Would you like to build a business when you write a book?
With one book, you can build a six-figure business that pays you year in and year out, even if you never write another book again.
Your book can be a physical book, ebook or even an audio book.
Frankly I recommend you start with an ebook so that you can instantly send it to anyone you choose and not have to bother with mailing a physical copy.
Then when you’re ready, you can offer a printed version and even an audio version, too.
Keep in mind the vast majority of your profits won’t be directly from the book. Rather, you might think of your book as the leverage that opens doors to vast opportunities and sales of products and services.
It’s the book that will make you known to the world as the expert. It’s the book that will get you interviews on podcasts and radio shows. It’s the book that will give you enormous credibility that turns strangers into prospects and prospects into lifelong customers.
If it sounds like your book will possess nearly magical powers, you’re right.
I don’t know of any other one thing that has the power to make you as much money as a book does, if you do it correctly.
To explain how this works, I’m going to assume that you have some sort of product or service to offer, even if it’s simply as an affiliate.
And I’ll couple that with the expectation that you’ll be writing a non-fiction book. True, if you write the next Harry Potter series you can be rich indeed but doing that is akin to winning the lottery. Not to mention that it's hard work and you must continue to churn out books for some time to have a complete series.
Of course, if you can write fiction that grabs people’s attention in the first paragraph and doesn’t let go until the final page, then I encourage you to write fiction.
For the other 99.9% of us mere mortals, let’s talk about your non-fiction book.
Instant Credibility and Influencer Status
First, I’d like you to imagine a podcaster introducing you as the AUTHOR of your book.
BOOM! While this audience has never heard of you before and you haven’t yet uttered a single word, you already have credibility with the audience because you wrote the book on this subject.
Imagine you’re being introduced at a business gathering as the AUTHOR of your book. Or you’re being introduced on stage, or at your kid’s parent-teacher board meeting, or talking to that gorgeous person you’ve been dying to meet.
Just being able to say the words; “Author of…” can gain you more points than a six year college degree.
And maybe you didn’t even write the book yourself. I’ll cover ghostwriting in just a moment.
Now then, you’re the author of your book, but what is your book about?
That depends on what you want to accomplish with your book.
Are you selling swimming pools? Then writing a book that tells everything someone needs to know before buying a pool is perfect.
Do you sell real estate? Writing a book on how to buy your first home can get you more clients than you can handle.
Do you offer products to online marketers? Then how to make money online could be your perfect topic.
Whatever your business is or is going to be, that’s what you want to write about.
But here’s the thing… you’re not going to give readers the entire story.
Let’s say you offer a software to build sales funnels. You’ll write a book on creating the perfect high converting sales funnel, but you won’t tell them how to actually set up the web pages, write and test the perfect copy and so forth. For that, they can get your software.
If you offer advice and coaching on building an online business, you’ll cover it in general terms and then offer specific advice to their individual needs when you coach them.
Think of it this way… you’re going to tell them what to do but not how to do it. For that, they’ll need your product or service.
Or another option is to tell them EXACTLY step-by-step how to do it and overwhelm them to the point where they are begging you to do it for them.
See the pattern here?
Your book is the introduction to the end result you seek.
“How much should I charge for my book?”
Book price isn’t really an issue here because your six or seven figures a year isn’t going to be made in book sales (unless you are JK Rowling or Stephen King). You want to charge enough to make your book look valuable but little enough that people buy it without much thought to price.
You could price your book at $20 or more, but then have plenty of special deals where you charge maybe $5. “Because you are a subscriber, you get it for just $5.” “Because you follow me on social media, you get the special deal of just $5.” This is the best of both worlds because your book looks valuable – people do believe higher price means higher value – and they also get a special deal that makes them feel good and removes any barriers to buying.
Once a certain time period or number of sales have happened, you may even decide to give your book away for free. “When this book came out it cost $20. Since then I’ve sold 24,000 copies, gotten 1,412 5 star reviews, and now today I’m giving it away for free because I want you to have it right away.
“What do I write about?”
We already talked about writing the book in your niche as an introduction to your products or services, but now let’s get a little more specific.
Your book needs to solve a very real problem for your target audience or show them how to get a specific benefit.
Just go to Amazon and look at the books in your niche. Make some notes from the ideas you get and then narrow those ideas down to a half dozen. Work on each one, creating more notes and an outline.
