One of the questions that gets asked is how to promote a book. In the business world, this may go about differently. Sharing his book, Growth: 19 Growth Techniques You Have Never Heard Of, and the journey of preparation, Ken lays down some basics on how you can promote your own book. He talks about the structure of the book and his plans for a podcast tour and ads. Ken also brings up the question of the purpose of your book and offers advice on how to particularly go about it.
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How to Promote A Book
Nick Horowski shot a question and I’m going to paraphrase this, “Ken, I know you’re about to release your book. Do you mind sharing what format you’re using, how you’re promoting it, and any insights about the book that you thought through?” I’ve got the feeling that Nick is in the middle of writing a book, and so I’m going to share a little bit about what’s going on. I’ve spent two and a half years writing a book and I have changed the title. It is now called Growth: 19 Growth Techniques You Have Never Heard Of. I’ve made a lot of structural changes with the book. There are a lot more photos. There are a lot more charts. I switched the cover to something incredibly thick.You don’t make money on your first or second book. Click To Tweet
It’s a physical book. It’s not an eBook. It’s 260 pages. The amount of words is amazing. I have 360,000 words I didn’t use. I have a few more books in me already, but my master Word doc is 360. I’m using 90,000, something like that. Here’s the key, I first looked at the book from a pure content standpoint. I have nineteen chapters of nineteen different growth techniques. I even start with some history of marketing. I have some great stories. I’ll throw one little nugget out right now. The beginning of marketing was found all the way back to 3,000, 4,000 years ago to the very first sign. There was a huge, steel sign was carved basically saying there’s something behind these walls and there was like a craft fair. It exposed the concept that walls block people from buying things and signage directs people to buy things.
The very first celebrity endorsement was Fatty Arbuckle back in 1918. He was a silent film star and he endorsed cigarettes and that cigarette brand blew up. They didn’t call it celebrity endorsements, but they did call it product placement. The first chapter establishes some definitions of marketing and it gives some cool insight into marketing, but then I start hammering on what we use to grow our stuff. I want to get into the exact question, what structure would you do? Would it be digital? Would it be in print? How are you going to market it exactly? Here’s what I want to cover. First structurally, I wanted to build a book that physically stood out, so it’s not going to be standard or normal. The cover, we’re choosing between something that almost feels like rubber and/or something that’s almost like a Bible where it’s embossed.
It’s like leather, something dramatic. I’m definitely not going with a bigger publisher. We do have word that somebody might have thrown us a couple of bucks here, but if you go with a publisher, you lose the rights to your content. I am in no way, shape or form willing to do that. I also partnered with a gal, Karen Leland. Karen is amazing. She writes for Entrepreneur. She has sold 500,000 copies at a full price of her own books. She is a best-selling author many times over. Karen is going to get 10% of gross and she’s going to help me market the book. She has some nuggets of information in the book. She’s amazing, as does my wife Kerri. Kerri’s got half a chapter. Kerri and Karen are partnering up and we’re going to move this sucker.
First and foremost, we’re going to do a podcast tour where we’re going to reach out to a lot of the biggest podcasters, send them a couple nuggets of the book, have them review it, and then see if they want to bring me on to do a podcast tour. In my podcast, I’m sure I’ll drop some nuggets. Facebook ads, we’re going to do a lot of that, but that can get quite expensive. We’re doing radio commercials for Income Store and I have a bumper at the beginning of the radio commercial. I talk about, “This is Ken from the hip podcast, Today’s Growth, Growing Business Today.” I’m going to switch the bumper on national radio commercials to, “This is Ken from the book, Growth: 19 Growth Techniques You’ve Never Heard Of, and then I’m going to say something else cute.
