Thursday’s profit tip for authors
Creativity plays an essential role in an author’s success, but it’s a different type of creativity than usually associated with writing and publishing.
Traditionally, creativity and its relationship to nonfiction writing has been approached from the ideas and expression point of view–especially at colleges and writing workshops. (For example, see Creative Nonfiction.Org.)
A new view of author creativity
Creativity plays a different role today for authors who want to create books that drive business. Today’s most profitable authors use creativity for 3 different, but closely associated, purposes:
- Develop a core body of knowledge. This involves identifying, communicating, and organizing a set of timeless, yet relevant, set of ideas, principles, strategies, and tips. The core body of knowledge delivers practical, not expressive, benefits and rewards to both authors and readers.
- Select a distinct and memorable, brand-creating title. A lifetime of profits can be based on a single creatively-inspired title, as Jay Conrad Levinson’s Guerrilla Marketing shows.
- Extending the brand into new markets and formats. Instead of moving on to new topics and titles after their initial success, successful authors renew their brand by revisiting their core ideas and title and expand them new formats, markets, and additional marketing and profit-generating projects.
Bud Bilanich’s creativity at work
Now, I’d like to explore some of the ways that Bud has creatively leveraged his core content–which originates in his daily blog. He has managed to translate his core content into multiple forms of marketing and profit.
Although not his first book, one of Bud’s most important books is his Straight Talk for Success: Common Sense Ideas That Won’t Let You Down.
Straight Talk for Success closely followed the immediate success of his “Success Common Sense” blog and Bud’s building his brand as “The Common Sense Guy” and allowed Bud to revisit, expand, and refine, his original blog posts.
Significantly, Straight Talk for Success is available in multiple formats, including hardcover, softcover, and e-book, at different prices for different markets.
In order to make his 4-cs Common Sense ideas more tangible, Bud then introduced a set of Memory Cards that condense his key ideas to their essence in flash-card format. Cards contain both a relevance statement and implementation ideas, plus a quotation that drives home the concept.
At a selling price of $10, Bud won’t retire on the profits, but it does give his fans another opportunity to revisit his ideas–and creates a nice add-on sale.
The 42 Rules series has been growing quite quickly, creating an enviable brand that’s in tune with today’s trend towards shorter, smaller, and less-expensive books.
By introducing a 42 Rules book, Bud is bringing his Common Sense brand–note the way it always accompanies his name–to the attention of a totally new book-buying market.
While writing his 42 Rules book, of course, Bud benefited from the opportunity it provided him to review his core ideas, select the best, and restate them in a fresh way.
Just as publishing a 42 Rules book introduced his book to a new publisher’s audience, his recent Your Success GPS for Walk the Talk, yet another large and growing publishing brand with its own established fan base.
In this case, not only is the selling price even lower, but the publisher emphasizes quantity sales to special markets like associations and corporations. This has the potential of introducing Bud to 100′s, 500′s, and 1,000′s of future prospects for coaching, consulting, and speaking opportunities.
Note how, once again, Bud’s “The Common Sense Guy” brand appears prominently on the front cover.
Bud has also extended his Common Sense brand into additional marketing and lead generating publishing projects.
The first project is a distillation of his 4Cs ideas into 101 Common Sense Tips for Building a Great Career.
What’s fascinating about this is not only its low price, but its practicality: printed copies can be inserted and mailed in Number 10 business sized envelopes.
It’s small size also makes it a perfect traveling companion, fitting in a jacket pocket.
Two versions are available; printed ($3.00) and e-book ($2.00). There’s a good reason for the token charge; it not only covers printing and distribution costs, but it’s an important qualifier. If prospects aren’t willing to pay a small amount for 101 tips, they’re probably not going to make very good clients!
Is this Bud’s most creative book?
Perhaps Bud Bilanich’s most creative venture, however, is his self-published 76-page book, “I Want YOU…To SUCCEED.”
Subtitled, How My Common Sense Coaching Can help You Create the Successful Life and Career You Want and Deserve, this book creates a bridge between Bud’s core Common Sense information and his personal coaching services.
The book explains his coaching philosophy and includes 5 stories that detail the benefits he brought to 5 different types of coaching clients. It describes what goes on during coaching sessions, the limits of coaching, and what differentiates him from other coaches.
I Want YOU…To SUCCEED is a compelling, hold-in-your-hand tangible book that, in a smoothly-paced editorial format, subtly convinces you that Bud is the only coach you should consider.
In a recent conversation, Bud told me his total time for writing and producing his book, exclusive of the cover, was less than 5 hours.
Bud’s story leads me to think that the 4th way successful authors use creativity is to locate the best resources to help them efficiently turn their ideas into reality.
What’s your favorite example of author creativity?
What creativity tools do you use when planning, writing, promoting, and profiting from your book? Do you consider yourself a creative author, or a competent author who creatively markets your books and services? Who do you consider to be the most creative authors?
Share your ideas as comments, below.