Books are a fantastic marketing tool that can showcase your knowledge and experience to a wide audience. However, simply writing and publishing a book isn’t enough to guarantee it will get results for your business. To achieve business results from your book, you need to make sure that it connects to the marketing systems you already have in place.
You want your book to be a reason for people to get in touch with you and to attract the right clients to your business. So, what can you do within the book itself to lay strong foundations for using this content in your marketing for years to come?
In the years I’ve been working with authors to help them write, publish and market their books, I’ve helped many achieve bestseller status and, even better, get amazing business results from their content. I’m going to share five of the ways you can set your book up for marketing success.
Before we dive in, I’d like to point out that you can still use some or all of these strategies if your book is already published. If your book didn’t perform as well as you’d hoped on its initial release, all is not lost! You can update it (including some of the ideas I’m about to share) and re-publish it as a second edition. This can be a great way to build interest in a book that’s already out and get you and your content in front of a whole new audience.
Include a foreword
Having a strong foreword written by a well-known contributor is one of the best ways to market your book and add credibility to your message. A foreword doesn’t need to be more than one to two pages – the key is that it’s written by someone other than the author and that ideally this person is known to your ideal reader group. Even if they aren’t a household name, as long as they have a title that highlights their authority and expertise, they will still be a great advocate for your book and message.
A foreword by a well-known figure can be particularly helpful for your marketing activities, whether paid advertising, social media posts or on your Amazon sales page. However, it will also help to frame how your readers approach the rest of your book and can even have an impact on their commitment to your content.
Share social proof
While your foreword is one form of social proof, there are others that it is worthwhile including in your book and on the front and back cover. I’m talking about testimonials and reviews that add to the credibility of your content. While you can include existing testimonials, it is also worth collecting reviews for your book before it’s published.
You can do this by sending an almost-final draft of your book out for peer review. The key to receiving strong peer reviews is to be selective about who you send your book to. You might choose a selection of your top clients, or peers in your business network who you trust. These reviews will be included in the first pages of your book, before the dedication, acknowledgements and contents page, making them the first thing a reader sees when they open the cover.
Reiterate your authority
When you’re writing your book’s introduction, and about the author page, it’s important to show people that you are the expert. I know some authors who are very comfortable with this, and others who are shy about putting themselves out there in this way. If you fall into the shy category, you’re going to have to get brave and trust yourself! You know what you’re talking about and you are an expert – it’s why you’re writing or have written a book!
Remember that many of your readers won’t have encountered you or your business before. This is the first time they’re “meeting” you, and you want to make a good impression. With that in mind, think about what you can share with them that reiterates your authority – have you been featured by news outlets commenting on your area of expertise? Have you delivered a TED Talk? Have you been featured in your local press, or appeared as a guest author in a high-profile publication?
If the answer to all of those is “no”, think about how you can put yourself out there in the lead up to the publication of your book. Even writing one guest blog or article for a relevant publication is a great start – and another opportunity for you to talk about your book with an even wider audience too.
Use CTAs throughout your book
Calls to action (CTAs) are a very effective way of capturing leads from your book. Essentially, CTAs within your book enable your readers to get in touch and take their next steps with you. A CTA doesn’t have to be complicated – it’s wording, imagery or any sort of messaging you’re using in your book that moves an individual to take whatever next step in your process that you would like them to.
You can include multiple CTAs throughout your book where they are appropriate – and this is advisable because not everyone who buys your book will read it cover to cover. I recommend that, as a minimum, every book has a main CTA at the end. This can be a very subtle sentence or two simply telling your readers how they can contact you if they found the content useful.
CTAs can come in the form of URLs or QR codes that direct the reader to supplementary information or resources too. For example, if you want to include a scorecard in your book, would it be more effective to have a digital scorecard that allows you to capture leads? If so, set up the scorecard on your website and then create a QR code that the reader can scan to complete it and, in doing so, enter your database.
Feature an ad at the front or back of your book
Including an ad for your business doesn’t have to be as salesy as it sounds. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to condense and visualise your core message in a way that directs people to you and that appeals to your ideal clients.
This can be particularly effective if your book is part of a specific product or service that you offer – such as a coaching or educational programme. The key is to make sure it is designed as a standalone ad and that it’s clearly differentiated from the rest of the book’s content. Usually these kinds of adverts are placed at the front or back of the book, but I have seen authors including them in the middle too and, when done correctly, this can be very effective. When thinking about where to place an ad in your book, consider when it would be most useful for the reader, as well as your own personal preference.
Are there any other marketing strategies you’ve used effectively within your book? These are just some of the top ones to consider, but there are many more. If you’d like support with producing or marketing your book, why not book a clarity call to learn more about how our team of experts at Write Business Results can help.