Once you have identified your book’s “Profit Zone” described in Part 1 of this series, it is time to start developing a book platform. Your book platform is the way you maximize future opportunities related to your book. While this may seem premature…after all, my recommendation is to do this function before you even write your book…it really needs to be done second. Read more to learn why.
As you look at the graphic in this article, you will probably see a few ways to promote your book you have not even considered. Trust me, there are even more I could have put on this graphic. These eight areas of book promotion will give you a start.
The reason why identifying your platform opportunities first is because it “colors’ the way your book is constructed. Here are a few things to know about platform development:
- Don’t try to do all 8 of the platform actions – ever! It’s both “too much” and not everything is suited for everybody.
- Start with plans to do only 2-3 of the things on this graphic. You can expand later. But it is much better for you to go deep on 1-3 types of platform building – than to scatter yourself across multiple areas.
Monetizing Your Platform
Recognize your book is a launchpad – not a product in and of itself. These days few nonfiction authors make much money unless there is something more they give to their readers. Let’s run through these eight ideas, one at a time.
- Stage Speaking – Many authors can see themselves standing on the big stage with spotlights, a big screen behind them and a huge audience in front of them. Many other authors are terrified by the idea. Don’t think this one type of platform building is necessary for your success. It isn’t. However, if you do want to be seen on the large stage once the book is published, we will want to write your book differently. We will also want to decide which chapter you will want to send to meeting planners. It is much easier to monetize this goal if it is part and parcel of the way you write your book.
- Website Store Products – Most nonfiction authors know they need a website for their book. The primary purpose of the website is to sell the book. However, this purpose alone can be selling your profits short. Start thinking about other products or services you can sell on your website. It can be as easy as setting up a store for other people’s books and products and getting a small fee. But – to maximize both your profits and your community’s value, you want to “Add On” to the book. Even on your Amazon Thank You page, you can push the book buyers to your website by offering a download of “the next thing” you have to offer them. You can keep the ball rolling by offering something like virtual training class on the next Thank You page. The products add to profit immediately. The gathering of their email address to deliver digital products can give you profit for years to come.
- Corporate Conferences – If your expertise lends itself to speaking at corporate events, your book makes it much easier to land these lucrative speaking opportunities. In the book itself, you will want to share the topics you cover in your paid speaking engagements. In fact, a two-page spread looking a lot like a “speaker’s one-sheet” is a very good idea.
- Media Opportunities – Many nonfiction authors are authorities in topic areas where the television and radio stations crave an expert to show up and talk about the subject on their programs. You are doing them a big favor when you show up as an expert. The process of making yourself known and available to media is a little complex, so you want to plan ahead. In the meantime, it is much easier to find internet radio podcasts who would love to have you as their guest.
- Virtual Training and Webinars – Although this type of book platform opportunity is similar to what we discussed in #2 above, I have given it a separate area because it has so many ways to create long-term profit. Most people using this type of platform builder begin with giving something away free. Once their list of community members grow, they will often be approached for being a part of big, joint-venture events. The possibilities for this type of platform is truly limitless.
- Coaching Programs – If your reader will best be served with individual or group coaching, it is very easy to transition from only being a book author into becoming the facilitator of coaching programs. Every area of professional pursuit now knows a coach can add to their success. Developing a coaching program is an excellent way to build your community and long-term success. In fact, when you have this type of audience, your second book can be pre-sold long before it is written. You already have a reader/coaching community who knows, likes and trusts you. Subsequent books become simple and easy.
- Consultancy – Sometimes the nonfiction subject matter is useful to company goals. For example, if you explain processes for successfully implementing change in an organization, they will gladly pay you to come in and directly guide them toward the processes they need. Since consultant claims are rampant in all industries, your book is the differentiation between you and the other guys. It can earn you more work and higher fees.
- Live Workshops: In this world of virtual everything, live workshops are less common. However, the workshops may take place as part of a convention, conference or other type of event. When you have a community built, they will love the opportunity to see you a couple of times per year. When you are connected with other people who have a community – but do not directly compete with you – live events can be useful to everyone in attendance. It’s a great way to leverage your community while also leveraging your fellow experts for everyone’s benefit.
So – in this second part of the series, I am encouraging you to look at yourself. As you think about what you might like to do, pick one to three of them to start building your platform. In parts three and four of this series I will talk a little about working with me as your ghostwriter. My purpose for including these parts is not about pushing you to hire me. In fact, I am limited to the number of clients I can work with at any given time. Sometimes we have to discuss other options. But let’s cross that bridge when we get there.
For now, discover the best platform building for you. In future articles I will tell you more about how you can get started on platform building while the book is being written. Keep watching.