By Kathleen Gage
Do you dream of having a book published, but don’t know
where to turn? Already have a book, but unsure of how to
promote it? Looking for cost effective high-return
strategies to market your book? If you answered yes to any
of these questions, then the following information is for
Many writers and aspiring authors are under the mistaken
belief if their book is published by a publishing house they
can sit back and watch sales miraculously happen. Nothing
could be further from the truth. Fact is, competition to
have your manuscript noticed and published by a large house
is extremely fierce. Additionally, no matter who publishes
your book, you absolutely must take an active roll in
marketing, promoting and selling your book.
Moreover, profit margins are not extremely good when you go
through a publisher. Sure, if you sell tens of thousands or
hundreds of thousands of books, you make substantial amounts
of money. In reality only a small percentage of writers
achieve this level of success.
A great model for achieving success is to self-publish and
actively promote your book. Self-publishing is one of the
best ways to get your manuscript to market quickly is to.
Another great benefit of self-publishing is you have
complete control of the creative process. You make the
decisions on content, editing, cover design, title and you
reap the profits.
A primary downside with self publishing are costs involved.
Depending on whether or not you hire an editor, designer,
layout person and cost of printing, the initial outlay for
self-publishing a book can be several thousands of dollars
for the first run. Besides there are no guarantees your book
will sell. However, you can lessen your risk of costs and
increase your level of sales with a simple formula.
Imagine if you could self publish with no out of pocket
money. Additionally, imagine gaining lots of free publicity
and visibility in your market at the same time. I know this
to be true, because I have done it.
The following formula is one that can be used by virtually
anyone to raise funds to publish a book. In addition, you
can gain great visibility, do the initial run with no out of
pocket money and position yourself for volume sales.
Although the formula is rather simple in concept, it is not
necessarily easy to do as it takes planning, time, effort,
consistency and great follow up to make it work as well as
You can write, publish and market a book with no out of
pocket expenses by hosting a seminar with a topic that is
linked to the book. In order to keep costs down in the
rollout host the seminar in your local market. You can
further offset costs by securing sponsors for the seminar.
Event sponsors provide funding necessary to the costs of an
event. They can either contribute in actual dollars or with
in-kind offerings. Sponsors underwrite various aspects of an
I did this at the beginning of December with my most recent
book, “101 Ways to Get Your Foot in the Door” and had an
incredible response. Although there was a lot of work
involved in the rollout the results were, and continue to
Besides writing content for the book each author had a very
specific role. Mine was the marketing and promotions of the
book. The first level was to develop a clear marketing
strategy for my 3 co-authors and myself.
Prior to beginning the writing of the book, we developed a
very detailed project plan. The plan included hosting an
event to introduce the book to our local market.
Knowing the costs to an event such as we were planning, I
knew it would be beneficial to secure sponsors. I developed
a very solid proposal for sponsorship of the seminar.
Because of very detailed information and showing the
sponsors how they would gain from being involved, I was able
to secure two excellent sponsors. One is a primary business
newspaper in Utah and the other is an organization who
targets start up businesses.
The paper was more than willing to do some advertising for
the event in exchange for some great visibility and
additional subscribers. The organization offset the costs of
the room and audio-visual equipment in exchange for mentions
in the advertising and all pre-event promotions. Both
sponsors were given the opportunity to do a 5 minute
presentation at the seminar and distribute promotional
information to everyone in attendance. It was a win/win all
the way around.
Had I not had a clear-cut proposal for the potential
sponsors chances are I would not have secured their support.
Also, I know it is easier to gain support from businesses
who know me rather than trying to get sponsorship from an
organization who has no idea who I am. The same will be true
for most anyone.
With day of event expenses covered, we could now focus on
generating revenue for publishing the book. This was done by
pre-selling the book. Anyone who purchased the book sight
unseen by November 28, 2004 was given a seat into the
seminar on December 2nd.