Which one does the best job of setting the customer up to want your product or service? That’s your topic.
“Don’t I need an idea no one else has written about?”
Having a totally unique idea such as using goldfish to stop global warming (is that a thing?) isn’t what you want. It’s best to enter an existing market with existing problems that people want to solve or benefits they want to receive. Otherwise, you’re attempting to open up an entirely new market which difficult, time-consuming and costly.
That’s why you don’t have to be completely original. If you have a problem you can solve and you can put your own unique twist on the solution, you might have a book idea that will work.
Your book is the door through which people enter your sales funnel. And in this funnel are one or more products and services with lovely price tags that put some very real money in your pocket with each sale.
Let’s say you’re a personal development coach with a specialty in controlling anxiety. You write a book called, “101 Ways to Overcome Anxiety and Lead a Stress-Free Life.” (I’m making this up the fly.)
People buy your book, read it and realize they cannot do this alone. They need help. They need YOU.
And you charge $250 per month for this coaching service.
“But how do my readers end up buying my products or services?”
You’re going to provide them multiple points of contact.
If they are buying the book directly from you, then you already have their name and email address.
If they’re buying the book from a third party like Amazon, then inside the book you will invite them to get something from you, such as a cheat sheet, a ‘missing chapter’ or something that helps them to achieve their goal.
Now that you have their email address, you’re going to email them with tips and offers.
You’re also going to invite them – from inside your book and via email – to avail themselves of your free 30 minute consultation. Or show them where to try the software for 30 days free. Or some sort of offer that moves them along the funnel. And you’ll be making these offers in the sales funnel as well.
You’ll also be inviting them, through the ebook as well as through email, to join you on whatever social media channel you’re on.
And every time you appear on a podcast or guest blogger or you update your own blog or whatever content you’re putting out there, you will email your list and notify your social media followers that you have new content for them to check out.
As you can see this funnel has many branches all leading to making the sale. The idea is that even if you sell on Amazon and don’t get them on your email list, you can still get them to follow you on social media or hear your podcast or something that reinforces you as being the expert in your niche.
You are always there in front of them with your book, your emails, social media, possibly SMS, podcasting and blogging. That’s why when they decide they need your service or need your software or need your $2,000 coaching program or $10,000 in-person seminar, you will be the only person they think of because you’re that guy or gal who wrote the book, who sends them emails, who updates them on social media and so forth.
Your book is the gateway to turning strangers into prospects into customers.
“How do I get my book into people’s hands?”
This is the part that stumps a lot of people. They understand they need to have a book and that the book is the entry into their sales funnel. But how do they get complete strangers to BUY the book?
There is, of course, Amazon. Getting your book seen on Amazon is an entire course unto itself, but it’s also well worth it in many cases. Think of all the traffic Amazon gets and how profitable it can be to turn a teeny tiny fraction of the traffic into your own paying customers.
But for the rest of this report, we’re going to focus on getting prospects to your own website to buy your book.
And the easiest, most consistent way to do that is through paid advertising.
Remember that you’re going to be charging for your book. If all goes well, the price of the book is going to pay for your advertising. This is what we call a self-liquidating offer and when you achieve this you can advertise to your heart’s content essentially for free.
For example, let’s say you sell the book for 5. It’s an ebook, so there is no printing or shipping cost. It costs $5 to show your ad to 100 people, and 1% buy the book. I’ve greatly oversimplified the math here, but you can see that you are paying $5 and receiving $5 and a new customer.
It’s entirely possible that with some testing and tweaking, you can increase that conversion rate considerably. For example, that same $5 of advertising would buy 5 sales if your conversion rate increased to 5%. This would give you a profit of $20 every time you spent the $5. You could then use the profit to test advertising in other venues as well, creating an avalanche of new customers.
It could be too, that by advertising on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or wherever your market is, you might lose money up front.
Yes, it could actually cost you more than $5 to sell one book (In this example). If this happens, test charging more for the book to see if you can even it out. But if you can’t, don’t panic. There are ways to increase profits on your initial sales by offering something in addition to your book. Plus, the real money is made on the backend, not the front end, and I’ll give you an example in just a moment when I answer what I suspect some people are asking at this point…
“I’m still not clear on how the book relates to my business and other products and services and oh cripes I’m kinda confused – help!”
Right, perfectly understandable.
