Here is the third part of Don’t Bother Writing Books—It’s Not Worth It, Unless You’re Already a Celebrity At the end of part 2, I was talking about Peter Schiff, one of the 101 speakers at the Moneyshow in Las Vegas (May 12-15, 2014).
Schiff is the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, a New York City-based investment firm. His bare-bones booth had almost no visitors. He was sitting down, behind a desk. He looked bored. He ignored me and several other people at his booth. All of us were looking at his book, The Real Crash, released in April 2014, and at the various handouts scattered over the desk. Eventually, I decided to engage him in small talk. I was wondering how long it would take for Peter to ask me to buy his autographed book. After about 5 minutes, he finally did. But all he said was, “Hey, are you gonna buy my book or not? It’s $30 dollars, and it’s autographed” His voice did not sound friendly. I thought to myself, “What a lousy sales pitch!” I just walked away.
Schiff ignored the advice of a person I admire a lot, Dave Smith. Dave is owner of Synergy Books, based in St. George, Utah. He’s written several big-selling books on Disneyland and tennis. Sales are big because Dave always stands in front of his booth at all events, large and small, and actively engages passers-by with information about his books. He sells a lot of them! He knows his celebrity status as an author isn’t enough to sell many books. He knows you’ve got to make a good sales pitch, or you won’t make the sale.
Now, here’s the eye-opener I promised you: How much do you think MoneyShow paid Peter Schiff to give a talk? Absolutely nothing! In fact, Schiff’s company had to pay MoneyShow $5,800 for its booth and another $450 in order to be one of the 101 speakers. Total cost: $6,250. Wayne Allyn Root is a famous author, especially in conservative circles. He’s based in Henderson, Nevada, right next to Las Vegas. His most recent book, The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide: How to Survive, Thrive, and Prosper During Obamageddon, was released in 2013. It was ranked 31,844 on Amazon in May 2014. I’ve seen him at several conferences and exhibits in Las Vegas over the years. He told me most of the larger conferences with many speakers are like the MoneyShow. They don’t pay their big-name speakers any money at all. The conference organizers know the authors-speakers are so anxious for the attention and the opportunity to sell books and their services, they’ll appear free of charge. Or even pay the organizers for the privilege!
That’s true. Speakers want to appear at these events. Because they can make money selling their services. And they’ll make a few bucks selling their books at the back of the room. And especially their DVDs. (Lots more profits in DVDs of your talks than your books.) And so Wayne prefers to be the only speaker at an event—he makes a lot more money that way. Book sales are just the icing on the cake. I do the same thing. Let me repeat what I said in Part 1:
Why do I write books? Because I have made appearances (talks and seminars) since the late 1970s—about 10 years before I wrote my first book, Battling for Profits. I’ve done this in 36 nations on six continents. People who attend my seminars buy my books, DVDs, and courseware at my appearances. But I make a lot more money from the organizers of my seminars than from my book sales. I always have several of my books for sale at my appearances. I don’t know how many celebrity groupies are in my audience. But around 25 percent of them buy my autographed books at the end of my appearances. And so I conclude that attendance at my appearances would be 25 percent less if I had never written a book. So thank goodness for my minor celebrity-hood.
Hmmm…you noticed that I’m now talking about DVDs and courseware along with books. All of you know what DVDs are. But what is courseware? When I give a talk or seminar to a few hundred people, I videotape the whole thing. The end product is called courseware. I don’t allow videotaping by the audience. At the back of the room, my people take orders for a DVD of the entire seminar. A lot of people buy it—and they pay big bucks for it! A lot more than they’ll pay for my books!
A lot to think about before you spend a lot of time writing your book, huh?
Still want to write and become famous? Part 4 tells you how to get publishers interested in your book. Warning: It’s very, very, very hard.
Dr. Donald Wayne Hendon is a consultant, speaker, trainer, and author of 14 books, including The Way of the Warrior in Business, Guerrilla Deal-Making (with Jay Conrad Levinson) and 365 Powerful Ways to Influence. Jay Levinson recently passed away. He specifically chose Don to be his final co-author—the person most qualified to carry the torch of guerrilla marketing into the 21st century. Deal-Making contains the 100 most powerful tactics from 365 Powerful Ways—along with 400 winning countermeasures. There are 121 aggressive tactics, 92 defensive ones, 24 cooperative ones, and 16 submissive ones to get what you want from other people. Plus 81 dirty tricks to watch out for and 31 tactics to prepare you for your interaction with them. Download Chapter 1, free of charge, at www.DonaldHendon.com. Play Don’s free online Negotiation Poker game by going to GuerrillaDon.com. Apps will soon be available.