The point is this, I’m personally going to do a podcast tour, which is exhaustive. It’s the old-fashioned book tour of the old days, my podcast, Facebook ads, and radio. Where I want to make a statement here is you have to go into how you’re going to move your book based on what the book is all about and the purpose. If the book is just to educate, you might get away with a podcast tour. If your goal is to make money from a book, that is very difficult. I don’t know many people outside of Karen Leland that have made money from books, and I mean anything of any kind. You certainly don’t make money on your first or second book and this is my third book so maybe I’ll make a couple of bucks. The key is this, most books are written as a platform to bridge into something else. I’m writing the book because it is a combination of a lot of my podcast, a lot of my talks at Digital Footprint. I’m doing it to leave a legacy, steer people to Income Store, Digital Footprint, and more or less teach and educate, but there’s something larger at play.Books are written as a platform to bridge into something else. Click To Tweet
I have other platforms that I can direct people to, from a book. I want to bring you to a gentleman named Brendon Burchard. I’ve never met the man, but he’s amazing, with a very large following on Facebook. He’s a Tony Robbins type of person with a slight bit more business sense. Brendon takes out full-page ads in Entrepreneur, Inc., and USA Today. He’s moving his books. Every book is a New York Times bestseller. He has a massive following, but I can gauge by the type of ads he takes out that he’s using books in the same way where he’ll lose money on the book for the express purpose to get $300,000, $500,000. I’ve heard he has upwards of 1,500 people that come to his events and they pay thousands of dollars to attend. He might lose on the book, but he does very well at the event.
I have a podcast called the Platform Before the Platform. My book is the platform before the platform, before the platform. I want to bring to your attention, if you’re going to write a book, I would sit five people down. I have sat down, David Corbin, Greg Reid, Berny Dohrmann. I’ve sat a lot of people down that had a lot of success with books. I’ve had a lot of time with Karen, so I know intimately the cost of what goes into a book. If you want a New York Times bestseller, you’re looking at $80,000 to $150,000 in any kind of marketing expenses to make that happen. I’m not in the mood to do that because along with that cost, comes the physical bookstore tours that I’m unwilling to do. To Nick’s question, I’m not exactly sure what Nick is looking to do with a book.
If it’s purely for credibility, you don’t need to make a physical book. I would always think a physical book is better because there’s no cost. It’s print on demand. Amazon’s print on demand thing is $2.30 and you only pay that after somebody buys the book for $999 or $1,999. There’s no actual physical cost outside of setting up the book, it’s called CreateSpace. I did that in my first book. I highly recommend it. I’ve never spent a dollar. I sell books every day. I just make money from that book. I’ve never done a tour. I haven’t even mentioned that book and I don’t know when. At the same time, my books are on KenCourtright.com, they are on TodaysGrowthConsultant.com, they’re on IncomeStore.com. There’s a section under the press room or a standalone book section. If you’re going to do a book, I would recommend you display that book anywhere and everywhere.
One other nugget on a book. If you’re going to do a book, if you’re comfortable and your self-image is proper, then you’re probably going to end up being asked to speak on part of that book. You might want to display on the same page as your book, “Hire Nick to speak,” and throw out a number, $3,000, $5,000, $10,000, whatever, just put a number out there. To your shock, you are going to get some phone calls asking, “I see that you charge $5,000 to speak. We’re a nonprofit. Would you come in for $500?” That’s going to happen and you can say yes or no. I have spoken in many places for free. It’s a matter of do you want to give and serve? Do you want to educate? Do you want to make money? It’s totally up to you.
From a format standpoint, I do want to bring to people’s attention that I am a book junkie. I have a library with close to 800 books. For some reason when it goes back to reading books, I do gravitate to the books that have an intimate feel. Like in the world of selling, there’s a great little book called Little Red Book of Selling and it was $28. It was one of the more expensive sales books I’ve ever bought, but I remember holding it in my hand at the bookstore going, “There is a lot of time, energy and thought into this. I wonder if the content matches the cover?” I know my content will match any cover, so I want to make a statement with the book. If the book cost $8 to build, but I can move it for $24, it’s not going to cost me any money. I want you to take that into consideration.If your book is purely for credibility, then you don’t need to make a physical book. Click To Tweet
Finally, depending on who you know and what industry you’re in, you can move a lot of books with no upfront costs through influencer marketing, which is a podcast tour. If you know people that you can cut a deal with to drop your book down their list, give them a slice of the action via an affiliate code. You can move some books that way and it’s all on the understanding that they get to read a few teaser chapters. They go, “This is good. Let’s get this guy in and move his book.” I hope this helps.