Authoring books has long been a popular choice for public speakers who are looking to bring in a little extra money. It has a number of unique advantages, but also comes with its fair share of disadvantages, most notably the amount of time and resources it takes to write them.
Because of this, publishing books definitely isn’t for everyone, and it’s not a magic bullet option that will solve all of your problems. There are some great reasons why you might want to turn to publishing, but there are just as many great reasons for steering clear and saving yourself a headache.
So with that in mind, in today’s article we’re going to take a closer look at authoring books to boost your public speaking income, and sharing a few of our top tips and best practices to help you out. Here’s what you need to know:
Why You Should Publish
Publishing a book is arguably the single best thing that you can do from a personal branding point of view. It showcases your expertise, positions you as a thought-leader, and gives you something you can point to when you want to prove that you know what you’re talking about.
Another big advantage of writing a book is that it gives you dozens of pre-made topics for your talks. If you’re ever invited to speak at an event at the last minute, you can use your book as a source of inspiration and simply take one of your chapters and turn it into a presentation.
There’s money, of course, but as we’ll cover later on in this article, there might not be as much of it as you’d hope for or expect. If you’re turning to writing a book as a way to boost your income, you’re likely to be disappointed. It’s not impossible to make money from books, but you’re going to struggle.
Overall, writing a book is like the ultimate form of content marketing. You should publish a book for the same reason that you should maintain an active blog. It can bring people to you, instead of you needing to go out and interrupt them, and it can also give journalists, influencers, and event organizers a good reason to reach out to you.
Why You Shouldn’t Publish
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to publishing is the fact that it takes a huge amount of time and effort. All of the time that you spend working on your book is time that you could have been using to service your clients.
You can combat this by hiring a ghostwriter to help you out, but it’s still going to take a significant amount of your time to guide the book’s development, and to provide them with the material that they’ll need.
Public speakers are good at speaking — that’s a given. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re good at writing, though. If it’s content that you want to create, then it can often make more sense to create an e-learning course using audio or video.
It all comes back to what we were saying at the start of this article. It depends upon the expertise that you have and where your talents lie. If you’re a decent writer and you want to invest in a lengthy career, writing a book can make a lot of sense. If you’re better at talking than you are at writing and you’re looking for a quick win, you might be better off looking at other means of promotion and brand building.
Authoring Books to Boost Your Public Speaking Income
We’re going to let you in on a little secret that’s sad but unfortunately true: you’re unlikely to make your money back on your books. Unless you land a major traditional publishing deal and sell hundreds of thousands of copies, you’re going to struggle to sell a significant volume of books.
If you go the self-publishing route, you’re going to have to invest a large amount of money in editing, layout, and cover design services, and then you have to market the book or nobody’s going to buy it. Even when you do sell copies, you’ll be doing well to make more than a few dollars on each sale.
Because of this, it can be difficult to recoup your costs, and you shouldn’t expect to rake in huge royalty checks. But don’t get discouraged, because this article is all about boosting your public speaking income and not about making money from publishing per se.
You’re a public speaker, not a publisher. Releasing books is less about making a profit on the individual books and more about improving your personal brand and boosting your reputation. Releasing a book will look great on your portfolio and help you to secure more public speaking gigs. It will also help you to charge more money for each of your bookings.
The same is true if you do consultancy work. The mere fact that you’ve written a book can be a huge help in positioning yourself as a thought leader, bringing in more consultancy gigs, and allowing you to charge people more for the pleasure of having you speak at their event. You can even use your book as a kind of business card.
Now that you know a little more about the pros and cons of authoring books to boost your public speaking income, it’s time for you to decide whether it makes sense for you, and if it does, to take the first steps in your publishing journey.
In the meantime, we’d love to hear from you, especially if you’ve got prior experience of publishing books as a public speaker. As always, be sure to share your thoughts in the comments so that we can keep the discussion going, and feel free to follow us on your social networking sites of choice so that you don’t miss future articles. We’ll see you soon!
This was originally posted on SpeakerHub Skillcamp.