You’ve likely heard the old adage that the legal expert is the attorney from out of town. In addition to being from somewhere else, having a book, even if self-published, establishes you as an expert in your area of legal practice.
There are opportunities for contributory books such as through a national organization that focuses on your area of expertise, self-publishing such as through Lulu.com, and traditional publishing.
You can write the book yourself or hire a ghostwriter through Elance.
This article details how to market your book no matter which path you choose for its creation. You can market the book yourself, hire a virtual marketing assistant to carry out the tasks we suggest, or work with a professional marketing expert.
Retirement planning guru, Natalie Choate, JD, sells her very respected book, Life and Death Planning for Retirement Planning (7th Edition), on her own website, Amazon.com, and at her seminars. After Natalie speaks, she and her husband have a table set up in the back of the room or the foyer, with a stack of books and a portable credit card machine.
We’ll show you how to use Amazon, your own book website, social media, newsletters, your email signature, and book signings to market your book.
Selling Your Book on Amazon
Make your book available for sale on Amazon.com.
- Add a thoughtful description and relevant tags to help your book appear in the top search results.
- If you funnel your sales through Amazon (i.e. all links to purchase your book are to Amazon), you’ll be listed higher in the search results. The higher you’re listed, the more books you’ll sell because we all assume that a higher listed book is a better book. The thought is, “It must be good…everyone else is buying it.”
- You can also increase your book’s search ranking by having good reviews, reviewing related books, using Amazon’s Connect blog feature, and participating in Amazon forums.
Check out all the ways to do business with Amazon by clicking here.
Develop a Website Just for Your Book
Develop a website for your book, separate from your law firm site.
- Link sales for the book to your Amazon listing.
- Include a blog on your website and update it frequently and regularly. Stay on topic and up-to-date.
- Include a call to action on each page of the blog and on your site (i.e. “Buy Now: The Insiders Guide to Protecting Your Assets;” or, “Order 15 Insider Tips to Finding Hidden Assets during Divorce.”)
- Videos improve your search rankings and are interpreted as entertainment, not sales; so, include a short (up to 2 minutes only) video with insider tips or a free tutorial, referencing your book.
- Include customer testimonials in text and video on your book’s website.
- Be sure to include your professional contact information on your website in case someone has a question about the book or wants to offer you a speaking engagement.
- Include links to your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn accounts as well as RSS feeds.
Use Social Media to Promote Your Book
Social media is the most effective, least expensive form of marketing available. For no charge, your book can have its own Facebook and Google+ page and you can use your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts to promote it.
- Make helpful comments using your name and book link on other blogs and ask to be a guest blogger. Be sure to follow the sites’ rules and promote only through your expertise and signature line. Blatant promotion is offensive and will likely get you kicked off.
- Use social media and your e-newsletter to promote related, non-competitive, services and books such as Don’t be a Yes Chick, an insightful book that empowers support staff to transform their job into a dream job and demonstrates how vested employees benefit the boss.
These mentions and links improve your search engine rankings, promote good will among colleagues, and will likely get your book or site mentioned in return.
Send an E-Newsletter
Send short and helpful e-newsletters to your house list and have an opt-in link for the newsletter on your firm’s website and your book’s website.
- Keep the newsletter short so it actually gets read, don’t try to sell on the newsletter (other than a link to the book in your signature line).
- Send the newsletter on a regular basis, but not too often as to overwhelm and push recipients to the opt-out button.
Use Your Email Signature
Include a link to your book in your business and personal email signatures. Your signature line should be informative and innocuous.
Your Centers of Influence
Consider holding a book signing for your referral sources and current clients. This is, likely, where most of your legal work comes from.
- For example, hold the signing at the local community or university library (or other charity) and offer drinks and hors d’oeuvres. Give the book in exchange for a donation to the library (or other charity of choice.)
- Have a table set up so you can personally sign each copy.
Your centers of influence will be thrilled to have a copy and to have been personally invited to a book signing.
Become the legal expert in your area of practice; get your book out there using your own website, social media, newsletters, email signature, and book signings to market your book.