When I launch a new product for any of my company’s brands, I’ll develop a product offering, identify the pricing, create a landing page and write a series of marketing emails to promote the product. The end goal of product launches is to convert email subscribers into customers and to create revenue. When it came time to plan the launch of my book, I thought I would measure its results in the same way that I would measure results for any other launch. If I sold a bunch of copies and made a bunch of royalties, the launch would be a success, right?
Indirect Benefits Outweigh Book Royalties
I thought the goal of writing a book was to sell a lot of copies and generate a lot of revenue. By that measure, the book hasn’t been a great success. I sold approximately 500 copies of the book in the first month, which isn’t bad for a first-time author writing non-fiction. From a purely financial perspective, it didn’t break even. However, the real dividend of writing a book isn’t immediate financial gain from royalties.
The real benefit of writing a non-fiction book is the opportunities that show up because you’re an author and are perceived as an expert. I’ve already made one significant business deal as a result of someone reading my book and wanting to meet with me afterwards. I’ve also been able to get interviewed on a number of high-profile blogs and podcasts, such as the Eventual Millionaire, Internet Business Mastery, the Chris Locurto Show and the Niche Pursuits podcast to name a few. I don’t know what the long term relational benefits of 40 Rules for Internet Business Success will be, but I do know that the indirect benefits have already far outweighed the benefits of earning book royalties.
A Change in Strategy
Since I’ve realized that the real benefit of writing a book is the indirect benefits, I’ve decided to change my distribution strategy from selling the largest possible number of copies to getting as many copies of the book into as many people’s hands as possible. It’s a subtle distinction, but because my immediate goal was to maximize revenue from book royalties, I priced it at $9.97 like most other books. There’s a significant decline in the total number of sales for every dollar a book is priced above $3.99, so I’ve decided to cut the price of the Kindle edition of the book to $3.99 to make it as cheap and accessible as possible following a Kindle Countdown deal I have scheduled this week. Unfortunately, I can’t make the paperback edition of the book much cheaper because of minimums set by CreateSpace.
I will also be giving away 250-300 copies of my book along with a personal note at the South Dakota Innovation Expo on September 25th. That way, some of the area’s top entrepreneurs, business leaders and angel investors that attend the conference will have access to my best business insights in an easy to consume format. The cost of this marketing stunt? Less than $1,000.00.
Finally, if you would like a free digital version of the book (the audiobook, the Kindle edition or both), send me an email (matt [at] mattpaulson [dot] com) and I’ll send you a copy of the book in your preferred format.