Digital marketing

Four things writing a book won’t do

- February 27, 2010 2 MIN READ

Being an author increases the profile and profit of your business. But there are some things writing a book won’t do. Here we shatter four beliefs that new auth

1. Royalties won’t make you rich

When the idea of writing a book first springs to mind it’s often accompanied by unbridled enthusiasm and images of sun-drenched beaches, Oprah’s couch and big, fat royalty cheques.

Learning that royalty wealth is an illusion is often the biggest disappointment for a new author. If you’re with a traditional publisher, your cut of the profits on a $20 book is around 80 cents a copy, so even if you sell 5000 copies (qualifying you as an Australian bestseller!) you’ll only make the princely sum of $4000.

But don’t worry about royalty income, because that’s not where the real money is!

2. You don’t need a publishing contract

Another misconception that holds people back is the belief that you need to secure an elusive publishing contract in order to be successful. Sure, there are still some people who believe that a book only carries credibility if it’s published by a known imprint. But I’ve been writing books professionally since 2000 and that argument doesn’t stack up.

I’ve secured some of my clients contracts with major publishers and others have chosen to self–publish. In my experience there is no difference between the two in relation to the benefits they achieve in terms of business development.

I also have clients who’ve used the new print-on-demand (POD) technology, which is accessible, cost effective and looks fantastic. As long as you don’t cut corners, your POD book can be indistinguishable from a traditionally published book, without the need for a contract or paltry royalty agreement.

Want more articles like this? Check out the business marketing section.

3. Volume doesn’t matter

You don’t necessarily need to sell your book in enormous quantities. One of my clients self-published his book and only sold around 200 copies. He estimates that those 200 copies generated in excess of a million dollars worth of new business by acting as an introduction and testimonial for his work and significantly shortening the buying cycle.

4. Not everyone should write a book

If your book is to be an effective business development tool, it must be written from a marketing perspective that subtly showcases your expertise and introduces case studies and successful examples of your work. As a marketing vehicle, book writing is best suited to businesses where the ticket price of your offering is higher and the volume is lower.

And if you have a natural market and a platform to sell your book through events or a large database then so much the better.

In practice that means that writing a book is the perfect marketing strategy for soloists who offer professional services and consulting.

Plus of course the book has to be very good!

In summary, writing a book will not make you rich in royalty income, but it can revolutionise your business and massively increase your bottom line. And you don’t need to secure a traditional publishing contract to tap into that potential.

This is the second in a three-part series. Previously I wrote about writing a book for profile and profit and next time I’ll be sharing tips for avoiding common writing pitfalls.

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  • Andrew Caska

    Caska IP Patent Attorneys

    'Flying Solo opened up so many doors for us - I honestly don't know where I'd be without it"