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Every book has a purpose and a message. If your book has nothing to do with your professional field it won’t help your career at all. Imagine a sales trainer who would write about yoga. Nothing wrong with both topics, but there’s no match between your profession and your book in that case.
So think of your goal first.
Want to sell books and make money from book royalties?
Or do you want to sell consulting, courses, apps, you name it?
You have to be clear about the goal of your work, including the kind of people that you’re writing it for. This article is for people who want the latter.
Remember that on average, nonfiction books sell less than 500 copies in a year. There are authors who couldn’t even reach the industry average, while best selling authors like the late Stephen Covery have sold millions of books.
Price’s Law applies here too. Only a handful of people generate the majority of book sales. That’s why your book’s message and purpose has to be very clear from the start. To be honest, I’m definitely not part of the minority that generates the majority of the sales in the book business. And that’s totally fine. Accepting that will only make your career or business more successful.
A book’s main selling point is an effectively communicated idea.
Consultants, public speakers and coaches are all there to help a specific niche of people. Keep this in mind when you’re writing your book: don’t write for everyone. Your personality, style of writing and solutions won’t work for everyone. Hitting too broad or too narrow will get you nowhere, so focus instead on giving a unique solution to a general problem.
Remember the scenario when you give your book to a potential client/investor/business partner? Think of your book as an answer to your target audience’s perceived problems. This is why you should talk about the things you know best. It’s always about leveraging your strengths to solve other people’s problems.
Your book serves as an initial impression of your skills and expertise. I believe this is the only way you can demonstrate your worth. No one cares about promises and what you want to do. Show it! This brings us to the next point.
There are plenty of experts in the world with shiny business cards and fancy websites. If you want to be a high-demand consultant, public speaker, or personal coach, your book helps you stand out from the crowd.
There’s a reason why bloggers, interviewers, journalists want to talk to the “person who wrote the book” about a topic. A book not only shows that you have the concentration, dedication, and focus to get something done. It also establishes your status as an expert in your field.
Nowadays, it’s almost an almost a necessity for panel experts or public speakers to have published at least a book or two, to be considered as a real specialist in the field. We’ve got to be honest about this.
So remember to write your book well. Remember to be honest about what you say (you don’t want to have a reputation of being sleazy), keep your stories personal, clear and to the point, and research your facts right.
Here’s what I learned about the nonfiction book business: Don’t focus on book sales. Why? Because it’s all a matter of getting your book in front of the few people who can truly impact your business.
My first book sold about 20-30 copies a month. The royalties were a few bucks a month. Most people will not be able to earn a good living from book royalties. But that book helped me to create many different opportunities as a trainer, earning six figures.
Even now that I have a bigger audience, my book sales are good for about 7% of my revenue. You see, it’s not about book sales.
With your book out there, you can reach the attention of people who are both consciously and unconsciously looking for what you have to say or the services that you offer.
This is especially true for technical experts. You’re unlikely to reach busy executives or company heads using social media ads. So when you write your book, don’t think too much about book sales. Instead, focus on how your books will attract the right opportunities.
This is the true power of books: They immortalize our ideas and stories, farther than our own lifespan can ever reach. It’s all about creating a lasting impact on people’s lives.
So when you’re writing a book to build a business, always think about this: How can you change your reader’s life? Answer that, and you’ll book will take care of the rest. You just have to write it first.