Writing how-to a course in miracles can be highly profitable. The market for how-to books is bigger than it has ever been and it is growing constantly.
But selling your how-to book isn’t the only way to earn a profit from writing how-to books. Since most books never recoup their costs it isn’t even a good way. The way to earn the most profit from your how-to book is, in fact, to give away your book for free.
No I’m not kidding. The best ways to earn money from writing your how-to book involve giving the book away for free! Here are seven different ideas that can generate profit for you by giving away your how-to book.
1. You can use your how-to book as a resume or portfolio. One of the problems that job hunters (including consultants) are finding is that the resume really isn’t a very good tool to sell your ability to do the job. There have been a number of alternatives proposed based on a sample of work. Unfortunately, while the portfolio works well for an artist producing a portfolio of work in an environment of knowledge work and non-disclosure agreements is difficult. If not impossible. The solution is to give away your how-to book. When you write your how-to book you automatically include information about yourself. How you think. What you believe. Your philosophy. A reader who likes what you have to say will be open to dealing with you. After all, the first step in buying is liking.
2. You can use your book as an advanced business card. Leaving a simple business card behind is an exercise in futility today. It gets forgotten, or lost or left in the round bin. Or worse – the potential customer forgets who you are and why the business card was important. However, if you put an offer for a how-to book on your product or service on the business card, it becomes a direct action card. And again, you’ll start people on the first stage of your sales funnel without effort.
3. One of the biggest problems any sales effort has is getting people to initially join the sales funnel. By offering a free how-to book, you can convince people to give you their contact information. This is called opting in. Not only does this open up the lead to further sales efforts, but the book itself becomes a marketing tool. Just as with the resume or business card, a how-to book will help to pre-sell your lead on you, your product or service and your ability to solve their problems.
4. Opting in is primarily thought of as an on-line process. But a variation can be done in the bricks and mortar world. Send out a postcard (in other a direct action/direct mail piece). which offers a free how-to book on a topic of interest to purchasers of your product or service. Anyone returning the card is sent the book They also join your mailing list as they are obviously potential customers. An example of this is a real estate salesperson who mailed out a postcard to everyone in an apartment building. The book in question was on buying one’s first home. Obviously anyone who was interested in the book was in the market for a first home. The real estate agent was then able to target sales efforts to those people who had already indicated interest in buying their first home.
5. When selling anything — especially high priced items — it’s important to build up the value. Using bonuses or give-aways is one way to add extra value to the product. How-to books which you have written are an excellent free bonus. They have a clear and expected value. They have little cost. And they enhance your reputation while adding to the value.
6. But writing a how-to book aimed at your customer isn’t a prerequisite to making money with how-to books. Another target is potential partners and referral partners. In this case, the book helps to convince people that your services or products are worthwhile and worth referring.
7. Along those same lines, how-to books can be used to generate publicity. Forwarding a copy of a how-to book on a current topic to a member of the press can ensure the media talks about you,