Monetize your book with speaking
You’re an author, you’ve started speaking, but what’s the protocol for pitching your book, and how do you monetize the events you’re speaking at — especially when you’re just starting out?
These are all good questions and speaking is usually at the top, or close to the top, of the ambitions of the authors who come to work with me.
And once you have that book, what are the different ways you can use it to bring people back to your business?
1. Your Own Events
This is what most of my clients do.
The have larger or smaller events where they can talk about, or teach around their book, and then bring people back to work with them in different ways — seminars, coaching, etc.
You want a nice soft pitch, an easy way for people to connect with you and, ideally, a physical (print) copy of your book that you sell or giveaway.
I don’t think you need to push for book sales. Why not?
Because for the clients I take on, we’re looking at making a bigger impact. Would you rather sell ten books and make $20 or £20 on them — or sell five books (or zero books – give them away even) and gain just one new coaching client who might be worth £3,000 or $5,000 to your business for that first coaching agreement?
And you can work with small numbers, so this is a great tactic when you are starting out. A room of just 10 people might result in 5-8 potential clients, and maybe two new clients. Events can be low-key at a local hotel or business centre or health club, depending on your topic. You have a low-barrier entrance fee to cover costs and discourage the freebie seekers, and you’re all set.
And talking about your book, giving copies away (costs covered by that ticket price), is the piece that helps people decide quickly whether they want to work with you.
2. Other People’s ‘Pitch’ Events
As your reputation grows, you might seek out, or be invited to talk at other people’s events, whether in-person or virtual events like telesummits. Check first, but it’s often fine to talk about, and promote, your book to encourage book sales.
Indeed you might be doing a round of guest speaking, podcasts, or interviews as part of your book launch.
And, in some cases you might even be expected to make a pitch for a product, because this is how the event organiser is covering his or her costs.
Let’s put those aside for now, and I want you to take a step back.
Think of your book as marketing.
Ask yourself, what’s more valuable to you — the small royalty that you get for each book sold? Or the contact details from someone with whom you can stay in touch and build a relationship?
The book sale might give you a short term gain, but you lose the long-term relationship.
Rather than promote your book, perhaps you want to give away a free pdf copy? Offer a download if someone registers on your website — giving you a valuable email address, and the contact details of a potential client or customer who might go on to buy more products and services.
(this is a great solution by the way if you only have a digital book and don’t have a physical book to take along to in-person events — just offer a free registration for the pdf — nothing to sell).
For an in-person meeting you can collect business cards and ask for permission to add the person to your email list (permission is the key word here — please don’t add people without it!), or you can display a link and ask the participants to register online there and then; or you can use a fancy mobile sign-up solutions where your subscriber needs only to text a number and they can receive your pdf and be added to your email list.
Or maybe you DO want to sell your book?
There are advantages to this — especially when you’re launching and you want the sales as part of a bestseller strategy. You can offer the book for sale, and you can entice the email sign-up by offering a bonus — a free consultation, a free video, worksheets…
Again think about your objectives at that moment in time. How valuable is the bestselling author moniker versus the contact details of a potential client? I’m not arguing there is a single right or wrong answer to this — priorities will be different and will shift across time.
Whatever you choose — it’s never about forcing a sale, it’s always about starting a conversation.
3. Other People’s Events ‘No Pitch’
I do quite a lot of these. I teach on other people’s paid courses, or I speak at other people’s events. Sometimes I’m paid for it and sometimes I do it for the exposure, or the connections with organisers or other speakers.
And at this kind of an event, it’s not OK to make it about you and about your book. It’s 100% about the teaching. You’re there in service — you’re probably being paid for the event — and, in my opinion, it’s disingenuous to use the event to sell your other services.
But you’re still who you are with the background you have — and that comes over in how you present and how you introduce examples and case studies to enhance your presentation. If you deliver fantastic value, and talk about other clients who have succeeded, then you are making a subtle invitation for people who want to and connect with you to do so.
And make it clear how people can get in touch. I’ve found that there are always some participants who approach me, who ask about my coaching, or about my other events.
Your book is still an asset for you. Maybe you can give it to the participants as part of their pack. Or you can give them exercises and extracts? I don’t like to send people to an email sign-up page, but I know that some trainers and speakers will do that. It all depends on you and on the relationship with the even organiser.
Encourage people to stay in touch. It’s perfectly normal to talk about your website, or to invite people to connect on social media. I find that prior students on the trainings I do for other people often become my best ambassadors for future events. They are a great source of referrals because they actual me and have worked with me. We’ve spent time in a room together and that connection is invaluable.
There are a host of different ways you can choose to monetize your book with speaking, whether it’s at your own events or at other people’s events.
The key point to remember is that there is a short-term objective about book promotion, and there is a longer term objective about the relationship and the potential to work together in the future.
For me, it’s about building relationships that last.