A hypothetical example
Let’s say you’re an SEO expert. Given a couple of months or more and enough money, you can get most webpages to Page 1 of the Google search results.
But your service is not cheap; not cheap at all.
How do you get new clients?
You write a book on how a small business could get their site on Page 1 of Google. You tell them all the many things they need to do along with the nuances that might be particular in certain cases.
But you don’t tell them how to do it. Or if you do tell them how, then you make it sound difficult for a non SEO expert to do it, because it IS difficult for a non SEO expert to do. You’re not exaggerating; you’re being honest and truly showing them what needs to be done and even giving them encouragement to do it themselves.
But a small business owner doesn’t have time for SEO. They want to pay someone to do it for them and BOOM! You offer your service.
You might also offer an in-between sort of product that is a course on doing SEO, something much more extensive than the book. Sell the book for $20, sell the course for $500, and sell your services for $1000 a month for six months and $300 a month after that (I’m making these numbers up, btw.)
Notice in this case that the topic is the same for all products – SEO for small businesses. It’ simply a matter of how much they want to spend and how much work they want to do themselves.
Maybe 5 out of 100 book buyers take your course and maybe 1 out of 100 hire you. If you’re selling 100 books a day, that’s one new client a day and I think you might need to outsource the SEO work itself just to keep up.
I hope that clarifies things a bit, and in a little while I’ll show you how to make your book sales even more profitable on the front end.
“But I don’t have any skills like SEO. What do I write about and what do I sell?”
That’s a good question, isn’t it?
I think the vast majority of people do have something they can teach, either one-on-one or better yet in courses.
But let’s say that you really, truly do not have a single skill you can teach that others will pay to learn.
No problem. You’ve still got at least four options and they’re all dynamite.
Option 1: Become an expert at the beginner’s level.
For all three of these examples I’m going to use Internet Marketing, but these will work in most if not all niches.
Let’s say you don’t know the first thing about Internet Marketing, but the topic of making money online fascinates you and this is the niche you want to work in.
Here’s what you’re going to do: You’re going to give yourself a crash course in how to market online.
You’re going to learn everything a brand-new marketer needs to know by consulting the works of the experts.
You’re going to base your book upon what you learn, crediting your experts along the way. “I learned from Tom Smith that…” Give TONS of credit to the experts. Do not pretend any of this information is your own but put it ALL in your own words.
Create a list of the courses, products and websites you used.
Place affiliate links for those courses in your book and suggest that your readers might want to avail themselves of these as well.
BONUS POINTS: As you are learning then DO. Do start your own online business. Create the website, do the advertising, see if you can turn a profit. You are experimenting and what you discover from your experiments will go into the book as well.
Do NOT pretend to be an expert. You are a beginner just like your reader and together you and the reader are going on this journey of discovery.
Use humor. Be self-deprecating. HAVE FUN and the readers will enjoy themselves as well.
Have a super eye catching title such as…
Internet Marketing for the Clueless
As Written by the Biggest Moron of All
With the help of 22 experts earning an estimated combined $74 million annually
Wow. I wrote that title off the top of my head but I would BUY this book IN A HEARTBEAT without any further convincing.
When you’ve got your book nearly finished, send a copy to every single expert you quoted in the book. Give them your utmost thanks for the help you received from their websites and products.
Tell them you know they are super busy, but if by chance they want to give a one or two line review, you will proudly display it in your book, on your site and you’ll have it framed and hung over your bed, too. (humor!)
Play your cards right and a few of these marketers might even give a shoutout to their fans or list members about your book.
What will you promote to your new readers?
First, you’ll get them to join you on social media and your email list so that you stay in contact with them.
Next, you’ll let them follow along on your journey of discovery.
And finally, you’ll promote products to them that are essential for both teaching them Internet Marketing (instruction) as well as doing Internet Marketing (tools).
Option 2: Let experts write your book for you
This is an old school method that will work far better in some niches than others.
You’re going to approach experts in your niche and ask them to contribute a chapter. If they already have an article on their site that would work, then ask if you can use it in your book. Tell them what the book is about and drop names of the other experts you want to get involved in the project.
Mini Case Study: I knew someone who was rather sneaky with this method. He wanted the very best of the experts in his book but knew they would never agree because he was completely unknown himself.
