Here’s my advice for marketing your book, possibly even before you’ve written it.

Most people are not just writing a book. Do you have the luxury of writing full time and getting paid for it? As an expert writer or knowledge specialist, you’ll most likely be writing as a side project.

Recently I attended a talk by a consultant who has a firmly established reputation. He wasn’t a professional speaker, but casually mentioned ‘by the way, this approach is something I plan to go into more detail, in my book’. The Q&A session soon became a free platform to promote his yet-to-be-written book.

  • Speaking at events is a great way to widely promote a book, but also to gauge interest in the chosen topic before you even begin. Consider using lunches, lectures and webinars to assess demand first and keep a potential audience warm while you get busy writing. Here’s how:
    • Seize the sounding board: Use a live audience for valuable feedback, confirm assumptions and get opinions which you can use to shape the content.
    • Always be thinking of printing: Plan your talk with a view to recording it (most are, for social media sharing in any case), then have the recording transcribed. The content can then be turned into a book, with the bonus of capturing a more natural, conversational tone.
    • Mind the gap: Don’t underestimate the value of speaking as a sure-fire way to establish what you know about your chosen subject. Standing in front of a room full of strangers is the quickest way to expose any gaps in your knowledge.

    If you can take the momentum built up at events, turn it into a book that meets the expectations of your new network, then you have created your own customer base. But be prepared to write fast, and if you plan to self-publish – invest in a good editor. That’s me.

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