If you expect to make money from the sales of your book, you’d best think again. Today the average book sells less than 300 print copies over the course of its lifetime. The number of books in print has increased dramatically over the last ten years, but the number of books purchased has not.
That’s why only a vanishingly small number of authors make money from the sale of their books. That’s the bad news. The good news is that you can use your book to generate income if you add public speaking to your repertoire.
You can make money by charging fees for speeches and workshops. Some will be in person; others will be online.
There’s even more good news. Speaking can help you sell more books and improve your writing. It’s a win all around.
Sell Books in Bunches
When you sell books through bookstores or through Amazon, you mostly sell them one at a time. Speaking offers you the opportunity to sell your books in bunches.
If you’re doing training or giving workshops, you can add book sales to your fee. The book can be a companion for workshop participants. You might even make it required reading.
If you’re giving a speech, you can sell your client enough books so that everyone in the audience gets a copy. That’s easier than it sounds, because at most conferences books and other educational materials are a separate line item from speaking fees.
Many conferences have bookstores. You can sell books to those bookstores. You can also give away books which generates interest and usually results in sales through regular outlets when the conference is over.
There are other benefits to speaking, too. Speaking can help you develop both material and an audience.
Meet the People
The great thing about speaking is that you do it to real, live people. You can watch their reactions to see what they’re excited about or interested in. You’ll also learn what bores them almost to death. Knowing that will help you write better articles, blog posts, and books.
If you have a Q&A session, write down the questions you get asked. They’re the perfect starter for an article or blog post.
While you’re learning from the people in your classes and audiences, they’re learning about you. Impress them, and they are more likely to buy your books and other materials. They might even hire you to give a speech.
Combining writing and speaking gives you the opportunity to create two virtuous cycles. There is the cycle of content development where your contact with an audience gives you ideas for developing better content. And there’s the virtuous marketing cycle. In that cycle, your speaking helps you sell more books, and your books help you sell more speeches.
The Learning Curve
None of this is automatic. You must master the craft of writing to produce great articles, blog posts, and books. You must master the crafts of speaking and training. And you must master the art of combining speaking and writing and marketing.
Don’t wait for this to happen naturally. Develop your speaking skills early. You’ll write better and develop more people who are interested in what you have to say. Coaching can help, but you learn the craft of speaking by speaking, just like you learn the art of writing by writing.
Only a vanishingly small number of authors make money from the sale of their books.
You can use your book to generate income if you add public speaking to your repertoire.
Speaking can help you sell more books and improve your writing.
Speaking offers you the opportunity to sell your books in bunches.
Speaking can help you develop material.
Speaking can help you develop an audience for your book.
You must master the craft of speaking. It takes time. Start now.