In the earliest conversations with our authors, we like to make sure one thing is clear: selling books is hard! Though a well-executed book launch can dramatically increase sales, the main goal for most of our authors is not selling books, but building thought leadership around their personal or company brand and boosting their core business.
A book can serve as an amazing credibility builder, establishing industry authority and creating visibility through media attention and speaking opportunities. A well-written book offers real value to its readers and serves to create or deepen a relationship with the author.
So we’ve established that a book can be a good tool for growing your brand and business. But for many, that’s not enough—you worked hard on your book, and you know from experience how much the content could help others. Yes, you want to grow your business, but you also believe in your message and want to share it with as many people as possible.
Here’s the tricky part—if you want to get your book into the hands of those who will benefit from it, you need to ask them to buy it! The thought leadership you have already worked hard to grow and establish is the vehicle for sharing your book with the world. Other marketing efforts such as ads, offers, etc., can be helpful; but if someone already knows you and your work, they are much more likely to purchase your book.
Here are a few time-tested ways our authors use their thought leadership to sell books:
- Host a webinar. We see this time and time again—once an audience gets to know you and feels connected to your message, they are much more excited about learning more. This may mean buying your book, and can also lead to other business opportunities. Weaving Influence hosts regular webinars with our clients, and reliably see a big increase in book sales after the event.
- Reach out to your lists. We cannot stress this enough—your network is your biggest market! Reaching out to your lists can be uncomfortable or scary, but you will be surprised by how much energy and enthusiasm your “people” can bring to your book launch. Imagine if you had a colleague, friend, or neighbor launching a book that represented their best work—you’d be thrilled to support them! Ask your list directly, “Please buy my new book and, if you like it, consider leaving a review on Amazon or GoodReads.”
- Share with your audience. Do you have access to regular audiences through speaking opportunities? Arrange in advance for a copy of your book to be waiting on the chair of every participant in your workshop or listener to your keynote address. Organizations are often happy to include the purchase of books in the fee they pay to outside speakers. Set up a meet-and-greet booth after you speak, where you can sign books and meet your audiences face-to-face, or hand out flyers with your book marketing website address. Make sure that any speaking bureau you are a part of includes links to your book(s).
- Share your message regularly. Your thought leadership can only be enhanced by generously sharing the content in your book. Consider turning concepts in your book into blog posts, or share inspirational quotes from your book on social media. When partnered with graphics, these quotes can look beautiful! Try using Canva to create some eye-catching images.
You’ve worked hard to develop your thought leadership, and don’t want to spoil it by appearing too “salesy” with your book—we get that! But don’t underestimate the power of your message. When shared in a genuine way, your book will serve to enhance your overall brand and reputation, and your audiences will appreciate being involved in spreading the word.
Margy Kerr-Jarrett enjoys reading, writing, and spending time in nature with her husband and daughter. Born and raised in Indianapolis, IN, Margy has been living in Jerusalem, Israel for the past three years.
Excellent piece and so true. The process that you’ve mapped out here is extremely helpful! Thank you!