Why write a book
Why write a book: objectives to understand before publishing a book (and it will not be a best-seller)
It is possible to make a lot of money with a book, as long as you ask the right questions.
For most people, the bad question would be, “How to sell millions of copies and earn a lot of money? “
And the good question would be, “How can I use my book to make more money? “
And it’s not the same thing. Of course, you can make a lot of money by selling millions of books. But it’s also something that is reserved for a very small number of happy few, so it’s probably the worst approach for most people (which does not mean it will not work for anyone, ask JK Rowling or Michel Houellebecq).
If you want to make money with a book, the idea is not to focus only on selling as many copies as possible, but to use your book as a marketing tool to sell … something else.
Why not focus on sales?
If you publish a bestseller, you will earn a lot of money. Even with the classic conditions of traditional publishing: with € 1 of copyrights per copy sold, if you sell a million pounds, you are a millionaire. Except that…
It’s very difficult to sell books
There are about 55,000 books published in France each year and the vast majority of them do not exceed 500 copies sold (in total, not only in the first year). And again, I would count on less, but it’s hard to have the real numbers.
On the US side, it’s about 300,000 new books published each year and only 200 of them sell over 100,000 copies (while the English language is spoken all over the world).
So you have to do it: it is almost impossible to sell huge amounts of books, especially when you start from scratch.
Thus, the only people who should focus on the number of copies sold are all just professional writers (novelists, essayists, fiction writers …) for the simple reason that their revenues are essentially composed of copyrights (and again there are several economic models for writers).
But if you do not fall into this category, you should take another approach.
- It’s easier to sell something else
- If selling your book is not an end in itself but a marketing tool for something else, your view of the total number of sales changes dramatically (and your way of doing things too).
Here is an effective way of seeing things: a book is an incomparable marketing tool to build your image and make yourself known, which can then turn into more profitable sales than mere copyrights.
For example, I sold a little less than a thousand copies of Speech Manager at the time of writing, which represents a little less than 1500 € of copyright over 4 years (since the book was released in November 2012). Admit that it does not dream.
On the other hand, this book allowed me to become known as a specialist in the writing and construction of speeches, which brought me many clients for consulting services, generating tens of thousands of euros of income. This is called a good investment, right?
In a previous article on self-publishing, I gave the example of Melissa Gonzalez, who published The Pop Up Paradigm to develop the business of her company. She invested about $ 20,000 in the creation and marketing of her book to sell “only” 1,000 copies … which allowed her to earn about $ 2 million more turnover. Nice success!
What should you focus on with a book?
Since it’s no longer about focusing on sales, you’re giving yourself time and energy to focus on other things, and you can prioritize those things based on your goals.
A book gives you credibility
You will no doubt agree: a book is a more convincing business card than a title snoring on a cardboard rectangle. After all, anyone can go to the local stationery and come out with a business card, but that’s not the case with a book.
Ditto for diplomas: there was a time when only 10% of the population had a university degree and where this clearly established your expertise and your professional credibility … but it is far from being the case today since the baccalaureate displays a success rate of 80%. By contrast, less than 10% of the population can claim to have written a book.
Of course, if your book is nil, you will pass for a moron. But the goal is not to publish a book to publish a book; it’s about producing a quality work that demonstrates your competence and offers added value to your readers. And it is also a sign that you know how to bring a project to a conclusion and that you have the audacity to be judged.
Most people are not ready to take such a risk: take the time to complete a project without being paid and then expose themselves to the judgment of others. This is why I sometimes refuse to work with potential clients who contact me to hire a ghostwriter: if their project is bad, I do not do them a favor by completing it.
A book gives you visibility
When a journalist needs someone to comment on information, he is looking for an expert. And the best way to identify an expert … is often because he wrote a book. Even in a world where digital is gaining ground in all areas, writing a book remains the first signal of authority and credibility on a subject (for the reasons discussed above).
Therefore, if you want to have more visibility in your field by obtaining media coverage for yourself or your company, writing a book is a great option. This will then allow you to contact the press or different institutions to appear in media or conferences.
For example, Geopolitics of the Arctic allowed me to intervene in a conference of the Center for strategic studies of the Navy alongside Michel Rocard and Hubert Védrine, which is a rare experience when we are just 30 years old!
Or, to use the example of Melissa Gonzalez, her book on pop-up retail has allowed her to appear in most professional retail media and to be a key expert in her field of activity. .
How many times have you seen someone less competent than you in your field get a lot of attention just because that person had written a book? It may be unfair, but you now know what you have to do to be the next expert put forward.
A book gives you notoriety
A marketing adage says that you can spend as much money as you want in advertising, you will never replace word-of-mouth. After all, when a trusted person suggests that you use a product or service, you listen to their opinion and try it.
can spend as much money as you want in advertising, you will never replace word-of-mouth. After all, when a trusted person suggests that you use a product or service, you listen to their opinion and try it.
And it’s the same for your business: what helps you talk about yourself or your business (for good) is the best investment you can make in marketing. But a book promotes more word-of-mouth than most other communication tools.
On the one hand, people like to talk about books to say that they have read them. On the other hand, they like to talk about their content to prove that they have read them. So when someone talks about your book, he does not just say he exists; he also talks about you, your ideas and your message. What more ?
If your words are clear, people take up your formulas and sentences when they talk about your work; you put your own words in people’s mouths. Besides, it’s a great exercise even before you write a book: ask yourself what a reader would say to someone else when talking about your book during a cocktail or around the coffee machine.
If this discussion is exciting, word-of-mouth works, other people want to know more about you and your message: you gain notoriety.
A book gives you discoverability
Do you know the three biggest search engines in the world? Here they are in the order: Google, Youtube, Amazon. Logic, no?
After all, if you want to know more about a topic, how do you proceed? You’re looking for specialized sites on Google, you’re watching if there are tutorials on Youtube, and you go to Amazon to find the most relevant books on the subject.
So for your prospects or potential customers to find you more easily, you can focus on SEO to appear at the top of Google searches, launch a Youtube channel and promote it as much as possible, or write a book and appear as an expert among your peers.
The quickest and cheapest solution is to write a book (even using the services of a ghostwriter). Which brings you more credibility, visibility and notoriety. But I think you understood the message, right?