Like many writers, I’m a curious sort of person. A less charitable assessment would be to say I have a short attention span. Like many entrepreneurial authors, I’m interested in a wide range of topics and have had trouble settling on just one "niche" because I get bored easily. By setting myself up as a book publisher, I no longer had to stick to doing just one thing, so it’s the perfect business for me. My books are on wildly different topics. In fact, each book is almost like its own little business, so I never get bored.
I have published 11 nonfiction books that fall into several main areas:
- Adopted pets/Humane sheltering and rescue
- Vegetarian cooking
- Publishing and online business
- Computer tips
There’s an old saying that books don’t market themselves. Of course, that’s true of any business. As a book publisher, I market books in many different niches. Technically, it makes cross-promotion more difficult, but because I have multiple books in the four main product "funnels," it works out.
Different books tend to sell at different times of year and every book has a life cycle. By the time I’m totally sick of a book, I can stop marketing it because it’s probably out-of-date enough that it needs to be re-released in a new edition or retired completely. Plus, with today’s print-on-demand technology, if a book doesn’t sell for a while, it costs me almost nothing because I don’t have to carry inventory.
Marketing Multiple Books
In today’s world, to market a book you need a Web site. People often gasp when they hear that I have 25 Web sites, but having multiple sites makes sense when you have books and other products on a wide range of subjects.
It’s important for each book to have its own little home base on the Web. The key to marketing a book online is to find out where potential readers congregate. Go there, make friends, and subtly share the fact that your book exists and the benefits it offers to readers.
When someone asks about your book and you have a Web site, you have a place to direct potential customers and the media where they can find more information. (And of course buy the book!)
Books Are Just the Beginning
Anyone in publishing will tell you that unless you’re extremely lucky, it’s unlikely you can make a living off just one book. To make real money in publishing, you need to go beyond the book and create other products.
Although I have written and published a lot of books, which do provide a nice income stream, I also have developed other products and services related to those books.
My adopted pet book led to the development of the National Association of Pet Rescue Professionals, which offers tools and information for people at animal shelters and rescue groups who are working to save homeless animals.
One of my recent books Funds to the Rescue: 101 Fundraising Ideas for Humane and Animal Rescue Groups came about from writing I did for NAPRP. The follow-on book Publicity to the Rescue is is targeted at the humane market as well and came out of some articles and a presentation I did for NAPRP and the Pepsi Refresh pet grant award winners.
Of course, like I said, not all my books relate to one another. Neither do the associated products. Our annual Self-Publishers Online Conference is an event that we devised after my book Publishize: How to Quickly and Affordably Self-Publish a Book That Promotes Your Expertise came out.
I got endorsements for Publishize from many people in publishing and realized that there was no conference specifically for self-publishers. So we created one. I invited quite a few of the people who endorsed my book to speak, and the conference became a reality.
Don’t Apologize for Your Creativity
Often people are criticized for not being able to stick to "just one thing." I know I struggled for years to find work that didn’t bore me silly. Being interested in many things doesn’t have to be a liability; it can be an asset. Don’t let the naysayers bring you down. Being inquisitive and imaginative can be a huge advantage in the long run.
After all, you can’t outsource creativity or your brain. Keep creating, and you’ll never be bored or lacking new product ideas.
Get Book Publishing and Marketing Advice!
Publishize: How to Quickly and Affordably Self-Publish a Book That Promotes Your Expertise is the book that tells you everything we did to self-publish 8 books in less than 18 months. (Now, we have 11 books to our credit.) Publishize is full of all our best secrets for writing, publishing, and promoting your book. Learn the smart way to self-publish a book without dealing with a subsidy press, or ending up with thousands of dollars caught up in inventory and a garage full of dusty books. With a focus on earning more profits and smart outsourcing, Publishize is a hands-on guidebook for entrepreneurs who want to add a new revenue stream to their business.
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