By: Nick Nanton, Esq. & J.W. Dicks, Esq.
I entered the huge chain bookstore, hoping my guilty expression wouldn’t give me away. Then I furtively disappeared between two large shelves of books in the back, making sure no store employees were looking at me.
I eyed the area around me one more time – no one in sight.
And then I pulled the brand new copy of my latest book out from under my jacket…headed to the nearest open cashier…smiled to myself as she scanned the book’s ISBN bar…and I paid $21.95 for a book. A book I already owned.
My name is Nick Nanton…and I am a reverse shoplifter.
Why am I committing a crime against myself? I’ll explain a little later…but first, I want to tell you that this may be one of the most controversial chapters in this book… And not because I’m moving around in bookstores in a clandestine manner.
It’s because I’m about to advocate something that I believe delivers one of the biggest ROIs of anything out there today. But it’s also something that many people regard as being as dead as the dodo.
What am I talking about?
Well, I’m talking about what you’re reading right this minute.
A book can be an amazing platform for your business – it’s got prestige, it’s got impact and, most importantly, you can market yourself and your business through it in a ‘whole bunch’ of different ways. Because, to be honest, it doesn’t do you any good to write a book and then just put it on your shelf next to that dusty dictionary. It only makes a huge difference when you use your book proactively to expand your circle of influence, build your reputation and impress current and prospective clients.
Look at the super-successful people who put out books on a regular basis – people like Donald Trump. He doesn’t need to write books to prove himself any more – he can make as much money doing a couple of speeches here and there. No, he – and mega-motivational stars like Tony Robbins and Jack Canfield – create books for the above reasons. It’s not about getting paid for the book – it’s about growing their brands.
Just look at what happens when “the Donald” writes a book. Suddenly you see him everywhere – Larry King, Fox News, even The View. It gives him a whole new set of talking points and a reason to put himself out there. He knows that the ROI on a book is unlimited – as long as you realize it’s not just a book, it’s a gigantic marketing tool. That’s why it’s something I advise all my clients to do.
I’m going to detail in this chapter just how you can make your book go to work for you in a variety of ways. First of all, let’s talk about the book itself.
MAKING YOUR BOOK HAPPEN
The first thing you should do is be realistic. You’re probably not creating a New York Times Bestseller here – that’s not even what you’re really after. You make money from having a book – not from book sales. This is meant as a marketing tool to sell yourself and your business. Put your book together with that in mind.
As with any marketing tool, you want your book to be an attention-getter. That starts with the title – finding a way to put the concept of the book in a short, ‘punchy’ and powerful statement that taps into something people want to know.
Simple is very important. Has there ever been a better title than “The Secret?” Well, there haven’t been many better-selling titles, anyway. At the same time, it’s a gutsy title – because without the multi-million ad campaign for the book, its generic title could have left it lost in the shuffle. Since you’re mostly going to be sharing this book with clients and prospects, and not trying to sell it to the general public to a great extent, you can get away with that kind of approach.
Of course, you’re thinking, the title is the easy part – what about the content? Well, that might be easier than you think as well. Do you give seminars or create instructional materials? Have you given speeches about your business? That’s content – content you had to think about and structure accordingly. By getting these materials transcribed, you could already have the bare bones of your book content.
What happens next depends on your available time and your level of confidence. Let’s start with time – most entrepreneurs and business people just don’t have enough hours in the day to run their businesses and their lives, let alone try to write a book. It’s time-consuming and requires a lot of thought. Many who try it simply give up and don’t finish.
Then there’s the confidence factor – you may be intimidated by the thought of even trying to write a book. Most people don’t even like to write a short blog – and then there are those wouldn’t be ‘caught dead’ even trying to put together the 140 characters or less that go into a “tweet.”
That’s why most business people will use a ghostwriter to get their book down on paper. You can find excellent ghostwriters on Elance.com (where they’ll bid for the chance to work on your book), or you can ask business associates if they’ve worked with someone they like and trust.
It’s easy to work with a ghostwriter – you either give them the kind of transcripts we talked about earlier or you can talk through the main points of the book with them. The important thing is to end up with something that you can feel good about. If you’re going to use a book as a marketing platform, you want to make sure it’s professional, informational, and represents you and your business in the best possible light.
THE THREE STAGES OF MARKETING YOUR BOOK
Once you have your book finished and published, it’s time to really go to work. You can maximize your marketing punch not only when your book is published, but also before and after. Again, authoring a book is impressive – so make the most of it!
1) MAKE PRE-LAUNCH A PRIORITY
You definitely want people to know your book is coming out in advance. Begin by creating a website about the book before it comes out – offer a free portion of the book (a “sneak peek”) through an ‘opt-in’ box that will allow you to capture leads. You can even feature a “countdown” to the publication date and time to generate more excitement.
When the website is up, put out a press release announcing you’ve got a publishing deal, making sure you have links back to your website. Syndicate the press release and post it on all the social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Also consider doing a podcast by having a friend interview you about the book and put it up for download on iTunes.
2) GENERATE PUBLICATION PUBLICITY
Once your book is published, you can now use it to your advantage to get booked just like Donald Trump does. You probably won’t make it to “Larry King Live,” but you have a ‘good shot’ at some local air time at the very least.
Next, send out copies of your book to local radio and TV stations, as well as print publications, and offer to be interviewed. Also put in a listing in Radio-TV Interview Report (find out more at RITR.com) to make yourself available for national interviews. You can also mail copies to your top clients, send them out to get yourself booked for speaking engagements at business and civic events, and host a book signing event at a local book store.
You can also continue to produce podcasts for distribution through iTunes with a theme of something like …“Beyond the Book,” offering additional/updated information and conversation about topics you cover in the book.
And remember my “reverse shoplifting” at the beginning of this chapter? Here’s why you should consider taking a copy of your book into a bookstore – and buying it there!
As long as your book has a legitimate ISBN number and is available from a major distributor, two things we always do for our clients’ books, the bookstore clerk will simply scan the book’s barcode, a price will come up and you can purchase it, even though the store never stocked it in the first place. Best of all, the bookstore’s computer system will register that somebody bought your book and that they’re now out of stock – meaning they just might order more copies of your book to sell on their own!
3) CREATE A LONG AFTERLIFE
Now that you’re an author, it should become an important part of your professional profile. Make sure it’s added to your official bio and possibly even put the name of the book in your email signature for a limited time.
You can also break down a chapter and make it into a free ‘special report’, available on your website through an ‘opt-in’ box. Other chapters can be turned into online articles that you can syndicate, or you can rework the material into speeches or seminar material for your personal or recorded appearances.
Your office should also reflect your author status. Put a framed copy of the cover of your book on the wall in your reception area or office – it’s easy to do through canvaspop.com. Also, leave copies of your book on the coffee table in your office with “Take Me” stickers on the front. You should also donate copies to the local libraries in your area. Make sure your contact information is contained in these copies – either put a business card in the book, or have your info stamped on the back page.
At our Celebrity Branding Agency®, we take this process through another, very powerful step. We’ve created a foolproof way to make our authors’ books best-sellers in certain Amazon categories. We then honor them by placing them in our National Academy of Best-Selling Authors™ – and send out another round of press releases noting their honor and best-selling status, which opens up a whole world of marketing opportunities for the same book.
They say print is dead, but, thanks to Kindle, iPad and other electronic devices, it’s not really. It’s just migrated to LCD screens. The fact is that nothing conveys authority and credibility more than having a published book with your name on it. Publishing a book and marketing it correctly puts you and your business up more than ‘a few notches’ against the competition – and isn’t that what it’s all about?
And, best of all….reverse shoplifting is NOT against the law!