You may have heard about how the digital age is rapidly changing the book publishing world. Authors of both fiction and non- fiction works now have an array of opportunities to self-publish their creative efforts. This eliminates having your work filtered by a few traditional publishers, and it gives readers choices they would never have seen before. Books can be created in e-book form or printed in the traditional form by using new technology that allows books to be printed on demand.
While authors benefit most by this trend, as a business owner or manager, you may be able to use this technology to improve your public image and increase sales at the same time. You have probably heard this new phrase going around, “Content is King,” meaning that providing valuable information to prospects and customers increases your intellectual capital, your search engine optimization, and in the end, your overall sales. Some so-called experts claim this is new marketing tool. That is—please excuse this term—BS. Marketers have been using informational content as a marketing tool for ages.
In the 1980s, my company provided content that was used by AT&T in executive seminars that educated C-level managers of very large companies about the importance of data transmission. Data transmission seems like a simple idea now, but in the 80s it was a very new technology. In a two-year period, the company was able to track over $250 million in sales from these seminars. In my forty-year career as a marketing service professional, I have created countless tools for disseminating content.
The difference now is that,you don’t have to be a multibillion or multimillion dollar company to implement an effective customer education program. It can be accomplished through blogs, your web site, simple videos, webinars, and a host of other means. And you can use the power of low-cost self publishing to establish you or your company as an expert in your field, use books as a promotional tool to increase business, and even sell your book. Here are a few examples of how small and medium-sized companies can use self-publishing to grow their business. (All persons and companies are fictional and created only to serve as examples.)
In order to help attract more customers to his restaurant, Dolce Cipolla created and self-published a recipe book. He included little-known recipes from his mother’s kitchen, and a few of his restaurant’s most popular dishes. His book was made available on Amazon in print format and he promoted the book on his restaurant’s social media profiles, on his website, and through some write-ups in the local newspaper.
Dolce always gives signed copies of his book to his special customers and has held several promotional events where each customer can get a free, signed copy. Although he hasn’t made much money selling the book through Amazon, he has seen a definite increase in business.
Jason El Vapaa provides consulting services for techical companies. Over the years, he has created a number of white papers and made them available on his web site and social media. He felt, however, that the white papers were not being downloaded as often as he would have liked. He began looking for a new method to disseminate information. He decided to turn his white papers into a self published book.
He used the book as a marketing tool to get appointments, and also made it available after his speeches at conferences. In some cases, he even sells the book. He has found that a tactile object such as a well printed book is more valued than most electronic files. But to accomodate those who would rather read on their tabet, he also made an e-book version available.
These are just two examples of how self-publishing could help businesses. With just a little imagination, you can see how self publishing a book could help your business too.