I’ve been having a great conversation with one of my Facebook friends, Lisa Jeanette. She came to me with questions about the book publishing process, and I’ve answered them without hesitation. Because I’ve been open in sharing about the process with her, she came to me with a very valid question. How do I make money if I give away this information, such as the information I reveal in my book 21 Ways to Write & Publish Your Non-Fiction Book for free? I published that book to be used as a “business card” and I do give away a lot of copies, so this is a great question. And perhaps you have this question as well regarding books you give away for free.
There are several ways to make money while giving away information for free – whether that information is given in a consultation, Facebook conversation or in the form of your book. Here are some ways I’ve made money with my books, and with other information I give away for free:
Give and Receive
I believe in “give and it shall be given unto you.” I truly believe when I give, it builds a trust relationship and becomes valuable to both the person I’m giving to and to myself. Sometimes it’s given back to me in the form of a stronger relationship. Sometimes a JV partnership. Sometimes a new customer. Sometimes a new friend I know I can count on. The most important thing to remember is, when you give, it can come back in many forms – not all of them will be financial. And it’s always worth it.
My book advertises my other offers. In the back of my book, I advertise other books in the 21 Ways series, as well as other programs and services I offer. This generates income through additional book sales, builds my list when readers opt into my free offer, and increases awareness about my other programs. The income generated may not be instant, but it is constant. What’s interesting is I consistently sell more of the title I give away for free than any of my other titles. In fact I sell twice as many of the one I give away! This phenomenon is not unusual. I also have a client who gives away tons of her first title, and though her other book sells, the one she gives away out-sells it every month. There seems to be a direct relationship between how much you give and how many people purchase it as a result of the gift.
Show Them How Much it Takes
My “bread and butter” used to be done-for-you Indie publishing services. Because of this, I could give away information all day long and people would still hire us to do the work for them. I knew my target audience didn’t want to mess with the time to learn the publishing industry all on their own. They wanted to understand the process, but they wanted someone else to handle all the nitty gritty details for them. If you offer done-for-you services, a book is an excellent way to advertise them! In fact, as a direct result of publishing 21 Ways to Write & Publish Your Non-Fiction Book, my business’ bottom line increased over $18,000 in less than 30 days!
The Credibility Factor
A published book gives you credibility. This credibility gives you the opportunity to charge more for your coaching services, get paid to speak or keynote for events, show that you are the go-to expert in your niche, and that’s just the beginning. All of my clients received these results shortly after their books were published. Some grew their businesses so much that they didn’t have time to write additional books they initially planned! If your book is tied to your business in any way, you can expect your credibility to skyrocket upon its release. And you will see a direct result in your bottom line, even when you give copies away.
Sponsorship opportunities opened up for me. This means I didn’t pay for as many of the books I gave away when I had the sponsor. I had an arrangement with my sponsor to give them a commission for anyone who signed up for a program through my sales funnel where I used these free books. This created a win-win-win: I no longer had to pay for the books I gave away, more potential clients had access to the information in my book for free, and my sponsor got a nice commission check when I signed on a new client, thus increasing sponsorship for a longer term! Sponsorship takes time and effort, but the results can be well worth it.
These are only some of the ways to make money by giving away your book. Please let me know what results you’ve seen by giving away your books in the comments below!
Photo Credit: Flickr, Ken Hawkins