Don’t Judge a Book by Its Sales: Tips for turning your book into a relationship magnet

Jan 11, 2017

Why should you write a book? Most busy tech executives have a hundred good reasons why they can’t spare the time for books. Their PR advisers may be tempted to concur since PR performance is judged largely on the quantity of placements secured. After all, why spend months writing one 80,000-word book when you could write 100 800-word articles for a variety of online publications?

Yet a book’s value exceeds that of even dozens of articles. With a book, you can dive into your topic in much more detail than you ever could with online content. Sure, it might not sell but sales aren’t the point: books are tools for establishing you and your company as thought leaders. They’re magnets for relationship building. An expert who is confident and knowledgeable enough to set her expertise in stone with a book will win instant credibility in the eyes of potential partners, clients and customers.

Books also achieve a few very important goals in PR:

  • Books are assets that you can share with brand advocates, customers, prospects, investors, and industry stakeholders.
  • Books can attract other opportunities to you and your company. Conference organizers, for instance, are much more likely to give a keynote to the author of a respected book even if it doesn’t sell well than to a book-less competitor.
  • A book can build trust by positioning your company as having a knowledge-based environment, rather than one focused on sales alone.

The key to making the most of a book is good promotion. At Amendola, while we don’t specialize in book promotion, we’ve learned over the years how to augment the distribution and promotion efforts of book publishers to drive PR value.

Below is a sampling of the tactics we use in helping our clients draw attention to their books and leverage them for relationship building:

  • Send the book to key journalists and bloggers and request a book review (ideally) as well as offering the author for an interview on the book’s topic
  • Pitch the author as an expert on the topic, with the book as proof of their expertise. Broadcast media love interviewing authors with new ideas.
  • Do a Google Hangout with the author to promote the book
  • Run a Tweetchat with the author leveraging a major partner hashtag to drive attendance
  • Turn the book chapters into a webinar series, with each chapter or section a separate webinar. Give the book away as enticement to register for the webinar.
  • Turn the book into blog posts: one for each chapter or section, and link to the book at the end of each post
  • Arm all salespeople with several hard-copy versions of the book as leave-behinds, or use book giveaways to drive a Salesforce email campaign to prospects in their territories
  • Hand out the book at all events where you exhibit, as well as at your end-user conference
  • Email the book to attendees at webinars, trade shows or seminars as a follow-up
  • Write a LinkedIn status update about the book and post a link to it in groups where prospects congregate.
  • Pull out keys facts or items of interest from the book and tweet those on Twitter with a link to the book and a popular related hashtag
  • Include the book in your email signature, with a link to download it for free.

If this short list helps convince you to write a book, give us a shout. We can help.

Todd Stein

Todd Stein is an award-winning communicator with more than 20 years' experience driving business growth, brand awareness and investor confidence for technology startups, mid-sized companies and Fortune 500 corporations. Prior to joining Amendola, Todd led public relations for Allscripts, helping catapult the healthcare IT company from a niche electronic health record provider to a global healthcare powerhouse in the span of six years. Todd also worked for 15 years as a freelance journalist for numerous West Coast and national publications. He has been honored by the League of American Communications Professionals; by the California Society of Professional Journalists; and by PRSourceCode's 'Top Tech Communicators' survey.