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I had a client approach me about a year ago about to help him find new marketing methods to sell his evaluation services to classic car collectors. Even though this individual had a semi popular website that was taking a thousand or more unique hits per month, he simply could not get over the hump that would take him from being a knowledgeable mechanic to an expert on vehicles like the desirable 1967 Shelby GT-500. His problem was that even though he had vast amounts of experience restoring and appraising classic vehicles, there was nothing on his resume that came even close to making him eligible for his dream career as a buyer for elite clientele. Luckily for him, we were able to fix that by marketing him as a true authority through Amazon’s Createspace.
Before I get too far, I want to point out that I have no affiliation with Createspace other than being a former customer. Specialty printing sites from Pubit (by Barnes and Noble) to Next Day Flyers to Blurb all have a wide range of services available depending on what type of material you want published. Each of them has their merits and drawbacks.
Reasons to Self-Publish
Chances are probably pretty high that you’ve never even considered becoming a published author before; it’s definitely not an everyday goal of the average entrepreneur. My automotive client was exactly the same way and his initial response to me was, “That’s probably the dumbest idea that I’ve heard this year.”
His logic quickly changed once I began to list the positives of building an authority niche through Amazon Createspace-
- Once published, outside entities automatically view you as an authority…even before reading your manuscript
- Professional organizations within your area of expertise will contact you gain credibility
- The mainstream media will provide ample local exposure that directs back to your website
- There will be ample opportunities for speaking engagements, trips to conventions, and other types of freebies
- If you effectively market yourself, there is also an income opportunity from the book itself
Notice that I mentioned the income from being published last, because striking it rich from being self-published is quite a long shot. At the same time, however, there are thousands of authors who publish 3-5 titles per year within their specific niche and they make a very good living from it.
Using Amazon Createspace
If you’ve ever considered publishing a book by traditional means, then you probably realize that it’s difficult to get picked up by a mainstream publisher to say the least. What many do not realize, however, is that services like Createspace drastically simplify the publishing process with little to no money required. In fact, the free online setup from Createspace grants an instant ISBN number (a $75-$200 value), a free cover creator, and several other tools that will allow you to self-publish without a single dime coming out of your pocket. There are even free tools to convert a title into an eBook format that can be read on devices like the Kindle and the Nook.
There are also paid services available through Createspace as well but the choice is completely yours whether or not to spend any money. For most entrepreneurs, it would make more sense to have a custom cover designed and to opt for a round or two of copyediting, but those types of services can also be found through sites like Elance for a very affordable rate. In fact, you could even pay someone to write the entire text for you; a lot of professionals have had great success with ghostwriters.
Publishing to Dominate your Niche
Choosing to self-publish a book title in order to prove authority within a niche is easily one of the most powerful marketing tools available on today’s market. While it is not a common practice in today’s dwindling print market, there are countless opportunities available from both a revenue and a promotional standpoint for those who have a story to tell.