With initial revenues from pre-seminar sales designed to
offset book production costs we were able to write, market
and publish the book with no out of pocket money. By
utilizing the databases of all four authors, press releases,
pre-event radio interviews and presentations at Chambers and
local organizations, word of mouth promotions, and other
low-cost/no-cost forms of promotions, we sold over 350
copies sight unseen. (Cost of the book is $19.95)
We had well over 200 people attend the seminar as some of
the pre-event purchases were from folks who were out of the
A key to our success was having a functional website were
the book was (and is) available.
www.101waystogetyourfootinthedoor.com We utilized online
credit card purchasing options for buyers. In that 80% of
our sales were done with Internet and credit cards, we would
have been remiss to not use this as a method to sell.
As we were pre-selling it was important to let people know
that the cost of a seat into the seminar was the book. Also,
if they didn’t make it to the seminar we would mail them the
book for $4 more or they could pick it up. The $4 covered
mailing costs. If we didn’t do this we would have cut way
into our profit margin.
We made a strong point of letting people know they were
buying the book, not the seat into the seminar. However, the
only way into the seminar was to buy the book.
To gain even more value from the event and increase day of
event revenues each author sold other products Back of the
Room (BOR). One author sold a sales training program. The
signups that day realized several thousand in additional
revenue for her.
The two other authors sold specialty items and set up
appointments for those who were interested in such things in
their sales campaigns.
I sold my Street Smarts Marketing and Promotions™ program as
an E-book. This helped me to generate several thousand in
additional revenue. Knowing audience members were already
interested in my material, I put together a special day of
event package with three of my e-products bundled together.
Everyone received one of my order forms upon registering.
At the end of my session I did a short sales presentation.
All folks had to do was fill out the order form. With each
sale, all I had to do was process their credit cards and
email them the PDF document. No mailing costs or printing
costs. Nearly a 100% profit margin.
Many self published authors shy away from doing
presentations claiming to be an author and not a speaker.
Fact is, if you get in front of a target audience who is
interested in your topic and you present your ideas well the
amount of books you can sell is incredible.
The book complimented by a well delivered presentation allow
you to get in front of meeting planners who may be in a
position to utilize your services and your book at a later
date. You may also have representatives from companies who
want to buy large quantities of your book.
Since the release of the book I have had some companies buy
“101 Ways to Get You’re your Foot in the Door” in large
quantities. Because Maxwell Publishing is my company and the
book was published through Maxwell, I have the flexibility
to do special runs. With a minimum purchase a client can add
their logo to the front cover of the book and a personalized
letter from whomever they choose included in the book. This
is a great marketing tool for them with long-term benefits
to their employees or customers.
Granted, myself and one of the other authors are
professional speakers so presenting at an event such as I
outlined is a part of our marketing model. However, two of
the authors are not professional speakers per say. Yet, in
their everyday business they do present frequently. However,
with this event, it was a different type of presentation for
them. They will be the first to admit that additional
exposure and sales were worth doing this type of
Regardless of your topic the model we implemented can be
used by virtually anyone. For example, if you have a book on
nutrition, find a health food store who wants more foot
traffic and visibility. They may be a perfect fit as a
sponsor. Not only can they help you to offset costs they can
help to promote the event. At the seminar you can promote
their products with coupons, mentions and information
provided. It’s a win/win.
If you have a book on real estate sales there’s bound to be
a mortgage company who may be interested in sponsoring you.
Perhaps they would be willing to buy a book for every real
estate agent who does business with them. Or, they could
give a book to each of their mortgage brokers.
If you have a book on childhood development, what about a
baby clothing store? Perhaps the store would cross promote
and give a book to each customer who buys a minimum amount
of product in their store. This adds value from them to
their customers and creates a win/win for you and the store.
In today’s world of writing, marketing and publishing a
book, the possibilities are only limited by imagination.
Copyright: © 2005 by Kathleen Gage
Do you want to gain massive visibility within your market?
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author, keynote speaker and top rated award winning business
advisor, Kathleen Gage teaches strategies that give high
impact and high return. Sign up for Gage’s free report
“Learn How a Salt Lake City based consultant made over
$100,000 from one idea” at www.kathleengage.com