something to say but hasn’t bothered putting it in a book. I’m someone who has taken the time to put something in a book, and that says to meeting planners that I am serious.
Imagine using a book to land speaking engagements that pay you $2,000, $5,000, $10,000, or more to speak? That book can pay for itself and become an income-generating tool in a way few other things you spend money on can.
Books help you focus your brand
Books also help you land paid speaking gigs by allowing you to focus your efforts in a particular area, if you choose. For instance, if you write a book on business, then this may help you focus on getting speaking engagements with business groups, companies, etc. If your book is about diet and nutrition, then this may help you focus on getting speaking engagements with weight loss and wellness centers, health associations, lifestyle conventions, etc. And don’t think this only applies to nonfiction writers. Fiction writers can use their books to get paid speaking engagements, too. You can speak at literary events, of course, but since your speaking at some of these events may be free, a better place may be at events that focus on a theme related to your book. As an example, if you write about sex addiction in your novels, then maybe you’ll focus on getting paid speaking engagements at addiction centers, psychology conventions, etc.
I used to speak a lot more than I do now. When I had my son, I realized I didn’t want to live my life on the road or depend heavily on speaking, so I scaled back. I prefer occasional speaking engagements. So this isn’t something only for people who aspire to speak full-time. Using your books as a credibility-building tool to enhance your speaking career works whether you want to speak occasionally or you want to use speaking as the primary means of generating income. Your book is a tool that allows you to expand your income potential, brand, and opportunities. With a book, you can immediately boost your speaking fees and get better engagements.
How do you use books to market yourself?