Dan Poynter was the self-publishing guru. His Self-Publishing Manual is still worth reading, and many of us have shaped our publishing strategies based on his advice. Recently, I was talking to a current client about how many books to print, when I found myself sharing one of those memorable Poynter pointers.
Give Away A Lot of Books
Dan thought the best way to make a business book a success was to give away a lot of books. How many? Dan suggested 500.
Now, that may seem like a lot of books to you. But my experience is that it’s a pretty good number. So, who should you give all those books to?
Where to Give Away Your Books
Start by making sure you give your book as a thank you to everyone who helped you get the book done. That’s certainly everyone that’s listed in your acknowledgements or dedication. It should include the people who were beta readers for your book or gave it advance endorsements. Make sure the person who wrote the foreword to your book gets a copy.
Make sure family members who had to put up with you while you were in writing and refusing mode get a copy of the book. Their support was essential.
Set aside some copies for reviews. For most business books, the most powerful reviews are in business publications, especially niche, industry publications where you’re known.
Make sure your current clients get a copy of your book. It will remind them that you’re a great person to deal with and maybe give them some ideas about ways to work with you more.
Don’t stop with current clients. Give away copies of your book as “the business card no one throws away” to prospects of all kinds.
Give away your book to anyone who can influence others who may want to either buy your book or use your services. If you’re planning on giving more speeches based on the book, make sure your important speaker’s bureaus get copies, too.
Dan Poynter was right about a lot of things, and this is a good example. If you’ve got an excellent book, giving away a lot of them to the right people is one of the surest ways to make sure your book is a success.