In 2018 the simple fact is that it takes a business book community to market and sell a business book. In the olden days (that is pre the real digital economy, about 2005) the marketing and selling of books started a couple of months prior to when the book was published. Best-selling authors would be promoted through launch events, book readings and book signings.

It’s completely different now. While anyone can write and publish a business book, not everyone does. It takes commitment, time, persistence, attention to detail (so much detail) some investment and lots of effort, and that’s just the writing part!

‘Readers who are engaged with you will become fans, buy your book, tell their networks about it and help sell your book.’

It takes a community to market and sell a business book.

If you already have a community of followers (you might even be an Influencer in your area) OR if you’re new to the whole social media, content  marketing universe, you should start engaging or creating your business book community as you write your book.

The reason for this? You have the one thing most people don’t. CONTENT, and lots of it. You also have a passion and a plan to spread it as far as you can.

As leading transmedia storytelling expert … Harry Jenkins said: ‘If it doesn’t spread it’s dead.’

Or, you may have heard the phrase, Content is King. It certainly is, but it’s no use to you or your business book publishing and selling journey if others don’t know about it. So, building a community of potential readers is the Ace, and this means building a database.

Building your database is PIVOTAL to engaging your readers. Everything you do should be about encouraging people to share their email address with you . . . whatever platform you are promoting your book on.

So how do you attract readers other than your family and friends?

This is where you get in to the world of online marketing terminology, but don’t let that put you off. There are a number of simple ways to build a business book community.

The primary thing to remember is that to attract readers, supporters and advocates you need to share some of your knowledge, give them something to encourage them to take action and connect with you (share their email).

Presuming you have a website already here are 7 ways you can encourage potential purchasers of your book to stay connected and, when you’re ready, to promote your book, they’re connected and interested.

  1. An eBook. Create a summary of your book, maybe the Introduction, contents and first chapter and turn this into a PDF with a front cover. Offer this as a promotion to people who come to your site, Facebook Page, LinkedIn profile, at events/conferences you speak at.
  2. Create an eBook with the first two chapters (again with the front cover) and offer this to encourage people to engage with you
  3. Create a separate ‘landing page’ for specific events/conferences/ activities you present at and provide a special offer for your book (when it comes out). All your need is a landing page, promotional code (of course your website needs to be eCommerce enabled), and you’re set. You can create as many landing pages as you want
  4. Start marketing your book 3 months before it comes out. This way you can offer your followers, connections, database special offers on a rolling basis up until and including the launch
  5. Offer a limited time session with you (if you are a consultant). Provide some value in the session…get to know the potential reader and let them get to know you.
  6. Create a quarterly newsletter to keep share other knowledge with them, keep them informed as to the progress of your book
  7. Engage your networks on your book title and cover options. This is a great way to engage your readers. EVERYONE has an opinion about book titles and book covers so ask your readers what there preference is. I’ve done this several times and selected  the final title and/or image based on this feedback.

Whether you’ve started out on your book writing journey or not, understanding the importance of building your business book community is vital to the success of your book. If you’d like to explore this further or join The Book Adviser Program.