To be consistently competitive in a motor race you must have one of (if not the) best engines.
Having a book, becoming an author, to promote you and your business puts grunt in your engine whilst your competition struggles around on two-stroke “put-put”. So yes, your book is a significant leg up the starting grid.
However, unless you happen to be JK Rowling or Tony Robbins – people are not going to flock to your latest pride and joy and the “click to add to cart” button to become the (hopefully) proud new owner of your latest hardback.
Indeed, simply having grunt doesn’t mean you will be the first to the chequered flag – or anywhere near it for that matter.
The maxim goes “To finish first, first you must finish”.
Consuming all your fuel pumping (or is that “pimping”) your book will almost certainly mean you’ll be out of power, resources and strength likely giving up frustrated before the end of the first lap.
It’s all about where “the rubber meets the road”.
Simply having grunt yet then failing to translate this into traction is the most common author mistake. Instead the new author needs to be “canny”.
The famous F1 Team Owner of Lotus, Colin Chapman, said “Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere”.
So just having a book might give you the grunt when your accelerator pedal is able to be pressed hard to the metal – when the cars in front move out of the way and you can storm right through the gaps. Just like the occasions we’re sat in front of our perfect prospect – who has invited us into their office to discuss how we can help them. We could call this a “home run” sales opportunity.
The trouble is…
Life isn’t always a home straight.
There are many bends and twisty sections ahead.
That’s why we all need to add “simplify, then add lightness”.
The biggest mistake new authors make is…
Promoting the book!
They rely on grunt alone to get them round the twisty sections when the serious players on the grid are coming flying by, crowding them out and dropping them down the field. Having the best engine on the grid doesn’t make them the fastest on the race track.
Rowling and Robbins sell books, and make money, because of who they have become.
Successful new authors make their money from opportunities by using it for traction not grunt.
This is the harsh truth…
People probably don’t know about you or your book.
Those that buy your book probably won’t even read it.
Pressing the pedal down on the straights might feel exhilarating but you’re never near the front when it comes to handing out the trophies.
So here’s my advice…
If you’re in the race to make money from your book you should pull over now. That’s a race to the back of the grid.
If however, you’re in the race to use your book to create opportunities then you need to “add lightness”.
The pleasant truth is…
Your book opens doors,
Your book generates leads,
Your book gives you authority,
Your book gives you a vault of re-purposable content
Firstly – this is how we subtract weight
Take the focus away from the book.
Yes – stop selling the book. Put the book at the back of the marketing not at the front.
The book isn’t the factor why someone “buys” you or your product / service; its merely a factor why they do.
Leading with, and therefore promoting, the book is the single biggest mistakes new authors make.
Instead use it to position you. Make yourself appear fitter than your competition. Use it to create an “edge”.
Secondly, build a brand around the book.
There are probably only 3 reasons why someone “buys” a book.
1) The book cover looks fabulous – we all know the old saying.
2) The book title
3) The author
Now we probably can’t play with number 3 too much unless you happen to be called Rowling or Robbins.
However, we can create fabulous visuals for the cover and an engaging book title. Use this within your personal / business branding. Make it noticeable. Make it memorable. Seek advice and counsel on this from a mentor who knows how to cut through the noise.
The brand you create gives you the opportunities later. Missing this step means you will have wasted every ounce of the sweat and tears you used writing the book in the first place.
Thirdly, get the foreword written by someone more well known
One way to influence others is via association and endorsement.
Having your book foreword written by someone known to your audience will allow you to leverage their endorsement.
Furthermore, you can use it – in a wider content – as one of your flagship testimonials.
Fourthly, make this about them not you.
Remember, success is about having the most opportunities. I hear too often “if I had more opportunities to… I would double my business… sell more”.
The book is your opportunity making machine – a “light” machine, of course.
If you look to promote the book you’ll spend frustrating amounts of time and shed loads of money getting “eye balls” to look at it.
The trouble with that approach is it increases resistance at the wrong time.
Leading with the book will likely dump you, trapped, in a wet gravel trap – suffering with a 0.001% conversion rate from eye ball to sale and out of the running in the race.
Instead use the book as part of a “lead magnet”. Give away the first few chapters to build a prospect list you can nuture via a marketing sequence.
You build a following of targeted people, interested in your subject matter. Make it a relationship building exercise not a soulless “add to cart” transaction.
You may promote the book later in the marketing sequence – when the prospect knows you better and you’ve established credibility far further.
Fifth, use it for reciprocity
Adding resistance at the wrong time decreases sales – adding it at the right time generates opportunities.
Using well branded digital ebook versions of your book (at no cost to you) in return for prospect completing an online survey – will generate leads in a systemised tap you can turn on or off whether you’re on the home straight or battling for grip in the twisty sections.
Furthermore, using a physical book as a gift you deliver in person if they opt for a free consultation to go with it. The free consultation is worth at least 30 times the cover price of the book. But it will mean you’ll be sat in their office on that proverbial home straight.
The consultation itself must be offered as the last question in the survey in a simple technique I call the “Double Yes Technique”.
Sixth, turn the book into a branded seminar
In short – sell the seminar and give the book away!
People will pay you 10 times the cover price of the book to turn up to a seminar about the book. Give everyone that buys a ticket a copy of the book.
A room full of people generates opportunities more than a gaggle of secretive Amazon buyers.
Lastly, remember “to finish first, first you must finish”
The race hasn’t finished when you’ve written your book – it’s just about to start.
For many, writing thousands of words and toiling over the edit seems the greatest challenge and one less item on their bucket list.
These are the ones running around at the back with two-stroke “put put” engines – battling over the scraps they can pick up, fighting over a diminishing amount of opportunities that arise.
To race at the front – you need to get your head up and realise you’re now sat a little further up the grid, at the start of a new race, with a new engine capable of racing clear of the remainder of the field.
You’re now the fuel. You’ve been given the machinery.
You now go and drive.