Here’s what he did: He ranked all the current experts in his niche by how well known they were, with those who weren’t all that well known being 3’s, those who were more well known but not superstars being 2’s, and those who were superstars (practically household names) being 1’s.
Then he approached all the 3’s and asked them to be in his book. They were the easiest because they needed the exposure.
Once he’d gotten a good handful of them to agree, he then went to the 2’s and asked them contribute a chapter to his book, showing all the names of the 3’s he already had on board. Seeing all these other people were involved, some of them got involved, too.
Next, he went to the 1’s and showed them the 2’s who were in the book, and because they recognized their peers, they figured it was a good idea and some of them got on board, too.
Finally, he went back to the 1’s and 2’s who hadn’t responded and gave them an updated list of who was in his book. Seeing other superstars had agreed, more of the 1’s and 2’s joined in.
Realizing he now had far too much content for just one book, he then broke the book into 5 different volumes and placed them on Amazon. People could purchase just one volume or all 5, and because there were 5 volumes and lots of well-known names, his sales went through the roof and that was the beginning of his seven figure (yes, SEVEN figure) business.
He also sold the set via advertising on several social media platforms.
Keep in mind that when he started all this, he was a complete unknown in his niche. But he was resourceful, tenacious, funny and especially adept at putting his authors at ease and building trust with them. I’m not sure this would work for just anybody, but I was terribly impressed with his results.
Option 3: Ghost it
This one is almost self-explanatory. You’re going to hire a write to write the book for you. Don’t skimp here. It will pay to hire the best writer you can afford. Tell them how you intend to use the book. Work with them to create the outline and point them to any resources you want them to reference.
Optional: Offer them a set fee AND a percentage of profits from your entire business for the first year. This will incentivize them to do the very best job possible for them.
Let them know you will be giving them credit for helping you with the book as well. There is nothing wrong with admitting on your book that you had a co-author. This can be as simple as using the phrase, “As told to” or thanking them inside the book for their help in the book’s creation.
Option 4: Licence it
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How to Make Even Unprofitable Book Sales IMMEDIATELY Profitable
I mentioned earlier that you can make more money up front on your book sales by offering one or more additional products when they purchase your book.
If you’re selling your book on Amazon or any other third-party site, then this won’t work.
But if you’re doing your own advertising to sell your own book on your own site, then you’ve GOT to implement this because if done right, it ensures you will never come out of pocket for advertising again.
We’ve talked about the money being on the back-end. As an example, we mentioned the $5 SEO book followed by the $500 SEO course and then the $1000 a month service of doing the SEO for the customer.
This is going to add one more product and one more step, but it’s a doozy and I think you’ll love it.
In our example, as soon as a customer purchases your book, you’re going to offer them a very special deal that is available right then and there. In our SEO example, it might be access to a live call where you answer their SEO questions.
You might hold this group call once a week or once a month, depending on how your book sales are going.
Access to this call might be $17, $27, $37… you might offer access to multiple calls for $47 or more… it’s all up to you. Test to see what converts the best.
Not every book buyer will take the offer, but you don’t need every one. As long as some are taking it, you should never have to worry about being in profit with your book sales.
And here’s where it gets even better: In this example you’re offering access to a LIVE call with you. Of course you could offer anything that is moderately priced and topic compatible, but here you’re giving them the chance to get to know you on a call. A chance to LIKE you. And a chance to TRUST you.
You might even offer a one-on-one call instead of group call.
This is the perfect time to get them thinking about taking your course or even using your SEO service.
By doing a live call, either group or one-on-one, you will make more money by charging for this call and more sales of your more expensive products because now the customers have relationships with you.
I cannot overstate how powerful this is.
“But what if I don’t want to do live calls?”
You can offer anything you like for your upsell after they buy the book, as long as it makes sense. In our SEO example, you might offer them a set of videos demonstrating some of your techniques for $47.
If you don’t have a product to use as your upsell, you can use an affiliate product that is product compatible. Be sure it’s something you truly believe in because in your customer's mind it will be inextricably connected to your own book. If you offer a lousy product, your customer will think your book and your other services must be lousy, too. Offer an outstanding product that is a huge value for the money, and your customer’s trust in you will be increased.
“If one offer makes me more money, should I offer 4 or 5 of them for even more profit?”
Let’s say someone buys your book and in the sales process is offered what we call an “Offer Bump;” an additional product that adds to the price of the book. Doing this can be as easy as adding a tic box on the order page with the additional offer.
