How to use your book to market your book

A couple months ago a big time venture capitalist from the Silicon Valley blogged about my book, Your First 1000 Copies. The result was a ton of book sales, lots of new email subscribers and a new connection that will help me out in the future. The interesting part is I had nothing to do with him receiving and reading my book. It was given to him by a friend… someone else I didn’t know.

Books have amazing powers to go places and open opportunities that you could never get on your own.

However, to take real advantage of these amazing marketing powers that a book has, you have to plan ahead. From the very beginning, I was looking at how I could use my book to market my book.

The way to do this is…

Bake the marketing into the book

How can you use your book to build your platform?  Is the natural next step after someone reading your book to visit your website and signup for your email list?

Every book you put out into the world should naturally bring people back to your website to signup for your email list.

How can you do this?

Add value to the reader

A book, by definition, is words (or in some cases, pictures) on a page. But there are so many different ways that you can enliven the experience for the reader and, in the process, make sure someone reading your book doesn’t just finish and put the book down, but gives you permission to stay in contact long term.

Think through all of the other mediums you can use to put out content:

  • Videos
  • Audio recordings
  • PDFs
  • Interviews
  • Illustrations
  • Infographics

How can you add these to your website to add value to the reader, and then invite readers in the book to visit your website to access them?

Here are a few examples

1. In my book, Your First 1000 Copies, I talk a lot about all the different options you have for blogging, email marketing, analytics, etc. However, since I didn’t want to name a specific tool I use since technology changes so quickly, I invited people back to the book website to get my specific recommendations. On each of these pages on my book website, I invite people to signup for the email list to get more training and resources.

Also, at the end of the book, I invite people to the book website to download the checklists and workbook  I created for readers as well. When you land on first1000copies.com, there’s an email signup to download these resources.

As a result, I’ve had many hundreds of people sign up for my email newsletter  that weren’t previously subscribed. The more the book sells, the more my email list grows, which means the more books I sell.

2. In his book, The Personal MBA, Josh Kaufman helps readers master the fundamentals of business. The entire book is broken up into 1-2 page sections explaining a particular business principle. At the end of each of these sections is a website address where you can see a summary and video of the author talking about the principle.

This not only adds a huge amount of value to the reader by seeing videos and additional information about these business principles, but it also is something that is easy to share with friends and naturally drives people to signup for the email list and buy the book.

By baking this marketing into the book, Josh’s platform continues to grow year after year long after the book came out merely because the natural next step for a reader is to visit the website and give Josh permission to stay in contact long term.

3. A couple years ago I read Ex-Heroes, a superhero/zombie novel (yes, I’m a huge nerd). At the time, the book was published by a small indie publishing house called Permuted Press. After reading the book, the final page was a list of similar books currently available from the publisher. Books that, after finishing this particular superhero/zombie novel, were a good fit for my next read.

So I bought two of them.

While this isn’t as powerful as driving people to an email list, it’s something simple that kept me buying books from the publisher.

It breaks my little marketer’s heart whenever I get to the end of the book and all I see is an author afterward. I just spent hours of my life with this author reading their hard written words and going on an adventure with them and then, when it’s finished, I find myself in a dead-end alley.

Your marketing should never
have a dead-end.

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Always give people a way to get more of what you do.

This isn’t just a selfish motive, this is providing value to your readers. If I liked your book, I’m going to want more, so make it easy to find out how!

Think about your book and your reader. How can you make the natural next step while reading your book to visit your website and signup for your email list?  Make it simple. Make it direct. Bake the marketing into the book.


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