3 tips to achieve business book success

Three top tips to help self published business book authors sell more copies of their book, secure media coverage and increase their personal brand visibility.

Has your self published business book achieved the sales or impact you planned?

I’ve lost count of the number of conversations I’ve had with consultants, executives, business owners and entrepreneurs about their disappointment with book sales, lack of media coverage, lack of interest from industry associations and sometimes mediocre support from friends and family.

After all the effort they have to put in to researching, writing and self publishing their book, the lack of traction/interest is demoralising.

Some have tried marketing on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram lured by push-marketing from these organisations and the promise of becoming a million dollar author by any number of social media marketing experts.

Before you spend any time and money on marketing your business book there are three steps you MUST DO to achieve business book success for your book.

1. Work out what you want to achieve with your book

While this may sound obvious, knowing what you want to achieve with your book is mission critical to your business book success. Here’s just some goals you might consider:

  • Establish myself as a thought-leader/expert in my field
  • Grow my business through using the book as a high-quality lead generation tool
  • Increase my visibility in my industry sector
  • Secure speaking engagements
  • Share my knowledge to a wider audience (move from one-to-one to one-to-thousands)
  • Sell lots of book
  • Become an Amazon best-seller (wait for my next post on this)

Depending on what you want to achieve, and it might be a combination of the above, what you do to market and leverage your book and where you spend your time and money will be different.

For example: If you want to use your book to build your business, increase your profile and visibility in your sector you’re better off upgrading your website, adding eCommerce to it, undertaking a thorough SEO content marketing audit and plan, working with targeted PR, segmenting your existing database and more.

If you want to sell lots of books focus on bulk sales, partnerships, combined events, linked special offers, engaging influencers, key publications/sites . .

If you want to build a new side hustle while working full time, focus on partnering with people/companies you already know, engaging your industry associations, conference organisers and networks.

The thing is you don’t have the time or money to market ‘to everyone’ so you need to focus on what you actually want to achieve, the timeframe you want to achieve this in and the time and money you can commit. Focusing and having a clear plan will help you achieve business book success.

2. Know your target audience deeply

One of the first conversations I have with businesspeople who join the Book Adviser program is about their target audience not their book concept. Why is this? Most of our clients have owned/operated/worked in their field for several years sometimes decades. They are practitioners…they know their stuff inside out and usually have too much knowledge and too many insights to share.

What most have never thought about is WHO they are writing their book for – their target audience.

If you don’t know your target audience deeply how do you know what their challenges are, where they currently seek information out about their challenges, what the most important challenges are, what information and case studies/insights are going to be most relevant to them . . .

If you haven’t researched your target audience thoroughly you won’t have a clear understanding of what you should write about in your book and, believe me, you can’t (and neither should you) write everything you know.

To deeply understand your target audience research the following.

  • who they are – create an avatar by working through demographic, psychographic and a ‘day-in-the-life
  • their main challenges
  • where they seek out trusted information to help them (social media platforms, websites, ChatGPT)
  • how they read, when and when
  • who they trust (influencers and leaders)
  • how they like to digest information (print books, eBooks, audio)

Researching the answers to these questions will guide you through ALL the decisions you make about your business book: the content, case studies/other information, title, presentation, format, SEO, PR, content marketing…EVERYTHING

Writing a book that solves the key challenges of your target audience will result in business book success.

3. Commit to leveraging your book for 12 months

Checkmate Humanity by
Dr Catriona Wallace

For most business people getting through the process of research, writing and self publishing their book is a big commitment so it’s natural that when you get to the point where you’ve finished your book that you want a rest. Well, this is the point (actually well before your book launch) that you really have to step up and focus on leveraging your book to get the exposure of your book to the target audience you’ve identified so you can achieve the business book success goals you set.

To successfully leverage your book (note I don’t say market) you need to commit to a 12-month program of engagement, exposure, partnering, targeted content marketing and PR/media. Unless you do this most of your target audience won’t even know your book exists and no amount of paid advertising will deliver you the returns you are looking for.

Start planning and then executing your marketing/leveraging program at least 4 months prior to the launch of your book.

There are significant opportunities to engage your target audience in the pre-launch stage (think special pre-publication offers, generating interest around guest speakers, promoting a free chapter, sharing endorsements and more).

It’s also the time to identify and discuss bulk sale opportunities. Some of our clients have pre-sold their entire initial print run before their actual book launch…others have reprinted books to fulfil bulk orders.

A linked aspect to leveraging and promoting your book is measurement.

Given we all now have the ability to track the return on investment from various off-line and online marketing efforts, part of your commitment has to be tracking the success or otherwise of your different leveraging activities. There’s no point persisting with content marketing, ads, connections (if you’re using LinkedIn) unless you track what’s working and what’s not. This goes for partnerships, speaking, conferences and events as well.

How to start your business book

With thousands of experts, companies and programs to choose from it’s hard to know who to turn to for advice and support. I should know, I’ve been in business book publishing for over 30 years and experienced first hand (with varying success) much of what the Facebook marketing, Amazon, Google, self-publishing and the ‘market your own book’ world has to offer.

What I have learnt is that if you focus on the three steps I’ve outlined in this post you are less likely to be ripped off, dazzled by promises of selling millions, captivated by becoming an instant thought-leader or simply spending thousands in ads and on experts to capture leads into your sales and conversion funnel.

Following these three steps will set you up for greater business book success, recognition and impact.

Want to know more about marketing your business book?

Book in a free 45 minute strategy session with jaqui: https://calendly.com/jaqui/45min

Contact me to help you get started and save you time and money: [email protected]

Check out the other informative Blog posts on our site.

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