Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Your Book as Your Platform

Writing a book is more than having a book to sell. A book can create a wealth of opportunities by creating a platform for your business to grow. Most authors often make the mistake of focusing exclusively on book sales as a measure of a book's success. While book sales definitely matter, it's not the individual unit sales you should focus on. The real question is what kind of doors did the book's existence open for you? A book is a powerful tool to open the door for speaking invitations or to attract interest in your business in general. Even the existence of one book can beget another book. 3L Publishing as publisher last year invested in the book A Feast at the Beach. Why? It defied our traditional model. We did so, because we felt the title would add value to our overall catalog. It would help attract and grow that segment of market interest. In other words, while we want Feast to sell, whether it becomes a number one best seller doesn't measure its performance in the catalog. The author of Daughter of the Caribbean, while sold on doing business with us without Feast, was further sold and probably closed because we had this title in existence. 3L Publishing invested quite a bit of money in Feast. Have we seen return on investment? Yes, and that return has multiplied. The existence of Daughter of the Caribbean, in turn, attracted interest from the author of the forthcoming 3L book Fannie Mae's Daughters, which is due out this summer. Who knows what doors Fannie Mae's release will open. Do you see the overall domino effect? So back to the question of return on investment ... the obvious answer is "absolutely." Can a book do something similar for your business too? Yes, if you use it to build a platform for other opportunities. And here is the kicker, don't discount that value of those opportunities. When you reflect on your book's success, be sure to assess what it brought in outside of simple unit sales.

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