Let me start by telling you how I learned this….
The bubble burst. My dream of becoming a well-paid author was about to go up in flames! I was devastated. All I wanted to do was write and sell books, but I had to make money, so I started offering my services as a copywriter as I was writing my first book. I had been a copyeditor and layout person for trade magazines, so it wasn’t a big leap to become a copywriter. But, I knew that I needed to improve to become a direct marketing copywriter, so I started taking classes and learning Internet marketing. And that’s when it happened.
I took Teleseminar Secrets, which was THE course at the time, with Alex Mandossian. And in the course, he said what would change the trajectory of my life: the money was not in selling books, but in teaching what’s in the books. And that’s when I knew, I was in big trouble if I stayed on the path I was on. I don’t remember at that time if my first book was finished or not, but what I do remember is what a hard time I had writing it.
It was a book about moving because we had been buying, fixing, and selling houses and I had gotten very efficient at it. And I knew how to show people how to save a lot of money doing it. But, it dragged on and on, and I really didn’t want to finish it; it was painful and boring. And I wasn’t getting the instruction I needed to make it any easier or go any faster.
There was one book and one email course on the topic. I had the book but it wasn’t enough, and the email course was expensive. And I knew I still wouldn’t get the guidance I needed, so, I set out to find a coach who could walk me through the process. I looked for an ebook coach, because I knew writing an ebook would be a lot more cost-effective than writing a book at that time, but there weren’t any ebook coaches to be found.
Then, we went to the Big Seminar, which was a big conference in those days, and still no ebook coach! I couldn’t believe it! So, I hired a regular coach. It was painful and expensive, and I thought I could do this better!
The timing was perfect. I now knew I would have to pivot to coaching and I felt that I could create a book-writing coaching program that would make it faster and easier to write an ebook than what was available at the time. So, that’s what I did.
I create my first book, which, at the time, was called The eBook Journal for Authoring Success. Today the updated version is called Real Easy eBook Workbook, A Step-By-Step Guide To Take Your EBook From Idea to Bestseller (Just fill in the blanks).
I had already built my email list to 200 people networking offline when I wrote the eBook Journal for Authoring Success, but then I got into a giveaway called The 12 Days of Christmas and built my list to 1600 people in two weeks and was instantly in business!
I gave a two-part teleseminar on ebook-writing that today would be called a masterclass and then tried to sell my first writing workshop. It didn’t go as well as I had hoped, but it ended up being a blessing in disguise. I only had two people in that first workshop, but I learned a lot from them about what worked and what didn’t work. (Today that’s what Product Launch Formula creator, Jeff Walker, calls a “seed launch”.)
But the really cool thing was that the list I had built told me they wanted to learn book marketing. So, I created a second workshop on that. (BTW: there was plenty I didn’t know about ebook marketing, so I enlisted other experts like Mari Smith and Paul Colligan, to help me out.)
I don’t remember how many signed up, but it was enough for me to make over $13,000, and over $47,000 my first year in business, and I was hooked.
Since then I’ve made close to a million dollars online. I’ve changed hundreds of lives working with people one-on-one and in small groups, and thousands more through my books, products, webinar, videos, and podcast-all based on what’s in the books!
That’s why I am such a big proponent of using a book as a lead magnet; it works and it works really well, because as an ebook, you can give it away to grow you list, you can give a chapter or two away, you can give books away with a free + shipping offer, or you can sell them at live events (when they are live again) and use them as a lead generator that way. Really, there’s no end to how you can use them in your business!
It’s such a high-value product, with a low entry point, and at the same time, most people will never write one, so they make you an expert, but I honestly don’t know of any successful non-fiction authors who only sell books.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t make money selling books. You absolutely can. My #1 bestselling client, Stephanie Scheller Dupre sold over 4,000 copies when we launched her book. And Tom Pauley sold over 700 books in four days, grew his membership to 400, and achieved #1 bestseller status in three categories.
So, if you’re writing non-fiction, I have to assume that you want to solve problems for people and make their lives better. Right? Make a bigger impact? And make the kind of money that will give you the lifestyle you want?
If so, then use your books as lead magnets and look at book sales as an added bonus and it will change your life!