But then there is a second offer bump and maybe a third and fourth. Mind you, they still haven’t bought anything because you’re busy trying to get them to add more and more to their order.
Some customers will balk at this and run without ever buying anything, while others will take every offer bump you make.
Next, after they’ve checked out, you make a “One-Time Offer” and maybe a second one-time offer and possibly a third one-time offer. Each of these appears on its own page and requires the customer to either accept or reject each offer before they’re taken to the next page.
Do you see where this is going?
My own personal feelings are that you shouldn’t treat a brand-new customer that way. If they need all of these offer bumps and one time offers to solve their problem then your book must be pretty damn useless.
Mind you, those are my feelings and my feelings in this are totally irrelevant. What is relevant is that for any offer you make, you test, test and test some more.
Perhaps you offer your book and a single one-time offer. You tweak this funnel until it is performing well.
Then you test adding ONE offer bump and see if you can do even better.
Keep in mind that it’s not just a matter of how much money you make up front. It’s also a matter of how many people become buyers and how many of those go on to take your additional, more profitable offers later.
If you are clearing $30 up front on a new customer but none of them ever buy your $1000 product, then you might want to reevaluate what you’re doing.
If you’re only breaking even up front but a good number of people are going on to pay you $500 a month for coaching for 6 six months, then you’re getting a much better result.
Personally, I don’t like inundating a brand-new customer with a half dozen offers when they haven’t even had a chance to read the first page of my book. But again, that is my opinion and means little to nothing.
Test everything and always keep the backend in mind. What’s important is how much you earn for the lifetime of the customer and not necessarily how much you make the day they join your list.
Can I have a totally automated, ‘set it and forget it’ book sales funnel?
Yes! And no.
If you want a set it and forget it sales funnel, then you won’t be offering any kind of service, live call, coaching and so forth.
Everything will be sales of products, usually e-products but it could be tangible goods, too.
You’ll still need to advertise and you’ll have to stay on top of it to make sure your ads and funnel are converting well. If not, you’ll need to make adjustments.
You might have to deal with customer service issues, but you can hire an assistant to do that for you.
You can write many of your emails in advance and program them into your autoresponder. But you’ll also want to write timely emails to give them updates, make special offers and so forth.
So yes, you can make your funnel nearly set it and forget it, but not completely. Once you have everything set up and running, you will still need to put in maybe an hour a day or so for optimum results.
What might my sales funnel look like?
In its simplest form, it will look like this:
1: Customer clicks on your ad, is taken to either an offer of a free chapter in exchange for their email address or directly to the ebook sales page.*
2: You might include an offer bump prior to checkout and/or a one time offer after check out.
3: You promote a series of products through email.
*A third variation is customer is taken straight to the book sales page, and if they don’t purchase, a pop-up offers them a chapter of your book in exchange for their email address. (This one is my favorite, but as always, TEST to see what works best).
What sort of money can I make when I write a book?
That’s like asking how long is a piece of string?
But let’s take a total hypothetical example and run with it:
You charge $5 for the book and $47 for the upsell.
You reinvest any profits from the book and upsell into more and more advertising.
In other words, you’re building a heck of a buyers list but you haven’t made any money yet.
You promote various products and services to your list. Over the course of a year, the average customer spends $10 on these products. Remember, this is a buyers list and if you’re in a high end niche then your profits might reflect $10 per customer. Or $1 per customer. Or $20.
Through your advertising campaigns you’re adding 100 people to your list per day.
100 people times $10 times 365 days – I’m going to let you do the math because it’s getting kinda crazy.
Then you offer an inner circle coaching program at $10,000 per person per year. You allow just 20 people to join.
Other people in your niche read your book and offer you deals, joint ventures, guest appearances and more.
Your income continues to increase.
But this is all conjecture. I don’t have a clue what you could make, but I do know it could be a lot. A LOT.
The details are up to you, and it all starts with choosing your niche, choosing your topic and yes, writing the book.
Or outsourcing the book.
Or getting experts to write it for you.
Forget ‘get rich overnight’ and realize you can in fact get rich over time.
Take the above scenario and imagine the money you could earn in five years’ time.
Are you getting the picture?
One book, if done properly, can be all you need to succeed in a very big way, both financially and professionally.
What are you waiting for?
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