by Jane Tabachnick | Featured Contributor
You’ve written your book and you want to profit from it as much as possible. I get it. You worked hard and you deserve to profit, but don’t go after short term gain when you can hook bigger fish.
I speak to aspiring authors who are focused on the potential revenue from retail book sales. That’s not the best place to focus on your book’s return on investment.
The biggest value and profits that come from writing a book are from the doors that it opens. The opportunities, with their associated profits, trump the royalty you will make from retail book sales by 1000-fold. Let’s compare the two:
100 books sold at $6 profit each is $600. A paid speaking gig that you get because the conference producer read your book could pay $2500 -$10,000. You have to sell a lot of books to get the same ROI as the speaking gig.
Another mistake I see authors make is creating a book and selling it on their own website but not selling it on sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Sure, you can charge $34 for your book on your website, which would seem overpriced next to similar books on Amazon that are typically priced between $14.95 and $19.95. So at $34, you are making more money per booksale. Wrong way to think. Remember, most authors only sell a few hundred copies of their book.
I would feel 100% confident to say that your website doesn’t get nearly the traffic that Amazon does as the largest seller of books in the world. Only listing your book on your own website means that your book sales will be limited to the people who already know about you. If your book is listed on an online bookstore, it can be discovered by a large, new audience of prospective clients.
Here are other results that authors have gotten from being listed in online bookstores:
- Invited to contribute to an article in a major national publication – the author was found during a keyword search in the online bookstore
- Invited to speak at a conference – the author was found because their book was suggested by the online store as “another book you may like”
- Clients – they read a book and it resonated with them so they want to work with the author
Online bookstores offer additional features that help authors get visibility, which can lead to additional opportunities and profit, that you certainly won’t get if you keep your book to yourself. These include showing up in and boosting your search engine results, a separate author page where you can promote yourself and your work, as well as a get a high value link back to your website [more SEO value], and enhanced social proof and credibility in the form of book reviews.
Think of it this way, when you write your book, why not put yourself in the biggest advertising vehicle possible, which is also where your target audience goes to look for a book or a solution to a challenge they have- an online bookstore.
You can have your cake and eat it too. You can always post your book on Amazon at the price of similar business books [ $14.95- $19.95]. You can then sell an enhanced version on your own website for that premium price of $34. You get the best benefits of both listings, and the icing on the cake, you get to keep all the profits from the enhanced version!
Jane Tabachnick is a digital marketing and publicity consultant, and book publisher. She works with savvy entrepreneurs and enlightened professionals to help them tell their story, become published authors, and create greater visibility, buzz and profits.
Jane is eternally inquisitive and working on perfecting her gluten free baking. She has been named one of the top 100 people online by Fast Company. As an ambivert who has often been featured or quoted in the media, she sill prefers to help her clients get visibility.
Jane is the creator of a program on Sustainable Design Entrepreneurship at NYC’s Fashion Institute where she is also an adjunct professor. Her next book, Irresistible Influence will be published in Spring 2017.